Indiana joined the ever-growing list of states with legal sports betting in May 2019 with the passage of a law authorizing retail and mobile sportsbooks.
Under state law, local casinos and off-track betting parlors (OTBs) may accept wagers in-person and online in partnership with third-party providers such as FanDuel, DraftKings, BetRivers and others.
The Indiana betting industry is quickly growing as numerous retail sportsbooks and betting sites across the state go live.
The first retail sportsbooks opened for business on September 1st, 2019 with Indiana Grand, Ameristar East Chicago and Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg first across the finish line. Most of the state’s other casinos have since opened their own sportsbooks.
Mobile sports betting got underway about a month later with the launch of DraftKings and BetRivers on October 3rd, 2019. They were followed by FanDuel later that month, BetAmerica in December 2019 and BetMGM in February 2020.
Other forms of legal online gaming in Indiana include horse racing betting, games of skill and daily fantasy sports.
In-person gambling in Indiana is powered by 12 state-authorized commercial casinos and one Native American casino.
Sports Betting in Indiana
In May 2019, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed into law HB 1015 making Indiana the tenth U.S. state to legalize sports betting. Here are some of the key points of the new law:
- Statewide mobile wagering permitted
- No wagering on esports or on competitions involving amateur athletes under the age of 18
- State tax rate of 9.5 percent of adjusted gross revenue, with a portion allocated to problem gambling
- Geolocation technology limits online betting to residents and visitors within the borders of the Hoosier state
- An initial $100,000 fee for a vendor license, followed by $50,000 annual renewal payments
- Each casino may partner with third-party service providers to launch up to three individual betting sites
- Limits on in-play betting and restrictions on data sources are left to the discretion of the Indiana Gaming Commission
How and Why HB 1015 was Passed
In early 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court found that PASPA, a big part of the federal government’s prohibition on gambling, was unconstitutional. As a result of this decisions, many states have taken to re-evaluating their gambling legislation, including Indiana.
In October 2018, one of Indiana’s legislative committee’s recommended that the Indiana AG consider legalizing gambling. Stakeholders quickly responded with arguments about the merits and detriments of increased gambling activities. The Indiana Gaming Commission weighed in estimating that Indiana’s yearly economic impact from increased sports betting and ancillary spending could amount to upwards of $466 million.
What types of wagers Indiana would allow, mobile betting, and integrity fees were all debated thoroughly in the process of getting HB 1015 passed. One of the bill’s sponsors, State Senator Mark Messmer, described it as one of the hardest bills he had ever worked on. When the bill did pass and Indiana’s Governor went to sign the it into law, he issued an accompanying press-release that read, “Gaming is a highly regulated industry that once had little competition, but now does from surrounding states and new technology. By modernizing our laws, this legislation will spur positive economic growth for our state and for an industry that employs over 11,000 Hoosiers.” The governor added, “Additionally, it will bring in new revenue and create hundreds of new jobs – both permanent and in construction.”
No Integrity Fees but “Official League Data” Requirement Pending
When the leagues weighed in on Indiana’s proposed sports wagering legislation in 2018, one hot topic they proposed was the use of integrity fees. Originally asking for a 1% fee to be paid by sports book operators to leagues, integrity fees were ultimately removed from the final version of HB 1015. The discussions started in the Indiana legislature had reverberations throughout many other legislative discussions across the country. Indiana ultimately decided to let the free market shape the use of integrity fees via private negotiations between leagues and sports book operators.
Sportsbook operators are not out of the weeds yet when it comes to paying leagues for their contribution to Indiana’s newly forming sports wagering market. When the leagues started their national campaign for integrity fees in Indiana, many opponents questioned what such a fee would go towards. After a legislative song and dance the leagues have refined their request as cost in maintaining integrity in official league data.
In the wake of the PASPA decision, every state that has revised their gambling statutes has entirely avoided Integrity Fees. Striking out in legislative arenas the leagues have moved to private negotiation with sports book operators in pursuit of integrity fees. These negotiations have resulted in sportsbook operators paying varying amounts for official league data. This data tends to be more reliable and quicker than unauthorized data providers. But it is unclear whether league data is worth the extra cost to sports book operators than cheaper and largely similar unauthorized data.
