Indiana Sports Betting
Online sportsbooks are live in Indiana
Legal sports betting started in Indiana just in time for the 2019 NFL season. Books at Ameristar, Hollywood Casino, Indian Grand, the Horseshoe in Hammond and French Lick opened for business with online sportsbooks going live the following month.
You can now bet at retail sportsbooks and online betting sites. Both live and online sports betting in Indiana are covered in a lot of detail below.
First, the new online sportsbooks are covered – along with current opportunities to bet online and horse racing. The legal timeline of Indiana’s gambling laws is looked next, before the focus shifts to the retail sportsbooks in Indiana.
Indiana online sports betting partnerships
Indiana sportsbooks are live! DraftKings was the first to launch.
By the end of the year you will have a wide choice for online sports betting. At the time of writing, the partnerships between local casinos and online sportsbooks isn’t 100% clear yet.
List of betting sites live in Indiana
Along with DraftKings, here are the brands we expect to see in Indiana’s online sports betting market:
- Fox Bet (Stars Group and Fox Sports joint venture)
- William Hill
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- BetMGM (partner with GVC in other states)
- Bet America
- 888 Sports
- theScore Sportsbook
Legal online sports betting in Indiana
The sections below give you a detailed preview of how the online sportsbooks in Indiana will work. You’ll be able to access these sportsbooks through your smartphones, as well as desktop / laptop computers.
With a lot of online sports betting sites launching – you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take advantage of their bonuses and introductory offers.
Of course, there is more to choosing a book than just the welcome bonus. Their sports coverage, odds (including promotional boosts) on offer, cashback / comp schemes and ease of depositing and withdrawing all count.
The information below will give you a head start for telling the difference between the best Indiana online sportsbooks and the rest.
Compare the bonus offers in Indiana
With a large number of sports betting sites launching in Indiana as 2019 comes to a close, you’ll find a lot of competition for your bets. This will subsequently create a great opportunity to take advantage of big marketing budgets – you’ll need to check the terms and conditions before you jump in.
When it comes to sportsbook bonuses, the small print can make the difference between a great offer and a dud.
The good news is that many books are expected to offer free bets with no deposit needed. This will give you a chance to compare their apps and odds with no risk to your own bankroll. Paying attention to these offers also gives you a legitimate shot at building your betting bankroll with no cash down.
Here are the different types of bonuses on offer at Indiana online sportsbooks:
- No Deposit Free Bets: Smaller free bet deals are a popular way to get traction fast. Some books will offer $20 or so to wager, with a small play-through requirement on any wins. Others might break this up – for example 5x $5 bets. Remember to check for terms that require a lot of play-through, or a deposit before any free bet winnings can be claimed.
- Risk-Free First Bet: In other regulated states there are deals to get up to $500 back if your first bet loses. Keep in mind that some of these offers are more ‘risk free’ than others. Look for deals that return losing wagers in cash, rather than betting credits. Those credits can often only be withdrawn after being wagered again. These deals often have time limits and minimum odds terms too.
- Matched Deposit Bonuses: Here you are given bets that match your initial deposit, usually at between 50% and 100% of that deposit. Play-through requirements can vary widely. The best books have a 1x play-through requirement, while the worst can be as high as 20x.
Free bets & odds boost offers
Welcome bonuses like those covered above will get bettors to sign up – though it is the ongoing promotions which will keep them coming back.
These are more varied that the welcome bonuses. Some books keep things simple, boosting odds or offering fixed rate cash-back. Others will prefer ever changing lists of special deals and offers.
Here are the types of promo to look out for:
- Enhanced Odds / Odds Boosts: Online sportsbooks often target the biggest matches for boosted lines. These can make a big difference to your returns over time. Some boosted odds are for single matches, while other deals combine 2 or more.
- Comp / Loyalty Schemes: Earn points for your bets, which can be exchanged for bonuses or free bets later. Some books have complex schemes with tiers, others use a flat rate system. Bigger hotel brands will tie their loyalty schemes to their existing programs at the live venues.
- Reload Bonuses: If you ever need to reload your account, you can take advantage of reload deals. These work in a similar way to the matched welcome bonuses and will usually require some play-through.
- Picks Contests: Compete with other bettors in free to enter picks style contests. These are often based on national sporting events. Other variations include leaderboard style promotions.
- Parlay / Overtime Insurance: Losing a big parlay by a single leg is always tough. Some Indiana online sportsbooks will sweeten the blow a little, by returning your initial stake when this happens under specific conditions. Overtime insurance works in a similar way for goals / points scored in overtime.
Mobile betting apps in Indiana
Once you find a site which has the right balance of a generous welcome deal and solid online promotions, you’ll need to register. The first step is to decide whether to use the browser-based site, or download an app.
You’ll have access to all the betting markets, cashier and account functionality both ways. Native sportsbook apps are better designed for smartphones – though the websites will automatically adjust to your screen size.
- iPhone / iPad Users: For most books you will need to use the websites, as Apple have recently changed the rules for the coding of gambling apps. Unless a brand has an app already in their store (for example DraftKings), new apps need to use Apple’s own programming language. The brands will get there soon enough – though there will be a gap between the IN sportsbooks going live and iOS apps appearing.
