History of Online Gambling in Indiana
Indiana’s internet gambling history begins with Senate Bill 339 (S 339). Authored by Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute) in 2016, this legislation sought to legalize daily fantasy sports (DFS) in the state.
S 339 passed through both state houses with relative ease. Former Gov. Mike Pence signed the legislation into effect on March 24, 2016.
House Bill 1015 (HB 1015) draws much more attention regarding the Hoosier State’s iGambling history. Introduced by Jim Pressel (R-Indianapolis) in 2019, HB 1015 aimed to create a regulated betting market.
Pressel experienced a rough path towards getting HB 1015 legalized. Politicians argued that the mobile betting requirement should be removed, only to go back on this demand later.
After several months of back-and-forth negotiations with Pressel, the State House and Senate finally passed the legislation. Gov. Eric Holcomb gave his signature on May 8, 2019, and put HB 1015 into effect.
Land-based sportsbooks began accepting bets in early September, just before the 2019 NFL season began.
Online sportsbooks went live a month later on October 3. This day saw DraftKings and BetRivers become the first mobile operators to accept internet sports wagers from Hoosiers.
Legalities of Indiana Online Gambling
HB 1015 is comprehensive legislation that governs both the land-based and internet betting markets. Its main components include:
- Both brick-and-mortar and online sportsbooks are legal.
- The Indiana Gaming Commission oversees the market.
- You must be 21 years of age or older to bet in Indiana.
- No esports betting is allowed.
- Online operators must partner with a land-based IN gambling establishment.
- Operators must pay a 9.5% tax rate on gross revenue.
In addition to covering a 9.5% tax rate, Indiana online sportsbooks must also pay a $100,000 licensing fee upfront. They also need to cover a $50,000 annual renewal fee.
No Official League Data Required
An early draft of HB 1015 included a stipulation that sportsbooks needed to use official league data. This refers to bookmakers paying sports leagues to use their official results and statistics.
The leagues have pushed for states with regulated betting to use their data. However, Indiana lawmakers dropped the official league data requirement before approving the bill.
Where does the money go?
Revenue generated from land-based and online sports betting in Indiana goes to several places. Here’s a breakdown of where the licensing fees and taxes end up:
- Indiana General Fund
- Build Indiana Fund (public roads)
- The towns that host gambling establishments
- Miscellaneous (e.g., Economic Dev. Fund, Teachers’ Retirement Fund, livestock industry)
The state’s general fund receives the most of the money at approximately 40% of the revenue. Meanwhile, Build Indiana and the host towns claim roughly 25% each.
Indiana Online Betting
Sports betting is easily the most profitable form of online gambling in the Hoosier State. Indiana sportsbooks collectively generated $41.4 million in 2019.
Sports betting sites draw 80% of the state’s wagering action. Many internet operators have already joined Indiana’s market while seeking a piece of this pie.
Available Indiana online sportsbooks include:
- BetAmerica (partner: Rising Star Casino Resort)
- BetMGM (parter: Belterra Casino Resort)
- BetRivers (partner: French Lick Resort)
- Caesars (partner: Harrah’s Hoosier Park)
- DraftKings (partner: AmeriStar Casino Resort)
- FanDuel (partner: Belterra Casino Resort)
- PointsBet (partner: Penn National Gaming)
- theScore (partner: Penn National Gaming)
Notable IN Online Sportsbooks
Here are some of the online bookmaking leaders in Indiana:
- DraftKings: Also, a market leader in Indiana’s DFS market, DraftKings has become a premier sportsbook. It provides a user-friendly app and many markets.
- FanDuel: The other big DFS provider in the state, FanDuel is another top option among Indiana sports gamblers. It offers many bet types, markets, and promotions.
- BetRivers: Although not a household name, BetRivers is quickly building a solid reputation in the Hoosier State. BetRivers excels in terms of promotions and bets types.
- BetMGM: Known for its MGM land-based casinos, BetMGM is a rising star in the IN sports gambling market.
Upcoming IN Betting Sites
Indiana already features plenty of bookmakers serving its residents and 6.73 million annual visitors. However, even more, sports gambling sites figure in launching shortly.
FOX Bet and William Hill are two of the biggest names that’ll provide IN betting apps, although it’s unknown when they’ll go live.
