In 2019, Indiana lawmakers passed a bill that legalized sports betting in the Hoosier State, allowing both brick-and-mortar sports wagering lounges and Indiana online sportsbooks. Governor Eric Holcomb signed the bill, HB 1015, on May 8 of that year, making Indiana the 10th state in the U.S. to legalize sports betting.
Coinciding with the start of football season, the first brick-and-mortar sportsbook in Indiana was opened in September 2019, and then the first two online sites, DraftKings Sportsbook and BetRivers, came in October 2019.
Indiana online sportsbooks: The books
At the time of writing, four online sportsbooks are live and several others set to enter soon. These include:
- DraftKings Sportsbook (iOS, Android)
- FanDuel Sportsbook (iOS, Android)
- BetRivers Sportsbook (Android)
- BetAmerica (iOS, Android)
- PointsBet – has received the necessary licensure but doesn’t have launch approval yet.
- BetMGM – has received the necessary licensure but doesn’t have launch approval yet.
- BetIndiana – has received the necessary licensure but doesn’t have launch approval yet.
Given that Indiana sports betting is still relatively new, we are hopeful that throughout 2020 more sportsbooks will get their license to bring an even bigger range to choose from.
We know that 888, bet365, and William Hill have all publicly signaled an interest to come into Indiana, and by the end of 2020, there could be as many as 10 independent sportsbooks operating within the state.
|Sportsbook||Casino partner||Mobile||Desktop||Launch date|
|FanDuel Sportsbook||Blue Chip/Belterra Casino||Yes||Yes||10/3/2019|
|DraftKings Sportsbook||Ameristar Casino||Yes||Yes||10/26/2019|
|BetAmerica||Rising Star Casino||No||Yes||12/30/2019|
- Launch date – October 3rd, 2019
- Tech partners – IGT, Paddy Power Betfair
- Other ties – Betfair Casino, FanDuel Daily Fantasy Sports
FanDuel was one of the first to enter Indiana, and the timing was on point as it opened right around the start of the NFL season.
The brand has been long-time associated with daily fantasy sports, but it jumped on the chance to enter the mainstream sports betting options when the opportunity arose. Since then, it’s widely regarded as one of the biggest and best within the industry.
One of the most interesting things about FanDuel is that they’ve been open about tapping into players from neighboring states, and in particular, those in Chicago, Illinois.
- Launch date – October 3rd, 2019
- Tech partners – Rush Street Interactive
- Other ties – French Lick Casino
BetRivers were another of the opening day sportsbooks for Indiana sports betting. The company has been a strong addition so far, and even with a platform similar to the likes of SugarHouse (not accessible in Indiana), it still keeps a unique feel to it.
With internal operations from Rush Street Interactive, it comes with a vast range of bets, all of which are accessible on their mobile betting apps.
A standout for us is their range of promotions and, in particular, their VIP program. Not only is it one of few sportsbooks to offer this, but even as a standalone product, it’s one of the best that we’ve tested.
- Launch date – October 26rd, 2019
- Tech partners – Kambi
- Other ties – Daily Fantasy Sports, Ameristar Casino
DraftKings is another brand that have benefited from creating a popular daily fantasy sports platform to now shifting focus to online betting. Its integration with the Kambi software has been a huge asset, and between them, have been able to create a unique, but not yet perfect platform. DraftKings is not afraid to take risks and try out new features like its “Flash Bet” or Pools.
It was a bit of a surprise to see that it wasn’t one of the launch titles for the state, but whatever the holdup was, it has meant that its three-week head start has now pretty much been negated.
The brand is best known for the range of sports and markets (props and futures) that it offers and solid promotions. It’s undoubtedly going to be one of the biggest sportsbooks in the state as a result.
- Launch date – December 30th 2019
- Tech partners — SB Tech
- Other ties – Rising Star Casino , Churchill Downs
The latest in our list to joining the Indiana sports betting scene is that of BetAmerica. However, its inclusion of horse racing markets makes it stand out.
The brand got into town a few months after launch, just in time to get a piece of the playoff action from the NFL. It’s offerings are not as robust as others on the list, but the fixed odds and in-game pricing is competitive.
Indiana has over a dozen sportsbook lounges of varying shapes and TV screen numbers to enjoy. All of these locations have one up and operating:
|Casino or OTB||Sportsbook brand||Location|
|Ameristar Casino East Chicago||DraftKings||East Chicago|
|Belterra Casino Resort||FanDuel||Florence|
|Blue Chip Casino||FanDuel||Michigan City|
|Caesars Southern Indiana||Caesars Sports||Elizabeth|
|French Lick Resort Casino||Rush Street||French Lick|
|Harrah's Hoosier Park||Caesars Sports||Anderson|
|Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg||Kambi||Lawrenceburg|
|Horseshoe Casino Hammond||Caesars Sports||Hammond|
|Indiana Grand Racing & Casino||Caesars Sports||Shelbyville|
|Majestic Star Casino & Hotel||USA Sports Gaming/|
|Rising Star Casino Resort||BetAmerica||Rising Sun|
|Tropicana Evansville||William Hill||Evansville|
|Winner's Circle Clarksville (OTB)||Caesars Sports||Clarksville|
|Winner's Circle, Pub Grille and OTB, Indianapolis||Caesars Sports||Indianapolis|
|Winner's Circle Brew, Pub and OTB (New Haven)||Caesars Sports||New Haven|
Casinos and OTBs, Pubs
The majority of the venues above are all land-based casinos or off-track betting parlors/pubs . Each has been around for a good while, but what you will notice is that many of the sportsbooks aren’t yet online with their mobiles sportsbooks. We expect more to come online as the IGC issues more approvals.