- Android Phone / Tablet Users: Android apps will be available for all the IN books – though not via the Google Play store. This does not allow gambling apps. Instead you can download them via the websites of the sportsbooks. This is safe, though will involve going through warning prompts that you are downloading from an unknown source.
Once you have an app or accessed the website, registration is very easy. A few personal details, including the last 4 digits of your social security number and e-mail address are needed. After that you’ll be free to go to the next step – making a deposit.
How to deposit and cashout
Forget any notions of needing to use obscure virtual currencies to deposit – regulated sportsbooks are happy to accept all the same payment methods you use anywhere online. Which one you use depends on how comfortable you are using your bank card or direct transfers.
If you are not comfortable (or simply don’t want betting transactions appearing on your bank statement), then there are a lot of alternatives. These range from cash to 3rd party online wallet systems.
While not all IN sportsbooks will offer all the deposit methods listed below, the rule of thumb is that most books will offer the majority of them.
- Debit or Credit Cards: This is by far the simplest way to fund your betting account. Visa and MasterCard are universally accepted. You can also find books that welcome Discover or Amex cards.
- Branded Debit Cards: In other states, big brands have created their own debit cards. You’ll need to apply for these separately – and then fund them via your own card or bank. This adds both security and flexibility. You can deposit, withdraw your profits, spend the funds like any debit card or even use an ATM.
- Cash Payments: Each online sportsbook will have a land-based license holding partner. If you are in the vicinity, you’ll be able to deposit cash at that land-based casino sportsbook. Alternative cash payment options include convenience store systems such as PayNearMe.
- Bank Transfers using ACH: Local bank transfers work just like paper checks used to. If you get pre-verified (by VIP Preferred), these transfers are instant. Some books will refer to them as e-Checks. They can be used for both deposits and withdrawals.
- Bill Pay: This system is used by major banks for utility bill payments. It can also be used for funding your betting account at some books.
- PayPal / Skrill / Neteller: These brands are similar and are online accounts that you can use for secure payments. While there are transaction fees for their use, many bettors enjoy the fact that their bank account (and cards) and the betting sites are securely separated.
- Bank Wire / Money Order: These are slower deposit options, though have their place – especially for very large deposits.
You’ll see that many of the options above work for both deposits and for withdrawals. There is one additional withdrawal option, a paper check.
Getting around the Indiana sports betting sites and apps
With your sportsbook chosen, welcome bonus claimed, and account funded, – you’ll be ready to place your first bet. Now you need to understand how online sportsbooks are organized – and find your way through the 1000’s of betting options to the game and bets you want.
Online sportsbooks are more similar to each other than different. Many use a 3-column layout, though others let you select from different ball-themed icons and navigate from there.
Here is what to expect from most Indiana online sportsbooks.
- Top Menu: The main menu will have a log-in / register button on the top right. This will change to your account and the cashier once you have logged in. There will usually be a link to the responsible gambling page here too. Promos and live betting links can also be found at the top of most books.
- Left Column: This is where the majority of online sportsbooks list the sports. As you select them, the middle section changes to show the next matches. Whichever of the big pro leagues are in season will be at the top of this list. Some books list all sports by default, while others hide the smaller markets under an additional ‘A-Z’ list.
- Middle Column: This is the widest of the 3 columns. It shows a list of matches for each sport picked, along with navigation buttons to find minor leagues, college games and futures bets. Each match will show the money line, totals and spreads by default – with the option to click for a bigger list of bets. On busy match-days, you’ll find a very long list here. I recommend the search option if you are looking for a specific team.
- Right Column: On the big-screen sportsbook websites you will find your bet slip to the right. On apps this will remain hidden until needed to save space. Here the bets you selected are stored. You can remove them easily from the slip, combine them into multiples bets or simply set a bet amount and place them as singles. Bets which you already placed and are still live – along with your betting history can be found here.
In the footer of most books you’ll find links to the terms and conditions, FAQ, responsible gambling pages and contact information. Download buttons for the apps, plus social media links will also appear here.
What Indiana-based pro teams can you bet on?
You can bet on teams from any state, though for those that like to back their home team by betting on them, Indiana does provide some opportunities.
The Hoosier state is represented at the top level in both football and basketball.
- Football: The Indianapolis Colts are part of the AFC South division. With a successful record going all the way back to 1953, the Colts have two Super Bowl appearances and have made the national play-offs on no less than 10 occasions.
- Basketball: Another Indianapolis-based team, the Pacers, compete in the NBA Eastern Conference, Central Division. This is another team will a successful past, which goes all the way back to 1967.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for Indiana based teams. Minor and regional leagues are packed with local teams. These cover a wide range of sports including baseball, hockey, basketball and soccer.
What sports are covered at Indiana sportsbooks?
Pro leagues in the most popular sports are mentioned in the section above. This is just the starting point when it comes to the matches and events you can bet on online.
Major leagues get the spotlight. NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL are always given prime position – depending on which are in-season. Big events cover college leagues as well as the play-offs / finals for each sport.
