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Eye On Boise

Fri., May 2, 2014, 3:06 p.m.

State: Tribe’s ‘newly discovered’ idea that it can offer poker just about money

In its memorandum supporting its motion for a temporary restraining order to halt the Coeur d’Alene Casino’s new poker games, the state of Idaho argues that poker has never been allowed under its gaming compact with the tribe, and the tribe is now citing new interpretations of clauses having to do with games of skill and tournaments.

“The compact has existed for over 21 years, and yet the Tribe waited 20 years before ever suggesting that poker was a permissible form of gaming,” the state’s lawyers wrote. “This newly-discovered gaming entitlement has as its roots not a change in the law but the Tribe’s pursuit of revenue. Idaho does not begrudge the Tribe’s attempting to maximize the Casino’s economic benefit; it does object to any gaming activity that violates the Compact. … Parties to contracts ought honor their promises and adhere to the law.” You can read the state’s 18-page memorandum here.

The Coeur d’Alene Casino’s poker room is now open daily from 11 a.m. to close. “Our Poker Room is the newest addition to our world class gaming experience, located in the Red Tail Bar and Grill,” the Casino says on its website. “Come enjoy live action Poker with a wide betting range to suit your choice of game and experience.” Tribal officials were not immediately available for comment; it's not clear if they've been served with the lawsuit yet.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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