The only racino in that list is Hoosier Park. This is owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment and is a popular spot local spot. It does include a functional racetrack, although racing is limited there these days.
More coming soon
Indiana’s law actually allows each of the 15 casinos, OTBs or racetracks to use up to three “skins” or online betting brands, meaning theoretically there could be up to 45 legal sportsbooks to choose from in the state. The market can’t sustain that many, but the point is there will be options, and more entering such as Caesars Sportsbook, Barstool Sportsbook, William Hill and others.
One alternative is the only Indian casino in the state, which is the Four Winds Casino South Bend. It opened its doors in 2018 and is currently a Class II gaming establishment, which means that it can only run electronic games. However, it does mean that, if it were to apply, it could offer sports betting both online and mobile.
In terms of brands that we are yet to mention, the likes of Smarkets, PointsBet, and FOX Bet have all indicated a desire to enter the Indiana sports betting sector, and have or will find a partner to go live.
Getting started at Indiana online sports betting sites
Licensed sportsbook in Indiana are regulated by the Indiana Gaming Commission, and must adhere to rules certain standards. There are several things you need to be aware of before you place an online wager.
Legal betting in Indiana means that you need to be aged 21 years or over to sign up and and place bets. You will need to verify your age with a driver’s license or valid identification before you’re able to get access to creating an account at a sportsbook.
When you play online or via any betting app, you will need to use a geolocation plugin to verify your location, on both legal sports betting apps or on web-based platforms. You only need to be within state borders to place a bet — you don’t have to live in Indiana. Indiana has drawn lots of sports bettors from nearby Kentucky.
You can sign up for an account and even deposit money living out of state. But, you need to be located in Indiana to place a real money wager.
There is no betting on amateur contests involving athletes under the age of 18, no wagering on eSports is permitted either, and casino employees may not open accounts at or associated with their place of work.
The registration process is about as straightforward as you can hope and is likely going to take just a few minutes to sign up. There are a couple of points that we want to make.
The first one is that you will need to include the last four digits of your Social Security Number. This is standard procedure for sportsbooks, and it’s how Indiana sports betting sites can verify both your ID and your age.
It’s worth noting that the sportsbooks in IN are not permitted to keep your SSN on file, nor will they ask for the full number. The check is made as you sign up and then discarded with once those checks have been completed.
Another point that we must stress is to make sure you use a valid home address and email address. Your home address will be needed to verify your account, and your email address will be required to activate your account.
Aside from that, sign up processes are prompt, and they are relatively painless. Most sportsbooks will have you betting for real money within just a few minutes.
Depositing and withdrawing
Banking methods for Indiana sports betting are broad and convenient. Below we have listed some of the key payment methods that you can access in Indiana:
- Credit/debit cards
- Online banking
- Casino cage (at the casino with which the online sportsbook is partnered)
Even though credit and debit cards are available methods for depositing, few sportsbooks allow you to withdraw back to them. Also, you will find that lots of the mainstream banks still refuse to accept to process payments to gambling products, meaning they are limited, to say the least.
One of the most accessible for players will be PayPal. Deposits and withdrawals are accepted, and processing times are usually about as short as you will find.
However, you can only bank in Indiana with PayPal if you use your PayPal balance. You cannot use a card or bank that is linked to PayPal for a direct deposit.
Laws and regulations
The conversation about legal sports betting in Indiana actually began well before the federal ban known as PASPA was struck down in May 2018. After lobbying and negotiating the bill HB 1015 got passed in the 11though hour in 2019, and the state pretty quickly created a regulatory framework that works well for both the authorities and the residents.
The regulations apply a 9.5% tax on the operators gross sports betting revenue. This is on the lower end nationally, making a friendlier environment for the operators and bettors alike. This is going to entice a wide range of sportsbooks and brands to the state, creating what should eventually be an area of high competition.
On top of the tax rates, sportsbooks also have to make two essential payments. The first is a $100,000 fee for a vendor license. The second is a recurring fee of $50,000 that is made annually to retain this license. Again, much lower than in other states.
As we have outlined already, there will be no betting allowed on any eSports games or games that include athletes under the age of 18.
History of sports betting in Indiana
Legal gambling within the state of Indiana dates back to 1851. At the time, the Indiana Constitution had banned all forms of gambling and lotteries.
It stayed like this for a long time, and it wasn’t until 1988 when things changed. The legislature voted that the ban would be lifted in an attempt to boost the economy that, at the time, was struggling.
The state approved the new bill, and legislation was changed to allow land-based gambling products, such as casinos. However, the influx of casinos was a slow one, and even though the state had been able to acquire both land and a site, it wasn’t until 1993 that it really started to take off.
This came in the form of riverboat casinos, with 10 of these sites popping up within the early nineties. In fact, they still make up a majority of the casinos that are in Indiana today.
The removal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May 2018 opened doors for legal sports betting to enter the state. As a result, the bill H1015 was created and then presented in February 2018.
One of the areas that the bill was challenged throughout the process was that of mobile betting. Initially, it was included, then removed, but finally making an appearance as it was submitted for its final brief.
There were two votes with the state. The first passed the Senate 37 to 12, and then the second passed the house, 59 to 36. Both were in favor of approving sports betting, along with online and mobile options.
As the bill was passed in April 2019, it then took about four months for Indiana Gaming Commission to work out the rules. A further month or so following that saw the launch of FanDuel and BetRivers, much to the excitement of residents within Indiana.
The future of online gambling in Indiana looks bright, and the betting handle keeps growing and growing, and is likely to reach into the $200 million/month range. The number of locations that are allowing sportsbooks to use their license will likely increase, as will the number of brands that obtain these licenses.