The Hoosier State ushered in legal sports betting in September 2019, making it the 13th U.S. state, and the second Midwestern state, to go live with the industry. Gov. Eric Holcomb signed Indiana’s sports wagering bill into law on May 8, 2019.
The first retail sportsbooks went live on September 1, with Gov. Holcomb placing the first bets – one on the Colts and Pacers to win their respective championships, and another on the Indiana Fever (WNBA) to win their contest that night (they lost). In total, three licensed sportsbooks debuted ahead of the 2019 NFL season.
One month later, online/mobile books began to launch, with BetRivers and DraftKings opening up shop first, followed by heavy-hitter FanDuel.
Best Indiana sportsbooks
Indiana land-based sportsbooks
Currently, 14 physical properties — a mix of casinos, racetracks, riverboats, and off-track-betting (OTB) facilities — have received sportsbook permits.
The sportsbooks vary in size, space, and comprehensiveness of their betting menus and technology.
|Ameristar Casino East Chicago||9/1/2019||East Chicago|
|Belterra Casino Resort||9/9/2019||Florence|
|Blue Chip Casino||9/5/2019||Michigan City|
|Caesars Southern Indiana||9/12/2019||Elizabeth|
|French Lick Resort Casino||9/6/2019||French Lick|
|Harrah's Hoosier Park||9/19/2019||Anderson|
|Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg||9/1/2019||Lawrenceburg|
|Horseshoe Casino Hammond||9/4/2019||Hammond|
|Indiana Grand Casino||9/1/2019||Shelbyville|
|Rising Star Casino Resort||11/11/2019||Rising Sun|
|Winner's Circle Clarksville (OTB)||9/12/2019||Clarksville|
|Winner's Circle, Pub Grille and OTB, Indianapolis||9/3/2019||Indianapolis|
|Winner's Circle Brew, Pub and OTB (New Haven)||9/19/2019||New Haven|
Indiana online & mobile sportsbooks
Indiana law allows for each sportsbook licensee to host up to three “skins,” or unique/separate online brands under its umbrella. In theory, we could see upwards of 40 online sportsbooks in the state. However, if things develop like they have in New Jersey there will be fewer options, but a higher quality.
Here are the online books:
|Provider||Licensing Partner||Tech Provider||Mobile?||Launched|
|BetRivers||French Lick Resort||Kambi||Yes||10/3/2019|
|DraftKings Sportsbook||Ameristar Casino East Chicago||Kambi||Yes||10/3/2019|
|FanDuel Sportsbook||Blue Chip/Boyd Gaming||IGT/PPB||Yes||10/22/2019|
|BetAmerica||Rising Star Casino Resort||SBTech||Yes||12/30/2019|
|Caesars||Caesars Ent.||Scientific Games||Yes||TBD|
|FOX Bet||TBD (Penn National, likely)||The Stars Group||Yes||TBD|
|Penn Sports Interactive||Penn National||Kambi||Yes||TBD|
|PointsBet||TBD (Penn National, likely)||PointsBet||Yes||TBD|
|SBK Sportsbook||Rising Star Casino Resort||Smarkets||Yes||TBD|
|William Hill||Tropicana Evansville||William Hill||Yes||TBD|
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A California college baseball player offers a window into how legal sports betting impacts his college experience.
Geotracking trends indicate that bettors from the Greater Chicago area are traveling to Indiana to place mobile bets at highway rest stops before returning to Illinois, she said.
A closer look at Indiana online sportsbooks
Indiana online sportsbooks are live! Both BetRivers and DraftKings were the first to open, accepting initial bets on October 3rd, 2019. FanDuel followed suit just a few weeks later. With each sports betting license carrying the option to host up to three skins, its possible there could be as many as 40 Indiana online sportsbooks in the near future. Bettors in Indiana can now wager using all of the following sportsbook sites:
- Launch: October 3rd, 2019
- Casino Partner: French Lick Resort
- Tech Partner: Kambi
BetRivers was joint-first to the online sports betting market in Indiana. BetRivers, Rush Street Interactive, and Kambi have joined forces with the French Lick Resort to offer a first class sports wagering experience. Accepting a number of popular deposit methods like credit cards, bank transfers, and PayPal, it is easy to fund an online account and make bets.
