Indiana takes a middle-of-the-road approach to gambling, but unfortunately, it’s also one of three states that explicitly prohibit iGaming.
Legal options for gambling in Indiana include horse race betting, land-based and riverboat casino gaming, charitable bingo, and a state lottery.
In 2016, Indiana passed a DFS bill that legalized this form of gambling within state lines.
The Hoosier State defines gambling as “risking money or other property for gain, contingent upon lot, chance, or the operation of a gambling device,” and a computer used to play on a real money site meets the state’s definition of a gambling device. Thus, people who engage in online gambling in Indiana can expect to be charged with a class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
All gambling-related matters in Indiana are regulated by Indiana Code 35-45-5-1 et seq. and 4-31-1-1 et seq. The minimum gambling age is 21 for casino games and 18 for the lottery, horse race betting, DFS contests, and charitable bingo.
|Land-Based Gambling||Yes||12 casinos and two racinos|
|Online Gambling||Yes||Daily fantasy sports and mobile sports betting|
|Charitable Gaming||Yes||Bingo, raffles, and pull-tabs|
|Minimum Gambling Age||18 for pari-mutuel, bingo, & lotteries; 21 for casinos and sports betting|
Indiana never launched a regulated iGaming industry, so it should come as no surprise that the current regulations are somewhat dated and open to interpretation. According to Section 35 of the Indiana code, taking part in unlicensed gambling is a class B misdemeanor. However, this rule most likely doesn’t apply to people who play on offshore sites, as the law makes a clear distinction between online games and live gambling. Hosting and operating unlicensed games, on the other hand, is listed as a felony and, as such, is treated very seriously by the local law enforcement.
Indiana is likely to legalize sports betting in 2019. In 2018, two sports betting bills were introduced – one in the House and one in the Senate. The sponsor of the House bill, Rep. Alan Morrison, stated that his draft has a “fairly good” chance of being signed into law. He has already received the approval of major sports organizations – the NBA and MLB. Unfortunately, the legislative situation doesn’t look so great on the online gambling front as neither the House nor the Senate is currently working on an iGaming bill.
Casino-style gambling was introduced to Indiana in 1993 when the legislature decided to override Governor Evan Bayh’s veto and authorized the construction of ten riverboat casinos. These casinos are all confined to Lake Michigan, Ohio River, and Patoka Lake, so they aren’t readily accessible to all Indiana residents. The construction of an 11th casino was authorized in 2004. Michigan also houses two racetrack casinos.
These establishments are operated by local businesses built around specific properties, except for two Horseshoe casinos, which are owned by Caesars Entertainment.
Unfortunately, state-sanctioned online casinos aren’t available, and playing on offshore sites is patently illegal. If Indiana decides to legalize this form of gambling somewhere down the road, you can expect Caesars’ online gambling partner, 888, to be among the first providers to enter the market.
There are ten live poker rooms in Indiana. Caesars-owned Horseshoe Casino Hammond operates the biggest one, and WSOP events are hosted there on a fairly regular basis. Legal online poker is currently unavailable, and the local legislature isn’t working on any bills that could change this. Playing on offshore sites is illegal and classified as a misdemeanor.
Should Indiana legislators decide to legalize online poker, you can expect Caesars’ partners, 888 and WSOP, to be among the first operators to enter the state.
Sports betting is currently illegal in Indiana – except for pari-mutuel horse race betting, which is available both on-site at the local casinos and in licensed satellite facilities. After the Supreme Court struck down the PASPA law, which banned sports betting on a federal level, Indiana legislators introduced two sports betting bills. The one more likely to pass is sponsored by Rep. Allan Morrison and involves rather steep taxes – a 1% integrity fee, which will benefit specific sports leagues and a 9.25% tax that will go to the state. Consequently, the odds offered by the local facilities will likely be less favorable than on most high-profile sports betting sites. Note that Indiana legislators didn’t pass the bill in 2018 because they want to watch the situation unfold in the other states that decided to legalize sports betting before making a final decision.
Online sports betting is currently illegal, and neither of the proposed bills is set to change that. Finding an offshore site that accepts Indiana residents shouldn’t be a challenge, but people engaging in this activity can expect misdemeanor charges if caught.
Paid DFS contests were legalized in 2016, and Indiana legislators are currently working on Bill H 1181, which will introduce several minor revisions and technical corrections to the current regulations. Indiana-based DFS fans enjoy unrestricted access to all major DFS platforms, including FanDuel, DraftKings, Fantasy Draft, and Yahoo DFS.
The Indiana lottery is called the Hoosier Lottery and is operated by the State Lottery Commission. It offers both in-state and multi-state drawing options, including Powerball and Mega Millions, as well as several scratch-off, instant win, and fast play games. The Hoosier Lottery also has an official mobile app, which features 2nd chance promotions, easy ticket scanning, and personalized alerts. However, tickets can only be purchased from licensed land-based retail shops.
Charitable organizations are allowed to organize bingo games, and Indianapolis alone is home to over a dozen bingo halls. Unfortunately, Indiana residents don’t have any legal options for internet play. In the eyes of the law, playing on an offshore bingo platform isn’t any different than playing at an online casino, and it may lead to misdemeanor charges.
What types of gambling are available in Indiana?
Indiana doesn’t have any strong gambling traditions, but surprisingly it became one of the most land-based gambling-friendly states in the entire country over the past three decades. The state lacks well-established tribal casinos, but commercial gambling establishments such as Horseshoe Casino or Belterra more than makeup for this shortcoming. Some of the Indiana casinos are based on riverboats, while others are based on land or near horse racing tracks. Unfortunately, like so many other states, Indiana suffers from ambiguous online gambling regulations.
What laws cover online gambling in Indiana?
Casino games, poker, sports betting, and all the other forms of gambling are covered by Section 35 of the Indiana code. Please note that those regulations are somewhat outdated, but they do refer to online gambling specifically. All in all, Indiana doesn’t penalize players for taking part in online gambling despite being somewhat strict when it comes to dealing with illegal land-based games, but operating unlawful online games is considered to be a serious felony.
Is real money online gambling legal in Indiana?
Playing on offshore sites is perfectly legal in Indiana.
Which offshore gambling sites accept Indiana residents?
Yes, virtually every noteworthy offshore iGaming platform has no qualms about accepting Indiana players and bettors.
What are the most popular banking options supported by Indiana -facing sites?
Most sites support credit card deposits. In some cases, you might be able to fund your on-site account via Western Union or MoneyGram. Popular payout methods include checks by courier and bank wire transfer.
Does Indiana offer any intrastate online gambling?
As you’ve probably already guessed, Indiana doesn’t have any licensed online gambling operators.
Is it likely for Indiana to regulate online gambling?
Indiana is far from being able to make up its mind about online gambling at the moment. On the one hand, the overwhelming majority of Indiana voters are somewhat conservative, while on the other hand, the local gambling industry is quite strong. In the end, the shape of Indiana’s future iGaming laws will most likely be heavily influenced by the regulations adopted by the other states.
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