Gambling in Indiana
Indiana may be a conservative Midwestern state, but widespread gambling is popular. Casinos were legalized in the 1990s and the venues started on water on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan. More choice was offered when racetracks were allowed to offer video poker and slots games and Indiana gambling moved away from simply being in riverboat casinos.
Top Gambling Cities in Indiana
If you're looking for casinos in Indiana with slot machines, then Lawrenceburg is home to one of the largest offerings in the state. The Hollywood Casino has around 3,300 slot machines. Lawrenceburg is a Dearborn County city in southeast Indiana. It is located on the Ohio River to the west of Cincinnati.
Hammond is a gambling city in Indiana that is not far behind, with the Horseshoe Casino offering around 3,200 slots and was named as Indiana’s top revenue-producing casino. Figures show that in 2019 alone, the Horseshoe bought in a total win figure of over $386 million. This formed part of the $2.2 billion in total annual win accrued by the retail casinos in Indiana. The same figure was also created in each of the previous 2 years.
The second highest earner was the Indiana Grand Casino, with an annual total win of $285 million, and Harrah’s Hoosier Park, the Ameristar Casino, and Caesar’s Southern Indiana, which was previously called the Horseshoe Southern Indiana, all made $210 million in revenue or more.
If you’re looking for the best casino city in Indiana, you may also want to consider East Chicago. This is home to Ameristar, which many people consider to be one of the best, if not the best, casino in the state.
East Chicago is a Lake County city with a population of around 30,000 and an area of around 38.5 square kms. One of East Chicago's claims to fame is that it was America's most industrialized municipality during the Industrial Revolution and was known as a hugely multicultural environment, as 80 per cent of the city's citizens were born outside of the United States.
Indiana Online Gambling
The state takes a hard line on internet gambling and operators who intentionally or knowingly engage a person in Indiana in online gambling or operate in the state are committing a serious Class D felony. This means it is a very serious offence to be an online casino Indiana operator.
The law prevents games of chance from being played in Indiana or by people in the state, and this includes online poker.
Let's take a look in a little more detail at online gambling Indiana regulations:
Online horserace and sports betting is legal, and it is also accepted that daily fantasy sports is allowed. Indiana was the second state in the UL to regulate DFS back in 2016. The state is one of the US’ newest sports betting markets.
Its first forms of legalized gambling were introduced in 1989, including the Hoosier Lottery and pari-mutuel betting on horseracing. It was in the same year that pro-gambling lawmakers also tried to bring in legislation allowing retail casino gambling.
Efforts to achieve this went back and forth, but it wasn’t until the summer of 1993 that the Indiana Riverboat Act passed into law in the state.
Sports betting was legalized in 2019 and almost all of the casinos in Indiana added sportsbooks on to the offering lists at their retail properties. The legalization covered both online and live sports betting.
Online sportsbooks use advanced geolocation technology in order to determine the location of the user and players are allowed to make wagers from anywhere within the borders of the state.
It is a criminal offence to use any sports betting site that originate offshore or those which are not strictly regulated by the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC).
The IGC is a government agency that regulates and oversees Indiana’s casinos, along with sports betting on regulated mobile platforms and retail sportsbooks.
When it comes to legal regulations, it is also worth pointing out that any gambling winnings that come from state lottery, horserace betting, online sportsbook, and casino bets in Indiana are subject to the 2.23 per cent rate of Indiana personal income tax. Players have the responsibility to report any winnings.
This figure applies to the state tax rate. Gambling winnings of more than $5,000 are subject to a 24 per cent federal tax rate.
Online poker is not legal in the state, but live and video poker is. There is a law in Indiana that specifically forbids online poker.
The only form of online betting that is allowed in Indiana is on horseracing and sportsbook betting. There are also additional limits to the legal sports betting Indiana laws allow. This means that if you are a fan of legal sports betting Indiana definitely has its limitations, as it does in relation to all forms of online gambling.
If betting on horses online in Indiana, punters have previously had to use legal US race betting sites. Indiana residents could use 2 or 3 legal sites. These were TVG betting and BetAmerica. Both of these allow betting on international and domestic racing.
