How online sports betting works in Indiana
You have two ways to access online sportsbooks in Indiana – desktop or mobile.
All sports betting sites will offer wagers through a website. These will work on desktops and mobile devices with the display automatically resizing for your screen.
Sports betting apps are a convenient and easy option to place a bet online. While Android apps will be available from the get-go, Apple requires gambling apps to be recoded using its programming language. This new requirement means delays for iPhone and iPad users.
To place a bet, you’ll need to follow these steps:
- Registration: Sign-up is easy; the sportsbook will ask for a few details, including the last four digits of your Social Security number.
- Deposit: Before you can place a bet, you’ll need to fund your account.
- Finding Your Bets: With many markets available, you’ll need an efficient way to navigate the options.
- Deciding Which Bets: Singles, parlays, props and live betting options will be available.
It is important to take advantage of bonuses, comp schemes and promotions. We cover this more in-depth after these practical steps.
How to download the sportsbook mobile app and registration
No sportsbook benefits from making the registration process difficult.
You can set up an account from either the website or the apps. Since there will be bonus offers available, books do restrict you to a single account per person or household.
As part of the registration process, you’ll typically need to provide the last four digits of your Social Security number. This is to protect minors, which is part of the responsible gambling policies of the online sportsbooks. Bettors need to be at least 21 years or older to gamble in Indiana.
You won’t be able to place a bet or deposit from outside of Indiana state lines. Geolocation technology works well by combining IP and WiFi data. If there is any doubt about your location, or you use a proxy/VPN, you will not be able to place bets.
How do deposits and withdrawals work
The next step is to fund your sports betting account.
Free bets are an attractive incentive in other states, so you may experience delays if you hit an early win.
The main advantage of legal, safe Indiana online betting sites is that you can use mainstream payment options. These include credit cards, bank transfers and even cash. Here are the main categories:
- Debit or Credit Cards: You can use debit or credit cards to make a deposit. Most sportsbooks will welcome Visa and Mastercard, while a few will allow Discover cards or even Amex. In other states, some gambling companies offer a branded prepaid card. You can fund these cards from your bank and use them for instant deposits and fast withdrawals. Prepaid Visa gift cards are an alternative, too.
- Cash: A brick-and-mortar casino will license each online sportsbook in Indiana. This means there are casino cages available for cash deposits. If you are nearby, this is a quick and easy way of getting your money on board and your winnings out again. This method is not the only option for cash deposits. PayNearMe is a payment option that uses the cashier desk at 7-Eleven convenience stores. Money orders are also in this category.
- Bank Transfers: Options for making direct transfers from your bank have expanded beyond the old-fashioned bank wires. These days, e-checks (also called ACH transfers) are a popular option. This method is the electronic equivalent of a paper check. If you get pre-verified, you can use this process to fund your betting account instantly. In fact, you can also use it for withdrawals. Bill pay may also be an option at larger banks. You can pay your utility bills and fund your betting account using the same system.
- Electronic Wallets: This broad category includes third-party payment systems, which for extra security. The best-known example is PayPal. E-wallets do have fees, which many bettors are content paying in exchange for the protection and ability to keep their bank and gambling money separate. Other commonly accepted brands are Skrill and Neteller. You can use e-wallets for withdrawals and deposits.
Getting around online sportsbooks
Once you register and fund your account, you’ll be ready to place your first bet.
While the apps and websites have differences in their menus, the designs follow the same principals.
You’ll find three primary columns; here is what they contain:
- Left Column: This is where you will find a list of sports. Popular sports are usually in a separate area at the top. This will include the pro leagues that are in season, plus soccer and a link to live (in-play) betting.
- Middle Column: Wider than the others, this is where you will see the list of upcoming games. When you select specific sports on the left, those matches appear in the middle. You can filter by league or conference, and search for futures using tabs at the top of this area. The main bets (moneylines, totals) are on display. If you want to see the full list of bets for a match, then click on the link to display them here.
- Right Column: This is where your bet slip is (it pops up from the bottom on most sports betting apps). You can add bets from the middle to your bet slip, then organize them separately later. Here, you choose whether to place singles or parlays and enter the amount to bet before confirming. If your sportsbook offers cash-out betting, you will usually find this on the right-hand side.
There are other areas to watch on sports betting websites.
These pages include your account information, the cashier, bonuses and promotions.
It is important to keep an eye on the promotions page. You will never know when a game that you were planning on betting on will offer a special boost or insurance promotion.
Taking advantage of bonuses and rewards
Once you nail down the process of placing a bet, you can focus on maximizing the benefits. With a long list of significant brand sportsbooks waiting to enter Indiana, many great offers will be available.
