Indiana Gambling Laws

Indiana State Gambling LawsIndiana’s lawmakers have a history of being keen to keep gambling laws in Indiana under the thumb of state controls, cracking down on the state’s lotteries as part of the original state constitution. Prohibition did not work of course, and the golden age of riverboat casinos began in 1859.

These days, the state’s residents enjoy the riverboat casinos, ‘racinos’, live poker rooms, betting on horses and much more.

Please refer to the below table for the state-of-play on sports betting in Indiana, online casino laws, online gambling etc.

Gambling Type Legal Land-Based Legal Online
Sports Betting No No
Casinos Yes No
Fantasy Sports (DFS) N/A Yes
eSports No No
Poker Yes No
Horse-Racing Yes Yes
Lottery Yes No
Charitable-Gambling Yes No

Indiana Gambling Tax Rate

Indiana has a 3.4 % state tax on gambling-winnings.

Large wins may incur Federal taxes.

Indiana Gambling Age

Gambling Type Age
DFS 18
Casinos 21
Horse-Racing 18
Lottery 18
Charitable-Gambling 18

Indiana Sports Betting Laws

In Indiana, legal betting on sports appears to be just-around-the-corner in the next legislative season.

In 2018, state lawmakers in Indiana introduced a bill (SB 405) seeking to legalize sports betting if the federal prohibition on sports betting was ever cleared on legal sports betting.

Of course, in May 2018, New Jersey won its challenge to the Federal ban. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the law to end the federal prohibition of sports betting.

That legal outcome has given that the Indiana sports betting bill a major boost as the biggest legal hurdle to sports betting is now gone, and the Indiana Gaming Commission must authorize Indiana sports betting within 90 days (it now appears slated for discussion at the fall session of the Indiana State Legislature).

Sports Betting in Indiana

Indiana’s licensed riverboat casinos, racinos and other gambling facilities in the state will be given the option to apply for a license to offer sports betting to state residents and visitors to Indiana of age 21 or over within the next few months. It seems there may be a 9.25% tax on sports betting winnings in Indiana and it may be possible to bet on both professional and college sports.

Final details will be known soon and we will advise you as details come to hand.

Sports Betting Online

 Online Sports Betting is currently prohibited in Indiana, and unfortunately, Indiana has made no move to expand the online betting options available to its visitors and residents. No online sports betting bill or bill debating online casinos in Indiana has ever made it to the Indiana State Legislature. Gambling experts around the nation consider Indiana to be unlikely to change its stance any time in the near future.

Meanwhile, for the many fans of online sports betting in Indiana, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and online horse & greyhound racing betting are completely legal in the state for its residents and visitors.

Casinos in Indiana

Gambling laws in Indiana offer casino games on the state’s riverboat casinos and at the racetrack ‘racinos’ for its visitors and residents, however, there are strict laws on gamblers who step outside of these licensed venues to take part in casino games. Whilst it once was required for state’s 5 riverboat casinos to be sailing whilst gambling was in progress, the riverboats can now be safely dry-docked for legal-casino-play.

Indiana Riverboat & Land-based Casinos

Indiana casinos were first legalized in 1993 (under the Indiana Riverboat Act), and like many states at that time, casinos in Indiana had to be located on the water. Lake Michigan and Ohio River are the common waterways where the 5 riverboat casinos were/are located. This rule was later relaxed when racetracks were permitted to offer slots and video poker.

Indiana House Bill 1540 passed in 2015 to expand casinos to ‘land-based’ as well as riverboat casinos, however, no land-based casino have yet opened in Indiana.

Almost 24000 slot machines and other gaming machine devices are on offer, and there are more than 600 casino table games including live poker, blackjack, craps, and roulette. In Indiana, minimum bets are as low as $0.01 to a monster $100 000 maximum bet in the state’s Casinos.

Online Casino Laws in Indiana

Anything related to online casino gambling in Indiana is regulated by the Indiana Gaming Commission. They are in charge of monitoring all-casinos-and-racetracks, granting gambling licenses, and making sure all players are protected.

However, in terms of online gaming, as one of the few states (along with Utah and Washington), Indiana enacted legislation specifically banning gambling on the internet. Most notably, there are Indiana gambling laws that pertain directly to the operation of an internet website for the purpose of gambling. The laws directly affect bookmaking and games of chance. Both are considered a Class D felony, one of the harshest penalties in all states of the union.

Consequently, we advise all potential online players to acknowledge the Indiana gambling laws that state that online casinos are completely, and without question, totally illegal.

With the exceptions of DFS and 100% legal horse & greyhound racing, please accept that online gambling is off the table in the state of Indiana.

Horse Racing Betting in Indiana

Horse Racing Betting is available for residents of the state of Indiana and its visitors, and horse racing in Indiana is legally-administered in the state by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.

In Indiana, betting on horse racing can occur at live races, at off-track betting facilities and online.

Track Side: Indiana is home to two year-round racetracks and a number of fairgrounds that host a few races every year. All offer legal betting options each year. Greyhound racing has been banned in Indiana, although betting on greyhounds else is available through OTB’s-and-online.

Off-Track Betting (OTB): There is an extensive network of operating OTB locations in Indiana. Betting on races in Indiana, across the mainland United States and most major racing locations worldwide are all available.

