Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Judge: Idaho suit over tribal poker defies compact
Gambling » Poker may continue at the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s casino in northern Idaho.
First Published Jun 23 2014 05:31 pm • Last Updated Jun 23 2014 05:31 pm

Boise • Poker can continue for now at the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s casino in Worley after a federal judge ruled Monday that the state violated a gambling compact in a dispute over a game Idaho says is illegal.

The state sued last month to shut down the tribe’s poker room, saying all forms of poker are banned under Idaho’s Constitution and state law. But tribal representatives argued that Texas Hold ‘Em poker is not considered illegal gambling but a game of skill.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Tribal officials said in court nearly two weeks ago that the game requires players to compete against each other, with no house bank involved.

State officials sought a temporary ban on play, which U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill denied Monday.

The gambling compact between the state and tribe says both sides have 60 days to call for arbitration to settle disputes before they can sue each other, Winmill ruled. Because Idaho filed a lawsuit during the 60-day window, it violated the agreement, the judge said.

"For now, the court will stay the lawsuit because the parties are within the 60-day period in which the compact unambiguously prohibits the state from filing this lawsuit," Winmill wrote in his decision.

Idaho and the tribe have until July 7 to file a report to the court on the status of a solution.

State officials expressed disappointment in the ruling, given the "plain language" of the compact.

"But the State of Idaho remains committed to enforcing the rule of law that limits gambling in tribal casinos to clearly approved games — and poker isn’t one of them," Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter said in a prepared statement.

Tribal attorney Eric Van Orden said the tribe believes it has the legal right to offer poker.


story continues below
story continues below

"The court agreed with our interpretation of the gaming compact and reinforced what we’ve been saying all along, that the state jumped the gun and violated the provisions of our agreement when it raced to the courthouse with this unnecessary lawsuit," Van Orden said.

The casino has been a major success for the tribe and has grown considerably since it opened nearly two decades ago. It offers slot machines, bingo and off-track betting. The poker room opened May 2.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.