The advantages and innovations of online poker have made it one of the most popular ways to gamble for many people. It is no surprise that a state like Indiana, the 17th most populous state in America, would legalize it. Indiana’s population as of 2020 was over 6 million, and a recent survey shows that 84.8% of adults in Indiana have engaged in at least one gambling activity in twelve months.
However, you should know that the legalization of online poker in Indiana is a recent development. Beginning with the legalization of sports betting in 2020, online poker and other online casino games were made legal. Now you can play poker online for real money if you live in Indiana.
This extensive guide will explain in detail the legal situation of online poker in Indiana, how to play online poker in Indiana, and the best poker sites. But first, let’s dive into the history of poker in Indiana.
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History of Poker in Indiana
Gambling has been around since before written history began. As the times changed, so did the most popular methods of gambling and the views held about it by the people and their governments. In Indiana, the early government found it a nuisance. Thus, the Indiana constitution of 1851 instigated a ban on lotteries, including a general prohibition on gambling.
It was not until 1988 that state voters moved a motion for a state lottery which was later approved and signed by the governor of Indiana. This was followed quickly by the approval of parimutuel betting in 1989. Thanks to this law, horse race betting became a legitimate business in Indiana.
The amendment also allowed the creation of a state-run Hoosier Lottery. Poker, a game that was invented in New Orleans by French settlers in around 1829, became legal in Indiana in the early 90s. The Indiana Riverboat Gaming Act allowed ten riverboat gaming licenses in the state in July 1993, but the first casino gaming hut opened in 1995. Since then, the Hoosier state has been a polestar for gambling.
Is Online Poker Legal in Indiana?
Yes. Online poker is legal in Indiana, especially when you play on a legally regulated site. Despite initial confusion about whether online poker was added to the legalized gambling list in Indiana or not, as long as you play privately in your own home and on your computer, from a legal perspective, you are safe. Online poker is still in the process of full legalization in Indiana.
Before 1988, the constitution of Indiana prohibited gambling, including lotteries. However, Indiana voters overturned the law leading to its amendment in 1988. Fast track to 2019 when a proposition was made to allow sports betting in the Hoosier State. This was later signed into law by the governor of Indiana in 2020. The legislation followed the approval of sports betting to include online poker and other casino games. This bill allows the existing 14 casinos in the state to make provisions for internet gaming, including poker.
Although the Hoosier State is moving towards the complete legalization of online poker, there is no legalized licensing system for online poker businesses yet. It is expected that that will be before the end of 2022. Presently, there are many options for online poker, and since Indiana legalized DFS in 2016 and passed the sports betting law that includes online wagering, online poker fans are hoping for complete licensing of online poker businesses. But there is no estimate of how long it will take.
Gambling laws in Indiana
The Indiana constitution, Section 35-45-5-1 states, “Gambling involves any bet made on anything involving an element of chance.” The provision includes the use of gambling devices. Devices are defined as, “Any mechanism by the operation of which a right to money or other property may be credited, in return for a consideration, as the result of the operation of an element of chance.” So, using computers to play on real money sites is covered by the constitution.
Gambling options that are presently legal include the Hoosier lottery, riverboat casinos, charity gaming, gambling games at racetracks, parimutuel wagering on horse races, and type II gaming. All other types of gambling in Indiana are illegal. Although sports betting is legalized in Indiana, only professional and college sports competitions can be wagered upon. The state collects a 9.5% tax, and casinos, and off-track betting facilities are eligible for licenses that also allow online betting.
The minimum age for legalized gambling in Indiana is 18, but some specifications exist. 18 years as a minimum age only applies to the Hoosier lottery, DFS contests, horse racing, and charity gaming. Casino gambling and sports betting require a person to be at least 21 years old.
Section 35-45-5-2 of the Indiana constitution focuses on unlawful gambling. The law states that, “Any operator in Indiana who knowingly or intentionally uses the Internet to engage in unlawful gambling” has committed a level 6 or class D felony.
