A state with a tradition of riverboat and land-based casinos, Indiana online gambling is coming into its own. The state hosts one of the newest online sports betting markets in the US.
Legal casino gambling started in Indiana in the mid-1990s. As of 2021, the Hoosier State is home to 14 land-based and riverboat casinos. The casinos represent a large part of the state’s economy and industry.
Indiana has yet to legalize online casinos for real money and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of headway to doing so. Although its neighbor, Michigan, is launching both online casinos and sportsbooks in 2021, so perhaps Indiana will start to feel the pressure. Although online casinos are not available to Indiana players, they do have access to sweepstakes gaming sites, online horse race betting, and Daily Fantasy Sports.
Indiana Online Gambling At A Glance
|Game Type||Indiana Gaming Options|
|Online casinos||Online casinos are explicitly illegal in Indiana; playing on an illegal/offshore online casino is a criminal act in the state|
|Online sports betting||Legalized online sports betting platforms debuted in Indiana in October 2019|
|Online horse race betting||Betting on nationwide horse racing is available on various mobile apps|
|Online lottery||Not available in Indiana
|Daily Fantasy Sports||Formally legalized in Indiana in 2016|
|Online poker||Online poker is illegal in Indiana and playing on any online poker site is punishable by law|
|Sweepstakes casinos||Chumba Casino and other sweepstakes casinos open to Indiana players; however online gambling outside of state-regulated platforms is punishable by law|
|Sweepstakes poker sites||Global Poker open to Indiana players; however due to the criminalization of online casinos and poker in the state players should proceed with caution|
Indiana Online Gambling: What’s Available
Indiana Online Casinos
This means playing on offshore online poker sites and casinos within Indiana borders could subject the player to criminal prosecution.
In most other states, the operators of offshore or illegal online casinos bear the legal consequences of prosecution. This makes it unlikely that players on these sites would face legal action from the state or federal government.
In Indiana, however, engaging in any kind of online casino gambling or poker is a felony on the player’s part. This subjects the player to fines or jail time. Players would be wise to avoid any kind of online gambling in Indiana, aside from the state’s regulated mobile sports betting sites.
The legalization of online sports betting, however, does signal a shift in stance toward online gaming in general in Indiana. Perhaps in the future other forms of regulated mobile gambling could be legalized.
Learn more in our comprehensive Guide To Legal Online Casinos In The US.
Indiana Online Sports Betting
Indiana joined the growing number of US states with legalized online sports betting in 2019. State casinos received the green light to launch both retail and mobile sportsbooks when Gov. Eric Holcomb signed House Bill 1015 into law in May 2019.
This legislation opened a new era of online sports betting in Indiana, which has strict laws against other forms of online gambling.
Indiana’s proximity to major cities in surrounding states makes it a prime candidate for a thriving mobile sports betting market. With Chicago, Cincinnati, and Louisville all within just a few miles of state borders, players in those markets can easily make the short trip into Indiana to place mobile sports wagers.
In November 2020 alone, Indiana’s sports betting industry has brought in more than $19 million in revenue. Most of the revenue comes from online platforms. Some of the top names in sports betting are in Indiana, including DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, and PointsBet.
See our full Guide To Indiana Online Sports Betting.
Online Horse Race Betting
Indiana has a tradition of horse racing dating back to the late 1980s. The state legalized pari-mutuel betting in 1989. As of 2021, the state hosts two major racetracks and four off-track betting (OTB) venues.
Much like many other US states with legal betting on horse races, online horse race betting has a longer history than any other form of online gambling.
Indiana bettors have access to mobile horse race betting clients like TVG and BetAmerica. Both serve multiple states and allow for betting on races across the country.
See our comprehensive review of Online Horse Betting In The US.
Online Lottery In Indiana
Indiana’s state lottery, the Hoosier Lottery, doesn’t permit online ticket purchases. That could change, however, in the future.
According to a June 2019 article in the Indiana Business Journal, the state lottery is looking into the process of expanding to include online lottery. A Hoosier Lottery mobile app could allow for online purchases of in-state lottery draw and instant win games.
Indiana also participates in multi-state lotteries like Mega Millions and Powerball. An online lottery platform could make Indiana the latest state to allow for purchases to these games online.
Neighboring states like Illinois and Kentucky introduced online lottery options, which boosted lottery revenues in both states.
Indiana Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily Fantasy Sports platforms like FanDuel and DraftKings are available to most US players. Currently, 21 states have legislation in place that makes DFS explicitly legal.
Indiana was the second state to pass DFS laws. This made DFS a legal, regulated form of online gambling. Former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed Senate Bill 339 into law in March 2016.
This bill was particularly important for DFS players in Indiana, due to the state’s stance on other forms of online gambling. Aside from DFS and sports betting, any form of online gambling is a criminal act subject to fines and jail time.
Not surprisingly, DraftKings and FanDuel are the overwhelming leaders in the Indiana DFS market.
Indiana has strict laws in place against online gambling. Any kind of online gambling (outside of state-regulated daily fantasy sports, horse race betting, and sports betting) are subject to penalty by law. Any type of online casinos and poker rooms should be approached with caution in Indiana.