Indiana Daily Fantasy Sports
DFS is the other legal form of online gambling in Indiana. It became legal on March 24, 2016, when Mike Pence approved S 339.
Daily fantasy hasn’t been as fruitful for Indiana as sports wagering. It currently only comprises a small part of the state’s internet gambling revenue.
Nevertheless, DFS remains an extra opportunity for those wanting to place online bets. Daily fantasy players can head to DraftKings or FanDuel to play legally.
Here are the important legal points of Indiana’s DFS laws:
- Hoosiers can play DFS if they’re at least 18 years old.
- Operators pay a $50,000 licensing fee.
- DFS sites must pay a $5,000 annual renewal fee, which could increase to $75,000 in the future.
- The Indiana Gaming Commission oversees the state’s DFS market.
- Daily fantasy contests can’t cover college or high school sports.
- Employees of DFS operators can’t play in the contests.
Indiana Online Casinos
Indiana has yet to regulate online casinos. Therefore, real-money gaming sites remain illegal in the state for now.
The Hoosier State may look at internet casinos more seriously in the future—especially if more neighboring states legalize them. For now, though, lawmakers and operators are concentrating on the lucrative betting market.
This state isn’t completely without online gaming. Sweepstakes gaming sites, like Chumba Casino, are legal in Indiana.
Unlike a real-money casino, a sweepstakes site sees you play for coins and/or entries into contests. You can win prizes through sweepstakes events.
Indiana Poker Sites
Online poker is another game that remains unregulated in Indiana. Lawmakers show little-to-no interest in legalizing poker sites right now.
Internet poker has seen its best days come and go. Indiana would certainly regulate gaming sites before online poker rooms.
Depositing at Indiana Online Gambling Sites
Indiana gambling sites offer plenty of options to fund an account. Here are the primary deposit methods:
- Cash - You can visit a participating land-based casino or sportsbook and deposit with cash.
- E-check: Send funds from your bank account to an IN gambling site.
- E-wallet: Fund your account using PayPal or Skrill.
- Play+: This prepaid card is similar to a gift card.
- Wire: Send a bank wire to the relevant betting/DFS site.
You can withdraw money through cash, e-check, e-wallet, and paper check. Cash and e-wallet are the quickest ways to access your funds.
Online Gambling Bonuses in Indiana
You can look forward to several types of bonuses in the Indiana internet gambling market, including:
- Risk-free bet: A bookmaker will reimburse you up to a specified amount (e.g., $500) for a losing first bet.
- No-deposit bonus: Gambling sites grant you this bonus just for completing registration.
- Deposit bonus: The site matches your initial deposit up to a specified amount (e.g., $1,000).
- Loyalty rewards: You accumulate rewards based on your total gambling volume.
Risk-free bets, no-deposit bonuses, and deposit bonuses all come with terms and conditions. It would be best if you satisfied T&Cs before cashing out any winnings you make with these deals.
Here are common T&Cs behind IN gambling bonuses:
- Claim bonus: You must visit your account and claim a bonus before using it.
- Playthrough: You must wager through a multiple of the bonus (e.g., 10x).
- Playthrough time limit: You only have so long to satisfy playthrough before a deal expires.
- Maximum bet: Gambling sites restrict how much you can bet at once when meeting playthrough.
- Bonus code: Most IN gambling sites require that you enter a bonus code during registration to qualify for a deal.
Yes. Senate Bill 339 makes daily fantasy sports legal. Meanwhile, House Bill 1015 legalizes internet sports betting.
No. You merely need to be within the Hoosier State to use its gambling sites.
Each regulated site uses geolocation to determine whether you’re within state lines. As long as you’re in Indiana, it would help if you experienced no trouble gambling online.
Yes. Indiana levels the state’s standard 3.23% tax rate on gambling winnings. Of course, you must also pay a 24% federal income tax on winnings.
Yes. The Indiana Gaming Commission regulates the state’s internet gambling industry.
The Gaming Commission thoroughly vets applicants to ensure that only qualified operators gain acceptance. It also ensures that each licensee follows Indiana’s laws and protects problem gamblers.
Indiana features legal DFS and internet sports betting. No concrete plans are in the works to legalize online casinos or poker sites right now.
You must be at least 21 years old to place online sports bets in Indiana. However, you only need to be 18 to play daily fantasy sports.