Indiana is a gambling-friendly state with a surprisingly diverse array of legal gaming options. The most recent gambling expansion came in 2019 with the launch of retail sportsbooks and online sports betting.
In addition to sports betting, Hoosiers can bet on horse racing, visit casinos, play slots at race tracks and try their luck in the state lottery.
Legal Indiana gambling began in 1988 after voters approved a state lottery. Within six years, charitable gaming, riverboat casinos, and horse racing were all legalized. Eventually, slots at race tracks and sports betting were added to the mix to make Indiana one of the more pro-gambling states in the Union.
Legal Indiana Gambling Sites and Apps
The minimum age for most forms of gambling in Indiana is 18, although casino gambling and sports betting are restricted to customers 21 or older.
Overview of Legal Gambling Options in Indiana:
- Sports betting: Online sports betting and retail sportsbooks at casinos
- Horse racing betting: Live, off-track, and mobile betting
- Poker: Traditional casinos
- Slots and video poker: Traditional casinos and racetrack casinos
- Table games: Traditional casinos
- Electronic table games: Racetrack casinos
- State lottery: Tickets sold at retailers only
- Bingo and raffles: Offered by licensed charities
- Daily fantasy sports: Online/mobile
- Video bingo: At South Bend tribal casino
Indiana Online Gambling
Three forms of online gaming are legal in Indiana today.
- Online sports betting: Sports betting was legalized in 2019, and customers may register for an account from anywhere within state lines. In-person registration is not required in Indiana, as is the case in some other states. Land-based casinos hold sports betting licenses and may partner with online providers such as DraftKings to operate online/mobile sportsbooks.
- Online horse racing betting: Online horse racing betting was approved by the state racing commission without needing a public vote. A handful of legal and licensed racing betting sites that are headquartered on US soil accept customers from Indiana.
- Daily fantasy sports: It is debatable if daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests can fairly be classified as a form of “gambling,” but that is a moot point as the activity was formally legalized and regulated in 2016.
Some lawmakers have discussed legalizing online casinos and poker in Indiana as recently as early 2021, but the odds of anything passing in the near term are uncertain.
There are twelve casinos in Indiana. Ten are traditional casinos on or near water. The other two are casinos at race tracks (racinos).
Indiana law permits full-service casino gambling on the boats. Games include slots, video poker, live poker, craps, roulette, Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Baccarat, and Pai Gow Poker.
Meanwhile, racinos may offer slots, video poker, and electronic table games. Live poker and table games were not permitted at tracks until 2021.
There is no loss or bet limit in Indiana. Casinos may set denominations and maximum wagers. Casino patrons must be at least 21 years of age.
List of Casinos in Indiana
Indiana Tribal Casinos
Indiana is also home to a single tribal casino, Four Winds Casino. This one is not like the state’s commercial casinos. Four Winds Casino only spreads video bingo machines and live bingo as a Class II gaming facility.
The video bingo games feature branding from major slot providers to make these games look and feel just like slots. Under the hood, the video gaming machines at Four Winds are designed in such a way to stay within the bingo classification (Class II gaming) rather than as traditional slots (Class III gaming).
Indiana Online Sports Betting
Indiana authorized in-person and online sports betting in 2019. Retail sportsbooks launched at casinos to begin and that was followed by the launch of mobile betting later that year.
If you’re 21 or older and are physically present within state lines, you may bet on sports from your desktop or mobile device through licensed sports betting providers.
Twelve Indiana betting apps are now licensed and open for business:
- Barstool Sportsbook
- BetRivers.com Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- BetMGM Sportsbook
- BetAmerica Sportsbook
- Unibet Sportsbook
- Caesars Sportsbook
- PointsBet Sportsbook
888Sport should be added to that soon. In December 2020, 888 Holdings announced it is partnered with Harrah’s Hoosier Park to offer mobile sports betting and online gambling (pending a change in state law). 888Sport says it intends to go live in Indiana in 2021.
Note that you do not need to be a resident to bet on sports in Indiana. Even if you’re visiting for the day, you may still bet on sports whenever you’re inside state lines.