Players in most of the US, including Indiana, can access casinos and poker rooms that operate under the sweepstakes model. These sites include Chumba Casino, the biggest of the sweepstakes casinos, as well as LuckyLand Casino. Sweepstakes sites are the only legal option for Indiana online casinos.
Chumba Casino’s play money games use “Gold Coins.” Players may purchase Gold Coins but they carry no monetary value. When purchasing Gold Coins, players also receive an allotment of “Sweepstakes Cash” aka “Sweeps Coins.”
Players use Sweeps Coins to play in sweepstakes games that are separate from the Gold Coins play money games. Unlike the Gold Coins, players can redeem Sweeps Coins for cash prizes.
The Sweeps Coins games at Chumba Casino operate legally as mini-sweepstakes games. Chumba Casino offers a large selection of casino games, including blackjack, roulette, slots, and video poker.
Indiana players can redeem a mail-in offer to get small amounts of Sweeps Coins for free. This allows access to Chumba Casino as a sweepstakes site. But again any kind of online gambling in Indiana is subject to penalty under law.
VGW Malta Limited, the same company that owns Chumba Casino, also operates sweepstakes poker room Global Poker. The largest of the sweepstakes poker sites, Global Poker operates the same way as a sweepstakes casino.
Players may purchase “Gold Coins” for play money games on Global Poker. All Gold Coins come with a corresponding amount of “Sweeps Coins,” which players use in Sweeps Coins poker games. They can be redeemed for cash prizes too.
The Sweeps Coins on Global Poker cannot be purchased directly. Instead, they are allotted to players as a gift. Sweeps Coins generally only come with the purchase of Gold Coins. Players can redeem mail-in offers for a small amount of Sweeps Coins.
As is the case with Chumba Casino, these mail-in offers are the only way Global Poker legally operates in Indiana. Purchasing Gold Coins, or even playing with free, gifted Sweeps Coins could still be illegal under Indiana law, and should be done with caution.
History Of Online Gambling In Indiana
Indiana is unique when it comes to state laws on online gambling. The launch of state-regulated, legal online sportsbooks introduced a new era of mobile gambling in Indiana.
Any other kind of online gambling within state borders, however, should be approached with extreme caution.
Under Indiana law, any other form of online gambling, outside of state-regulated mobile sportsbook, is illegal. It is not just against the law, but subject to criminal prosecution. This means that playing on offshore casino, poker, or sports betting sites could result in legal ramifications.
This stance differs from most other US states. In most cases, states place the criminality of unregulated gambling sites on the operators of the site, and not the player.
In spite of these strict laws, Indiana joined the ranks of US states to legalize online sports betting in 2019. Governor Eric Holcomb signed legislation in May 2019 to bring legal sports wagering to the Hoosier State.
It’s unknown if Indiana’s new mobile sports betting industry will change the state’s stance on other forms of online gambling. For now, Indiana joins the list of states at the front of the curve in the realm of online sports betting legislation in the US.
Indiana’s Live Gambling Industry
Timeline Of Gambling In Indiana
Indiana introduced the first forms of legalized gambling in 1989. This included the introduction of both pari-mutuel horse race betting and the Hoosier Lottery.
In that same year, pro-gambling lawmakers also went to work on legislation to bring retail casino gambling to Indiana. These efforts went back and forth for years. In July 1993, the state finally passed the Indiana Riverboat Act into law.
The law allowed for riverboat casinos to operate in Indiana. As of 2021, Indiana hosts 14 retail casinos. The language of the Indiana Riverboat Act required Indiana casinos to operate as riverboat properties. In 2015, the state relaxed those laws to allow casinos to move into land-based buildings.
These casinos are home to traditional Las Vegas-style games, like slots, blackjack, video poker, baccarat, and craps. In 2019, Indiana legalized sports betting. Nearly all Indiana casinos added sportsbooks to their retail properties.
Indiana Gambling Facts
|Is Lottery legal in Indiana?||Yes; the Hoosier Lottery offers numerous instant win and draw games tickets for purchase throughout Indiana. Indiana also participates in multi-state lotteries like Powerball and MegaMillions.|
|Does Indiana have casinos?||Yes; Indiana is home to 14 casinos, most of which operate as riverboat casinos under state law|
|Does Indiana have racetracks?||Yes; Indiana is home to two major horse racetracks|
|Where else can I gamble in Indiana?||Online sports betting is legal on state-regulated platforms, which can be accessed from anywhere within state borders|
|What is the minimum gambling age?||21 (18 for horse race betting and lottery)|
|Who regulates gambling?||The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC)|
Indiana’s Live Casinos
According to the language of the Indiana Riverboat Act, most of the state’s casinos began as riverboat properties. The casinos were situated along the rivers and lakes of the state.
When signed into law in July 1993, the Indiana Riverboat Act permitted the construction of five casinos along Lake Michigan, five on the shores of the Ohio River, and one on Patoka Lake. All 11 of those casino sites still operate as of 2021.
Indiana authorized the state’s two horse racetracks, Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs, to add slot machines in 2007. Both currently operate as racinos (combined casino and racetrack venue) in the Indianapolis area.
