Laws concerning gambling in Indiana have been quite liberal for many years. The rather conservative state warmly embraced the pastime in 1988 when it launched its own lottery. Then, in 1993, it extended its welcome to casino gambling even when other states were only grappling with the concept.
Online gambling in Indiana is not yet fully permitted, because online casinos and poker rooms haven’t been legalized. However it is legal to participate in online sports betting in Indiana. Throw in plenty of in-person sports betting opportunities and the state is one of the most accomodating places for gaming anywhere in the Midwest.
Indiana supports and promotes responsible gambling.
When Indiana introduced a state lottery in the late 1980s, critics were quick to complain. The staunchest objectors warned that it was a slippery slope with casino gambling waiting at the end of it. But lottery proponents scoffed at the idea. They couldn't see how the lottery would cause casinos would gain favor in Indiana.
Credit for the creation of the Indiana casino market goes to former Gary, Ind., mayor Thomas Barnes. It was his idea in 1989 to acquire 350 acres of property and build as many as five casinos in the city.
Resistance in the state senate effectively blocked that first plan. However, the effort to legalize casino gambling in Indiana continued. Over the next couple of years, various other plans were proposed to the legislature.
The two sides reached a compromise in 1993. One side got a new budget with no tax increases and the other got riverboat casinos.
This victory allowed the legal operation of several water-based casinos on Lake Michigan and the Ohio River. However, the impracticality of demanding the riverboats to be genuine seaworthy vessels soon became apparent. And that is why all 'riverboat casinos' in Indiana today are riverboats in name only.
Surprisingly, Indiana didn't even think about legalizing sportsbooks in the state until relatively late in the day. And that's why the first legal sportsbooks in Indiana didn't open until September 2019.
Despite the late start, a total of 12 land-based Indiana sportsbooks have now opened. From East Chicago in the northwest to Florence in the southeast, the retail coverage of sportsbooks here is impressive.
Even more impressive is the fact that online sportsbook in Indiana are also now legal. Every legal online sportsbook is affiliated with a retail partner. All are tightly regulated for the safety and security of bettors.
Given all of this, you might expect that online casinos in Indiana would also have been made legal. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. Gambling law in Indiana doesn't currently allow online casinos or online poker rooms. Of course, there is plenty of time for that to change in the future.
All online sportsbooks in Indiana must have a retail casino partner. The table below shows the online sportsbooks that are currently operating, along with the land-based casinos they are affiliated with. The date of launch is also provided for reference purposes.
|Online Sportsbook||Land Based Casino||Launched|
|DraftKings||Ameristar Casino Resort||10/03/2019|
|BetRivers||French Lick Resort Casino||10/03/2019|
|FanDuel||Belterra Casino and Blue Chip Casino||10/26/2019|
|Bet America||Rising Star Casino Resort||12/30/2019|
|Bet MGM||Belterra Casino||02/25/2020|
|PointsBet||Hollywood Casino Larenceburg||03/06/2020|
|Caesers Sportsbook||Caesars Southern Indiana||05/19/2020|
|William Hill||Tropicana Evansville Casino||10/30/2020|
FOX Bet, Wynn Resorts, and bet365 are also aggressively looking to get into the Indiana online and mobile gaming market, making the above list just a small sampling of what is to come.
Unlike some other states, law governing online gambling in Indiana allow betting on college sporting events that take place in the state and involve Indiana-based teams. This means that betting on Notre Dame football and Indiana Hoosiers basketball is perfectly legal. Much to the relief of both sportsbooks and fans in the state!
In Indiana, the only things that you can't legally bet on are esports, high school sports, and amateur sporting events involving participants under the age of 18.
The types of sports bets allowed in Indiana include the usual sports betting standards, which are as follows:
Also known as live betting or in-game betting, in-play betting allows you to bet on sporting events that are already in progress. There are quarter and halftime bets, multiple buyout options, and more. As the score of the game and the amount of time remaining changes, so do the odds and points spreads.
The Indiana Gaming Commission does have discretionary powers to limit the scope of in-play betting, but so far it hasn'te exercised those powers.
A sports betting staple, the moneyline allows you to strike a straightforward bet on who will win the game and who will lose the game. You can side with the underdog for a higher potential payout, or bet on the obvious favorite for a greater chance of winning a little less.
These wagers use a point spread to separate the favorite from the underdog. Bookmakers set the line before the game, and you choose to take the points or give them.
This is a bet on the total combined points scored by both teams in a single event. It's also known as an over/under bet because you bet that the result will be over or under the posted totals line. You can also find over/under bets on a team's win total for the entire season.
A parlay is a group of small individual bets that combine into one larger bet. Parlays can include anything from two to five bets, and all of them must win for the parlay to succeed as a whole. If one or more of the component bets lose, the entire parlay loses.
This bet also allows you to bet on a series of smaller bets, but here each smaller bet also pays off in its own right. If you've ever boxed a trifecta at the horse track, then you understand round robins.
Proposition or prop bets are ones placed on specific outcomes in a sporting event that aren't related to the overall result. They are particularly popular during special events, like the Super Bowl. Examples include betting on how many touchdowns will be thrown by a quarterback, or on the total number of caution flags that will be shown during the Indy 500.
