Indiana Gambling Laws. Complete Guide to Indiana Responsible Gambling Policies

Indiana’s gambling history is characterized by its progressive stance, making it a state of significance in the US gambling landscape. Over the years, Indiana’s gambling laws have evolved, reflecting societal shifts and economic strategies. Among the most influential laws, perhaps, is the Riverboat Gambling Act of 1993, which paved the way for legal casino gambling. Today, Indiana is home to a diverse range of gambling activities, making it essential for residents and visitors alike to understand the biggest Indiana gambling laws in the state.

Indiana Gambling Laws

Indiana Gambling Laws – Main Points

  • 🎲 Indiana legalized casinos in the 1990s, initially on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan. Over time, more choices were introduced, like video poker and slot games at racetracks.
  • 🌆 The top gambling cities in Indiana include Lawrenceburg, Hammond, and East Chicago. They host some of the state’s most successful casinos, like Hollywood Casino and Horseshoe Casino.
  • 💻 Online gambling is generally illegal in Indiana, with a strict stance against internet gambling operators. Online poker is also explicitly forbidden.
  • 🐎 Online horserace and sports betting are legal in Indiana. Indiana was the second state in the US to regulate daily fantasy sports in 2016.
  • ⚖️ The Indiana Gaming Commission regulates and oversees Indiana’s casinos, including sports betting on regulated mobile platforms and retail sportsbooks.
  • 💸 Gambling winnings in Indiana are subject to the 2.23 per cent rate of Indiana personal income tax, and winnings of more than $5,000 are subject to a 24 percent federal tax rate.
  • 🎰 At present, there are 14 casinos in Indiana, and casino culture represents a significant proportion of the state’s industry and economy.
  • 🐴 There are 2 horse racetracks in Indiana authorized to add slots, and they operate as “racinos”, a combination of racetracks and casinos.
  • 🎪 Tribal gaming is present in Indiana, with 3 casinos owned and operated by Native American tribes.
  • 🧾 Indiana began regulating gambling in 1988, initially with the lottery, followed by bingo in 1992, casinos in 1993, and horseracing in 1994.
  • 💵 The estimated gambling revenue in Indiana is around $3.8 billion, with an estimated gambling tax revenue of around $475 million.
  • 🚫 Online lottery ticket purchases are not allowed in Indiana, but there is potential for the development of an online lottery in the future.

Indiana is recognized for its progressive approach towards betting. The state permits various forms of betting, including horse racing, sports betting, and daily fantasy sports betting. 

Type of BettingLegal StatusRegulatory Body/Act
Horse RacingLegalIndiana Horse Racing Commission
Sports BettingLegal (Since 2019)Sports Wagering Act of 2019
Daily Fantasy Sports BettingLegalIndiana Code Title 4. Gambling § 4-33-24

Horse Racing and Sports Betting

Horse racing, a key element of Indiana’s cultural and sports history, has roots that trace back to the 19th century. This long-standing tradition began with informal county fair races and steadily evolved into a thriving industry that is now integral to the state’s economy and culture.
Today, Indiana boasts two premier racetracks, each contributing uniquely to the state’s rich horse racing heritage. The Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, located in Shelbyville, is renowned for its year-round Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing. Featuring a one-mile dirt track and a seven-furlong turf course, Indiana Grand hosts significant events, including the Indiana Derby.
In contrast, Harrah’s Hoosier Park in Anderson is the epicenter of Standardbred Harness racing in the state. Hoosier Park, with its seven-eighths mile oval racetrack, has been hosting premier harness races since its opening in 1994.
The growth and evolution of these racetracks mirror the state’s commitment to horse racing, showcasing Indiana’s ability to balance tradition with modern sports industry demands. By providing a platform for both thoroughbred and harness racing, Indiana caters to a diverse spectrum of equestrian sports enthusiasts and continues to build upon its rich horse racing legacy

Daily Fantasy Sports Betting

Indiana’s approach to daily fantasy sports (DFS) betting has been proactive. In 2016, Indiana became the second state in the US to legalize and regulate DFS under Senate Enrolled Act 339

In Indiana, the legal age to partake in most forms of gambling is 21. This includes engaging in casino games, sports betting, and playing slots at casinos or racinos. However, for pari-mutuel betting on horse races and purchasing lottery tickets, the legal age is 18. Ensuring that these age restrictions are adhered to is a primary responsibility of the Indiana Gaming Commission and other regulatory bodies.

