Indiana Brings Sports Betting To The Midwest: Here’s Everything To Know

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The Midwest will finally be part of the sports betting conversation by way of Indiana.

On Wednesday, May 8Gov. Eric Holcomb signed H 1015, officially bringing sports betting to the Hoosier State.

In a brief release, Holcomb said gaming is becoming more competitive due to surrounding states and new technology.

“By modernizing our laws, this legislation will spur positive economic growth for our state and for an industry that employs over 11,000 Hoosiers,” Holcomb said.

According to WNDU, sports betting is set to make its debut the day before Notre Dame begins their 2019 football seasonThe Fighting Irish are set to travel to Louisville, KY, to take on the University of Louisville Cardinals on November 2. 

However, that seems like much more of a rumor than anything.

Indiana is the first Midwest state to legalize sports betting, but efforts continue in neighboring Illinois, Iowa and Michigan.

Part of the new law includes both online sports betting and retail sportsbooks. Geofencing technology will be used to ensure mobile wagers are placed within state borders.

What does the new Indiana sports betting law include?

  • Statewide mobile wagering.
  • A 9.5 percent tax rate on adjusted gross revenue, with a portion going towards problem gambling.
  • No betting on esports or amateur athletes under 18.
  • There is a $10,000 fee for a vendor license and a $50,000 annual renewal fee.
  • Limits on in-play betting and data restrictions will be left to the discretion of the Indiana Gaming Commission.

When can Indiana residents start placing bets?

Considering the bill was signed on Wednesday, it will be a few months before the first bets can be placed. As mentioned above, it’s been stated that sports betting will begin in Indiana on Nov. 1, the day before Notre Dame plays its first game of the season.

September 1 has been whispered as well, but as of the beginning of June, it seems that’s a long shot.

Casino properties will most certainly have to go through an application process, construct physical sportsbooks, test betting technology, and other tedious requirements before anything begins. The Indiana Gaming Commission will take applications starting on July 1.

What are the possible betting locations in Indiana?

Should the licensing process not exclude any casino properties, there are potentially 13 locations that could have sports betting.

  • Ameristar
  • Belterra Casino
  • Blue Chip Casino
  • French Lick Resort Casino
  • Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg
  • Hoosier Park
  • Horseshoe Southern Indiana
  • Horseshoe Casino
  • Indiana Grand Casino
  • Majestic Star
  • Majestic Star II
  • Rising Star Casino Resort
  • Tropicana Evansville

Additionally, as written, bets can also be placed at racinos and off-track betting satellite facilities.

There is also one Native American casino, Four Winds South Bend, that could potentially be home to a sportsbook.

Do I have to be an Indiana resident to bet online?

No, you can be either a resident or a visitor. Online sportsbooks and betting apps will use geolocation technology to determine that players are within state lines.

Will online and mobile betting be offered?

Yes–eventually. The law included mobile wagering, but it’s likely that retail sports betting will begin first, and mobile will follow later.

Mobile bettors won’t have to first register in person–everything can be done online or through apps.

What kind of bets can be placed?

For the most part, any and all types of bets found in New Jersey, and the other five states with sports betting, will most likely be offered in Indiana.

Although, it should be noted the Indian Gaming Commission will have the final say on live in-play betting. This means there may or may not be limited bets to place during college and professional games.

Some of the most common bets are:

  • Futures
  • Parlays
  • Over/Under
  • Moneyline

 Can you bet on Indiana sports teams?

As the bill is written now, Yes, you can bet an any and all Indiana sports teams including some of the more popular options like:

  • Indiana Pacers (NBA)
  • Indiana Fever (WNBA)
  • Indianapolis Colts (NFL)
  • Indiana University (NCAA)
  • Notre Dame University (NCAA)
  • Butler (NCAA)
  • Purdue University (NCAA)

The state has over 24 total NCAA D-I, II, and III college athletic programs. If bets can be placed on all NCAA teams has yet to be determined.

What can you bet on for Indiana sports betting?

You can bet on anything, including college sports and international sports, but these are just a few of the sports that will be offered:

  • Football
  • College football
  • Boxing
  • Hockey
  • Baseball
  • Tennis
  • Basketball
  • College basketball
  • Golf
  • Mixed martial arts
  • Soccer
  • Cycling
  • Rugby

Much like in New Jersey, residents will also be able to bet on all major sports events such as the Super Bowl, March Madness and The Kentucky Derby.

Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the American Gaming Association (AGA) issued a statement praising Indian’s efforts to get a bill passed.

“Indiana is one step closer to reaping the benefits of legal, regulated sports betting with a framework founded on a sensible tax rate and free from unnecessary league fees or carveouts,” Slane said.

‘This bill enables convenience like mobile wagering and a safe alternative to the pervasive illegal market for the millions of Hoosiers who are already betting on sports,” she said.

How old do you have to be to bet in Indiana?

Bettors must 21 years of age or older with a valid ID.

Indiana’s journey to sports betting legalization

Quite a few states legalized sports betting in the post-PASPA era of 2018. So far, Indiana is only the second to legalize it in 2019, second to Montana.

The governor waited until the last day to sign the bill into law for reasons unknown. The state legislature approved the bill on April 25. Had Holcomb decided not to sign the bill, it would have become law without his signature.

The state has come full circle as it was the first to introduce the country to the infamous “integrity fee.”

Other opposition came by way of Rep. Ben Smaltz who stripped mobile wagering from the initial bill process. Legislative efforts were able to add mobile back into the bill at the last possible moment.

“(The bill) will bring new revenue and create hundreds of new jobs — both permanent and in construction. I will direct the Indiana Gaming Commission to monitor for potential effects of this bill so that we can make necessary changes in a future legislative session,” Holcomb said.

Nicholaus Garcia


Nick comes from West Texas where he graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in psychology. After a five-year stint in Chicago, where he wrote about local politics and graduated with a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia College Chicago, he moved to Washington, D.C. to write about issues related to gambling policy, sports betting and responsible gaming.

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