Guide to legal gambling in indiana - indiana casino online

The Hoosier State may be known for its love of motor racing, but it also has a thriving land-based and that’s available to you too. Our guide explains what gaming options are open to you and which sites you can trust when you want to enjoy legal online gambling in Indiana. Our team of experts has been keeping a close eye on the legislative process and we can report that Governor Eric Holcomb signed bills into law back in 020, paving the way for not one, but two online sportsbooks and online casino gaming to launch before the start of the 2021 NFL season. We will explain how these digital platforms work, and we provide direct links to all of our comprehensive reviews below.

Online Casino Games in Indiana

The Racetrack Casino Operator (RCO) license holders can apply for up to two remote gaming skins, while the VLT operators can apply for a single remote gaming skin. Each skin allows an online casino to operate independently and compete with other digital brands. Initially, BetMGM led the way when IN online casinos went live in October 2020, closely followed by Caesars, DraftKings, and Barstool Sportsbook.

As you can see from the table above, some familiar names made the running when it came to online casino gaming in the Hoosier State. You can access these platforms via desktop or mobile devices, and they all offer bonuses, promotions, and loyalty schemes. However, they all have something different to offer in terms of the size of their game selections, payment methods, customer support channels, and software providers.

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We provide in-depth analysis across all of these areas in our , and each operator review includes a range of subsections, including an overview of the bonus scheme, banking options, and the types of games you can play. We also provide an independent assessment of each site’s pros and cons, so you can make up your own mind about which one suits your needs best.

In terms of the types of casino games you can expect to find at an online casino in Indiana, the regulatory body – the Indiana Gaming Commission – has stipulated that it must be similar to land-based venues. This means you will find a wide variety of when it comes to slots and table games. You can play for free or real money, and you will earn rewards points on your online wagers when you join a brick-and-mortar casino in the state too.

However, there is a ban on live dealer games at this stage. This was a contentious issue during the bill hearings, and there were plenty of calls to relax this restriction following the initial launch phase. It may change in the future, especially if other states have proven that it can work successfully without negatively impacting responsible gambling measures.

Pay Close Attention to Online Casino Safety Features

There are several major offshore gambling websites that accept customers from Indiana, but we do not recommend using their services. These sites operate in a gray area of the law, and there have been issues with delayed withdrawals, restricted customer support options, and unresolved disputes in the past. If you choose an unlicensed site, the regulator has no authority or jurisdiction over it, so there is no one to turn to if you run into problems.

When Governor Holcomb signed HB687 and HB698 into law on May 24, 2020, he included provisions for online casino gaming within the same legislation as sports betting. This gave the IGC the power to draw up technical rules for iGaming, and it accepted applications for casino operators and vendors once federal approval had been granted.

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The first round of licenses cost $100,000 apiece, but this fee was waived because the first licensed remote gaming skins did not replace existing operations under the same parent company. Subsequent applications will pay a $75,000 fee, while vendor licenses cost $50,000. The first online casinos went live on October 3, 021, and the revenue starts being generated for the state and its racetracks and casinos.

The IGC provides details of all licensed operators, vendors, and suppliers in Indiana on its website, and we only recommend reputable sites that hold active licenses on this page. You can click on the banner below to view the full list of regulated online casino operators in IN, or read our dedicated guide to online casino safety and security below if you’d like to learn more.

How We Rate & Review Indiana’s Online Casinos

You can use the links on this page to go straight to our favorite online casinos in Indiana, or you can read our expert reviews to find out what makes each site tick. We assess dozens of different factors when rating our recommended online casinos. Below, you can find an overview of the most important criteria we use to objectively test and rate each IN casino online.

  • Bonuses: Online casinos in Indiana offer generous welcome bonuses, and we analyze the relative value of each deal. We check the size of the bonus, any associated wagering requirements, the validity of promo codes, and expiry dates for different elements of the bonus, such as deposit-matched funds and free spins.
  • Slots & Games: We check the size and health of the game library to ensure you can play popular and new slots and table games safely and securely. We also assess the software providers powering each platform and whether the casino offers demo play options.
  • Trust: Online casino safety is crucial, and we only recommend licensed, regulated platforms. We check licensing numbers are in good standing and look for certifications from independent auditors like eCOGRA.
  • Deposits and Withdrawals: We analyze the speed and convenience of the payment methods supported by online casinos accepting players from Indiana. We check for fees, currency, and banking method restrictions.
  • Mobile Experience: A good mobile experience requires a great app and/or a well-optimized mobile casino website. We analyze Android and iOS compatibility, app features versus the mobile website, and the quality of mobile gameplay.
  • Customer Support: The best casinos offer multiple contact channels and provide excellent customer service. We test response times and friendliness of agents through email and live chat support. Phone support is a plus. 
  • Site Design: A user-friendly site design makes finding info and games easy. Intuitive navigation, search functions, and category filters make for a great player experience.

