2 Mar

Indiana Online Gambling Laws 2021

What & Where: The legality of online betting in Indiana in 2021 & beyond.

Evaluating the Legality of Online Betting in IndianaOnline gambling has been around for more than two decades now. For many years, there were no laws pertaining to the activity, which meant virtually anyone of legal age, in any region of the world, could do it. Things have changed a lot since then. Regulations have evolved drastically. Even in the US, where legality was either questionable or outright proscribed, the attitude towards iGaming is cooling off; especially here in Indiana.

The Hoosier State was among the very first to expressly criminalize online betting in 2005. Ironically, it was also among the first to legalize the activity in 2016, but not in the way other early adopters did. In 2016, while Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey were working to bring more traditional forms of gambling to the internet, Indiana was quietly passing regulations to authorize nothing more than daily fantasy sports (DFS).

Fast forward a few years, and Indiana’s outlook hasn’t changed much, except for one thing. In addition to wagering on fantasy sports, Hoosiers can now use their computers and mobile devices to participate in classic sports betting. In the following text, we’ll take a close-up look at Indiana online gambling laws, and how they’ve evolved up to now.

DFS the First Legal Online Betting in Indiana

Indiana was never open to the idea of gambling online until 2016, when then-Governor Mike Pence signed Senate Bill 339. That piece of legislation was devoted entirely to “Paid Daily Fantasy Sports” (i.e. DFS betting). The context of that bill makes three major points:

  1. “…a paid fantasy sports game does not constitute gaming for any purpose.”

  2. “…paid fantasy sports games may be conducted through an Internet web site maintained and operated by a game operator or on the premises of certain licensed facilities under a contract between a game operator and the owner of the licensed facility.”

  3. “Provides for the regulation of paid fantasy sports games by the paid fantasy sports division of the gaming commission (division).”

That first point defines DFS as a game of skill. By Indiana law, it is not illegal to bet on games of skill. The second point authorizes DFS betting over the internet, so long as the website is operated by a contracted partner of a state-licensed, land-based gaming facility. Finally, point three provides for regulatory oversight by the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC).

Put it all together, and you’ve got the first legal Indiana online wagering market, with websites and mobile apps launching as early as Spring 2017. To date, five Indiana DFS websites have been awarded a license, and approved for launch. They are:

Indiana DFS Operators
Initial License
Latest Renewal
SportsHub Games Network
Yahoo Fantasy Sports
11/16/2017 (Permanent)

Traditional Sports Betting No Longer a Fantasy

May 8, 2019 was a historic day for Hoosiers. That was the day Governor Eric Holcomb signed into law House Bill 1015, otherwise known as the Indiana Sports Wagering Bill. Proponents lauded the legalization of sports betting as a modernization, and an appropriate path to a much needed revenue stream, creating hundreds of temporary and permanent employment opportunities. With that, Indiana became the 10th state in the U.S. to legalize sports betting.

The new legislation required land-based sportsbooks to be situated inside existing, IGC-licensed gaming facilities, and gave online operators the option to partner with those same Indiana’s land-based facilities for the purpose of launching internet sportsbooks. It didn’t take long to get the ball rolling. Land-based and online operators immediately began teaming up to bring sportsbooks to The Hoosier State.

Exactly three months after the sports betting bill passed, the first licenses were already being awarded. Less than two months after that, the first Indiana online and mobile sportsbooks began accepting wagers.

The following is a list of licensed sportsbook operators actively conducting internet wagering in Indiana. They are, in chronological order of license and launch dates:

Indiana Sportsbook Operators
License Date
Launch Date
BetRivers Sportsbook*
FanDuel Sports
Caesars Online
William Hill
BetAmerica Sports
TheScore Bet
Unibet Indiana
*BetRivers Indiana Sportsbook was the only operator to receive a license on day one, August 8, 2019, and go on to launch its website on the first eligible day, October 3, 2019.

Forms of Illegal Online Gambling in Indiana

We’ve discussed the legal iGaming situation in Indiana. Now we’ll take a brief look at forms of internet betting that are not legal, and the political climate surrounding their potential for legalization in the foreseeable future.

Online Casino & Poker Gaming

Casino games like slot machines, blackjack, roulette, video poker, and others, as well as poker games like Texas Holdem, are not legal for online betting in Indiana. The reason is simple, at least, in the eyes of state lawmakers. These games fall under the condition of “games of chance”, and are therefore considered 100% gambling. DFS and sports betting made the cut because legislators deemed them largely to be “games of skill”.

Let’s remember that, in general, Indiana legislators have been averse to “gaming” of this nature within the state. For years, it was only acceptable on riverboats, located just offshore. That did change a few years back when riverboats were given the right to open on-shore facilities, so long as they remained in their current vicinity (by the water). That is, however, the only sign of movement towards the modernization of online casino gambling.

Online Horse Race Betting

Racebooks – both on and off the track – are the oldest legal gaming facilities in the state. They rely heavily on the physical presence of patrons to generate revenue, and are opposed to the idea of online race betting. Indiana’s lawmakers agree, and have given no indication that they’ll change their minds anytime soon.

Online Lottery Sales

Like so many other states, Indiana has made a lot of moves to progress its Hoosier Lottery into the modern, digital realm, without actually selling tickets online. They maintain a comprehensive website, and offer a handy mobile app. Both verticals present lottery players with a wealth of valuable information; everything from new game details, to winning numbers. The mobile app even offers instant ticket checking. The only thing they do not offer is the option to purchase a ticket online. Again, there’s no evidence of any political agenda seeking to change that status.

Legal Indiana Sports Betting in 2021

BetRivers is licensed and regulated on a state level by Indiana to operate legally. It offers a wide range of sport betting options – every popular game is covered. Mobile options are also covered for an “on-the-go” experience. Our editor pick for safe and legal betting in 2021.

Visit https://In.BetRivers.com