Legal Sports Betting in Indiana

Daniel Smyth
Indiana sports betting
Indiana sports betting is now legal. (Image: WBUR)

Current Sports Betting Status: Legal

Just days after Montana became the first US state to legalize sports betting in 2019, Indiana jumped on the bandwagon. Having shown its intent to offer regulated sportsbooks since the close of 2018, the Hoosier State is now part of the ever-growing network of US betting hubs.

What’s interesting about the legislative shift is that it was almost inevitable. After the Legislator passed House Bill 1015 (HB1015) on April 25, 2019, it was virtually a done deal. Although the sports betting bill was sent to Governor Eric Holcomb for review, it ultimately didn’t need his signature.

Following positive votes by the Indiana House and Senate, HB1015’s sponsor Senator John Ford was confident it would get the governor’s seal of approval.

“He will be good with the bill. He told me, if we get it to him, he will sign it,” Ford explained following the voting process.

In the end, it turns our Holcomb was in favor of the regulated sports betting in Indiana. However, under the terms of the Indiana Constitution, the bill would have become law without the governor’s signature. Therefore, even though May 8 turned out to be a momentous day for sports fans in Indiana, the deed was basically done a few weeks beforehand.

With Indiana sportsbooks now free to start preparing their local offerings, Holcomb commented on the innovation. Publishing a statement hours after signing HB1015, the governor said new sports betting laws would allow Indiana to remain competitive with its neighbors and, in turn, bolster the local economy.

“By modernizing our laws, this legislation will spur positive economic growth for our state and for an industry that employs over 11,000 Hoosiers,” Holcomb said on May 8.

Indiana Sports Betting Timeline

With the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) no longer a barrier to entry, Indiana became the tenth US state to regulate sports betting. Although it took slightly longer than the likes of New Jersey and Nevada, Hoosier country is now hotbed for regulated bookmakers.

2018

Even before PASPA was struck down in May 2018, Indiana sports betting talks had started. With many assuming intrastate sports betting would become a reality, an initial draft of HB1015 received its first reading in January.

Two subsequent readings took place in January before the Indiana Senate got its first look at HB1015 in February 2018.

As PASPA fell, amendments from both chambers saw HB1015 make its way through the legislative process. One of the major sticking points was the issues of mobile sports betting. Initially on the table then taken off due to concerns over security, provisions for mobile betting eventually made it into the final copy of Indiana’s sports betting bill.

2019

Following a period of inactivity during the first three months of 2019, HB1015 went through two crucial votes in April. After incorporating parts of Senate Bill 552 (SB552), the final version of HB1015 passed a Senate vote by a margin of 37-12 and a House vote by 59-36.

When the votes had been counted, HB1015 was submitted to Governor Eric Holcomb on April 25. With only a day left to sign the legislation into law, Holcomb finally gave his approval on May 8 and added Indiana to US betting’s timeline.

Where Can I Bet on Sports in Indiana?

Under the terms of Indiana’s sports betting bill, patrons will be able to place single and multiway wagers at licensed casinos, racinos and off-tracking betting parlors. In practice, this means there will be sportsbooks located inside Hoosier Park, Tropicana Evansville and other venues.

The only restrictions in terms of what customers can bet on will be eSports and amateur events where the participants are under the age of 18. Additionally, there will be some restrictions on in-play betting.

Indiana Sports Betting FAQ

What is the legal sports betting age in Indiana?

To bet on sports at Indiana’s best sportsbooks, you have to at least 21-years-old.

What is the Indiana sports betting tax rate?

When they start generating revenue like other states, legal Indiana sportsbooks will pay 9.5% tax. A portion of this levy will go towards tackling problem gambling.

Can I bet on sports online in Indiana?

Yes. Although it was off the table at one point, mobile Indiana sports wagering will be available across the state.