Indiana Online Poker Laws

Indiana Online Poker Law

The home to a dozen slot-filled casinos, Indiana would seem to be one of those states on its way toward legalizing online gambling and poker. Plus the fact that poker is increasingly popular, in a state known for its good sportsmanship and competitive demeanor, makes it seem like it’s a shoo-in.

Especially when looking at the staggering amount that is generated by gambling in Indiana: more than $3 billion annually.

But Indiana joins states like Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Florida as wallflowers, all still at the starting line of online poker legalization. But unlike Florida and Pennsylvania, both of which likely will eventually allow its residents to play online poker, Indiana just may never get there.

There is absolutely no interest to expand casino gambling or online poker in Indiana. Just like there’s no chance that native son Larry Bird could ever jump up and touch the rim again, it’s most likely that online poker won’t be addressed by lawmakers anytime soon.

There is a push by some lawmakers to allow its riverboat casinos to expand and for its race tracks to offer table games, but conservative governor Mike Pence staunchly opposes any type of gambling expansion, despite the large amount of money it generates for his state.

Indiana is seeing some of its gambling profits jumping to casinos in neighboring states like Ohio, where table games are legal. However, it makes no difference to the current elected majority in Indiana. Still, the state is home to eleven card rooms, so at least that’s something.

When Will I Be Able to Play Online Poker in Indiana

Online poker will not come to Indiana until at least a few of these things happen:

  1. A grassroots movement is started, demanding residents of Indiana to be allowed access to online poker sites
  2. Pence loses the governorship, along with a significant handful of his equally conservative state representatives
  3. A strong, concentrated lobbying effort is conducted by the existing casinos

The fact that Caesars, which owns the online poker site WSOP.com, has a property in Indiana, gives cause for slight optimism, but until changes take place at a political level, that optimism must be checked at the door.

But take heart, Indiana residents, at least you don’t live in a state like Alabama, where the chance of online poker’s legalization is slimmer than a basketball post.

What’s Indiana’s Potential Online Poker Market?

It’s estimated that about 400,000 people in Indiana would be interested in playing real-money online poker. Considering only a fraction of that could be considered regular players, the state would most likely have to contract with other states to grow its poker-consumer base. But that’s putting the cart way before the horse, in this instance, since there is no real push to legalize online poker in Indiana anytime soon.

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