These are bets on events that have yet to take place, and therefore allow you to predict the winner of next year's World Series or NBA Finals. The earlier you place futures bets, the bigger the potential payout.
Although the situation may change in the future, online casino gaming in Indiana remains illegal, and state officials take the engagement in illegal gaming very seriously.
The penalties for facilitating or participating in unregulated gambling are quite harsh compared to those in the rest of the country.
Many Indianans have no doubt accessed offshore online casinos as a way to play online. This is also illegal according to Indiana law, even if the casinos are legally operating elsewhere.
Offshore and unregulated casinos are not required to protect your identity, your account information, or your money. There is no watchdog to oversee them, and no means of redress should you have a problem with them.
We strongly recommend that if you want to play at a casino, you visit one of the many retail casino venues in Indiana. Online casinos will come one day, and it could be sooner than any of us think.
Predicting which casinos are the most likely to embrace online gambling in Indiana is a pretty simple exercise. We simply need to look at which retail casinos are in the state and who their national partners are.
We can see then what these casinos have done in other states. This allows us to make an educated guess about how quickly they would likely move into an open online market in Indiana.
DraftKings has been one of the first on the scene in other states, and was one of the very sportsbooks to open in Indiana. This venue has gone from a daily fantasy sports site to a complete one-stop shop for all things betting. They are very likely to expand their Indiana operations as soon as they are able.
FanDuel opened its Indiana online sportsbook in October of 2019. As it has done in other states, it will include an integrated casino into its app just as soon as online casino gaming is legalized.
Bet MGM was quick to add its product to markets in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Colorado, and its sportsbook has been in Indiana since early 2020. When online casino gaming is allowed, they will be near the front of the line.
Caesars Casino is one of the newer entries into the Indiana online sports betting market. This casino giant is sure to expand its app and online capabilities when casino gaming is allowed.
All online casino games will have to be approved by Indiana regulators before they can be offered by a casino. However, in general terms we can look forward to all of the following.Slot Machines
As much as customers clamor for table games, the old standby slot machine remains the most popular game at the casino. Online slots also give casinos an easy way to provide variety for customers.
If an Indiana casino offers any table games at all, it is sure to offer blackjack. Still the most popular card game at a casino despite the growing competition.
An easy game to understand and simulate online, roulette is always popular on the casino floor. It comes in American and European versions, which have two green 0's and one green 0, respectively.
Craps remains one of the most popular casino games in Indiana. Some say that the online game isn't quite as exciting as when you have a crowded casino cheering on the shooter. However, the online game is more accessible.
Video poker machines come in a wide variety of poker variations. They are extremely popular in Indiana and make an easy transition from live to online play.
It's also worth noting that live dealer games have become a popular trend among online casinos. Unfortunately, they are expensive to run because a staff and studio is required. Live dealer games are likely to come to Indiana when online casino gaming becomes legal, but not immediately.
A large number of poker rooms can be found at the land-based casinos which stretch across the state. However, online poker in Indiana is currently illegal. It is widely expected that online poker for real money will become legal at some point in the future. Sadly, none of us know when that will be.
Sweepstakes poker, which can be played through sites like Global Poker, is a legal and currently available alternative. It is played with tokens, rather than with real money. Even so, it is competitive and the tokens can be collected and traded for real cash prizes.
Setting up an account for gambling in Indiana is achieved through the sportsbook website or mobile app. The procedure will also be the same for any future online casinos or poker rooms.
Indiana law requires that you provide the following information:
You will need to choose a unique username and password at the time you sign up for your account. Each site will have different requirements regarding password length and permitted characters.
If the operator is unable to verify your identity, you may be asked to provide additional ID evidence. This could be a utility bill or a form of photo ID, depending on the situation.
When you have set your account, you will need to fund it. The most common ways of doing this are by:
It is preferable to use a method of deposit that connects your regular bank account with the sportsbook account. This decreases the risk of fraud. It also makes it quick and easy to desposit and withdraw funds.
If you make a cash or check transaction, you will have to withdraw funds through a personal check. This method works, but can be slower than any other.
Retail casino gaming is legal in Indiana, and most casinos in the state have live poker rooms. However, the only legal online gambling in the state right now is sports betting. You can place sports wagers in Indiana both online and over mobile devices.
Online casino gaming and online poker are expected to be legalized in the future, but there is no definitive timeline.
To legally bet with an online sportsbook in Indiana, you must be at least 21 years old and physically located inside the state.
You do not need to be a resident of Indiana. Anyone of age visiting the state is permitted to place wagers.
Online operators will verify your age upon registration, and your location will be verified through either your IP address or location services on your mobile device.
Indiana runs a number of initiatives to support those who are at risk of developing problematic gambling habits. One of these is the Indiana Problem Gambling Hotline.
Indiana also requires that all licensed casino and sportsbook operators in the state offer access to the state’s self-exclusion list.
A player who self-excludes will not be allowed to enter a retail casino or access an online sportsbook for the duration of the requested exclusion period. This can include permanent exclusion if the customer requests it.
Gambling in Indiana is licensed and regulated by the Indiana Gaming Commission.
The Commission works hard to ensure that all legal gambling organisations operate in a safe, secure and fair manner.
It also works just as hard to identify and prosecute indviduals and organisations which participate in illegal gambling activities in the state.
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