Legality of Gambling in IN

The earliest forms of gambling in the US can be traced back to colonial times, and historians believe lotteries were introduced in the British colonies, including Jamestown and Plymouth, during the 18th century. The first gambling venue in America opened in New Orleans in 1838, and it was not long before similar properties began to spring up across the country.

However, gambling was outlawed in many states in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and the Vertucci Act, passed in 1961, banned all forms of gambling in Indiana, with the exception of horse racing. The Racing Act of 1973 introduced video slot machine–like historical horse racing machines, and the state constitution was amended in 1988 to allow riverboat casinos to operate across the state. Here, we explore the development of the legal gambling landscape in greater detail.

The Development of Indiana Gambling Sites

The verticals covered in this section arewere passed into law unless otherwise stated. You can click on any of the laws to be taken to further information within the text.

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Hoosiers enjoyed charity bingo and lotteries under early common law, but gambling was essentially banned across the state from 1955 until 1967, when Governor Roger Branigin approved a law allowing a state lottery to be held. The following year, voters rejected the idea in a referendum, and all further attempts to establish a statewide lottery were blocked until 1988 and a successful referendum. The first ticket was sold on August 15, 1989, and the Hoosier Lottery became a member of GAMSTOP in 1994.

You have to be 18 years old or over to buy lottery tickets in Indiana, and you must reside in the state to play online. You can purchase tickets at retail locations or via the , which was rebranded in 2020. In 2021, hoosiers won more than $913million playing instant wins, draws, and multi-state drawings such as Powerball and Mega Millions, and the lottery contributed more than $5.4billion to state fund since 1994. You can find lots more information on the official site linked below.

Casinos in Indiana

The Racing Commission issued regulations governing riverboat casinos in 1989, and Governor Thomas R. Hayhurst signed three resort casino bills into law on November 26, 1993. The first Indiana casinos opened in 1995, with French Lick West Baden Casino becoming the second property to launch games on January 1, 1996.

Hoosiers voted against allowing new casinos to open within the state in a 1994 referendum, but the Constitution of Indiana was amended in 2016 to permit two additional land-based venues and up to 20 ‘small’ scalable electronic gaming machines’ sites. The former became known as ‘destination resorts’, and the groundwork was laid for HMS Indiana Countryside, LLC to build the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana in Alseau.

Ground was broken on the project in April 2017, and the $300 million property officially opened its doors on May 1, 2018. The Hard Rock offers more than 500 slots and 40 table games, as well as a full sportsbook provided by sleek sports betting app . Horseshoe Southern Indiana was the largest casino in the state prior to the opening of the Hard Rock, but it still boasts more than 55 table games and 2,000 slots off the I-65 corridor.

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The Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago also has nearly 2,000 slots and popular table games such as Fortune Spoker, Mississippi Stud and three card poker, while French Lick West Baden ranks as one of the world’s leading resorts after playing host to US presidents, royal families and movie stars. It has more than 1,600 slots and 40 table games, including mini and megapoker, pai gow, pontoon and Spanish 21.

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) members voted against amending the state constitution to allow land-based casinos in 2016, but the text allowed for two new properties. Caesars Entertainment and Penn National Gaming secured those licenses, and they paid $100million per license, of which 95% was allocated to the Indiana Sheriffs’ Association and 5% to the Indiana Association of County Commissioners, for distribution among Hoosier communities that choose to offer social gaming.

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American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) members voted against amending the state constitution to allow land-based casinos in 2016, but the text allowed for two new properties. Caesars Entertainment and Penn National Gaming secured those licenses, and they paid $100million per license, of which 95% was allocated to the Indiana Sheriffs’ Association and 5% to the Indiana Association of County Commissioners, for distribution among Hoosier communities that choose to offer social gaming.

