Playing poker in Indiana can be both a hit and a miss. It is a hit because it you’re allowed to play poker in Indiana – but just in licensed casinos. It’s a miss because if you play poker in the wrong places, you could face charges.
According to a state law introduced in 2005, engaging in a gambling game is illegal. Interestingly, the law addresses the operator, player, and backer. So when you give someone money for them to stake it, you’re breaking the law and could be prosecuted under a class D felony.
This applies to online poker too – it’s illegal to play the game, though you can still play on internationally-licensed casinos. Wagering on poker from an online casino whose operator is based in Indiana is what’s illegal. You can be arraigned for a misdemeanor if you’re a player, or a felony, if an operator.
The History of Poker in Indiana
Indiana is a conservative state. It banned all lotteries in 1851, only to legalize the Hoosier State lottery in 1988. This legalization led to a considerable collection of money, which has helped promote the state’s education and social welfare sectors. In the same year, the state signed the Lottery Act into law, legalizing pari-mutuel betting on live horse racing
In 1993, Indiana voted yes to riverboat gambling as well. It then took several more years before the state could take a significant look at the gambling niche again.
In 2005, Indiana expanded its gaming law to include restricting internet gambling. In 2007, 2000 slot machines were allowed in each of the two horse racing tracks opened in 1995 and 2002. In 2016, Indiana legalized daily fantasy sports betting.
Ultimately, in April 2019, the state legalized betting on sports in licensed casinos, off-track betting parlors, and horse tracks. You can also bet on sports online after you register in one of the licensed physical operators.
The Legality of Poker in Indiana
In Section 35-45-5-1 (d) [C] of Indiana’s gambling laws, wagering on a game that involves chance or skills in an environment not regulated/licensed by the government is illegal. This means you have legal options for engaging in poker. So, if you go to a licensed casino or charitable event regulated by the government, you can play poker without having to worry about breaking the law.
Luckily, there are more than ten licensed casinos across Indiana that offer poker and other casino games. These casinos offer several poker variants, including Hi/Lo, Texas Hold ’em, Stud, and Omaha. You can also legally play poker league in Indiana as long as there is no entrance fee to the event. For example, the Columbus Poker League is an event that doesn’t require you to pay an entrance fee. Winnings here are in the form of points.
The state of Indiana considers playing poker at home illegal. No one has ever been arrested for it, but the law suggests the action as a class D felony. Yet, charitable organizers can run private poker games. But, they must have a specific license and follow strict rules outlined by the state.
Poker Rooms in Indiana
As mentioned above, playing poker in Indiana is legal to some level – when you play in licensed commercial casinos. These include:
- Belterra Casino
- Casino Aztar
- Blue Chip Casino
- Horseshoe Casino
- Hoosier Park Racing and Casino
- Hollywood Casino & Hotel Lawrenceburg
- Indiana Grand Racing & Casino
3 Top Online Poker Sites in the State of Indiana
To play for real money online as an Indiana resident, there are many internationally licensed gaming sites you can use. There are no laws targeting players who play poker over the internet, so you’re safe. However, it’s crucial to join a site that accepts players from Indiana. These include:
This Panama-licensed online casino is a gem for US players residing in Indiana. Its player traffic ranks it at three, which means it has an exceptional experience that attracts many players. Once you create an account and deposit, you get a 100% matching bonus of up to $1000. You have to use the promo code NEWBOL for the prize to be activated.
BetOnline accepts several banking methods. These include MasterCard, Visa, ecoPayz, courier check, credit cards, and cryptocurrencies. If you’re unable to transact because of bank restrictions, consider bitcoin as your middle man. Your winnings are processed between 1-3 days. Customer support is also available.
Ignition is an all-American exclusive gaming site that welcomes you with a $1000 bonus. The bonus is activated once you deposit at least the minimum, depending on the method of banking. The casino has many great features that enhance your experience on the platform.
Ignition accepts payment through MasterCard, Visa, Amex, credit card, and visa. If your bank can’t allow you to transact with a gambling site, you can deposit to and withdraw from the site using bitcoin as well. Payouts take 1-3 days, and customer service is available 24/7.
Bovada is not just a casino where you can play poker, but also where you can join a tournament. Often, casinos don’t offer tournament chances to states with gambling restrictions, but Bovada does. Once you join, you’ll get a 100% bonus up to $500.
The banking methods accepted by the platform include Amex, bank transfer, INPAY, Entropay, and if things don’t work out with those, you can try bitcoin. Your winnings are payable in 1-3 days after you request a withdrawal.