Idaho gaming bill is finally rejected

The Committee has not granted the necessary votes to pass the bill last Thursday.

US.- The Idaho House State Affairs Committee has ended the attempt of limiting the native tribes’ casino operations. Last Thursday, State officials voted the rejection of the gaming bill introduced this month by Tom Loertscher, Republican member of the Idaho House of Representatives.

During the vote, Loertscher said that the bill “is not about banning tribal gaming,” and it would only bring state law on current native tribes’ operations. HB127 intended to ban video gaming terminals with real money in casinos state-wide. Under the proposal, gaming machines would have been considered as illegal casino slots.

Last week’s resolution was set after a narrow result of 8-7 vote in the House State Affairs Committee. Local tribes had previously complained about the bill that they considered would have affected their operations. “Based on everything we’ve heard, I just don’t believe that the purpose is to only reconcile Idaho Code with the constitution,” Freshman Rep. Dustin Manwaring, R-Pocatello said last Thursday. “I don’t think there’s a policy matter to fix. There’s a lot of confusion out here. I think it does threaten the tribes.”

Slot machines are currently allowed in Idaho native tribes’ casinos after their representatives won a dispute in 2002, in which they argued that gaming machines are not illegal as they not dispense coins.