Indiana Online Casino Market: A Quick Review
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Indiana Online Casino Market: A Quick Review

Indiana Online Casino Market: A Quick Review

Online gambling in Indiana is an interesting situation. Although there have been many attempts at legalization, it did not occur until recently and as a result, the market is very young. In this article, we will take a closer look at the state of gambling in Indiana and explore what is currently available there for gamblers.


A Little Bit Of History 

In the United States, the process of legalizing gambling in all forms has been left up to each individual state to determine. This means that no two states have the same regulations, tax rates, or choices of legal gambling options. It also means that gambling is not legal in all of the states. In Indiana, legal gambling was first established with the Hoosier Lottery in 1988. The following year saw pari-mutuel wagering at horse races legalized. This led to several attempts at legalizing casinos, but they failed until 1993 when the first riverboat (land-based) casino was authorized. Technically, land-based wagering was not legalized in Indiana until September 2019. Online/mobile wagering was finally legalized in October 2019. However, online gambling in the state is restricted to just sports betting. Online casinos are not legal…yet. When online gambling was legalized in the state, within days the first sportsbook was launched. The following month (November 2019) saw several more open for business. There are currently seven active mobile sports betting apps in the state and 13 Indiana casino sports betting partnerships with land-based casinos.


The Legality of Online Casinos In Indiana

Online casinos are strictly prohibited in Indiana. Bettors within the state who choose to visit an offshore online casino are doing so illegally. This is also true with online poker sites. Some states where online casinos are illegal have found a way around that with something called a sweepstakes casino. The gambling laws in Indiana also ban the establishment of sweepstakes casinos. 

The only way an Indiana gambler can enjoy casino games legally is by visiting one of the 13 land-based casinos currently in operation across the state. However, with the incredible growth of online sports betting in Indiana, there is very likely going to be another push to try to get legislators to once again explore the possibility of legalizing online casinos. It is interesting to note that the tax rate on gambling revenue in Indiana is set at 9.5%. That is one of the lowest rates compared to all other states where online gambling has been legalized.


How Sports Betting Was Legalized 

In 2015, Indiana legislators modified the existing casino gambling law. The change permitted the riverboat casinos in operation in the state to move to land-based facilities. This was a huge move. The goal of this change was to give the riverboat casino operators a better way to compete against the very successful land-based casinos in neighboring states that drew players away from Indiana. The move proved to be profitable. 

There is also the Hoosier Lottery, a national lottery which issues everything from scratch-offs and draw games to fast-play games. Tickets are only available at authorized retailers within the state and are not being sold online. There is a lottery app where players can create a payslip but a visit to an authorized retailer is still required to pay and print that payslip. There is also pari-mutual wagering and charitable gaming but that all changed in 2018. That was when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned. This led to the legalization of sports betting in many states in the US, including Indiana.


What Sports Can A Bettor In Indiana Bet On?

The Indiana Gaming Commission is the governing body that oversees all sports gaming activities in the state. There is a very impressive selection of available sports that bettors can place wagers on. It includes the following choices: 

- Football (professional and college)

- Baseball

- Hockey

- Boxing

- Tennis

- Basketball (professional and college)

- Rugby

- Soccer

- Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)

- Golf

- Car racing

- Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)

- Other disciplines

Bettors from neighboring states are also permitted to participate in the legal sports betting activities available in Indiana.


What The Future Holds For Online Sports Betting In Indiana

It is an interesting situation that Indiana is in regarding sports betting. With such a variety of sporting events considered legal to bet on, it is a bit strange that the only way to do so online is through a sports betting app. The next logical step for the state to take regarding sports betting online is to legalize sports betting sites. This is a common solution in many other states where sports betting has been permitted. Considering the hard line the state has regarding online casinos, the possible compromise would be to legalize sports betting sites. At least that way, bettors don’t have to just rely on apps to make their wagers. Getting to the legalization of online casinos will be a tougher nut to crack, but as new technology evolves and other states warm up to the concept, anything is possible.


Final Thoughts 

For a state that is still fairly new to the legalization of online gambling, the sports betting activity there has been great and shows signs of incredible growth. Sadly, there are strict limitations on any other form of online gambling in the state. With the possibility of lawmakers opening up the guidelines to permit sports gambling sites to be established, the popularity of those may lead to another attempt to legalize all forms of casino gambling online. With nearby states doing it, it is not much of a leap to imagine what kind of tax revenue the state could pull in with legalized casino activity online. You can bet that although it is illegal for bettors in Indiana to join and participate in offshore online casino sites, that there are a number of them doing it. Rather than having potential revenue leaving the state, Indiana needs to take another look at legalization to ensure that cash flow remains in the state.

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