Historically, Indiana has not been a gambling mecca. It took until the late 1980s and early 90s before various forms of gambling (lottery, horse racing and casinos) were formally legalised.
It is therefore all the more surprising how quickly the state moved to legalise sports betting and online betting after P.A.S.P.A. was repealed. As the 13th state to legalise sports betting in May 2019, it took only four month between betting becoming legal and being implemented at the first casino. And just a month after that, online sports betting also launched in October 2019.
Here we take a look at everything you should know about sports betting in the Hoosier State.
Top IN Online Sportsbooks 2022
Best IN mobile sports betting apps
As of May 2022, there are 13 mobile sportsbooks available in IN with more set to launch later this year and certainly in the future. With 15 retail locations such as casinos, OTBs and horse racing tracks having obtained sports betting licenses and each of them being allowed up to three skins, Indiana could eventually see over 40 online sportsbooks.
It doesn’t seem likely that the market will become this saturated, but we do already know that more books will launch in the near future, so who know how many more will come to IN?
Of course, with so many books live in Indiana, the challenge is to find the right one(s) for you. Naturally, you can open accounts at more than one mobile sports betting app in Indiana, but even so, finding the right one for you is a daunting task. Here we give you an overview of some of the best betting apps to consider in IN.
DraftKings was one of the first to enter the Indiana market. Whilst they offer undoubtedly some of the best betting in Indiana, they are not as dominant here as in other states. Quite a few land-based casinos have chosen to partner with other sportsbooks, but as more offer an online presence, more may partner with DraftKings. Especially their betting carousel make them stand out, but regular promotions are somewhat limited here.
FanDuel is another site that has entered successful partnerships with Indiana casinos. Currently, they have two partner casinos, but more may follow. The FanDuel mobile betting app is undoubtedly one of the best you will find. It is supremely user-friendly and comes in an attractive design.
BetRivers was the other sportsbook that was first to accept customers in Indiana as soon as it was legal to do so. Whilst not the biggest sportsbook in Indiana, BetRivers has one of the best rewards systems around, offering free bets, store credits and more. The only let-down is that their app is just not particularly refined and lacks in user-friendly features.
Unibet launched in Indiana in July 2020. This is also a great international bookmaker with plenty of sports and markets to bet on. They offer a functional, no-frills app and are one of the best options for betting on soccer. Regular odds boosts are also available.
If you like something a little different, potentially daring, you should check out the PointsBet mobile app and their PointsBetting system, which could give you greater rewards though also requires greater risk. The app is solid and regular promotions are also available.
History of betting and online sports betting in IN
The Indiana Constitution (from 1851) banned lotteries, which was taken as a general prohibition of gambling by the courts. It took until 1988 for a state lottery to be established after voters approved a constitutional amendment.
Pari-mutuel betting was legalised a year later with Hoosier Park opening in 1994 and Indiana Downs in 2002.
The first attempts to legalise riverboat casinos in Indiana were rejected in 1989 and 1991. But in 1993 the senate to approve riverboat casinos, which ended up being a compromise since no taxes were raised that year and Republicans needed to appease the Democrats. Those new casinos were expected to raise $100 million in taxes every year, which was the main reason the lawmakers went ahead with their legislation after much wrangling.
When PASPA was overturned in May 2018, a bill to legalise gambling in Indiana was moved along quickly. The bill had already been introduced in January 2018, anticipating that PASPA would fall.
In April 2019, that bill was finally approved, and sports betting was legalised in Indiana. It was signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb in May 2019, with the first retail betting offered in September that year. Online betting followed quickly in October and has been going strong ever since.
Future of sports betting in IN
Choosing a similar approach as New Jersey, Indiana permits all land-based casinos and off-track betting venues to partner with up to three online bookmakers to provide sports betting in the state. They can also simply develop their own sportsbook.
Given that currently 13 sportsbooks are live in the Hoosier State, there is plenty of room for more sportsbooks to launch in the future.
Interestingly, there is no limit to how many partners online bookmakers may have within the state, which is why you will see Caesars Sports partnered with quite a few different land-based casinos. On top of that, sportsbooks pay $100,000 in license fees, which is far less than many other states charge. That makes it less expensive for online sportsbooks to partner with multiple casinos.