Indiana Voters Approved a Lottery

The Indiana Lottery was authorized after Indiana voters approved a state lottery through a referendum in 1988. Since then, the lottery has become a vital part of the state’s gambling landscape, contributing significant revenue to various public initiatives. However, it’s worth noting that online lottery ticket purchases are not allowed in Indiana, though this may change in the future.

Casinos in Indiana: A Brief Overview

Indiana boasts 13 state-regulated casinos offering a variety of games, including slots, blackjack, roulette, and poker. These establishments are crucial to the state’s economy, contributing significantly to its revenue. Key cities such as Lawrenceburg, Hammond, and East Chicago are gambling hubs, attracting locals and tourists alike.

Top Gambling Cities and their Casinos

LawrenceburgHollywood Casino LawrenceburgOffers a Vegas-style gaming experience with over 1,400 slots and 72 table games
HammondHorseshoe HammondA premier destination for gaming, dining, and entertainment
East ChicagoAmeristar Casino Hotel East ChicagoOffers more than 1,700 slot machines and 72 table games

The Rise of Racinos

Horse Racing Betting

Racinos, a blend of racetracks and casinos, have emerged as a popular gambling option in Indiana. These establishments offer both horse racing and casino-style gambling, diversifying the state’s gambling landscape.

Major Racinos in IndianaGames Offered
Hoosier ParkSlot Machines, Electronic Table Games, Horse Racing
Indiana GrandSlot Machines, Electronic Table Games, Horse Racing

Indiana’s Stance on Online Gambling

While Indiana permits online sports betting and online lottery, online casino games and poker remain illegal under the state’s gambling laws. Violations of these laws can lead to criminal charges and hefty fines. Nonetheless, the increasing popularity of online gambling may trigger discussions about potential future legalization.

Online Casino Games and Poker

Despite the legalization of online sports betting and online lottery, online casino games and poker are prohibited in Indiana. While no recent debates have proposed a change to this legislation, the rapid growth of online gambling worldwide could potentially affect future legal frameworks in the state.

Online Sports Betting and Lottery

Indiana permits online sports betting and online lottery, regulated under the Sports Wagering Act and Indiana Code Title 4 respectively. 

The Role of Tribal Casinos in Indiana’s Gambling Landscape

Indian Casino

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians runs the only tribal casino in Indiana – the Four Winds Casino. This establishment significantly contributes to the state’s gambling industry, offering a unique blend of gaming and cultural experiences.

Major Tribal Casinos in Indiana

The Four Winds Casino in South Bend, owned by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, is the only tribal casino in Indiana. It offers a variety of games including slots, poker, and blackjack.

Tribal CasinoOwnerGames Offered
Four Winds CasinoPokagon Band of Potawatomi IndiansSlots, Poker, Blackjack

Indiana Gaming Regulations And Statutory Requirements

Indiana has crafted a multifaceted framework to govern its gaming sector, reflecting the evolving nature of the industry. The state has addressed various facets of the gaming world, from riverboat casinos to sports betting, ensuring that both commercial and tribal gaming entities operate under clearly defined regulations.

Regulatory Oversight

Commercial Gaming

  • Governing Entity: The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC), established under Title 4, Article 33, Chapter 3 of the Indiana Code, supervises riverboat casinos, land-based casinos, racinos, and charitable gaming in the state. The IGC consists of seven members appointed by the governor, with one acting as the chair.
  • Regulations: The IGC has established guidelines under the Indiana Administrative Code to oversee various aspects of gaming, such as equipment licensing, ownership requirements, public safety rules, and credit regulation, among others.
  • Changes and Amendments: In 2015, a notable legislative change permitted riverboat casinos to transition to adjacent inland properties.

