Indiana is one of the most diverse states in the US, with various economic engines and supporting it. Attempts in the past to spurn growth in the gambling industry both on land and online, has often been met with caution, and so at present Indiana does have a few forms of gambling allowed but not all forms.
Indiana has 2 land based casinos (French Lick Resort Casino and Tropicana Evansville), one Native American (Four Winds South Bend), 2 racinos (Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand Casino) and 9 riverboats.
In this guide we will lead you through the Indiana Gambling Laws, a review of the gambling venues, and the types of gaming you can expect.
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Indiana Online Gambling
It is not legal to run an online casino in the state of Indiana nor is it technically legal to play online. You will find, however, that offshore online casinos do accept Indiana US Players, as the current state of laws are outdated, complex and ambiguous. As a result, the law enforcement has never charged any Indiana Player for playing online. Operating an online casino, however, is treated and monitored more strictly and rigorously.
Indiana ranks as the 18th in the US for playing at offshore online casinos. Wagering an estimated $15.1 million per year, it ranks just above Wisconsin and behind Colorado. The state with the largest wagering at offshore online casinos is California at $180 million.
Overview of Indiana Casinos
In Indiana you will find more than 23,550 slots and gaming machines and 600 table games.
Types of games that you will find in Indiana are:
- Poker (including Omaha, Texas Hold’em, and several other varieties)
- Video Poker
- Slot Machines
- Electronic Keno
- Indiana Lotteries – Powerball, Mega Millions, Hoosier Lotto, Poker Lotto, Quick Draw, and many more.
Four Winds South Bend Casino
The motto of Four Winds South Bend Casino is “Ask and you shall receive” which kinda sounds biblical. Anyways, moving on from this side note, this casino is the first Native American owned and operated in the state of Indiana. It offers over 1,800 slot machines, 10 poker tables and (by the end of summer) various table games. Across a space of 175,000 square feet, it includes a player lounge, four restaurants, 800 dining seat, three bars, poker room, 10 tables with live dealers, and many other amenities.
Ameristar Casino & Hotel East Chicago
This is a multi level boat offers over 1,700 slot machines and 72 tables, which is quite amazing given that the size of the boat is only 56,000 square foot of play area. Accordingly it can become a little crowded as space is limited. The adjoining hotel includes 288 rooms, 5 junior suites and 7 super suites. The meals are extremely affordable and the staff of professional and friendly. If you would like to try a Riverboat casino, then give this one a go!
Horseshoe Casino Hammond
This casino is huge! And is all class being positioned beautifully on a lakefront i.e. Lake Michigan. The 100,000 square feet of gambling amenities offers a whopping 3002 gaming machines, 103 table games and a new poker room with 34 tables. There is a smoking and non smoking area, and service is readily available for drinks with the touch of a button from the gaming machines. For fine dining there is a steakhouse, and a buffet on the top floor. This casino can get super busy, which is a testament as to how good it is!
Belterra Casino Resort
The resort offers Ohio River views from the 12 story hotel, hosts several restaurants for patrons to choose from, all very well priced. The casino itself is positioned on the Ohio river. Offers approximately 1,300 slots and video poker machines, with high limit rooms available. Staff are extremely friendly creating a very relaxed atmosphere. You won’t be disappointed.
Blue Chip Casino Hotel Spa
All on one floor! Covers 65,000 square feet and includes 1,946 slot machines, 42 table games and 8 poker tables. Several restaurants are available to choose from, covering a variety of cuisines. The hotel is fantastic with pool, spa, gym and performance center. If you wish to venture out, conveniently located nearby is a shopping mall, wineries and micro breweries. Only a short one hour’s drive from Chicago.
French Lick Casino Resort
If you prefer the smaller casinos than the bigger overwhelming ones, then French Lick Casino is a must. A really fun casino that offers something new every day. Meticulously maintained, clean and well kept. The nearby town also offers a lot to do and see. The gambling floor has a great variety of slots table games and poker tables. With 1047 gaming machines and 37 gaming tables this casino is simply worth it to experience.
Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg
Laid back and lots of fun. Splits between smoking and non smoking across 6 levels. A 20 minute drive west of Cincinnati, this casino has 2,500 slots, video poker and electronic games, more than 70 gaming tables, and a live-action poker room with 19 tables. This casino offers everything that you could ask for!
The three states of Iowa, Montana and Indiana have all passed legislation within days of each other to legalize sports betting. Moving at breakneck speed, Indiana is opening up application for sports betting licences in July 2019, only a few months after legalization. It is anticipated that internet, and mobile devices will be allowed to process sport bets.
Update: Indiana has now opened up sports book facilities, and it is drawing amazing crowds. Could it be considered fortuitous that Indiana has proceeded at a quicker pace than it’s neighbor Illinois, thus garnering players from interstate as well? Whatever the reason may be, the sports betting industry in Indiana is off to a fantastic start. You will be able to find sports betting terminals at all the major casinos outlets in Indiana.
The state law of Indiana defines gambling as “risking money or other property for gain, contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, or the operation of a gambling device.”
As such Indiana gambling laws prohibits most types of gambling, with the exception of Riverboat gambling, horse racing. Gambling on Native American land does not fall under the Indiana state law jurisdiction and resides with the Indian Regulatory Gaming Act (Federal). Games of skill (as opposed to games of chance) are legal, as well as bingo, raffles, and other games for charity.
As one of the exemptions is riverboat gambling, many operators have been able to use this loop hole to establish a gambling operation. In the past, the intention was that the riverboat was required to leave shore and then return. However this is no longer required, and the Riverboats are allowed to be permanently moored to a port. (So why does it have to be on a riverboat? I don’t know, but obviously the laws are outdated).
Land-based casinos and sports betting are strictly prohibited with the following exempted:
- Pari-mutuel wagering
- State lottery
- Riverboat gambling
- Slot machines at racetracks
- Sale and use of gambling devices
If an Indiana resident is caught with illegal gambling activity, they are charged with being guilty of a Class B misdemeanour. An illegal gambling provider is charged with being guilty of a Class D felony.
Indiana's Gambling Laws Interpreted by a Lawyer
Illinois residents who want to gamble at traditional casinos frequently head over to their neighbor to the east, to take advantage of Indiana’s robust gambling landscape, much of which is focused on riverboats. Land-based casinos, racinos, and the state and multi-state lotteries are all permitted as well as, since 2019, online sports betting. See IC § 35-45-4-1 et seq.; IC § 4-31-1-1 et seq.
Sports Betting: Sports betting is legal in the state of Indiana with the first brick-and-mortar sportsbooks opening on September 1, 2019. For the online realm, both DraftKings and BetRivers have both been cleared to legally operate within the state via partnerships with land-based entities. It is anticipated that FanDuel and others will soon also begin accepting Indiana residents aged twenty-one and older, so interested parties should carefully watch for new opportunities in the coming weeks and months.
Race Betting: Like in many states, horse betting is legal in Indiana at its racing tracks and racinos as well as other venues that allow pari-mutuel betting. Off-track betting is permitted at the state’s multiple off-tracking betting facilities. Online race betting is not specified, though many platforms do accept bets from Indiana residents aged eighteen or older.
Online Gambling: The state has yet to pass an online poker or gambling bill, and, thus, similar forms of gambling remain unregulated. Though arguably illegal, the authorities have yet to prosecute any individual for online play. Thus, individuals wishing to participate in online gambling, including poker and other such games of skill, and who are twenty-one or older, must place bets online through licensed and regulated domestic and offshore platforms operating outside of the state.
Online Gaming: Social online gaming through licensed casinos is permitted, with online casinos like DoubleDown, MyVegas, and others accepting Indiana residents.
Disclaimer: The information in this multi-state research is made available by a licensed, U.S. attorney, and is for informational purposes only. We make no representations that the information is complete or correct in its entirety. It should not be construed as providing specific legal advice, and you acknowledge that no attorney/client relationship exists between us. This brief should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed gambling and entertainment lawyer in your state.
Wikipedia: Gambling in Indiana