Indiana has a long history of control that keeps in place a more conservative approach towards maintaining order, including gambling. From no carry out liquor sales on Sunday to a strict ban on lotteries that lasted from 1851 until 1988 when the statewide Hoosier lottery took hold, that has been the law of the land for Indiana.

It was in 1993 that five riverboat casinos were approved following an emergency session in congress. The hope was to stimulate $100 million a year in tax revenue. One year later Hoosier Park horse racing track opens offering on-track pari-mutuel betting. One year later five additional licensed remote horse race tracks galloped on to the gambling scene.

Although there has been little said to advance the prospect of online gaming since 2004, there has been a Bill passed to expand casinos with the licensing of dry-land casinos. As it stands now online casinos are not a part of the gaming world for Hoosiers. As things stand in 2015, Indiana still considers online gambling illegal. Actually, under state law, not only is it illegal to gamble online in Indiana, but it’s a class D felony. However, there are some 2021 gambling sites that accept Indiana residents. It is good to understand that these sites are owned, operated, regulated and licensed by offshore companies. [1]

Nestled in The Crossroads of America, Indiana gamblers are not so out of luck when it comes to online wagering. Discover real money US poker sites that offer accounts to those of you in The Hoosier state.

Indiana iGaming: Recent Headlines

In recent years there has been very little to move forward with online gaming. Because Indiana is predominantly a conservative state and the history of gaming has been a slow one, there have been numerous changes in the past 20 years that keep step with neighboring states.

Anti-online gambling laws were put into place in 2005. Since then, not much is in the works to move towards embracing online gaming,even now in 2015. While Indiana has a large population that would support an online gaming industry, the conservative tilt shows little signs of moving in that direction. With current Governor Mike Pence at the helm, he shows little signs of increasing or decreasing the current gambling scene in Indiana. [2]

Indiana is beginning to feel pressure to expand. While neighboring states are experiencing expansion so has their revenues, while Indiana’s gaming revenues saw a steep decline in recent years.

Can Players From Indiana Play Poker Online?

YesAlthough Indiana is moving into the modern age of gaming, in 2021 online gaming is still a very sensitive subject. Live games established outside of the casino walls draws the line as it is considered illegal. Law IC 35-45-5-1 states: “Gambling means risking money or other property for gain, contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, or the operation of a gambling device.” Factor in that according to the state of Indiana lawmakers, poker is not a game of skill, but a game of chance and by such definition is illegal. [3]

Is Online Poker Legal In Indiana?

MaybeWhile it is possible for online players to play by way of approved online offshore sites, it is important to remember that online poker playing in general in Indiana is illegal. However, it is widely known that no legal action is taken against those who choose to play online through legit providers and there are many reliable ones available to the avid player.

Again, the only 2021 online poker sites available to players from Indiana are ones that operate offshore. Fortunately, there are several offshore sites happy to accept Hoosier online gambling enthusiasts.

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The Facts

The History Of Gambling In Indiana

Gambling for a conservative state like Indiana is a slow moving train. In 1851 the first constitution of Indiana bans lotteries. It wasn’t until 1988 did the Hoosier State lottery kick off. The profits from this lottery go directly to education, and the overall social welfare of the state.

Despite the slow build of legal gaming in Indiana, it has been the tendency of players to travel from neighboring states in order to get their game on in Northeast Indiana as well as Southern Indiana. East Chicago hosted the Big House and by the time prohibition became the rule, gaming establishments that would also provide illicit drink, so did they provide a man’s game.

Al Capone was known to flee Chicago for safety in French Lick and West Baden, Indiana. Both locations provided gaming options as well as luxurious stays. The resort area was a premier getaway destination — famed author William Faulkner even sent a character there on her honeymoon in his influential novel, “The Sound and The Fury.”

After much public outcry against such unsavory behavior in the state, much effort by lawmakers sought to bring illegal gaming to a halt in the early 50’s. By 1989 a statewide referendum is voted in with 60% of the vote. However, Republican leadership blocked it and two years later a proposal for riverboat casinos passes the House only to be rejected by a State Senate committee.

Following more failed attempts at licensing for up to five riverboat casinos was given with the belief that significant tax revenues would roll in. It didn’t stop there. A year later, Hoosier Park opens for on-track betting. Following this boost to the gambling industry came the release of five more licensed remote horse race betting sites.

Despite the constant lobbying efforts of the gambling industry as well as lawmakers, little movement has been made in establishing land casinos even after the passing of a Bill in 2011 to expand land casinos. However, Indiana has been one of only a few states that put in place specific wording that specifically targets online gambling. [4]

Regulated Gambling Options In Indiana

The Indiana Gaming Commission oversees the legal implementation and maintenance of gaming for the State. They are responsible for overseeing the 11 authorized casinos/gambling sites as well as ensuring that all gambling in Indiana be of the approve legal variety.

Indiana is quite regulated. For well over 100 years there was no increase in legal gambling in the state. Until 1988 when the Hoosier lottery came to be. All types of social gaming are deemed illegal by Indiana state law. Gambling in and of itself must be done only in those facilities that have been deemed legal by the State legislature. Although it is unlikely that online gaming would be the focus of a raid in 2021, in-home gambling has been known to be the focus of such raids.

Poker players in Indiana will find action at online poker rooms although Internet poker is not legal in the state.

The Future Of Regulated Online Gambling In Indiana

The future for Indiana iGaming and the fact that legal statements specifically pointed at a moratorium against online gambling is pretty specific. “(b) An operator who knowingly or intentionally uses the Internet to conduct any banking or percentage games played with the computer equivalent of cards, dice, or counters, or accept any fixed share of the stakes in those games”. (From: IC 35-45-5-3)

There are currently multiple influences that could alter this in in 2021. One factor that could stand in the way is Governor Mike Pence’s stance that he has little intention of either increasing or decreasing the current gaming climate. One key factor is the recent loss of revenue to bordering states. As bordering states continue to increase their gaming options and have made movements towards improved environments by enacting no-smoking bans, Indiana must respond or continue to lose their much relied upon gaming based tax-revenues.

Fun Fact

In the state of Indiana playing cards could cost you money. “A three dollar fine per pack will be imposed on anyone playing cards in Indiana under the Act for the Prevention of Gaming.”

The Bottom Line

Indiana may one day regulate online gambling, however there isn’t much rapid movement towards that at present. The reality is that as more and more gamblers turn to iGaming, and offshore online organizations for their online convenience that the state would be hard press to ignore the potential tax-revenues.

As neighboring states continue to expand gaming and make available up-to-date improvements, it is our belief that Indiana would be wise to follow suit and legalize online poker.


[1] Indiana Laws and Regulations (//

[2] Indiana Lawmakers Consider Gaming Expansion (//

[3] Indiana Gaming FAQ’s (//

[4] Indiana Gambling History (//

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