Online Betting on Horse Racing in Indiana

Leading horse and dog racing betting websites operating in the United States are open to accept gamblers resident of, or visitors to the state of Indiana. Customers in the state of Indiana can place legal real money bets online on all horse racing including the big ‘out-of-state’ races like the Triple Crown and Kentucky Derby.

Indiana’s Daily Fantasy Sports Laws

Fantasy Sports (DFS) are fully exempt from any Federal gambling bans, and in short, DFS is not considered gambling as it is a game of skill, not chance.

In March 2016, current U.S. Vice-President and then Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence signed into law state bill S 339 to legalize DFS in the state of Indiana.

Major DFS competition all are legal in the state to offer cash-based real money contests to Indiana residents or visitors.

What is DFS?

 DFS is a very different form of game play to traditional sports wagering. In a DFS league, you are allotted a virtual salary cap which is used to ‘buy’ players for your virtual team. Every player in the league is priced according to his/her virtual market value based on prior career and season to date performances and statistics. If you wish to draft the best goalie in the NHL, for example, you’ll need to spend a high percentage of your salary cap on that single star goal tender.

Once you have ‘paid’ for your team and drafted your team, take a seat, watch the games unfold and calculate your virtual team’s points. Your team’s real-life counterparts amass stats (touchdowns, goals, assists, rebounds, strikeouts, yards gained, receptions, etc.) in the real games and accordingly, your fantasy league team accumulates points online. The team whose players accumulate the most points, wins the league whether it be daily, weekly, regular season or a stand-alone playoff ‘league’.

The major U.S. sporting leagues (NFL is the most popular, however, NBA, NHL and MLB all offer DFS competitions) all run DFS leagues. Huge prizes of more than $1 million per league can potentially paid out to winners of each DFS competition, be it daily, weekly, monthly or even over the course of an entire season.

Poker Laws in Indiana

Live Poker can be enjoyed at Indiana’s casinos, all of which have legal poker rooms and offer tournaments and big cash prizes.

Social ‘home’ games are expressly prohibited in Indiana, and beware, players running afoul of the state’s have been indicted in the past as well as the organizers of the games. Whilst the charges placed on players are only misdemeanors, severe penalties can result for organizers of the social poker games.

Online Poker Laws in Indiana

Indiana’s possibilities for online poker and other forms of online gambling improved slightly with the selection of hardline former Governor Mike Pence to be Donald Trump’s running mate and eventual Vice President. However, until now, there have been no moves on regulation towards legalizing online poker in Indiana at the moment. For an in-depth explanation, please refer to the above section on ‘Online Casino Laws in Indiana’.

eSports Betting in Indiana

Soon, when we expect sports betting to become legal at Indiana’s riverboat casinos, eSports betting will then assist players in Indiana to win in revolutionary new ways adding diverse betting opportunities for the state’s residents and visitors.

‘eSports’ Explained

Broken down to its absolute simplest, eSports is video-game-play at the very highest level. Now a professional sport, it’s played predominantly at a team level (not individual) and across different leagues and tournaments.

The electronic games themselves are like different sports types, in some ways. For example, in eSports, Overwatch and League of Legends are equivalent to possibly football and baseball.

Betting on worldwide eSports is growing rapidly each year, with an ever-increasing number of global sportsbooks offering betting markets across all the major eSports tournaments.

With those kinds of unprecedented and exponential growth rates, betting on eSports may well assist in determining the legislative process to sports betting legalization in Indiana and driving potential growth in the state’s tax revenues for its citizens through increased opportunities for legal gambling.

Benefits of Legal Gambling to Indiana

  • Indiana Gambling is a source of providing the state with an additional revenue stream to provide services and infrastructure for the state’s residents by adding to the Legislature’s ongoing general revenue.
  • Improved Schools, Medicaid and road works are the major beneficiaries of the gambling funds to Indiana’s state budget.
  • Legal gambling in Indiana keeps money in the state’s casinos on the Ohio River and not in the potentially new legalized racetracks of northern Kentucky.
  • Legal Gambling in Indiana provides secure and safe environments monitored by government controllers for the peace of mind of the state’s residents.
  • Legal Gambling in Indiana provides more than 15 000 direct jobs for the state’s residents, and a further estimated 9000 ancillary, service-related jobs for Hoosiers.


History of Gambling in Indiana

1851 – Indiana’s first state constitution bans lotteries.

1859 – Indiana’s iconic Riverboat casino culture begins until it closed down in the 20th century.

1988:  Indiana State lottery begins, and becomes the most popular gambling format in the State along with nationwide interstate lotteries.

1993: Indiana Riverboat Act passed permitting riverboat casinos in Indiana to be located on Lake Michigan and the Ohio River. The riverboats were required to be navigable. This law was repealed in 1999. The ships were no longer required to include a crew and motor. All ships are anchored today.

1994: Legal Horse Racing introduced to Indiana.

2005: Indiana gambling laws that pertain directly to the operation of an internet website for the purpose of gambling passed, effectively banning online casinos.

2007: Slots machines permitted at Indiana’s racecourses, transforming them into ‘racinos’.

2015:  Indiana House Bill 1540 passed to expand casinos to ‘land-based’ as well as riverboat casinos, however, no land-based casino have yet opened in Indiana.

2016: In March 2016, current U.S. Vice-President and then Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence signed into law state bill S 339 to legalize DFS in the state of Indiana.

Back to Top ↑