It is somewhat strange that failed to also allow online casinos or online poker when they legalised sports betting. In the time of a global pandemic, this is an oversight that likely already cost the state millions in tax revenue.
Additionally, Indiana regulators decided to place limitations on live betting, which is only permitted during so-called natural breaks in the game. This includes commercial breaks, innings or the end of a quarter. With live betting being of massive interest, this is quite restrictive.
The hope therefore is that this will be amended in the future, though at this time, no efforts seem to be made in that direction.
Overall, the market in Indiana is definitely going strong and they have done many things right, managing to launch online sports betting prior to the Coronavirus pandemic when all retail locations had to close for a time at least.
As we have seen there is still room for more sportsbooks to open in the state and operators such as FoxBet, Maxim Bet or Tipico are already partnered with casinos and set to launch soon.
How to get started in IN with a sportsbook or mobile betting app
With already over a dozen sportsbooks live in Indiana, you have plenty to choose from when considering getting into sports betting.
We aim to provide you with plenty of information in our sportsbook reviews to give you an idea about each available sportsbook. But it is up to your own needs and preferences which book you end up choose. Many punters will register an account at more than one mobile betting app because of their different advantages and disadvantages.
No matter which way you decide, the sign-up process is usually very similar
- Make sure to only install mobile betting apps that are licensed through the IGC
- Register or sign up for an account (make sure to use proper credentials, including name, address, age, and the last four digits of your SSN)
- Allow the app or site to confirm your location (usually done via a separate geo-location app)
- Make a deposit
- Claim the welcome bonus (if available)
- Start betting
This only takes a few minutes and isn’t too difficult to set up.
What sports can you place wagers on in IN?
Indiana has some home-grown professional franchises, which you will easily be able to bet on for any pre-match markets and some live betting markets when they are playing. We are taking a look at the teams you might be interested in betting on:
The Indianapolis Colts are originally at home in Baltimore but relocated to Indianapolis in the 1980s. In the past, they’ve won three NFL championships and two Super Bowls, one of them under legendary Peyton Manning. They may not have had a recent big win, but they remain a popular team in Indiana.
The Indiana Pacers were great when they were still part of the ABA, winning three ABA championships. They have yet to win an NBA championship, however. Considering that they have been in 25 out of the last 31 playoffs, they are certainly in it to win it. Their fans are certainly rooting for them.
The Indiana Fevers are much more successful than their male counterparts, having made playoffs for twelve seasons straight and winning the WNBA title in 2012. With a coaching change in 2020, it remains to be seen whether they can bring home more titles soon.
Indiana does not currently have a pro baseball team. Baseball fans tend to look at the Chicago Cubs and the White Sox for some betting action.
Indiana also doesn’t have a pro ice hockey team. So, any hockey fans will check out the teams in neighbouring states or simply find their favourite within the league and bet one of them.
College sports betting is legal in Indiana and there are some college football teams to look out for:
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish
- The Hoosiers
- Purdue Boilermakers
- Ball State Cardinals
In particular Notre Dame and Purdue have excellent teams with plenty of wins throughout the last few decades, producing hundreds of players that were eventually drafted into the NFL.
They also have corresponding basketball teams, in some cases for men and women.
Of course, there are plenty of other sports you will be able to bet on. With its horse racing tracks, you will find enough pari-mutuel betting in Indianapolis, but motorsports fans will likely look for betting action on the Indianapolis 500. Event betting is mostly not allowed, though it has been possible to find odds for the Academy Awards in the past.
IN Sports Betting FAQ
No, but you must be located within IN borders when registering an account or when using the sportsbook app. You will be required to download a geo-location app to verify your location. And you must be 21 years or older to sign up to sportsbook.
Sports betting revenue is taxed at 9.5% in IN, which is one of the lowest in the country.
No. You can play casino games at retail locations such as the river boats, but online casino gambling is not currently permitted.
Yes, sports betting on college sports is allowed in Indiana. Interestingly, however, if a match is deemed to be fixed or manipulated in any way, the NCAA (and any other sports league) is able to ask the IGC to prohibit betting on an event. Beyond that, college player prop bets are not allowed.
Indiana was one of the first states to legalise daily fantasy sports, which means all DFS operators are legal in the state.