Possession of gaming devices for maintaining illegal gambling sites, as explained in section 35-45-5-3.5, is a felony.
Who Regulates Online Poker in Indiana?
Since its establishment in September 2007, the Gaming Control Division has been the law enforcement arm of the Indiana Gaming Commission. It is responsible for regulating and overseeing casino gaming and all gambling in Indiana.
The gaming control division has 16 officers trained and certified by the Indiana law enforcement academy. Their primary duty is to investigate illegal gambling. They are police officers; with full powers to enforce all Indiana laws. The Indiana Gaming Commission aims to reduce the rate of illegal gambling through education and voluntary compliance. As of 2015, about 6,000 illegal gaming devices have been removed.
Online Poker Sweepstake Casinos in Indiana
Online poker has come a long way, yet it is still not strictly legal in Indiana. Online poker businesses cannot be given licenses yet, but there’s no reason to panic. There are sites that allow you to play online poker games and earn real money.
Given the recent changes to Indiana casino laws, playing in sweepstake casinos or social casinos is one way to play poker for money online. Many great offshore betting sites offer poker games and tournaments to Indiana residents. These sites also offer online slots and casino games.
How Sweepstakes Work in Indiana
Some platforms use a federal sweepstakes law to offer different types of draw-based games such as slots and poker. As opposed to playing for real money, you’ll be playing for sweeps coins. After the game, you can redeem your sweeps coins for real money prizes; as a bonus, you can decide when to redeem them.
It may sound unreal, but your converted cash prizes go straight to your bank account. However, purchasing sweep coins is not possible directly. You must buy gold coins first, then use them to play for sweeps coins.
However, as per US sweepstake laws, there is purchase necessary. This is why Indiana casinos give you free sweeps coins every day. When you play, you can win more coins to convert to cash prizes later. Sweepstakes are available on various websites. Some sites offer free enrollment, bonuses, and giveaways through social media. You can access these sites through your PC, mobile, or tablet.
The legality of Online Sweepstakes Poker in Indiana
In the United States, sweepstakes, contests, and promotions are controlled by the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the United States Postal Service, and the United States Department of Justice. In Indiana, sweepstakes are allowed as long as the sponsor awards the prize based on chance.
However, there are nationwide rules, some of which include;
- There must be no purchase, so you can’t buy sweep coins directly with real money.
- Winners are expected to pay tax on cash prizes won.
- Sponsors are expected to issue forms to winners with prizes over $600
- The value of the prize must be based on the current retail value at the time
Top Sweepstake Casinos for Online Poker in Indiana
You can play real-money poker games across Indiana, but online poker is not entirely legal yet in the state. The good news is there is an alternative for gamblers in Indiana. Sweepstakes are a good way to play real-money poker online. Here are some of the highest-rated sites that you can try.
Golden Hearts Games
This site is one of the top-rated social casinos in Indiana. What’s more, Golden Heart is the world’s first online charity casino. It has the look and feel of a traditional casino and has a friendly atmosphere so you can play with ease.
The online casino welcomes you with bonuses, especially if you’re a new player. You can get free spins, cash backs, and many other bonuses. For cash transactions, Golden Hearts Games accept only bank cards. There is the option of Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover, and you can also use Apple Pay or Google Pay.
Withdrawal of cash prizes is easy. You can withdraw via bank check, PayPal, or bank transfer. We recommend using PayPal because it takes the least amount of time. Balances under $50 incur a withdrawal fee.
Welcome to Luckyland Slots, a site filled with exciting offers. Although the name implies that this is a slot gaming site, you can also enjoy fun casino games. You must be 18 years or older to play at Luckyland Slots, so verification is required to register.
Luckyland gives you free coins once your account is created, and allows purchases like buying gold coins. Making transactions on the site is very safe, so you can easily buy gold coins with payment cards like MasterCard, Visa, and American Express. Luckyland prioritizes its customers, so if you encounter any problems there is top-notch customer service 24/7.