Offers from the best Indiana online sportsbooks can be divided into four broad types:
- No Deposit, Free Bet Bonuses: Most state-regulated books will offer a small bet for merely registering. There is no reason why you can’t take advantage of all of these offers. Bets in the $10-$25 range will need to be wagered on lines of -200 or better. These bets will expire. Be sure to check for further wagering requirements on any wins, as these will vary.
- Sportsbook Deposit Bonuses: To encourage deposits, expect Indiana sportsbooks to offer a 100% matched bonus. These vary in size between $100-$1,000+. You’ll need to play through your bonus money at least five times before you can withdraw it as profit. Some books incentivize deposits differently, for example, offering a risk-free first bet where your stake is returned as a bonus bet if your selection loses.
- Promotions: Both standing promotions and one-off offers are available at online sportsbooks. These include parlay insurance, overtime insurance, enhanced lines, boosts for big parlays or reload bonuses themed on specific events. Picks-style contests and leaderboards are also available.
- Loyalty Reward Schemes: Attracting new bettors is only part of the challenge. Indiana sportsbooks will need to keep you coming back. Loyalty schemes can be flat-rate or divided into tiers with bigger benefits for frequent bettors. Some brands will tie their online loyalty program into existing live casino reward schemes.
Indiana online sports betting partnerships
Partnerships are the usual format. Instead of developing sports betting websites and apps from scratch, casinos team up with existing operators.
In turn, many big gambling companies, domestic and international, are keen to grow their brands as the states regulate gambling. These include many names that will already be familiar in Indiana, e.g., FanDuel.
Here is a list of the partnerships developed in Indiana:
- Ameristar Casino Resort: DraftKings Sportsbook
- Belterra Casino Resort: FanDuel Sportsbook
- Blue Chip Casino: FanDuel Sportsbook
- French Lick Resort Casino: Rush Street Interactive
- Harrah’s Hoosier Park: Scientific Games
- Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg: Kambi
- Horseshoe Hammond Casino: Scientific Games
- Horseshoe Southern Indiana Hotel & Casino: Scientific Games
- Indiana Grand Racing & Casino: Scientific Games
- Majestic Star Casino: Unknown
- Rising Star Casino Resort: BetAmerica, Wynn Resorts
- Tropicana Evansville Casino: William Hill
- Winner’s Circle Clarksville: Scientific Games
- Winner’s Circle Indianapolis: Scientific Games
- Winner’s Circle New Haven: Scientific Games
Retail sports betting in Indiana
There are 13 riverboat, land-based and tribal venues that currently–or could eventually–host live sportsbooks in Indiana. Many venues have partnered with known brands for their live books, as well as for their sports betting apps and websites.
The first sportsbooks in the state opened at the following properties:
- Ameristar Casino Resort
- Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg
- Indiana Grand Racing & Casino
- Winner’s Circle Indianapolis
- Horseshoe Hammond Casino
Since then, more properties integrated regulated wagering:
- Belterra Casino Resort
- Blue Chip Casino
- French Lick Resort Casino
- Harrah’s Hoosier Park
- Horseshoe Southern Indiana Hotel & Casino
- Tropicana Evansville Casino
- Winner’s Circle Clarksville
- Winner’s Circle New Haven
Additionally, two properties (Majestic Star Casino and Rising Star Casino Resort) received temporary licenses, while Four Winds Casino South Bend has yet to be authorized.
Betting on pro league teams from Indiana
Indiana is lucky enough to represent at the highest level in both basketball and football.
There are many minor league and collegiate teams. Naturally, a lot of the money bet at live and online sportsbooks will be on the home teams.
Below is an overview of the main teams, their locations and how you’ll be able to bet on them:
- Indianapolis Colts: Founded in 1953, the Colts have made it to two Super Bowls, and have made the playoffs on 10 separate occasions. Based at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, the Colts are part of the AFC South division. Look out for matches against AFC rivals including the New York Giants and New England Patriots.
- Indiana Pacers: Based in Indianapolis, the Pacers compete in the NBA. They are a member of the Eastern Conference Central Division. Formed in 1967, the Pacers home stadium is the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. With three championships in the historical ABA format and an Eastern Conference championship already in the books, this team has a rich and successful history.
Other sports teams that play in minor professional leagues in Indiana include the following:
- Baseball: Fort Wayne Tincaps – Midwest League
- Baseball: Gary Southshore RailCats – American Association
- Baseball: Evansville Otters – Frontier League
- Baseball: Indianapolis Indians – International League
- Baseball: South Bend Cubs – Midwest League
- Ice Hockey: Evansville Thunderbolts – Southern Professional Hockey League
- Ice Hockey: Indy Fuel – ECHL
- Basketball: Fort Wayne Mad Ants – NBA G League
- Soccer: Indy Eleven — USL Championship
Women’s professional teams are also well represented. These include FC Indiana (soccer) and Indiana Fever (basketball).
Other sports available at Indiana online sportsbooks
The number of sports available is greater than at DFS sites, which includes major leagues, collegiate sports, international events and more niche sports.
