Indiana Casinos, Gambling, and Law Regulations: An Overview

Indiana is one of those countries that started opening up towards gambling not that long ago. While some other states in the US allowed some sorts of gambling in the 1920s, the first official gambling activity was approved in Indiana in 1988. After this year, the Hoosier State decided to embrace other forms of gambling as well; however, it took it slow. That’s why nowadays you can bet on horse racing and visit some of the land-based or riverboat casinos in Indiana.

However, when it comes to online gambling, Indiana is not moving forward that fast. While it is true that they decided to go for sports betting, other forms of online gambling are still considered illegal.

If you wish to find out all about the gambling laws in Indiana, together with the best places to try your luck, stick to this detailed guide created for your convenience.

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Gambling Laws in Indiana — The Law Overview

The history of gambling in Indiana started relatively late, in 1988, when the state voters officially approved a lottery. Soon after, in 1989, the Hoosier Lottery came into being, carrying the nickname of the state. This was the year when the first instant lottery ticket was sold, which opened the door to other forms of gambling.

In 1990, the state lottery evolved and turned into Lotto in the form of daily Lotto Cash, followed by Daily 3 and Daily 4 a few months later. By the end of the year, Indiana became a part of multi-state lotto drawings.

The 1990s were crucial for gambling in Indiana. In 1993, the Indiana Riverboat Act brought the establishment of the Indiana Gaming Commission and proclaimed it the regulatory body for riverboat casinos. From this moment on, riverboat casinos started appearing on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan but could operate only if they were sailing during the casino’s working hours. Nowadays, they are all anchored, and there is a movement for the introduction of the regular land-based casinos.

The following year, Indiana welcomed horse racing and made it a part of its gambling offer. The first track called the Hoosier Park opened and introduced horse racing betting. The residents of the state had to wait until 2002 for the second track, the Indiana Downs, to open.

In 2006, lawmakers decided to play safe with gambling rules and regulations, which is why they added a particular phrase to the existing gambling laws to forbid online gambling.

That’s why the biggest surprise for the residents of Indiana was probably the introduction of wagers on Daily Fantasy Sports and sports betting sites. Although Indiana now allows these forms of gambling, no other online gambling activity is considered legal.

What Forms of Gambling Are Allowed?

The only form of gambling that is strictly forbidden is online gambling. Indiana has incorporated the ban into the law so that there’s no doubt about it. However, online sports betting is permitted, and there are several online sports betting sites you can choose from in Indiana. Also, Daily Fantasy Sports are something you can enjoy if you are a resident of this state.

Other types of gambling that are certainly allowed are the lottery, bingo, charitable games, horse racing, and any other game that can be found in a riverboat or a land-based casino. Any type of game that becomes legal in Indiana has to be regulated by the Indiana Code 35-45-5-1 et seq. and 4-31-1-1 et seq.

Many states in the US are somewhere in the grey area when it comes to online gambling, but not Indiana. The law was amended in 2006 to mention online gambling and place a ban on it. In Indiana, gambling is defined as:

“Risking money or other property for gain, contingent upon lot, chance, or the operation of a gambling device.”

Unfortunately for the residents of Indiana, a computer can be considered a gambling device, as it includes gambling for real money. What is more, bettors who decide to take part in online gambling can face up to a $1,000 fine and 180 days in jail.

However, Indiana recently invested in online sports betting and, at the moment, you can choose from a few currently active sportsbooks.

Where to Gamble in Indiana?

Indiana offers two land-based horse racing institutions and four off-track betting locations. Also, there are more than a dozen casinos, both riverboat and land-based ones, and almost the same number of legal poker rooms. There is one Native American casino as well. Here you can find a brief description of the most popular gambling venues that are worth your time.

Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago

One of the most popular casinos in Indiana is Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago, a riverboat casino located at Indiana Harbour on Lake Michigan. In this establishment, you can enjoy over 1,700 slot games, around 70 table games, a High-Limit poker room, and the latest trend in Indiana gambling offer — a spectacular Sportsbook. The hotel offer is extensive with 288 deluxe king and queen rooms that are equipped with 50-inch LCD TVs and oversized sunken tubs. The casino is located on the following address:

777 Ameristar Blvd.

East Chicago, IN 46312

The casino is open 24 hours so that it suits both the early birds and the night owls.

Hollywood Casino & Hotel Lawrenceburg

Hollywood Casino and Hotel Lawrenceburg is located 20 minutes from Cincinnati and it welcomes guests and players around the clock. Here you can find plenty of classic casino table games, various reel and video slots, and a 19-table poker room. The signature of Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg is their Hollywood on the roof where you can find yourself among some of the world-famous celebrity dealers.

If, at some point, you feel the urge to dance the night away, you can do so in the dance club featuring the music from the ’70s and ’80s. The casino also offers amazing dining options where you can find everything from steaks to seafood, as well as both smoking and non-smoking king and queen size rooms. The address of Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg is:

777 Hollywood Blvd.

Lawrenceburg, IN 47025

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

Another great option for gambling in Indiana is one of the two operation race tracks that are known as racinos. The newer one is Indiana Grand Racing and Casino that can be found in Shelbyville. This is not a regular race track venue, as it also offers a lot of casino games. The closest gambling establishment to Indianapolis operated by Caesars Entertainment allows you to choose from reel, video and poker slot machines, electronic or live table games. Since the establishment started operating as a race track, you will also be able to follow and wager on horse racing.

Indiana Grand Racing and Casino can also offer you different types of dining options, from casual chill places to buffett and classy restaurants. It has partnered with numerous hotels so that you can feel like you are at home no matter what your financial limits are. If you want to check out Indiana Grand Racing and Casino, you can find it here:

4300 N Michigan Rd.

Shelbyville, IN 46176

FAQs

Are casinos legal in Indiana?

Casino market in Indiana relies mainly on riverboat casinos which are nowadays anchored and supposed to be working as regular ones. Other than that, race tracks turned to racinos by including slots and video poker machines into their offer. Also, the state officials lean towards the land-based casino trend as well.

Is online poker legal in Indiana?

No, online poker is officially illegal in Indiana, as the law doesn’t allow any standard casino games to be played on the web.

What games can you gamble on in Indiana?

The games that are allowed in Indiana include the lottery, horse racing, any games available in casinos, as well as bingo, charitable games, Daily Fantasy Sports, and sports betting.

Do Indiana riverboat casinos have casino table games?

Unless a casino decides differently, they should offer casino table games such as blackjack, craps, roulette, slots, video poker, video keno, and many more.

What is the legal age for playing in Indiana casinos?

To be able to participate in legal casino gambling in Indiana, you must be at least 21. However, if you want to take part in other forms of gambling such as lottery, DFS, or horse race betting, you can do it if you are 18 and above.