Legal Online Poker For Indiana Residents

Indiana is an oddity among states with strict online poker laws regarding legal Indiana online poker. Most American states with anti-online poker laws come by it honestly: Utah is a conservative state with a large Mormon anti-gambling population, Louisiana is as conservative as a state can be, and Washington is a state with a vested interest in protecting state gambling profits.

Is Online Poker Legal In Indiana?


If you live in Indiana and want to play online poker with the consent of the state, you're out of luck. The law is written such that any game of poker involving wagers is illegal. Online poker, private home games, and even charity events that don't follow the rules are subject to penalty by Indiana state law. Though no online poker players have ever been convicted based on these laws, the possibility is there. Furthermore, online poker sites will not turn away Indiana residents so playing online poker in Indiana is still a possibility.

Legal Online Poker Sites For Indiana Residents

If you wish to play online poker in Indiana, any of the three sites above will allow you to play. None of these sites discriminate against Indiana residents and allow all of them to play poker freely.

BetOnline Poker - All Indiana Residents Over 18 Accepted

Indiana residents are hitting the big time, more and more are flocking in droves to BetOnline and it is because of the insane welcome bonus that is making them feel like they are kings entering a grand party thrown just for them. Having been in the poker business since their humble beginning 10 years ago, they know a thing or two about poker. They know how to make a great poker room and their position as the top online poker room in Indiana is proof of that.

Part of being the best is putting the best foot forward. BetOnline does this by offering up the best welcome bonus on the web. Turns out when people are given money just for playing poker on a poker site they get excited. With BetOnline 200% of the first deposit goes back to the new player as a welcome bonus. The only thing they need to do to claim that bonus is play lots of poker. It is easy to see why so many new players are flocking to a site that gives them money just for signing up.

SportsBetting Poker - One Of The Fastest Growing Indiana Poker Sites

Play poker on a site that has sports in its very name? Seems like an odd notion but just ask any of the thousands of Indiana residents that managed to win some major money playing on SportsBetting and they will assure even the most ardent cynic that looks and names can be deceiving. What SportsBetting hides with its name is ten years of experience as one of the first and best poker sites on the web. This experience results in them having one of the best pick of tournaments to play in on the web.

Poker Players looking to win a lot of money need look no further than the guaranteed tournaments on SportsBetting. They offer tournaments around the clock with many of their pots numbering in the thousands. Players fight for the right to win a slice in more than 4 dozen tournaments every week. The real prize though is the $10,000 dollar guaranteed tournament at the end of the week. Indiana residents looking to score some major cash need to do no more than try their hand at the more than $250,000 dollars in guaranteed tournaments available on SportsBetting every week.

Indiana Online Poker Laws

According to Indiana state law, "A person who knowingly or intentionally engages in gambling commits unlawful gambling." How does the state define gambling? In Indiana, gambling means "risk[ing] money or other property for gain." While this law doesn't apply to games of "bona fide skill, speed, strength or endurance (such as sports)," poker is not considered a game of skill by Indiana state law.

That's what's strange about this states online poker laws: the state is not particularly conservative and does not have a large amount of income from state regulated gaming to protect. Still, the law in Indiana makes it clear that playing poker online, or participating in any other kind of gambling, is punishable by fines and jail time.

Notice that the law is even stricter for gambling operators. "An operator who knowingly or intentionally uses the Internet to engage in unlawful gambling in Indiana and/or with a person in Indiana is committing a Class D felony." It gets worse for online poker players and providers in Indiana: "An operator who knowingly or intentionally uses the Internet to engage in a transaction directly involving a person located in Indiana is committing a Class D felony."

Add that all up and basically all transactions online involving gambling could lead to a felony charge, the loss of the right to vote, to buy firearms, and possible jail time, not to mention a permanent black mark on your record, the loss of your job, and many other complications. All for playing a game that the federal government has no problem with.

Indiana has a serious anti-gambling position. Since 2007, for example, officials in Indiana have seized more than 2,000 gambling machines, from slot machines to video poker games at bars. Vending machine distributors, in response, pulled another 4,000 machines from Indiana stores. The state government is obviously very serious about cracking down on gambling inside Indiana borders, and online poker players should take the crackdown on gambling machines as a sign of things to come, should they risk prosecution and continue to play online poker.


Is it Legal to play Land Based Poker in Indiana?

When considering the ability to legally play land based poker in Indiana, it is a bit of a mixed bag. Based on the wording of the law, there are no sections that specifically prohibit or charge the actual act of playing in a poker game. Those found playing in the game will suffer no charges, misdemeanor or otherwise and will be free to walk away.

Where the law condemns and punishes poker is those that in anyway operate, facilitate, or otherwise encourage the playing of “professional” poker. Essentially this outlaws any poker rooms from operating in Indiana. In fact there are several sections that go in detail as to how different perpetrators are charged. The penalties for operating poker rooms in Indiana varies based on the location, method, and size of the operation but all offenses are charged with felonies and will result in heavy fines and jail time.

Where the situation gets muddied further, there are casinos in Indiana that allow poker and other forms of gambling. These casinos are often operated by Native American tribes that operate the casinos on their reserves. These casinos are not bound by the Indiana laws and therefore playing poker at these locations is legal. That is why the legality is so unclear in Indiana, for all intents and purposes it is outlawed, yet there are places where it is legal.

Legal Land Based Poker Rooms in Indiana

There are actually quite a few legally owned and operated casinos in the state of Indiana that offer poker. They are spread out across the state as well, meaning residents from around the state should be able to find a poker room near them for their poker needs. For Instance there is a Casino near Lawrenceburg, one near the north of the state in Gary, and one close to Cincinnati in Elizabeth.

The tournaments run throughout the week at most locations and take place either at noon or evening. Unfortunately no limit Hold ‘em is really the only form of poker open for tournament play through these casinos. The buy-ins more than make up for this disparity in variety though. Some buy-ins climb as high as $200 dollars and there are more affordable buy-ins in the 20-40 dollar range.

Because Indiana does not expressly forbid the playing of poker in the state, local games among friends or colleagues are technically legal as long as there is no form of commission or charge for playing other than the buy-in amount. These games will offer more flexible schedules and game variety as well considering they are determined by the players themselves. Buy-ins depend on the incomes and social situations of the players involved though so earnings often may not be as high as at a professional casino poker room.

This does indeed leave Indiana residents with a large amount of different ways to participate in land based poker. Though not all the options are as flexible or profitable as the other, they are all legal and will not result in any legal action being taken against the player. For those who enjoy the game of cat and mouse that poker creates, that enjoy staring their opponent down and using purely their presence and sense of confidence to make them crumble and fold to an otherwise unremarkable hand, Indiana can be a very fun state to live in indeed.

Note: Please note that the author is not a lawyer and does not intend the above as legal advice. If you have more questions about online poker or other gambling issues in Indiana, consult a lawyer familiar with Indiana law.

Indiana online poker has a home at BetOnline. There, all Indiana residents are welcomed with a 100% to $1,000 first deposit bonus.