In fact, it is also possible to download betting apps, sign up for accounts, browse the odds and make deposits from out of state. The only time you need to be physically present within state lines is when actually placing wagers.
Indiana Sportsbooks: Retail In-Person Betting
Land-based casinos, race tracks, and off-track betting parlors (OTBs) may apply for sports betting licenses from the Indiana Gaming Commission.
Each retail sportsbook is also authorized to launch up to three individual Indiana betting sites and mobile sportsbook apps in partnership with outside software providers. This means the Indiana market can legally support 15 retail sportsbooks and as many as 45 mobile betting apps in total.
Active retail sportsbooks in Indiana:
- Barstool Sportsbook at Ameristar East Chicago
- FanDuel Sportsbook at Belterra
- FanDuel Sportsbook at Blue Chip Casino
- French Lick Sportsbook
- Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino
- The Book at Harrah’s Hoosier Park
- The Book at Horseshoe Hammond
- The Book at Caesars Southern Indiana
- Winner’s Circle Race, Sports, Pub at Indiana Grand
- Twinspires Sports Book at Rising Star Casino
- William Hill Sportsbook at Tropicana Evansville
- Winner’s Circle OTB and Sportsbook Indianapolis
- Winner’s Circle OTB and Sportsbook New Haven
- Winner’s Circle OTB and Sportsbook Clarksville
Indiana sports betting laws allow wagering on college and professional sports. Parlays, teasers and most props and in-game wagers are available.
Sports Betting Laws in Indiana
Indiana legalized sports betting with the passage of HB 1015 on 8 May 2019. After Governor Eric Holcomb signed the bill into law, the Indiana Gaming Commission made quick work of drafting regulations, establishing a licensing process, and issuing approvals for various sportsbooks to go live.
The first retail sportsbooks opened for business on September 1, 2019, and mobile betting went online the following month. The sports betting tax is 9.5 percent of gross gaming revenues.
Under Indiana law, land-based casinos, race tracks, and off-track betting parlors apply for and hold master sports wagering licenses. Each licensee may partner with third-party software providers such as FanDuel and DraftKings to launch up to three individually branded betting apps.
Indiana sportsbooks are allowed to take pre-game and in-play wagers on professional and college sports. The one restriction is sportsbooks are prohibited from accepting in-play props regarding specific players in college games. Indiana sports betting law also prohibits wagers on esports events.
Useful Indiana sports betting links:
- List of licensed retail and mobile sportsbooks: Licensees
- Sports and leagues upon which sportsbooks may accept wagers: Approved Events
- Indiana Code on sports wagering: IC 4-38
- Rules and regulations for sports betting operators: Emergency Rules
Live poker is legal at Indiana casinos. Online poker is not licensed in the state.
There are nine poker rooms with a combined 150 tables in Indiana. These range from small social spots to serious poker rooms with higher limit cash games and tournaments. There are no bet or pot limits in Indiana. Poker rooms may spread any game where the rules are documented.
Indiana Poker Laws
Indiana permits live poker at all licensed casinos that are on riverboats and the tribal casino in South Bend. Racinos were approved to offer live poker as well beginning in 2021.
Home poker games are likely illegal in Indiana as it does not have any social gaming laws and a strict definition of “gambling” that does not permit games with any element of chance. Poker players at casinos must be at least 21 years old.
