It’s all happening in Hoosier State! The blossoming of online gambling in Indiana has been one of the biggest reversals of course in the US. For many years, Indiana lawmakers were staunch opponents of expansion. The only question is what Indiana will do next.
This sea change in Indiana began with the state’s sudden debut in the retail sports betting realm in September 2019. The first online sportsbooks showed up a month later, and a new era had begun in the Hoosier State.
Now, buoyed by the successes of the burgeoning sports betting industry, lawmakers have considered adding Indiana online casinos to the mix. Along with all the retail casinos, sportsbooks, horse racing and other types of gambling present, Indiana is well on its way to becoming a true gamblers’ destination.
Read on for more specifics about online casinos in Indiana, laws surrounding online gambling and what you can bet on.
Yes, but Indiana online sports betting only. Indiana has not legalized online casinos just yet, so players from the Hoosier State are limited to sweepstakes sites like Chumba and Luckyland.
Indiana state Sen. Jon Ford introduced a bill to legalize online casinos in the state on January 11. The bill, SB 417, would allow Indiana’s casinos and racetracks to offer online casino play to patrons across the state. Each license holder would be permitted to offer up to three skins apiece, and, with the inclusion of the planned Indiana Hard Rock Casino in Terre Haute, there could potentially be dozens of online casinos in Indiana.
One major surprise when Ford debuted the bill is the fact that online poker was part of the proposal. Ford had stated in earlier discussions that he hadn’t planned to include it, but he changed his mind along the way. So, Indiana poker fans may have reason to celebrate soon, too.
At the same time, another proposal to bring video gambling terminals to Indiana was also under consideration, too. SB 267, proposed by state Sen. Susan Glick, would have allowed the placement of gambling machines inside Indiana bars and restaurants.
For residents in many states, an alternative to playing on offshore online casinos is the use of sweepstakes casinos. These sites operate in a manner that allows them to remain in compliance with existing sweepstakes law.
The only reason that these sites can keep going is the fact that players can receive free entries — i.e., money —by simply mailing a request. Because it is possible to play for free, the payments that players make are more about convenience than the ability to take part.
Here are the games that you can play on Indiana sweepstakes casinos:
For more information, check out our page on sweepstakes casinos.
Indiana residents are not suffering from a shortage of venues for gambling. Although there are no major clusters of properties, there are plenty of opportunities for players to find a location nearby. Here are all the places that Indiana residents can find their favorite games of chance. Most of the casinos in Indiana provide a sportsbook and poker room.
Every casino in Indiana is open 24 hours a day, so there’s really no excuse for not going if you’re inclined to do so. Certainly, there’s always an empty seat.
Indiana’s laws on gambling are a remarkable example of contrasts. On the one hand, the state has many land-based full-service casinos and horsetracks. The state also allows online sports betting, and was one of the first to legalize fully the practice of daily fantasy sports. In January 2020, Indiana became the second state to allow legalized sports betting on the Academy Awards.
On the other hand, any gambling activities not expressly permitted under law, including gambling over the internet, are strictly prohibited, and bear criminal penalties of up to $1,000 in fines and 180 days in jail. Few other states have such stringent laws against gambling.
So, here is a guide for common types of gambling, and how they work (or don’t) in Indiana.
Indiana is home to a state lottery. In a quirk unique among states with lotteries, the Hoosier Lottery is the only one that uses its state nickname as part of its title.
The first Indiana lottery tickets began to disseminate into Indiana in October 1989, roughly five months after the General Assembly ratified the Lottery Act. Since then, player prizes, transfers to the state funds, and commissions to retailers have all exceeded $1 billion.
Players can take part in both instate and multi-state lottery drawings. There are also scratch-offs available for play.
The Hoosier Lottery does have a mobile app for customers to use. Unfortunately, it only serves as an informational tool. Indiana does not permit online lottery play at this time.
However, with the advent of online sports betting, a change is certainly possible. In fact, given that an app already exists, online lottery might be a natural place to expand.
Poker is not a forbidden fruit in Indiana. After all, there are 10 poker rooms open for business in Indiana’s land-based casinos.
Unfortunately, Indiana has proven to be a mixed bag when it comes to online gambling. So, it’s unclear if online poker sites will come to the Hoosier State anytime soon.
