Texas Holdem Law on the Internet in Indiana

Indiana is another one of the states that address gambling in a broad way, especially when referring to the use of an electronic device. They define gambling as,

IC 35-45-5-1
(d) “Gambling” means risking money or other property for gain, contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, or the operation of a gambling device

Indiana law encompasses mostly games of chance, and leaves games of skill out. The reason for this is because they state that most gambling games, although they may have skill involved in playing them, there is also an element of chance; which is basically the same thing as saying the whole game is based on chance.

Any individual or operator caught gambling illegally will be given a misdemeanor. There have been raids on poker clubs, where they have handed out misdemeanors to the players, and felony charges to those that were operating the illegal poker games; of course, this was for live/land-based poker games as oppose to online games.

Gambling Allowed in Indiana

Indiana does allow licensed and regulated gambling to occur, but only in two instances, 1) licensed commercial casinos or 2) licensed charitable gambling. Indiana does not, however, allow any kind of social gambling. They do have pari-mutuel gambling on horse races, and within those licensed casinos they do allow Class III games to be played, like poker.

Indiana is an equal opportunity state, and in regards to gambling, they crack down just as hard on those that operate illegal gambling as those that participate in the gambling.

Online Poker Law

When talking about online gambling, and online poker, it would be a fair assessment to look at the Indiana laws regarding electronic gaming devices:

IC 35-45-5-1
Sec. 1.
(b) “Electronic gaming device ” means any electromechanical device, electrical device, or machine that satisfies at least one (1) of the following requirements:
(4) It is a video game machine or device operated for consideration to play poker, blackjack, any other card game, keno, or any simulation or variation of these games, including any game in which numerals, numbers, or pictures, representations, or symbols are used as an equivalent or substitute for the cards used in these games.

Based on this statute, a computer is considered an electronic gaming device and playing poker online through a computer and the internet, it can be constituted as illegal gambling within the state of Indiana. As Indiana does have harsh policies against those individual poker players, it is much riskier to play poker online.

Land Based Casinos and Tribal Stances

Indiana is kinder and more lax with those establishments that follow the law, and gain licenses to gamble; such as the casinos. This is why those casinos are allowed to have Class III games, such as poker, blackjack, and craps. All of the casinos in Indiana are commercially operated, which means there are no Native American operated casinos.

State Regulated Online Poker

Estimated Date of Legalized Online Poker in Indiana: 2018-2019

Indiana is a state that enjoys regulating its gambling activities, and if it can bring in more money for public programs and increase the state budget, they would probably go for it. However, being such a conservative state, it would take a lot of work for this to come true.

Online Lotteries

The Indiana state lottery, or better known as the Hoosier Lottery, started out in 1988, and finally legalized in 1989. Even though they have such a rich history with the state lottery, Indiana still has not adopted online lottery.

Online Poker Sites

With the laws against electronic gambling devices, along with the broad definition of what gambling is, makes it a hard and risky choice on whether or not to play online poker. Also, the state of Indiana does deal out the same harsh punishment to individual gamblers, as they do to illegal operators. Anyone wanting to play poker online should be aware of the ramifications they could face; that said, see all the US friendly and recommended online poker rooms here.

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