Poker Rooms in Indiana
- Belterra Casino Poker Room: Nine tables; 1/2 no-limit and small fixed limit Holdem cash games, single table tournaments
- Blue Chip Casino Poker Room: Eight tables; five no-limit Holdem tournaments weekly, 1/2 and 2/5 no-limit Holdem daily; pot-limit Omaha on weekends
- Four Winds South Bend Poker Room: 10 tables; three tournaments weekly; 1/2 and 2/5 no limit Holdem cash games, 3/6 limit Holdem, and 1/2 pot-limit Omaha
- Hollywood Casino Poker Room (closed): 19 tables; two daily tournaments, three tournaments on weekends; 1/2 to 5/10 no limit Holdem; 3/6 to 20/40 fixed limit Holdem; 1/2 to 5/10 pot limit Omaha; 2/5 limit Omaha hi/lo
- Horseshoe Hammond Poker Room: 34 tables; 11 weekly no limit Holdem tournaments; 1/2 to 10/20 no limit Holdem cash games; limit Holdem games; pot limit Omaha; Omaha hi/lo
- Caesars Southern Indiana Poker Room: 30 tables; daily tournaments, no-limit Holdem cash games; fixed limit Holdem; pot-limit Omaha
- Indiana Grand Poker Room: 10 tables; 11 weekly no-limit Holdem tournaments; limit and no-limit cash games
- Majestic Star Poker Room (closed permanently): 14 tables; daily tournaments; no-limit and fixed limit Holdem; Omaha hi/lo and mixed cash games
- Tropicana Evansville Poker Room: 8 tables; 1/3 no limit Holdem; 1/2 no limit Holdem; 10/20 Omaha hi/lo; Big O; pot limit Omaha; 4/8 fixed limit Holdem; weekly tournaments
Are Home Poker Games Legal in Indiana?
Indiana does not make an exception for social gaming. IC §35-45-5-1 defines gambling as follows:
“…risking money or other property for gain, contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, or the operation of a gambling device…”
The inclusion of the words “or in part upon lot” indicates even games such as poker, which combine elements of skill and luck, are classified as gambling. As such, hosting or participating in a social poker game at home or elsewhere is illegal in Indiana.
Indiana Daily Fantasy Sports
The major daily fantasy sports providers such as FanDuel and DraftKings operated openly throughout Indiana even prior to the industry attaining formal legal status. The legislature approved legislation in 2016 to formally legalize DFS contests and establish a licensing process.
Today, fantasy sites must undergo a licensing process and pay an initial fee of $50,000 (that Paid Fantasy Sports Division of the Indiana Gaming Commission may increase up to $75,000 to recoup investigation costs) and adhere to various consumer protection measures.
A list of licensed daily fantasy providers may be found at the Indiana Gaming Commission website here. The biggest operators approved to do business in Indiana include:
Indiana Horse Racing Betting
Pari-mutuel betting was approved in 1989. However, it took five years for the state to get horse racing off the ground. Hoosier Park offers live racing Tuesday through Saturday in the warmer months of the year. Indiana Grand offers live racing on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Each has off-track betting on interstate races.
Mobile betting on horses is also permitted. All major horse racing companies accept Indiana players. This includes TVG and TwinSpires. Horse bettors must be at least 18 years of age.
Indiana Esports Betting
Esports sites such as PlayersLounge and GamerSalooon in which players compete against one another for money, are most likely legal in Indiana. Both sites accept Indiana residents as customers under the assumption that the games they offer fall under the “bona fide contests of skill” exemption detailed above.
However, placing wagers on the outcomes of other people competing in esports is prohibited by Indiana law. Not only does the skill gaming exception make it clear one must be a participant, but the 2019 sports betting law specifically states it is not legal for sportsbooks to accept wagers on esports competitions.
The Indiana Lottery was created by a constitutional amendment in November 1988. It passed by a 62 to 38 margin. The first scratch-off tickets were sold in October 1989. In April 1990, the Indiana Lottery held its first state lotto drawing. In October of that year, it joined interstate lotto pools.
The Indiana Lottery holds nine drawings for in-state games. Eight are daily drawings. It also joins three interstate lotto games.
Intrastate Lotto Games
- Hoosier Lotto
- CA$H 5
- Quick Draw Midday
- Quick Draw Evening
- Daily 3 Midday
- Daily 3 Evening
- Daily 4 Midday
- Daily 4 Evening
Interstate Lotto Games
- Mega Millions
Indiana Lottery Laws
The lottery in Indiana, called the Hoosier Lottery, was passed by a voter referendum in November 1988 by a 62% majority. The Legislature ratified the Lottery Act in May 1989, and the first scratch-off tickets were sold later that year. Intrastate lotto drawings began in April 1990. Six months later, the Hoosier Lottery joined interstate lotto drawings.
Lottery scratch-off and lotto tickets must be purchased at retailers. Buyers must be at least 18 years of age.
