Indiana Legal Online Gambling Guide
Indiana Quick Info
Population: 6.5 Million
State Motto: The Crossroads of America
Land Casinos: 13
Land Poker Rooms: 4
Legal Gambling Age: 21
Indiana has evolved into a rather gambling-friendly state over the years, allowing various forms of legal gambling entertainment, to include casino games, poker, racing, bingo and the lottery. Charitable gambling is also allowed in Indiana. Modern day interest in gambling really emerged in the 1980s, though it would be some time before the state would take steps to actually legalize any forms of gambling entertainment. Quite a bit of Indiana’s gambling industry is younger than 25 years old. Unregulated gambling however has been a part of the state’s culture for much longer, dating back to the early 1900s when gambling was not only tolerated by the state’s government, but also endorsed by them in some cases.
This page will take an in-depth look at the gambling laws that regulate state licensed gaming within Indiana. We will discuss laws for land based gambling, online gambling, and take a realistic look at what betting options are legally available for Hoosier State residents to engage in. We finish up with some helpful FAQ's and links to some resources that can provide you with additional information. The scope of this guide is to serve as informational in nature, and is not intended to substitute for or provide professional legal services, expertise or advice. If you are seeking professional legal advisement on a matter related to Indiana gambling laws, we suggest you speak with an attorney that specializes in gambling.
Gambling laws in Indiana are contained within the state’s code of statutes. The IC defines gambling as any bet that is made on anything involving an element of chance and the use of any gambling device. State regulated gambling in the state began with the lottery, which was legalized in 1988. A legal state lottery seemed to entice a pallet for betting in the Hoosier state, and in 1993 the next wave of gambling regulation was brought to life. Modifications to the state’s gambling laws continued to take place that allowed expansion to the gambling industry as recently as 2011 when land based casino properties were made legal.
Indiana is one of the few states that does address online gambling in their criminal code within section 35-45-5-3, but only from an operator standpoint. It is a class D felony crime in the Hoosier State to operate an online gambling site of any kind within state borders. The law does not make any mention of players or participants of online gambling, and does not criminalize engaging in online gambling from a player position. So while you are legally prohibited from delivering betting services online inside of IN, you are not prevented from engaging in online gambling as a player as long as the site is licensed and regulated outside of the United States.
Indiana doesn't offer any state regulated options as of 2016. However the state does not criminalize the act of gambling online, only the act of operating a gambling business. So this essentially means that as long as the player is betting with a site that is located offshore, and in a jurisdiction that has already legalized online gambling, then the player is not not breaking any state or federal laws.
Penalties For Violating Indiana’s State Gambling Laws
The state’s stiffest penalties are reserved for individuals providing illegal gambling services. Indiana’s code of statutes classifies the operation of an illegal gambling business as a class D felony. Those who violate this law are considered to be professional gamblers. Players who knowingly or participate in illegal gambling activities are in violation of Section 35-45-5-2, a class B misdemeanor. Like most gambling friendly states, IN focuses more on the owners/operators when it comes to illegal gambling activity instead of the players. Stiff penalties are also in place for those who establish online gambling businesses within state borders. To do so is a class D felony and a violation of Indiana’s code of statutes. You can review the state’s crimes and penalties associated with gambling here.
Forms Of Gambling That Are Legal in IN
Lottery – As their first form of state licensed gambling, the state’s lottery was made legal in 1988, and less than a year later, the state’s first scratch off tickets were sold. Currently Hoosier’s have the option of playing the state lottery, various scratch off games, and several intrastate lottery games.
Casino Gambling – Despite strong interest in gambling entertainment among the citizens of Indiana throughout the 1980s, it would not be until 1993 that a bill would be passed to legalize casino gambling within the state known as the Riverboat Gambling Act. This law permitted 10 riverboat casinos to be established. In 2004, the Act saw an amendment that allowed an additional 5 riverboat casinos to be established. At the time of the original passage of the bill, the law required that the riverboat casinos must be moving in the water in order to offer their games. However the law has since been amended to allow the casinos to remain docked. Legal land based casino gambling was approved in 2011.
Poker Gambling – Poker gambling is legal in Indiana at various riverboat or land based casinos present in the state, and falls under the state’s legal definition of gambling, permissible at licensed destinations within the state.
Pari-mutuel Wagering – Next to become legal was pari-mutuel horse racing and off track horse betting, with Hoosier Park horse track opening its doors in 1994. There are currently two horse tracks operating in the state: The Hoosier Park Horse Track and the Indiana Downs Horse Track. There are 5 off track betting parlors in, all of them owned by one of the two horse tracks. In 2007, HB 1835 was passed that would allow the state’s two race tracks to also offer slot machines, effectively terming the properties as ‘racinos’, which is a race track that offers casino games.
Bingo – Bingo is allowed and is included in permitted charitable gambling options.
Our team of professional analysts here at Legal Betting Online has researched Indiana gambling in depth. And nothing in our findings indicated that there would be any strides made towards legalizing online gambling in the state anytime soon. Though IN is fairly friendly towards the gambling industry, they are one of the few states that have specifically made it illegal to operate an online gambling site within the state’s borders. Based on this, we are not sure when or if they will embrace a state based online gambling initiative. It is doubtful that it would happen while the sitting governor is in place. The state is still a fairly conservative one, and republicans have been problematic in the passage of gambling legislation in IN before.
