Indiana Casinos and Gambling
Indiana casinos didn’t exist in their current form until the 1990s. Since then, the overall gambling industry within the state has grown at a slow rate to include a number of crowd-pleasing options. If you’re thinking about taking a trip to Indiana or just passing through, read up on the following gambling laws to keep yourself in compliance.
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Indiana Gambling Laws
According to state law, gambling is defined as “risking money or other property for gain, contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, or the operation of a gambling device.” A resident of the state who engages in illegal gambling is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, while an operator who knowingly uses the Internet to engage in illegal gambling shall be charged with a Class D felony.
While land-based casinos and sportsbetting are prohibited, the following are exempt from the state’s ban on gambling:
• Pari-mutuel wagering
• State lottery
• Riverboat gambling
• Slot machines at racetracks
• Sale and use of gambling devices
Slot Machines and Table Games
While land-based Indiana casinos may not be allowed by law, enterprising individuals were able to get around that by turning their gaming establishments in riverboats (which started in 1995). These casinos were initially required and go out onto the water before returning to shore, but numerous states eventually relented and allowed them to be permanently moored.
Whether aquatic or land-based, Indiana casinos offer all the slots and table games that you would expect from any other establishment. In fact, here’s a list of some of the more popular options:
The following are some of the leading casinos currently operating in Indiana. You must be at least 21 years of age to play at these establishments.
• Ameristar Casino & Hotel – Almost 2000 slots and more than 35 table games.
• Argosy Casino & Hotel – 2000 slots and 98 table games.
• Belterra Casino Resort – 41 tables games and over 1500 slots.
• Blue Chip Casino Hotel – More than 1900 slots, over 40 table games, and a selection of poker tables.
• French Lick Casino – Over 1000 slots, 37 table games, and a small selection of poker tables.
• Grand Victoria Casino – 37 table games and more than 1400 slots.
• Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg – 19 poker tables, over 2500 slot machines, and 72 table games.
• Horseshoe Casino Hammond – 34 poker tables, more than 100 table games, and just over 3000 slots.
• Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino – More than 30 poker tables, as well as over 1700 slots and 100 table games.
• Majestic Star Casino – Offers 50 table games and 1500 slots.
• Tropicana Evansville Casino – Poker tables, 1000 slots, and 40 table games.
Pari Mutuel Racing in Indiana
Pari-mutuel betting is legal in the state of Indiana, and live horse races can be viewed and wagered on at various times of the year. Greyhound racing doesn’t exist within the state, but it can be seen at a handful of off-track betting establishments. The minimum age to bet on either sport is 18.
In 2007, legislation was passed by the Indiana Legislature allowing a few thousand slot machines to be added to the race tracks in the state. Currently, the following racinos are available:
• Hoosier Park at Anderson – Offers a combination of slot machines, simulcast racing, live horseracing, and harness racing. Open since 1994.
• Indiana Downs – Offers live racing and a horsebook during select parts of the year. Located in Shelbyville, Indiana and open since 2002.
Fans of horse and greyhound racing can watch and wager from several off-track betting locations throughout the state. The following businesses currently operate under the oversight of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission:
• Trackside Fort Wayne
• Trackside Indianapolis
• Trackside Merrillville
The Indiana lottery is unique due to the fact that the state moniker is used as its official name, which is why it’s called the “Hoosier Lottery.” Based in the capital of Indianapolis and a member of the Multi-State Lottery Commission, this game of chance offers both local and multi-state drawings to bring in billions of dollars in revenue. The minimum age for participation is 18.
The state’s history with lotteries goes back to 1807, when Vincennes University tried to raise money for a library. Lotteries were banned as part of the constitutional convention of 1851, although an amendment would lift the ban in 1988 and see sales begin the following year.
The following draw games are currently offered across the state:
• Daily 3 – Offering 13 drawings throughout the week, this game made its debut in 1990.
• Daily 4 – First played in 1990, this game features 13 drawings per week.
• Cash 5 – A $1 game with drawings held nightly. Players select 5 numbers and try to get as many matches as possible from a field of 41.
• Quick Draw – Similar to keno, this game requires the player to buy a ticket for $1 and choose 10 numbers ranging from 1 to 80. Twenty numbers are drawn, and getting 10 matches results in a payout of $300,000.
• Poker Lotto – This two-part game costs $2 and debuted in 2013. The first part requires the player to get a winning poker hand on their ticket, while the second part involves a nightly drawing.
• Hoosier Lotto – The first lottery in the state, it costs $1 per ticket and has drawings every Wednesday and Saturday.
• Powerball – A multi-state lottery with two drawings per week.
• Mega Millions – A multi-state lottery offered in Indiana since 2010.
Slot Machine Ownership
According to Indiana Code 35-45-5-4, private citizens may own slot machines as long as the devices are at least 40 years old. These machines are only allowed to be displayed or operated in a private residence for “decorative, historic, or nostalgic purposes,” and they cannot be used to generate a profit.
Numerous brick-and-mortar Indiana casinos exist throughout the state, as well as racetracks and off-track betting parlors. For those who crave additional gambling excitement, there’s little doubt that some Internet sportsbooks and casinos are willing to disregard state law and accept local residents.
Indiana is somewhere in the middle when it comes to gambling opportunities in the United States. While there’s always room for improvement, at least they haven’t followed the hypocritical path of some states and prohibited all forms of gambling with the exception of the lottery.