For a while, horseracing was the only form of legal online betting in Indiana and, today, it is still a popular choice using various mobile apps. Daily fantasy sports were formally legalized in the state in 2016.
Today online sports bets can be placed on state-regulated platforms, which have been legalized. People can access these platforms from anywhere within the borders of the state of Indiana.
Sweepstakes casinos have also opened up to players in Indiana in recent times, but online casinos continue to be explicitly illegal, and it is a criminal act to play in offshore or illegal casinos.
There seems to be no moves to legalize online casino play for real money in Indiana, but its neighboring state Michigan has now launched online sportsbook and casinos and so there is some hope amongst fans of this type of gambling that Indiana may one day follow suit.
This may be a long shot, however, given that in this state, online gambling apart from sports betting is criminalized and not just illegal.
It is also worth noting at this point that online lottery ticket purchases are also not allowed, although IGT, which operates the Hoosier Lottery, has said it is looking into the prospect of the development of an online lottery in the future.
Indiana Casino Games
Casino games are allowed in Indiana, including the likes of poker, blackjack, slots, roulette, and craps. These are only allowed in person, however, as online gambling on such games is expressly forbidden.
At the time of writing, there were 14 casinos in Indiana and a new Queen of Terre Haute Casino Resort was being constructed on a 50-acre site on East Margaret Drive. It is accepted that casino culture represents a big proportion of the state’s industry and economy in current times.
2 horse racetracks were authorized to add slots in 2007 and each got 2,000 machines. Today, they operate as racinos, which are racetracks and casinos combined.
Indiana also has 4 off-track betting locations (OTB) and, in 2018 alone, in-state platforms for horserace betting in Indiana generated in excess of $63 million in handle.
Tribal Gaming in Indiana
Indiana has 3 casinos that are owned and operated by Native American tribes. Two are commercial casinos and one is an official Indian gaming casino.
Four Winds Casino is a South Bend venue owned by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. It is regulated by federal government as an Indian gaming casino.
The other 2 casinos are commercial venues. Hard Rock International, which is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, has an 85 per cent stake in the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians bought Caesars Southern Indiana in 2021. The tribe kept the Caesars branding, and it continues to be a popular real money online casino Indiana offering.
Indiana Casinos and Gambling FAQs
What is the legal gambling age in Indiana?
You can bet on racing, bingo, and lotteries from 18 and in casinos from 21.
Is online gambling legal in Indiana?
Sportsbook and horseracing are Indiana’s only legal forms of online gambling. Horseracing betting is also allowed at the racing tracks, but only pari-mutuel betting is legal. Greyhound racing is not allowed.
Where are Indiana casinos located?
There are casinos around the state including Michigan City, East Chicago, Evansville, Rising Sun, Shelbyville, Hammond, Elizabeth, Anderson, Lawrenceburg, French Lick, Florence, and Gary.
Where are the most popular Indiana casinos located?
Southern Indiana is home to the most popular casinos in the state.
When did Indiana regulate gambling?
Indiana started regulating gambling in 1988 with the lottery, followed by bingo in 1992, casinos in 1993, and horseracing in 1994.
Are all Indiana casino games located on riverboats?
At first, Indiana casinos had to be riverboats on the Ohio River or Lake Michigan. Regulations were relaxed, however, to include lakes and racinos.
What is the estimated gambling revenue in Indiana?
It is thought that the revenue is currently around $3.8 billion, and the estimated gambling tax revenue is around $475 million.
How many Indiana casinos are there?
At the time of writing, there are 13 casinos in Indiana, starting out in Southern Indiana and moving as far as the north side, close to Illinois. There are also 2 racetracks which offer simulcast and live betting. The 13 includes 1 Indian gaming casino.
What are the top Indiana Casinos?
These are Ameristar in East Chicago, Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, Horseshoe in Hammond, Majestic Star in Gary, and Tropicana in Evansville.
Does Indiana have legal daily fantasy sports?
Yes! Daily fantasy sports betting is allowed.