Tribal Gaming

  • Governing Entity: The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians is the only tribe with a gaming compact in Indiana.
  • Regulation: The tribe holds the primary authority to enforce and administer the compact’s terms. Nonetheless, a state representative, designated by the Governor, retains inspection rights for Class III gaming facilities and records.


Commercial Gaming

  • Operators: Indiana permits riverboat gaming in certain counties. Licensing mandates under Title 4, Article 33, Chapter 6 necessitate operators, manufacturers, and suppliers to acquire a license before initiating any gaming activities. Furthermore, riverboat casinos have an annual license renewal fee of $5,000.
  • Supplier License: A person can obtain a supplier’s license from the IGC after fulfilling certain requirements, allowing them to sell or lease gambling equipment.

Tribal Gaming

  • Operators: The tribe is responsible for all gaming operations. They must also reimburse the Indiana Gaming Commission semi-annually.
  • Management: Only the Band is allowed to own and manage Class III gaming operations. Additionally, gaming manufacturers and suppliers need to be licensed by the Pokagon Band Gaming Commission.

Taxation & Tribal Revenue Sharing

Commercial Gaming

  • Gaming Tax Rate: Riverboat casino operators are taxed based on a calculated ratio of previous admission taxes and gross receipts. Additional tax brackets are applied based on gross gaming receipts.
  • Tax Allocation: Revenue from riverboat casinos is distributed among various state funds and local entities. Racetrack casinos also have designated distribution channels for their revenues.

Tribal Gaming

  • Revenue Share: The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians agrees to share 8% of the Net Win from their Class III Gaming Facility in South Bend.
  • Revenue Usage: The state allocates its share of the revenue to education, economic development, tourism promotion, and public health. The tribe uses its share for various purposes, including tribal welfare and charitable donations.

Responsible Gaming

Commercial Gaming

  • Funding: Indiana mandates a certain percentage of the supplemental wagering tax for responsible gaming. Additionally, racetrack casinos contribute annually.
  • Self-exclusion: The Voluntary Exclusion Program (VEP) lets individuals opt-out of Indiana casinos, forfeiting any winnings if found gambling post-exclusion.

Tribal Gaming

  • Self-exclusion: The tribe offers a self-exclusion program in line with IGC standards.

Other Regulations

Commercial Gaming

  • Testing: All gaming devices undergo testing before approval. The IGC can utilize external labs for this purpose.
  • AML Requirements: Casinos must adhere to federal laws to prevent financial crimes.
  • Credit: The Indiana Administrative Code sets credit procedures.

Tribal Gaming

  • Testing: The Pokagon Band Gaming Commission oversees Class III game testing using certified independent labs.
  • AML requirements: Tribal gaming operators must comply with federal anti-money laundering laws.

Sports Betting

  • Authorized Operators: Sports betting is available at 11 casinos, two racinos, and several off-track betting parlors. The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians can also offer sports wagering.
  • Taxes & Fees: There’s a 9.5% tax on adjusted gross revenue from sports wagering.
  • Restrictions: Bets on high school and certain amateur events are prohibited. Wagering on collegiate events has specific limitations.
  • Data & Integrity: Indiana does not mandate the use of official league data or allocate an integrity fee to sports leagues.


Indiana’s gambling laws reflect a progressive yet cautious approach towards gambling. With a diverse range of legal gambling options, including sports betting, horse racing, and casino gambling, the state has a vibrant gambling landscape. However, the prohibition of online casino games and poker highlights the state’s measured approach towards online gambling. Moving forward, potential revisions to these laws could further transform Indiana’s gambling landscape, fostering increased economic growth and diversification in the state’s gambling industry.



The legal age is 21 for casino gambling and sports betting, while it's 18 for pari-mutuel betting on horse races and purchasing lottery tickets.

Yes, betting parlors that focus on sports wagering are legal and regulated by the Indiana Gaming Commission.

Indiana allows online sports betting and horse race betting. Online casino games and poker, however, remain illegal.

The Indiana Lottery was made legal through a referendum approved by Indiana voters in 1988.

The Indiana Gaming Commission oversees and regulates all legal gambling activities within the state, including casinos, sports betting, racinos, and more. It ensures compliance with laws and promotes responsible gambling.