- Major League Action: NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB are the biggest attractions when it comes to betting. You’ll be able to bet on all the conferences and divisions. College leagues and international leagues, eg., EuroLeague basketball, are also available.
- Soccer: UK and European leagues, World Cup, MLS and leagues from around the world are covered. The depth of coverage, e.g., the international minor leagues, varies between the books.
- Major Individual Sports: This category includes golf and tennis, which the majors receive significant coverage. Also, a lot of minor tours have a following. Boxing, MMA and motorsports are also popular.
- Niche Sports: Many sports that are relatively unknown domestically are popular elsewhere. These include cricket, which is the world’s second-most popular sport (after soccer), rugby and Aussie Rules football.
There are some restrictions for bettors in Indiana. These include esports, which is specifically mentioned in the latest bill. Sports that have participants younger than 18 years are also excluded.
What bets are available at Indiana sportsbooks?
So far, this page has taken you through the process of registering, depositing and choosing a sport. Your next step is to decide what kind of bet to place.
You can bet on the outcome of a single match, or link several together in a multiples bet, e.g., a parlay. You can place bets on the performance of individual players, e.g., props, time periods within a match or even the results of an entire season.
Here are the main types of bet, along with a short description:
- Moneyline: This is a basic single bet. The books will offer lines based on a $100 wager, with favorites shown in a negative form (how much you’d need to bet to win $100) and underdogs as returns from a $100 bet.
- Totals: The number of points or goals scored by both teams during a game. Period totals bets and totals covering multiple games are also possible (depending on the sport).
- Spreads: Here, the sportsbooks will add points to the underdog, leveling the chances of both teams. You can choose to bet the under or over. Spreads are fractional, e.g., 1.5 points to avoid tied results.
- Parlays: Bets that involve multiple matches, usually a minimum of three legs. Here, the profits from each game are placed on the next one. Parlays are risky, though they have the potential to give you significant returns for a small stake.
- Teasers: This form of parlay includes spreads, which reduce the risk of individual contests. While you’ll win more frequently in this format, the returns will be lower.
- Round Robin: This form of parlay pitches each team you pick against the others. This means that one team losing will not lose the entire wager (only the matchups including that team).
- Props: Any bet which is on the performance of individual players is a proposition bet. Examples include yards rushed, points scored or even player of the year.
- Futures: Most bets will be on upcoming matches. Futures bets are separated by their duration. For example, you can pick the winner of a conference or division at the start of the season.
Live, in-play betting will be available at the new online sportsbooks. This type of wager will allow you to place many types of bets as the action unfolds. Data feeds will change the odds in real-time, allowing you to double down on winning positions or maybe hedge against a reversal of your original wager.
Horse races are also legal to bet on in Indiana
Indiana has racetracks, OTB offices and participates in simulcast betting with tracks across the country.
Indiana bettors can bet at established horse race betting sites, including BetAmerica and TVG. These sites operate under advanced deposit wagering laws and are not part of the sports betting setup in Indiana. When you bet on horses, you’ll be participating in the same pari-mutuel pools and people at the tracks.
The horse racing site, BetAmerica, offers sports betting in other states.
Indiana sports betting laws
Indiana was an early mover in licensing brick-and-mortar casinos.
In 1993, the current framework for riverboat and land-based casinos came to be, along with racetracks and off-track betting (OTB) offices.
Prior to this, the state lottery was the only legal gambling option in Indiana, which began in 1976.
All that changed in 2019.
On April 25, the Indiana Legislature passed act H 1015. This bill expanded casino gambling and made sports betting legal, both live and online. Gov. Holcomb signed the bill on May 8.
This act gave holders of existing gambling licenses the right to open sportsbooks after Sept. 1. It also set up a licensing framework for online sports betting apps.
Here are the ways the Indiana sports betting legislation is different from other states:
- Low Tax: With tax at 9.5% of gross revenue being lower than in other states, incentives, like bonuses and loyalty schemes, have the scope to be more generous.
- Exclusions: You won’t be able to bet on esports contests in Indiana, or bet on any sport where its participants are younger than 18.
- In-Play Betting: The Indiana Gaming Commission has additional powers to set limits on in-play (live) betting and, if needed, to specify the data feeds used.
- Who Can Bet? Anyone who is at least 21 years or older and within state lines will be able to place an online bet when sports betting go live. Bettors aren’t required to be a resident of Indiana.
Online casinos and poker games were not included in H 2015. Possibly, the successful implementation of online sports betting could lead to the introduction of these types of gambling someday.
Daily fantasy sports (DFS) sites were made legal in 2016. Bill S 335 was signed into law by then-Gov. Mike Pence.
In January 2020, Indiana became only the second state in the US (after New Jersey) to offer legal betting on the Academy Awards.