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians opened the Four Winds South Bend as a tribal casino in South Bend in 2007.
Current Indiana Casinos
|Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago||East Chicago|
|Blue Chip Casino||Michigan City|
|Four Winds South Bend||South Bend|
|French Lick Resort Casino||French Lick|
|Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg||Lawrenceburg|
|Harrah’s Hoosier Park||Anderson|
|Caesars Southern Indiana||Elizabeth|
|Indiana Grand Casino||Shelbyville|
|Majestic Star II||Gary|
|Rising Star Casino Resort||Rising Sun|
Success Of Indiana Casinos
Since the state introduced casino gambling in the mid-1990s, the Indiana casino industry has grown into a multi-billion-dollar market. In each of the last three years (2017, 2018, and 2019), Indiana’s retail casinos brought in more than $2.2 billion in annual win.
Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, with its proximity to Chicago, is the top revenue producer among Indiana’s casinos. The Horseshoe brought in more than $386 million in total win in 2019.
Indiana Grand Casino brought in more than $285 million in 2019 win, the second-highest total in the state. Caesars Southern Indiana (formerly known as Horseshoe Southern Indiana), Ameristar Casino, and Harrah’s Hoosier Park all topped the $210 million revenue mark in 2019.
Gaming and Leisure Properties and Caesars Entertainment both have a major presence in the Indiana casino industry, with each company owning four casinos in the state.
Indiana’s state lottery celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2020. The Hoosier Lottery sold its first instant win ticket in 1989. Since then it’s grown into a billion-dollar industry.
The Hoosier Lottery realized record revenues in the fiscal year 2018-2019, bringing in more than $1.34 billion.
The Hoosier Lottery offers daily and weekly draw games. These include in-state drawings like Hoosier Lotto Plus, with jackpots that reach into seven figures. The Hoosier Lottery also offers numerous instant-win and scratch-off games as well as fast-play games.
Indiana is one of 45 states that participate in the two biggest multi-state lotteries, MegaMillions and Powerball. Tickets for these games and all in-state drawings are available at physical locations throughout the state.
Online lottery ticket purchases are not available in Indiana as of 2021. The Hoosier Lottery’s operator, IGT, announced that it’s looking into developing an online lottery in future years.
Interestingly, Indiana’s lottery history dates to the early 1800s. The Indiana constitutional convention of 1851, though, outlawed all lotteries in the state. This ban continued for almost 140 years. In 1988, Indiana’s residents successfully voted for a constitutional amendment to overturn the lottery ban.
Horse Race Betting
A pair of major horse racetracks, both in the Indianapolis area, are at the heart of the state’s horse racing traditions. Harrah’s Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand both began as stand-alone horse race venues. Both properties now operate as racinos, with casino gaming available to patrons.
At least four off-track betting (OTB) locations operate in Indiana as well. Overall, Indiana’s in-state horse race betting platforms generated more than $63 million in handle in 2018.
More On Indiana Gambling
Indiana Gambling FAQs
Yes. Indiana legalized riverboat casino gambling in 1993. Indiana is now home to 14 casinos, most of which still operate as riverboat casinos.
Indiana amended state laws in 2015 to allow riverboat casinos to move ashore. The new land-based casino facilities still need to be located on the original property where the riverboat casino was moored.
The state’s two major horse racetracks added casino gaming in 2007. These two racinos, along with the tribal casino Four Winds South Bend, are the only Indiana casinos not situated along the water.
Players 21 and over can legally play in retail casinos. They can also wager on sports via the state’s legal, regulated sportsbooks. The minimum age for the Hoosier Lottery, horse race betting, and Daily Fantasy Sports is 18.
Minors can enter Indiana casinos but are not allowed to loiter on the casino floor, gamble, or consume alcohol.
Yes, but the only legal form of online gambling in Indiana is betting on state-regulated sportsbooks.
All other forms of online gambling are not only illegal but are criminalized in Indiana. Any kind of play on online casino or poker platforms are subject to penalty by law.
As such, playing on offshore online casino or poker sites should be avoided.
Any gambling winnings derived from a casino, online sportsbook, horse race bet, or the state lottery is subject to the Indiana personal income tax rate of 3.23%. It is the responsibility of the player to report all gambling winnings.
Note that this 3.23% is the state tax rate owed on gambling winnings. The federal tax rate for gambling winnings over $5,000 is 24%.
For more on Indiana gambling tax laws check out this link.
Yes. Indiana legalized both live and online sports betting in May 2019.
Players can wager on mobile sports betting from anywhere within state borders. These online sportsbooks use geolocation technology to determine a user’s location.
Online sports betting on offshore sites, or any site not regulated by the Indiana Gaming Commission, is criminalized in Indiana. See our Indiana Sports Betting Guide for more information.
The Indiana Gaming Commission. The IGC, a government agency, oversees and regulates Indiana’s legal casino industry.
The IGC regulates all casino gaming conducted at a legal Indiana casino. The agency also regulates all sports betting, at retail sportsbooks or regulated mobile platforms.