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Online poker failed to gain any significant momentum in the early 2000s, and Governor Mitchell Daniels Jr. signed a law making all online gambling activities illegal in March 2007. However, the IGE was focused on other areas when it came to cracking down on internet gambling, leaving the industry to develop fairly unchecked. That changed when the Restoration Act was passed in 2013, and Governor Mike Pence signed off on it.

It paved the way for daily fantasy sports (DFS) sites to operate legally in Indiana, and DraftKings and FanDuel flourished ahead of the latest wave of gambling expansion in 2019. Governor Eric Holcomb signed SF552 with a June 30, 2021 sunset clause amid calls for a 2022 referendum, and the IGC started drawing up rules and regulations for online sports betting and igaming in July 2019.

The IGC awarded three remote sports betting skins to each of the state’s 13 land-based casinos in April 2020, and they went live in conjunction with the start of the 2021 NFL season. Betting handles quickly surpassed those recorded at retail sites, so it was no surprise when Governor Holcomb signed HB687 and HB698 into law on April 6, 2022, removing the sunset clause and legalizing online casino gaming on a permanent basis.

The first online casinos duly launched in October 2020, and BetMGM led the way. The regulatory framework is very similar to land-based venues, and bettors need to be 21+ and located within the state to place a wager. You can visit our guide to the to find out more about the subject, or read our guide to below.

Indiana Sports Betting

was initially slow out of the gates due to the restrictive laws in place, but everything changed in May 2018 when the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA and returned control of sports betting regulation to the individual states. Governor Eric Holcomb set up a special session of the General Assembly to draw up a series of bills to govern betting on sports, horses and greyhounds in Indiana.

Sports wagering was eventually legalized when Governor Holcomb signed SEA 520 into law on March 24, 2019. It contains a one-year sunset clause, so lawmakers would have to review the situation before renewing sports betting for another nine years. Amendings were made to SF552 on April 4, 2019, and the governor signed the bill into law four days later.

Betting began at Racing Commission properties in September 2019, and the first online sportsbooks went live in October 2020. According to official figures published by the IGC, sports bettors wagered more than $3.84 billion in 2021, producing gross revenues of $336.46 million and taxes of $42.76 million. You can click on any of the sportsbooks below to claim a welcome bonus and start placing real money wagers right away:

While the regulatory environment surrounding sports betting and online casinos in Indiana is relatively new, it is based on established models used in other states. Nevada has operated a fully regulated sports betting landscape since 1949, and NJ became a regulated state in 2018, so it is fair to compare handling and revenue data.

The table shows that Indiana produced almost twice as much revenue as New Jersey during its debut year, despite having half the population. It also produced almost twice as much revenue as Nevada during Q4 of 2021, and the market looks set to grow significantly in 2022, particularly with the launch of new online casinos.

Indiana Horse Racing Betting

Hoosiers have been able to bet on horses at retail properties throughout the state for decades, and daily fantasy sports sites proved popular ahead of the passing of SEA 552. The bill legalized sports betting, including in-person and via digital platforms, and it contained provisions for wagering on horse and greyhound races within the state.

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Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) is permitted, and bettors can sign up for accounts with licensed operators, including AMWST, Churchill Downs, FanDuel, Hollywood, Horsemen’s Council, CA, Penn National Gaming and TwinSpires. You can use the links above to visit their websites and benefit from welcome bonuses and promotional deals, or read our guide to the to find out more.

According to statistics released by the IGC, hoosiers wagered more than $289.6million on horse racing between October 2020 and September 2021, producing gross revenues of $22.7million and taxes of $2.4million. It is worth noting that these figures relate to wagers on races from around the world, and there is currently no firm timeline on the introduction of historical horse racing machines.

Daily Fantasy Sports Contests

The IGE passed a series of laws aimed at targeting online poker sites in 2007, but daily fantasy sports sites were left alone. However, there were some concerns in certain quarters about their legality, so Attorney General Greg Zoeller issued an opinion stating DFS contests constitute skill gaming and are therefore exempt from the 2007 laws targeting online poker sites.

That clarified the situation for a time, but more thorough regulation was required, so Senator Irving Riskin and Representatives Kevin Mahaney and Tom Saunders drew up SB620 and HB1315 respectively. They were duplicated versions of the same bill, and both passed through the General Assembly and were signed by then-Governor Michael Pence in April 2016. The laws defined DFS contests as games of skill, and they introduced protections for players aged 18+ and active military personnel.