Chumba Casino is one of the best social casinos available in Indiana. In addition to the fantastic casino-style games on the site, free sweepstake coins are part of the welcome offer. The site is available in 49 of 50 states in the US and is very popular.
This site is fun and exciting, and it is loaded with bonus offers, slot and table games, and 24/7 customer service. There are also ways to get free gold coins to keep playing casino-style games for free. The Chumba Casino website runs smoothly, and you don’t have to download anything to use it.
You can easily purchase gold coin packages with your payment card because the site has an ample range of payment methods. Purchases can be made using your bank account, bank card, or online payment wallets such as PayPal. Aside from purchases, you can also redeem cash prizes using sweepstakes coins.
Prize redemption has a daily limit of $10,000, and the Chumba Casino terms and conditions require the prize funds to be paid into the same account you used to make your purchases.
How to Select the Best Real-Money Poker sites in Indiana
Choosing the right poker sites can be difficult because some sites could be illegal or run by scammers. Here are some questions to ask when choosing real-money poker sites.
Are they licensed?
This should be the first thing to consider when choosing a site. The licensing information can be found on the front page of every poker site; all you have to do is scroll to the bottom.
Aside from their licensing information, you may need to check where their head office is located and verify if it is a real place. There should be a street address, a city, and a country. If the location is in Indiana, you can visit the main office yourself to be safe. You should also ensure that the copyright date is recent.
Is the site secure?
Remember that your personal information is required for verification purposes on most sites – that means your ID, bank and payment card details.
Do they have bonus offers and special game features?
Bonus offers are part of the thrill of online poker. The more bonuses and free coins, the more enjoyable it is to play. If the site has minimal bonuses, winning prizes in that casino may be difficult.
Some sites reveal their bonuses through reviews, while others have promo codes on their websites. You should check for promotion codes to maximize your winnings on the site. Special game features will draw more players if the volatility rate is high enough.
What are the banking options?
This might be the most important thing to consider. Payment and withdrawal methods are crucial for online poker. Most real-money poker sites ask for a deposit when you register. You want to choose a site with the most versatile payment options because you will be making transactions when buying gold coins to play.
Some sites only accept bank cards, while some include payment apps like PayPal. It is also vital to consider payout methods for sites that include cash prizes. Poker sites may insist you use the same account for purchase to withdraw, or they could be more flexible.
Best Withdrawal Methods for Online Poker Sites in Indiana
Winning online poker games feels great, especially when it comes with cash prizes or coins that can be converted to cash. The money you win goes into your poker account and stays there until you decide to make a withdrawal.
However, some payment methods take longer than others, and some may not be legal in the Hoosier State. These are the best withdrawal methods for online poker in Indiana.
E-wallets, also known as electronic or digital wallets, are a preferred means of withdrawal by many players in Indiana. It is a financial transaction application that can run on your computer or mobile device. Some poker sites allow transactions from apps such as Skrill, Neteller, and PayPal, be it deposit or withdrawal.
The best thing about using E-wallets is that they don’t take a long time to approve transactions, even from poker sites. At most, it should take 48 hours. They are also easily accessible from your mobile device.
E-wallets can be linked to your bank for withdrawal purposes, and players can use them for deposits when they want to avoid direct transactions with their bank card.
Bank cards are an easy and traditional way of withdrawing funds in Indiana. Some poker sites exclusively accept transactions from bank cards like Visa Mastercard and American Express. Most of these sites might also insist on sending funds to the same account it came from. If so, you can easily make withdrawals with a credit or debit card.
However, The bank has full control of when you can access funds, and some banks take longer to confirm withdrawals depending on their policies. Every bank has a different confirmation time, and this puts bank cards at a disadvantage. Confirmation for the withdrawal could take 7-10 days or more before it is approved and you get access to your cash.
Wire transfers are a great way to withdraw funds from online poker. They work by transferring money electronically without the involvement of physical cash. This type of transaction is mostly done from a local account to a foreign account, but you can use it to withdraw funds from an online casino.