BetRivers lets you wager on all of your favorites like the NFL, NBA, MLB, Premier League, Golf, The Oscars, etc. As far as promotions are concerned, Indiana bettors enjoy a lucrative rewards program, deposit match bonuses, odds boosts, and more.
- Launch: October 3rd, 2019
- Casino Partner: Ameristar Casino East Chicago
- Tech Partner: Kambi
DraftKings opened its Indiana online sportsbook on October 3rd, 2019, becoming one of the first operators to service the state. Using the license of the Ameristar Casino Hotel, DK brings an ease of use to online sports betting that customers love. Plus, a near seamless integration, including a shared wallet, with its leading Daily Fantasy Sports platform is a major plus.
DraftKings offers traditional odds and live wagering on all major sporting events. In addition, their new Flash Bets feature boasts unmatched wagering speed and specificity. For example, you can bet on every individual point of a tennis match. DK also offers Pools where participants are asked to pick a number of different prop-like bets. Whoever makes the best picks, takes the prize, and with hefty guaranteed prizepools available it could be a big one.
- Launch: October 22nd, 2019
- Casino Partner: Belterra Casino Resort / Blue Chip Casino
- Tech Partner: IGT/PPB
FanDuel partnered with Boyd Gaming to bring its popular sportsbooks to Indiana. On top of its leading online offering, FanDuel has opened brick-and-mortar establishments in both Boyd properties in the state: Belterra Casino Resort and Blue Chip Casino.
Online bettors can easily place bets using the FanDuel mobile app, available on iOS and Android devices, or by accessing the sportsbook through a web browser. Having already carved out a substantial market share in other states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, its no surprise that FanDuel is a force to be reckoned with in Indiana too.
- Launch: December 30th, 2019
- Casino Partner: Rising Star Casino Resort
- Tech Partner: SBTech
BetAmerica, operating with a Rising Star Casino Resort license, went live with online sports betting on December 30th, 2019. Indiana is the third state to feature the popular SBTech powered platform, after Pennsylvania and New Jersey. BetAmerica is owned and operated by the iconic, Kentucky based, Churchill Downs Inc.
BetAmerica features a fully equipped sportsbook with easily viewable odds, live betting, and regular promotional offerings to add extra value. Choose from single wagers, parlays, option bets, and teasers – pretty much any way you want to combine bets, BetAmerica has you covered. Funding an account is easy too, with popular credit cards, e-wallets like PayPal and Skrill, and bank transfers among the current deposit choices.
More info on Indiana sports betting:
- William Hill Sportsbook has forged a partnership with Tropicana Evansville. The casino sits across the Ohio River from Kentucky, and will likely see a lot of action from folks traveling across the state line to plunk down a few wagers. Expect William Hill to enter the online sphere as well, as the operator already supports an app in the New Jersey market.
- Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE) at Horseshoe Casino Hammond: This full-service casino on Lake Michigan with live music, comedy and boxing is a stone’s throw from Illinois and is sure to draw bettors from East Chicago. A Caesars sportsbook is an added-value draw. Expect at least one Caesars branded online skin.
- Penn Sports Interactive at Hollywood Casino & Hotel Lawrenceburg: The deal Penn National Gaming made in late July 2019 with multiple sports betting operators opens up a smorgasbord of options for the books to own, operate and brand sports betting in the state. Partnerships are with DraftKings, the fantasy sports behemoth that is among the top sportsbooks in New Jersey; PointsBet, an Australian book offering high risk with high rewards; theScore, a new sportsbook spawned by a breaking sports news app; and The Stars Group which is breaking ground with its Fox Bet online app. In the agreement, Stars Group gets 1st skin, theScore and PointsBet get 2nd skins, and DraftKings gets 3rd skin opportunities in the state.
- In October 2019 Purdue University became the first public university in the nation to prohibit any form of sports betting on its athletic teams by anyone affiliated with the university. This includes faculty, students, staff, and even independent contractors. Their hope is that the measure will “reduce the potential for deceit and ill-gotten gain”, and thus protect their student athletes.