Soccer is popular. You can bet on MLS matches, plus the big international leagues and cup contests. Add in golf, tennis, boxing, MMA, auto racing and rugby – and you’ll see just how wide the opportunities for wagering are. International and niche sports are also available, with some sportsbooks going deep into minor leagues from countries around the world.
Bet types available at Indiana online sportsbooks
State regulated sportsbooks have a full range of bet types. These include single match bets, multiples (parlays) and futures / season-long bets. You can bet on specific periods within a game, the performance of individual players – and in many ways which are specific to your chosen sport.
Here are the most popular bet types which cross over many different sports.
- Money Line
- Player Props
- Period Betting
In-play betting will also come with the new mobile sportsbooks. This format allows you to bet on matches which are already underway. Cash-out betting, also known as ‘early redemption’ bets, may also be available.
Retail sportsbooks in Indiana
It took a last-minute session of the Indiana Gaming Commission to finalize the betting rules before the first retail sportsbooks went live. The initial 5 venues accepting bets are:
- Ameristar Casino in East Chicago
- Hollywood Casino
- Indiana Grand
- Horseshoe Casino in Hammond
- French Lick Casino
While these casinos were able to take bets before the busy period that marks the start of the NFL season, there are many other live sportsbooks not far behind. Local news reports suggest that the following venues will see live betting very shortly:
- Winners Circle OTB office in Indianapolis
- Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City
- Belterra Casino
- Winners Circle OTB office in Clarksville
- Winners Circle OTB office in Fort Wayne
- Harrah’s at Hoosier Park
- Tropicana Casino in Evansville
- Horseshoe Casino in Elizabeth
In total there are 14 casinos in Indiana (10 riverboats, 2 racinos, 1 land-based and one tribal) which could eventually host sportsbooks.
Under the current rules, anyone over 21 years old can bet at these live sportsbooks. You’ll be able to bet on pro leagues, college sports, international sporting action and individual sports including boxing, tennis and golf. Indiana betting laws exclude eSports and betting on any non-professional sport where the participants are under 18 years old.
DFS and horse betting
Along with the new sportsbooks are two forms of betting that have been available in Indiana for years.
Indiana introduced a law regulating Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) contests called SB 339 in 2016. Most states allow these contests, though very few made them expressly legal. Big names in this area are DraftKings and FanDuel. Both brands are expected to enter the Indiana online sports betting market.
DFS contests allow you to pick line-ups of players – and compete in tournaments or head-to-head matches with other people’s picks for real money. These contests have been a popular alternative to full sports betting.
With both racetracks and OTB offices, there are plenty of opportunities to bet on horse racing in the Hoosier state. This is not restricted to the thoroughbred and harness racing taking place within Indiana – simulcast betting allows for wagers on races around the country.
There are US horse betting sites active in Indiana. Bet America and TVG work under Advance Deposit Wagering laws, allowing access to the Pari-mutuel betting pools online. Bet America has made the move to a full sports betting site in New Jersey.
Horse racing bets are governed separately to sports bets. The new online sportsbooks will not offer horse racing betting.
Timeline for sports betting laws in Indiana
Residents of Indiana have enjoyed a mix of riverboat, land based and tribal casinos for many years. Legislation in 1993 set up the governance for these venues – along with Off Track Betting (OTB) offices.
It was the Supreme Court decision on an act called PASPA which kick-started the current legislative changes. In 2018 this act was overturned, effectively giving the states control of their own sports betting laws. Several states, including NJ and PA, already had legislation in place (with a clause triggered by PASPA being overturned).
Indiana was quick to draft a house bill. The final form was H 1015. This was passed by the house on the 25th April – and signed (on the last day before becoming law by default) by Governor Eric Holcomb on the 8th of May.
This law sets out a licensing framework, allowing the existing casinos to apply for sports betting. The Indiana Gaming Commission was given jurisdiction over the licensing for both live and online sportsbooks. Unlike in other states, online casino games and online poker were not included in this bill.
With the Wire Act of 1961 still banning sports betting transactions over state lines, the new legislation only allows for sports betting within state lines. Even if you are a permanent resident, you will not be able to place a bet if you step outside of Indiana.
The tax rate on sports betting in Indiana is notable. This was set at 9.5% of gross revenue – lower than elsewhere. Other terms set the age limit for betting online and live at 21, and excluded eSports bets and bets on amateur sports where the participants are under 18.
Wrapping up: Sports betting in Indiana
It is all change in Indiana following Bill H 1015 passing. Retail sportsbooks are already open, offering a full range of betting opportunities on pro leagues, college games and more. With 14 casinos and 3 OTB offices, retail sportsbooks will soon cover a lot of the state.
Online sports betting, via websites and mobile apps, are in the final stages of development. It is hoped that the first will be online before the end of 2019. Local casinos are expected to partner with some of the biggest brands – hitting the ground running when they go live.
With competition between the brands expected to be fierce, you can take advantage of bonus offers from day 1. Look out for free bets, matched deposit bonuses and cash-back offers.