While HB 1015 did away with the Integrity Fee notion, it does give the IGC the option to make “official league data” use a requirement for sports book operators. If the ICG does make such a requirement, leagues would bring a whole lot more bargaining power to the table when negotiating with sports book operators for this official league data. Yes, integrity fees are dead in Indiana but mandatory use of league data could have the same or similar consequences for sports book operators and subsequently, gamblers in the Hoosier state.
Which Sports Can Be Bet On in the Hoosier State?
Indiana sports betting law allows for betting on baseball, basketball, college basketball, boxing, football, college football, hockey, tennis, golf, mixed martial arts, soccer, cycling, rugby and dozens of individuals leagues among those sports.
The new law does not allow betting on e-sports, high school athletics and amateur sporting events, or any sporting event not approved by the IGC.
Additionally, the IGC has released a thorough list of sports leagues upon which sports betting operators may accept wagers. Readers should note this list is subject to change and does not obligate sportsbooks to offer all of these sports. This list simply details which sports upon which they may accept wagers.
Sports Leagues Approved by the IGC:
Online and Mobile Sports Betting in Indiana
Indiana sports betting law authorizes online and mobile betting. Retail sports betting began in September 2019.
Online and mobile betting got underway in October 2019 and is permitted for anyone over the age of 21.
Mobile sports betting customers do not have to go to a casino to register. Registration can be done online or through the mobile app.
Mobile sportsbooks use geolocation technology to ensure all online betting occurs within state lines. The Indiana Gaming Commission has issued numerous licenses to mobile betting providers and the first online sportsbooks are now live.
Mobile Sportsbooks Licensed in Indiana:
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- William Hill Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- BetAmerica (Churchill Downs Interactive Gaming)
- Caesars Online (Caesars Interactive Entertainment)
- Hollywood Casino (Penn Sports Interactive)
Mobile Operators Likely to be Licensed in Indiana:
- FOX Bet
In-Person Betting at Indiana Retail Sportsbooks
Indiana sports betting regulations limit all sports wagering to customers 21 and older.
Prefer to experience gambling in real life? Indiana allows licensed casinos, racinos, and off-track betting parlors to take sports wagers. A handful satellite locations have acquired sports betting licenses since the new law took effect on July 1st, 2019.
Given the expansion and growth that is projected, it is no surprise that most casinos in Indiana have already launch in-house sportsbooks.
Horse Racing Betting in Indiana
Horse racing is legal at the federal level thanks to the Interstate Horse Racing Act (IHRA) and an exemption from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Under the current legal framework, the legality of horse racing is mostly left in the hands of the states.
Indiana currently allows licensed horse racing and satellite facilities for pari-mutuel wagering. This was legalized in 1989, and the state is now home to many horsing tracks including Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs. Off-track betting parlors were introduced in 1995. Currently, all OTB’s must be owned by the permit holders of the horse tracks.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission (HRC) currently oversees the regulation of all horse race betting including those occurring at off-track betting, or OTB facilities. The Commission ensures all horse race betting is conducted with the highest of standards and the greatest level of integrity.
Mobile and Online Horse Racing Bets
Online horse racing betting is legal in Indiana under IC §4-31-7.5. In legal terms, this is known as advance deposit wagering and the law was passed as an effort to boost betting handle and revenue for the local racing industry.
The two largest and most trusted websites that offer legal racing betting in Indiana are:
To clear up any confusion, we should note the IGC website has an FAQ page claiming online horse racing betting is prohibited. Question 21 on the FAQ asks if online wagers on horse races are legal and provides this answer:
“No. Online wagers on horse races are illegal. The only legal way to place bets on horses in Indiana is at one of the racetracks or off-track betting facilities.”
This FAQ page is clearly outdated as IC 4-31-7.5 specifically authorizes mobile racing betting. Furthermore, BetAmerica and TVG are both headquartered in the United States and are subject to all state laws. Both openly accept customers from Indiana and have had no issue from local authorities.
Daily Fantasy Sports in Indiana
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) were legalized in Indiana in 2016. Mike Pence signed SB 339 into law making way for sites like Fantasy Draft, DraftKings, and FanDual. When the law went into effect, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association commented, “Today’s news out of Indiana marks another important step in the ongoing process of creating legal clarity for fantasy sports.”
Truth be told, these sites were already operating in the Hoosier state before the passage of SB 339 due to the heavy advertising of daily fantasy sport sites during the 2015 NFL season. The 2016 bill took this into account and allowed game operators who were already operating in Indiana to continue operating through their new license application process.