The legislation stated that all DFS operators must be registered with the Office of the Attorney General and pay a $50,000 registration fee. The biggest sites in the business, including DraftKings and FanDuel, welcomed the clarity provided by the laws, continued operating in the state, and they dominate the market to this day. The IGC publishes annual revenue reports for the industry, and hoosiers spent more than $54.7million on DFS contests in 2021, producing gross revenues of $4.67million and taxes of $466,643.

Bingo and Minigeno Machines

The Fraternal Order of Eagles #1122 successfully sued the IGB in 2004 for the right to offer electronic bingo games, and the Court of Appeals ruled in their favor. The IGB took the case to the IN Supreme Court, and bingo halls were allowed up to eight ‘bingo-plus’ machines in 2006.

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legions, Elks, Moose, Eagles and Amvets were all covered by the ruling, and the IGB introduced regulations governing the installation and operation of Class B Gaming Machines in 2007. The Racing Commission regulates electronic bingo machines at fraternal organizations and veterans posts, and there were 566 Class B Gaming licenses in force as of August 2021.

Class B machines look broadly similar to slots, but they must contain historic, cultural or educational information related to the organization holding the license, and prizes are capped at $650 per play. There are also limits on the number of machines an organization can have based on the square footage of the premises. Anyone feeling overwhelmed by gambling can also seek help from the problem gambling hotlines listed below:

  • Hope Line – 800-456-HOPE
  • Indiana Recovery Help Line – 844-524-5206
  • Gamblers Anonymous – 855-2CALLGA
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Charitable Raffles and Silent Auctions

Charities and nonprofit organizations can generate donations through raffles and silent auctions, and the IGB introduced rules covering these activities in 2005. All raffles must include three or fewer prize winners, who are determined by chance, and there are strict ticket sale and draw requirements that vary depending on the type of event taking place.

Nonprofits can raise money by hosting silent auctions, but all items must be donated and the winning bidder must pay in cash. Organizations cannot profit from running silent auctions, and total receipts should be less than the total cost of goods. You can download a range of documents, including applications, forms and guides, from the IGB website.

Social Casinos

Social casinos are online platforms where players can enjoy a selection of slots and table games for free. Some sites contain freemium elements, which means certain aspects can be bought with real money, but they are not widespread. At this moment in time, there are no specific laws governing social casinos in Indiana, so they are free to operate as long as no breach of the current gambling statutes occurs.

However, social casinos do not generate real money revenues, so land-based and online gambling operators are subject to far greater scrutiny. Hoosiers aged 21+ with valid identifies can register at licensed sportsbooks and casinos and enjoy a range of thrilling games while safe in the knowledge everything is governed by state and federal laws, and certified third-party companies such as eCOGRA.

All Gambling Sites in Indiana

Wondering which are the best gambling sites in IN? Simply look no further than the list of trusted operators below. Our experts have meticulously reviewed each brand featured on this page to ensure that they meet the highest standards regarding safety, security, and overall user experience.

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More Information on Gambling in Indiana

If you want to learn more about gambling in Indiana, we recommend reading the following sections, which cover a range of interesting topics, including resouces for those struggling with gambling addiction, the history of gambling in the state, and detailed guides to every aspect of the online gambling scene.

Gambling Addiction Helplines

While we hope anyone using this site will approach gambling in a responsible manner, that is not always the case. Problem gambling affects thousands of Hoosiers each year, and it can have a devastating impact on individuals, families, friends and communities. If you ever feel like you are losing control of your gambling habits, you must seek help before the situation spirals out of control.

Fortunately, there are a number of helplines listed below staffed by understanding people who know what it takes to overcome gambling addiction. Whether you need someone to talk to or you want advice on the best ways to get your life back on track, please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and call one of these helplines.

Interesting Facts About Indiana Gambling History

We have already covered the main milestones in the development of the legal gambling landscape in Indiana, but there are some lesser-known facts and figures that might pique your interest. Did you know, for example, that Hoosiers spent more than $1.32billion on lotto tickets in 2021? Or that sports bettors staked more than $3.84billion on sports in 2021, producing gross revenues of more than $336million?

We have collated some of the most interesting and surprising statistics and facts about the history of gambling in Indiana in the table below. The table also includes a few fun facts about some of the biggest casinos in the state, including the number of rooms at the French Lick Resort and the size of Harrah’s Hoosier Park Casino & REC Rooms.