However, two factors are working in favor of those who might wish to see Indiana online poker right now. One is the fact that Indiana’s new foray into online sports betting may whet the appetite for other online gambling in both policymakers and the public.
The other factor is the recent debut of online poker in Pennsylvania. A smashing success for peer-to-peer gambling in the Keystone State might get Indiana lawmakers talking about new ways to raise tax revenues.
It’s too early to tell if either development will lead to those kinds of expansion. For now, Indianans will have to settle for Global Poker.
Global Poker is a sweepstakes poker site that operates in almost every US state. Legally speaking, the site falls into a realm closer to Publishers Clearing House than PokerStars.
It is important to note that it is possible for Indianans to play on Global Poker absolutely free. A snail mail request to the Global Poker office will result in the addition of 5 Sweeps Coins to the player’s account.
Without this distinction, playing on Global Poker would be a dodgy endeavor for residents of the Hoosier State. As it is, please be cautious about any overtures towards paid online poker in Indiana for the time being.
There are two horse tracks in Indiana that offer live racing. Both are in the Indianapolis area, and both are owned by gambling titan Caesars Entertainment. They are:
Indiana Grand also operates four off-track betting locations. One of those locations is also in the Indiana Grand Casino itself. Each is branded under the Winner’s Circle brand. Off-track betting locations are in the following cities:
Betting on horses online is also allowed through many horse betting sites. We would be remiss if we didn’t point you toward TVG. TVG is the top horse betting site in the country and doubles as one of the few dedicated horse racing broadcast networks on the planet.
Gambling is big business for states. After all, tax revenue is the first (and usually only) reason that legislatures pass gaming expansion bills and governors add their signatures.
In Indiana’s case, its gambling industry is worth nearly $1 billion annually in tax revenue. That money goes to a wide variety of recipients, including teachers, firefighters, police, and the cities that host the casinos themselves.
To the state: Unsurprisingly, the largest chunk of those dollars goes straight into the state’s bank account. In the most recent financial disclosure from the state, the state’s general fund received over $394 million from taxes on gambling interests. Those hundreds of millions join the rest of Indiana’s tax revenue in helping to pay for the state to run.
To build roads: The second biggest allocation goes to the Build Indiana Fund. This fund received over $256 million in the 2018 fiscal year. The Build Indiana Fund is the first stop for the state when it comes to infrastructure projects. Large capital expenditures in Indiana have the lottery and proceeds from charity gaming to thank for their existence.
To the host towns: Another big dollop of these tax dollars goes to the towns that host the casinos themselves. Almost $240 million went to various municipalities that, in turn, use those funds to pay for their own improvements and operations, such as pension funds for firefighters and police officers in the city. It makes sense, of course, that these towns should share in some of the newfound largesse. After all, casinos don’t exist in a vacuum, and the demands of a large cash-heavy business can be significant.
The rest: The remaining funds go to fund various commissions and initiatives in the state. The Indiana Economic Development Fund, the Teachers’ Retirement Fund, and the livestock industry all receive a piece of the pie. One notable program that receives significant contributions is the Division of Mental Health and Addiction. Indianans, as it turns out, have a wealth of options available if their gambling habits become problematic.
The unfortunate reality of gambling is that a percentage of the population will develop an unhealthy relationship with the practice. Problem gambling’s hallmark behavior is a player’s inability to stop gambling – even when they want to stop.
Fortunately, Indiana has a tremendous amount of resources available to help its citizens who are suffering. These services are free to the public – the program is completely funded by tax dollars pulled from gambling taxes.
Indiana residents who have a problem or believe they may have a problem should not hesitate to visit the Indiana Problem Gambling Help website. On the site, the state has links for a self-assessment test, information about warning signs, and contact information for treatment facilities and support groups.
The state also operates a helpline to assist both problem gamblers and their families. There are experts available to help around the clock, and there’s no need to suffer a minute longer.
Finally, Indiana both requires its licensees to have self-exclusion programs and operates one itself. These programs allow problem gamblers to establish access restrictions out of a need to protect themselves from themselves.
A player who self-excludes will not be allowed onto any Indiana casino property for the selected time period. That time period can include a permanent self-exclusion.
Indiana also recently established a program to assist online sports bettors who are struggling. In other words, there’s no reason for Hoosiers to damage themselves and their loved ones a minute longer.
Below you’ll find a list of resources that can help you learn more about the future of online casinos and online gambling in Indiana.