Oversight of DFS betting was placed with, unsurprisingly, the Indiana Gaming Commission. That Commission went on to create the Sports Wagering and Paid Fantasy Sports Division which is now responsible for administering and regulating Indiana’s sports wagering and paid fantasy sports.
The minimum age to play Daily Fantasy Sports in Indiana is 18 and operators are responsible for ensuring players are at least 18. Interestingly, SB 339 also officially designated fantasy sports as a game of skill. The bill has since been codified at IC §4-33-24.
Daily Fantasy Licensing Requirements
SB 339 creates several requirements of DFS operators. These operators must apply for a license, pay a considerable licensing fee to the tune of $50,000 to $75,000 and stick to a standard of conduct created to protect the integrity of sports and to protect customers of fantasy sites.
These “baked-in integrity” provisions are perhaps why statutory integrity fees failed in Indiana’s new legislation. The conduct DFS operators must adhere to includes: holding player funds in seperate accounts, stop DFS operator employees from sharing confidential information, prevent employees from participating in paid contests with $5 or greater prizes and to prevent anyone involved in actual sports
Indiana Sports Betting FAQ
In-person and online betting are now legal in Indiana thanks to a law passed in May of 2019. The Indiana Gaming Commission has been incredibly responsive to inquiries and maintains a useful website full of information here, but we have put together our own FAQ page here to compile answers to the most common questions all in one location.
What is the legal age to bet on sports in Indiana?
What is the legal age to bet on sports in Indiana?
State law establishes a minimum age of 21 to bet on sports or to even be present in an area where sports wagering is being conducted.
However, IC § 4-38-5-3 states employees of licensed sports betting facilities who are over 18 and under 21 may be present in areas where sports wagering is conducted but may not perform any functions directly related to sports wagering by the customers.
Which Indiana sportsbooks are licensed to offer mobile betting?
Do I need a mobile device or can I bet online from my desktop computer as well?
Every online sportsbook in Indiana that has launched to date is compatible with iOS devices, Android devices and desktop computers.
In most cases, the easiest way to get started is to visit the website of any licensed online sportsbook from your mobile device or desktop.
If you visit from a mobile device, the website will offer a link to download the app directly. If you visit from a desktop, you’ll be invited to sign up or log in with no download necessary.
Who regulates sports betting in Indiana?
The Sports Wagering and Paid Fantasy Sports Division of the Indiana Gaming Commission oversees sports betting and fantasy sports across the state.
The Division’s responsibilities include enforcing state law, drawing up regulations as needed, reviewing licensing applications and issuing licenses.
Can I bet on esports in Indiana?
HB 1015 specifically prohibits gambling on eSports.
Where can I find the rules and regulations governing sports betting in Indiana?
What types of wagers are authorized in Indiana?
A directive issued by the IGC in 2019 outlines the types of wagers that may be accepted by licensed sportsbooks in Indiana. For the most part, Indiana law allows a wide range of wager types.
Key rules regarding accepted and prohibited wager types:
- Standard pre-game wagers such as point spreads, money lines and props allowed
- In-play betting allowed
- Wagers on NCAA D1 games and pro sports allowed
- In-play proposition wagers on individual college athletes prohibited
- Wagers on esports are prohibited by IC § 4-38-5-4
Which sports leagues are sportsbooks allowed to take wagers on?
The Indiana Gaming Commission determines which sports leagues upon which licensed Indiana sportsbooks may accept wagers. Operators do not necessarily offer wagers on every league featured on the list of approved leagues; they simply have the option if they choose.
Indiana sportsbooks may also petition the IGC to offer wagers on events not currently approved.
Is betting on college sports legal in Indiana?
Yes. Retail sportsbooks and betting sites licensed in Indiana may accept pre-game and in-game wagers on NCAA Division I games.
The one restriction is sportsbooks may not accept in-play props involving an individual college athlete.
For example, an in-play wager on whether or not the USC quarterback will pass for a TD by the end of the current quarter would not be allowed. However, a pre-game wager on the quarterback’s total number of TDs would be allowed.
What are sports betting “skins”?
The term “skins” is industry parlance for the individual betting sites operated by each of Indiana’s land-based casinos.
Under state law, each land-based casino in Indiana may partner with third-party operators to launch up to three individually-branded betting sites. Each individual online sportsbook that operates in conjunction with a land-based casino is referred to as a skin.