Indiana players can enjoy all types of real money gambling options at Bovada. Bovada offers pretty much everything under the sun for players including sports betting, online casino games, poker action, bingo, horse betting and much more.
If you aren't familiar with Bovada, they are basically the largest and most reputable name in the online gambling industry. Their parent company has been servicing players since the inception of online gambling, and they've grown into the biggest name around. The name Bovada is synonymous with "trust". Players know they will be treated very well, and most important paid on time when they win.
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The minimum legal gambling age in Indiana is dependent on the type of gambling that you are participating in. If you are interested in playing the lottery, playing bingo or betting on the races, then you can enjoy that type of entertainment as young as 18 years of age. Casino games and poker betting carry a minimum requirement of 21 years of age. Though you can technically register for an account at most online poker rooms, sportsbooks and casinos at age 18, you would be in violation of state law, and we strongly urge you to comply with the state’s minimum legal gambling age as is established.
There has been no movement to legalize state licensed online casino gambling. It is currently not legal to operate an online casino within the state. The gambling laws in the state do not make it illegal to participate in licensed online casino gambling that is subject to regulatory oversight. Though the state does not seem to have any problems with casino gambling in general, lawmakers and the governor do not express this same tolerance with online casino gambling. This being the case, we wouldn’t look for state regulated online casino gambling to emerge anytime soon. This page provides access to a list of premium, legally licensed and regulated U.S. friendly online casinos that welcome players from Indiana. Each of them has been vetted by industry professionals and have been approved as reputable, high quality destinations.
Playing poker at a licensed casino in Indiana is perfectly legal. Participating in online poker at a licensed and regulated poker site that is based outside of the US is also perfectly legal. Where the Hoosier State draws the line is by prohibiting anyone from operating an online poker site within state lines. They come at this from an owner/operator position, and do not really seem to address online poker from a player perspective. It is illegal to offer online poker card games in the state, but not to enjoy playing them. This means that IN residents are able to enjoy legally playing poker online in the United States as long as they are doing so at an online poker room that is licensed, subject to regulatory oversight and based outside of the US.
Despite Indiana’s friendly disposition towards gambling, sports betting is in an entirely different category of gambling entertainment. One thing that sets it apart from other gambling venues is the fact that the federal government already has several laws in place that govern sports betting across the United States. These laws restrict sports betting to four specific regions in the US, those being Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon. The federal laws also restrict domestically based online sports betting in every state. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act and the Federal Wire Act combine to effectively ban USA based sports betting both online and offline for IN residents. The UIGEA law is another relevant federal law that places regulatory oversight regarding how gambling related transactions can be processed. It does not prohibit players from engaging in online gambling, and is directed at owner/operators of gambling site and payment processors. It has virtually no bearing concerning online sports betting in the US.
Despite all these U.S. federal gambling laws that limit your options for state side sports betting, there are still some great and safe opportunities available for you to bet on sports legally in the United States without traveling to a Vegas bookmaker. None of the state laws in Indiana or US federal laws make it illegal for residents of the Hoosier state to enjoy online sportsbook gambling that is licensed, regulated and headquartered outside of the United States. These types of legal online sportsbooks are often referred to as offshore sportsbooks. These destinations operate within a governing jurisdiction that has legalized sports betting for their territories, and hence they can legally offer sports betting services to players around the world without violating any laws. You can participate without violating any state or federal laws as long as the sportsbook is indeed legally licensed and regulated. All of the sportsbooks you see on this page hold these types of credentials.
The two state agencies that provide regulatory oversight for the gambling entertainment in IN are the Indiana Gaming Commission, which oversees all gambling outside of pari-mutuel, and the Indiana Horse Racing Commission which obviously oversees the racing.
Well that depends on whether or not you are accessing legally sanctioned online gambling options or illegal gambling operations. If you restrict your online gambling entertainment to only those offshore destinations that are legally licensed, and regulated outside of the USA, then you are not in violation of any state or federal laws. However, if you attempt to engage in online gambling through a destination that is not licensed and operating legally within the state, then you could find yourself on the wrong side of the law. The IN state gambling laws and federal laws in place do not prohibit legally licensed offshore Internet gambling for Indiana residents.
As long as you are engaged at a legally sanctioned offshore sportsbook, such as the ones listed in this guide, then you are free to wager on any of the betting lines they offer, including any lines on Indiana sports teams such as the Hoosiers, the Indianapolis Colts or the Pacers.
The good news is that you do not have to travel to the gambling site’s headquarters in order to claim your winnings. Since these sites offer their services to players all around the world, they have payout processes in place to accommodate players abroad. Some of these payout methods include check by courier, bank draft, money transfer services such as Western Union, Bitcoin and ewallets. When it comes to US players, credit cards are seldom if ever a payout option.
All U.S. State Gambling Guides
- Delaware - State Regulated
- Nevada - State Regulated
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey - State Regulated
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
- South Carolina
- West Virginia