Top Real-Money Online Poker Sites in Indiana
Ignition Poker is very popular in the United States. Bonuses are what attract players to the game, and Ignition has some of the best bonuses at the moment. The site offers a 100% bonus up to $3000, which clears at 15 points per dollar and can be removed in increments.
In addition to the fact that you will be playing with real money, imagine how much you can win with that much bonus. Ignition poker is equipped with a fast download and installation process. It also has faster withdrawal than other sites.
The minimum deposit limit is pocket-friendly – as low as $10. The maximum deposit is $5,000. Daily buy-ins are as low as $11, while nightly buy-ins start at $55. For transactions, Ignition accepts Visa, MasterCard, and Bankwire.
Some popular tournaments on Ignition are Hyper Turbo, Omaha Turbo, Guarantee Tournaments, Double Up, and Triple Up. You can buy tournament entries by playing money games and earning points.
This poker site is one of the oldest in the US. It has been around for 14 years and is also one of the most trusted online poker platforms.
Although Bovada poker has existed for a long time, it has lasted by evolving with the times. One great feature of the site is you can get faster payouts by using the cryptocurrency payout option. It accepts transactions using both bitcoin and credit cards, But you can get instant payouts by using the bitcoin payouts option.
The site has minimal downtime and lots of traffic. Players at Bovada can receive a 100% bonus matching their deposit up to $500. To get the bonus, you must use a specific Bovada Poker bonus code found on their website.
If you enjoy crypto gambling, then BetOnline poker is the best option for you. BetOnline poker has existed for over 20 years, but they have been an online platform for 15 years. This places BetOnline in the top three poker sites available in the United States.
The site has both sports betting and casino gaming options and is easily accessible using its mobile app. This app made provision for transactions using cryptocurrency, which is fast becoming a preferred transaction option for many people.
While playing poker on BetOnline, you can get a 100% bonus of up to $1000. Banking fees on the site will depend on the method you use and how fast you want your withdrawal. Each bank has different fees for processing withdrawal transactions.
Black Chip Poker
Black chip poker has provided excellent support for players in its five-year existence. The competition rate is among the easiest due to its heavy traffic levels throughout the day. Like some other gaming sites, Black chip poker offers both sports betting and casino gaming to its members.
Sign-up bonuses are guaranteed when you register for black chip poker, which is fun and exciting for new players. New players immediately qualify for a 100% deposit bonus of up to $1,000. The best news is, if you’re using cryptocurrency, you can get a 200% match bonus when you make your first deposit with Bitcoin.
Black chip poker also has jackpot poker features that allow you to win jackpot prizes 2x to 2500x the buy-in. What’s more, for every $1.00 in tournament fees paid, you get 5.5 benefit points. These points can help you climb the elite benefits level.
Frequently Asked Questions About Online Poker in Indiana
Is online poker legal in Indiana?
Online poker isn’t completely legal in Indiana, but there are alternate ways for you to play poker online.
What is the legal gambling age in Indiana?
The legal age for gambling in Indiana depends on what game you’re playing. To partake in the state-owned Hoosier lottery, DFS contests, horse racing, and charity gaming, you have to be 18 years or older, but casino gambling and sports betting require a person to be at least 21 years old.
When will online poker become legal in Indiana?
The process is almost complete. For online poker to be fully legal in Indiana, legislation has to be passed to issue online poker licenses to casinos. Recent reforms have been made to Indiana’s gambling laws, but we cannot predict when online poker licensing will commence issuance.
Will I go to jail if I play online poker in Indiana?
Online poker is not entirely legal in Indiana, but that is mostly a licensing concern. From a legal perspective, you are safe if you play online poker privately in your own home and on your computer. You won’t get arrested.
Can I wager real money in online poker in Indiana?
Since online poker isn’t completely legal in Indiana, you can’t play with real money. However, you can use sweepstake coins to play by buying gold coins or donating, then convert your winnings to cash prizes later.