For example, Ameristar East Chicago is partnered with DraftKings to offer mobile betting under Ameristar’s sports betting license. DraftKings Indiana is therefore a “skin.” Ameristar could also partner with two more operators to launch two additional mobile sportsbooks or “skins.”
Is there a restriction on the number of betting sites that may launch in Indiana?
The IGC has issued sports wagering licenses to 15 casinos or off-track betting locations to date, and each may operate up to three sports betting skins. That means Indiana has room for up to 45 mobile sportsbooks at full capacity.
However, the actual number of Indiana betting sites will likely remain well below that number. Indiana is an attractive market, but 45 different mobile sportsbooks is a lot for any state.
Who is restricted from placing sports bets in Indiana?
IC § 4-38-9-3 prohibits licensed sports betting providers from accepting wagers from any of the following:
- Anyone under 21 years of age
- A partnership, corporation, association or any other entity that is not an individual
- A sports betting licensee, vendor, director, officer or employee of a licensee, or a relative living in the same household of licensee or vendor
- A sports wagering service provider, director, officer or employee of a sports wagering service provider, or a relative living in the same household of a sports wagering service provider
- Athletes, games officials, employees and coaches of sports governing bodies and teams, and relatives of such living in the same household, are prohibited from placing wagers on their own sports
- An individual convicted of a state or federal offense related to sports betting
The Indiana Gaming Commission has also issued regulations prohibiting the following from participating in sports wagering:
- All of the above individuals prohibited by IC § 4-38-9-3
- Anyone on the exclusion list as defined by 68 IAC 6-1
- Anyone who has self-excluded from online sports betting
- Occupational licensees employed by or associated with a supplier licensee
- A person whose participation may undermine the integrity of wagering or the sports event
Do I have to be located within state lines to bet on sports in Indiana?
Licensed operators in Indiana make use of geolocation technology to verify the location of every patron prior to accepting each wager. These verification methods are not easily duped with the use of VPNs, for example, and attempting to do so is not recommended.
Can I bet on esports in Indiana?
IC § 4-38-5-4 specifically prohibits wagers on esports competitions.
Are daily fantasy sports sites regulated in Indiana?
Indiana passed a bill in 2016 clarifying the legality of fantasy sports and establishing the Paid Fantasy Sports Division of the Indiana Gaming Commission.
Key regulations found in the law (IC § 4-33-24) include:
- Requires all fantasy operators to acquire a license from the Division
- Initial licensing fee of $50,000 for fantasy operators; $5,000 annual renewal fee after that
- Minimum age of 18 to play in paid fantasy contests
- Prohibits fantasy contests based on college sports, high school sports and horse races
- Operators must verify the age and identity of all patrons
Additionally, the Division has adopted further regulations that can be seen here.
Which DFS sites are licensed in Indiana?
The Indiana Gaming Commission maintains an up-to-date list of licensed fantasy providers here.
The current list includes:
- SportsHub Games Network (operates Fanball.com and provides B2B services to other entities such as pro leagues and smaller fantasy sites)
- Starstreet (defunct; acquired by DraftKings in 2014)
- Yahoo Fantasy
What is the minimum participation age for daily fantasy sports in Indiana?
IC § 4-33-24-19 establishes a minimum age of 18 to participate in fantasy sports contests.
Is charitable gambling legal in Indiana?
Legal charity gaming has been offered in Indiana since 1992. Since this time, it has grown to a half-billion-dollar industry utilized by churches, veterans’ groups and volunteer fire departments to raise funds.
Charity gaming in Indiana includes bingo, raffles, festivals and casino nights. Gross revenue in 2017 from these charities surmounted to $413 million with $66 million in profits according to the Indiana Gaming Commission.
Indiana’s 2019 legislative session produced two charitable gambling bills, SEA 393 and HEA 1517, both becoming effective July 1st, 2019. Indiana’s Gaming Commission is working on implementation of the new laws and will provide updates and guidance at a later date.
While charity gaming is permissible in Indiana, it can only be offered by specific organizations, including bona fide religious, educational, senior citizens, veterans or civic organizations that operate in the state. Some of the restrictions on charity gambling include that fact that these organizations must:
- Operate with a profit to their members
- Be exempt from taxation under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code
- Be in existence for at least five years
- Be approved by the Indiana Gaming Commission unless the total value of all prizes awarded during the event does not exceed $1,000 or $3,000 during the calendar year.
If you would like to apply for a charitable gambling license, contact the Charity Gaming Division of the Indiana Gaming Commission at 317-232-4646.