Are Idaho's gambling & alcohol laws insane or simply zany? Who cares when the golf's as good as Coeur d'Alene Resort
Traveling around you’ll run into some wacky laws when it comes to drinking and gambling - two of any self-respecting golfer’s favorite pastimes. But you haven’t seen anything yet until you’ve been in Idaho.
Idaho has Native American Indian casinos. But they are unlike any casinos you’ve been in before. For starters, there are no actual cards in the “card” games. But there are still dealers.
You will be once you walk into a casino. Take the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort & Hotel, home of the can’t-miss Circling Raven Golf Club. Dealers behind what are marked as black jack tables will try and call you over. Then you sit down and see a little computer screen in front of you.
Welcome to Idaho’s computer black jack posing as real black jack. The “dealer” hits buttons to make the cards turn over on your computer screen. You hit chip buttons on your little computer screen in $1, $5 and $25 denominations to make your bet. The cards turn over on the screen. Then you wave your hand to get a hit or deny one. Which causes the dealer to hit another button.
The best is when you’re asked to “cut the deck” by the dealer. A computer image of shuffling cards comes up on a screen next to the dealer and you wave your hand to indicate when to cut it. Which causes the dealer to hit another button. And say things like, “Nice cut” as everyone at the table rolls their eyes.
There may be nothing quite as hilarious as seeing prolific author and sometime WorldGolf.com blogger Joel Zuckerman being asked to “cut” a computer screen deck.
That’s the thing, as absurdly strange as Idaho’s no-card rules can seem (oh, those cards are evil!), you can still have fun. Not Las Vegas fun perhaps, but fun.
Just don’t try to bring any alcohol from the bar to the casino floor or expect a free drink while losing your money gambling. These are more no-no scenarios in Idaho (though the upside is you only have to be 18 to gamble - in other words, WorldGolf.com’s Brandon Tucker would be all over it).
You don’t come to Idaho to gamble or drink first anyway. In fact, budding fisherman that I am, I might trade Northern Idaho’s world-class fly fishing for the gambling.
You come to play can’t find anywhere else courses like Circling Raven and the Coeur d’Alene, where the famous floating island green is only one of the perks. You’ll also get the plushest golf carts you’ve ever seen (the detailing might be better than on your car), a practice range that has you bombing shots in the water (flags bop in the water on this range and you use special water balls that fly like regular golf balls) and forecaddies.
In other words, you’ll fall in love with the scene anyways - zaniness and all.
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