Indiana Skill Games
Indiana gambling law exempts “bona fide contests of skill, speed, strength, or endurance in which awards are made only to entrants or the owners of entries.”
In other words, this indicates it would be legal to enter a paid bowling or golf tournament and compete for a prize but illegal to wager on someone else’s performance in such a contest (unless you’re placing wagers at a licensed sportsbook).
Online skill gaming sites such as WorldWinner.com allow customers from Indiana to compete for cash prizes.
Skill sites have varied approaches to Indiana residents. For example, WorldWinner does not let Indianan’s play games that use cards, but other games are permitted. King.com accepts all players from here. WPT Online does not accept Indiana residents.
Indiana Gambling Laws
Indiana is a relatively new state to the world of legalized gambling. The state did not pass its first gaming bill until 1988. That is when voters passed a constitutional amendment that created the state lottery. Pari-mutuel gaming on interstate racing passed the next year. However, the first track did not open until the next decade.
A large expansion started in the 1990s. Charitable gaming, including bingo and raffles, was approved in 1992. Legalized casinos passed the legislature in a special session in 1993. Horseracing came on board in 1994. In 2007, the state moved to permit video poker, slots, and electronic table games at race tracks. Table games will be permitted in 2021.
A daily fantasy sports law was passed in 2016 to exempt DFS contests from gaming laws and establish basic consumer protection regulations. Sports betting passed the legislature in 2019. This allowed for live and mobile betting on sporting events.
The following agencies regulate gambling in Indiana:
Indiana Tribal Casinos
The sole tribal casino in Indiana, Four Winds Casino, opened for business in 2007.
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians were unable to negotiate a gaming compact with the state to operate Class III games (such as table games and traditional slots) and is therefore relegated to Class II games (video bingo machines and live poker).
All customers must be 21 or older to visit Four Winds.
The Indiana Riverboat Act established the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) and gave the commission the power to issue 11 riverboat licenses in specific areas of the State. The Commission had its first meeting on September 7th, 1993, and was comprised of seven members chosen by the Governor.
In 2015, Indiana amended the Riverboat Gaming Act to let its riverboat casinos move to land-based facilities to support their efforts to stay competitive amongst casinos in neighboring states. Originally, Indiana casinos were required by law to operate as gambling boats on Lake Michigan or the Ohio River. As a result, the French Lick Resort received approval to open an on-site casino in 2006, and the Majestic Star received permission in 2019 to move its license inland and rebrand it as the Hard Rock Casino.
All standard gambling games are permitted in Indiana casinos. This includes craps, roulette, blackjack, Three Card Poker, baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, live poker, slots, video poker, and electronic table games.
Players must be at least 21 years of age. The casino tax rate is 22.5% for boats that cruise. However, none exist these days that leave the dock. The casino tax rate for all other casinos is tiered and increases according to revenue:
- Up to $25 Million: 15%
- $25 – $50 Million: 20%
- $50 – $75 Million: 25%
- $75 – $150 Million: 30%
- $150 – $600 Million: 35%
- Over $600 Million: 40%
Racetrack casinos, also called racinos, were authorized in 2007. The state’s two race tracks – Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand – may operate slots, video poker, and electronic table games.
Indiana racinos were also approved to host live table games and poker starting in 2021. All guests must be 21 or older to gamble.
Charities registered in Indiana for at least five years may operate bingo games for cash. The licensing fee is $50 to $26,000 per year, depending on the revenues generated by the games. Charities that offer raffles do not need to register with the state. Charity gaming players must be at least 18 years of age.
Online Gambling Laws
Three forms of online gambling are permitted in Indiana. Off-track betting has been legal since 1994. Daily fantasy sports were licensed in 2016. The fee is $50,000 for the initial license and $5,000 annually for renewals. The minimum age for off-track betting and daily fantasy sports is 18 years of age.
Sports betting was approved in 2019. Mobile sports betting launched in the state on October 3, 2019. The tax rate is 9.5 percent of gross gaming revenues. Sports bettors must be at least 21 years of age.
All forms of licensed online gaming permit registration over the mobile device. Deposits and withdrawals may also be processed that way.