In New Jersey 85 percent of the betting now originates online, with DraftKings and FanDuel dominating the market. It’s possible that Indiana, and other regulated states, move in the same direction.
Indiana sports betting rules and regulations
The IGC drafted rules and regulations regarding sports betting that were subject to public comment through August 1, 2019. They were approved at a panel meeting on August 28.
Among the regulations:
- Operators and vendors will pay a non-refundable $100,000 application fee plus annual renewals
- Sports betting applicants must have a $500,000 cash reserve and partner with an integrity monitor provider
- The IGC opted out of mandatory use of official league data but left open the option of operators and leagues to make their own arrangements
- If a sports league or NCAA believes a sporting event is fixed or manipulated, or otherwise has “good cause” as to why wagers shouldn’t be placed on the event, they can ask the IGC to prohibit or ban bets on the event
- The sports league and NCAA also can seek to create a temporary sports betting “dead zone” using geofence technology
- Casinos must submit their sports wagering system to an independent testing lab for certification
Indiana sports betting: Frequently asked questions
Is sports betting now live in the state?
Yes, the first retail books launched before the advent of the 2019 NFL season, with online books taking bets starting Oct. 3, 2019.
Is sports betting legal in Indiana?
Absolutely. HB 1015, the historical bill permitting sports betting in the state, was signed in to law by Gov. Eric Holcomb on May 8, 2019.
Who regulates Indiana sportsbooks?
The Indiana Gaming Commission, or IGC, is responsible for regulating both brick-and-mortar and online sportsbooks in the state.
What are the eligibility requirements to place sports wagers in Indiana?
Bettors need to be at least 21 years of age and possess valid identification. Note that players don’t need to hold residence or be in the state of Indiana to set up a real-money account, they just need to have two feet planted in the state to place a wager.
How can I deposit money online?
Indiana online sportsbooks offer a number of viable depositing and withdrawal methods, including:
- ACH (eCheck)
- Visa / MasterCard credit & debit cards
- PayNearMe: Pay with cash at any eligible 7-Eleven, CVS, or Family Dollar
- Cash at the affiliated retail casino cage
- Casino branded prepaid cards (Play+)
What types of bets are available?
Indiana offers all the standard bet types, like straights, totals, moneylines, futures, parlays, props, teasers, and round robins, among others.
We also see lots of in-play options, as well as the ability to cash out early on select wagers. The latter is a niche where players can lock up a win (or take a smaller loss) on pre-game wagers before the final outcome is decided.
What betting markets are available?
Nineteen sports are approved for sports wagering including old standbys like NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. Soccer and tennis fans will also be able to get their fix. Wagering on collegiate sports is permitted.
There are a few restrictions worth noting, however. For one, betting on eSports is off-limits. Secondly, wagers on amateur athletes under the age of 18 is a no-go. In-play prop betting on NCAA sports is not allowed either.
It is the discretion of the IGC to limit in-play (prop) betting and data restrictions
What are the tax rates and licensing fees on sports betting?
The tax rate on adjusted gross sports betting revenue is just 9.5% across the board. This is a very reasonable rate that should promote healthy competition among operators, ideally resulting is favorable betting lines and solid promotions.
The fees for a vendor (operator) license is also reasonable: $100,000. There is a $50,000 annual renewal fee.
How Indiana arrived at legal sports betting
In May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for the expansion of legal gambling beyond Nevada when it overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, a law prohibiting sports betting.
On April 25, 2019, Indiana lawmakers reached agreement in the final hours of the legislative session approving sports betting and the construction of two new casinos. On May 8, Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, signed the bill into law.
Before getting his signature, Rep. Ben Smaltz stripped the bill of mobile betting but it was restored right before passage. The bill also passed without a recommendation of integrity fees.
Sports betting in Indiana is projected to bring in $12 million to $20 million a year. Those projections are based on smaller-than-anticipated sports betting revenues collected in many of the states with legalized sports wagering. This estimate seems reasonable given first-year sports betting revenue out of New Jersey, which has a similar regulatory structure, and only moderately larger population.
The tax revenue collected will go to the state’s general fund for education, prisons, health care, state parks and more.