Indiana is another stingy state when it comes to gambling. You’re not able to play online poker or participate in any home games, so long as there is real money involved. There are a couple of bright sides though. Read on for more details.
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What Are the Laws for Playing Poker in Indiana?
Poker isn’t specifically mentioned in Indiana’s gambling laws.
Gambling (in general) is illegal though. Indiana considers gambling to be risking money or other items of value for gain. Unlike other states, like Illinois, games of skill aren’t considered gambling. The downside is that poker isn’t considered a game of skill in this state.
What Are the Consequences of Being Caught Gambling?
As a player, the consequences for being caught gambling is a Class B misdemeanor.
For operators that use the internet for gambling, it’s a Class D felony. This includes interacting with others who live in Indiana. In other words, you could live in a different state (possibly another country) and there could be felony charges for gambling (or providing the gambling platform) with a person that resides in Indiana.
This brings up the question as to whether or not staking or coaching is included. If you ship money to someone that lives in Indiana so that they can play poker, are you breaking the law? Can you be charged with a crime? It’d be something worth looking into if you stake/coach players as a source of income; or you could just avoid players in this state altogether.
Can You Play Online Poker in Indiana?
Nope — it’s illegal to operate online poker sites in Indiana, so you’ll be lucky to find an online site that accepts players from your state.
And even though online poker from a player’s standpoint isn’t covered in Indiana’s laws, I assume that it’s illegal given that gambling in general is illegal.
This being said, you could play online poker for free if you could find a poker site available in your state. Good luck, though.
Are Home Games Legal?
Home games aren’t legal in Indiana, so long as you’re playing for money or anything else of value. Home games are only ok if nothing is at risk.
Play Live Poker in Indiana Instead
As I mentioned above, there is a bright side. There are several casinos in Indiana that spread poker cash games and tournaments. Here are 5 that look like they’re worth checking out.
Belterra Casino – Belterra offers holdem, 7-card stud and omaha. Tournament buy-ins range from $40-$75. You can participate in the Heartland Poker Tour here.
Blue Chip Casino – Blue Chip runs holdem tournaments and freerolls.
Casino Aztar – Aztar runs holdem, stud and omaha tournaments and cash games.
Indiana Grand – Visit Indiana Grand to play tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $50-$75 and $100 buy-ins on Fridays. They also run tournaments where winners can receive entries into the WSOP.
Horseshoe – Tournaments run daily with buy-ins of $50-$80. Satellites also run, as well as tournaments with entries into the WSOP.
Find a Poker League
Another bright side are the leagues that run in Indiana. Keep in mind that to comply with the law there can’t be a cost to enter. For many leagues, this could mean a lack of prizes. However, the ones I’ve found below do award real cash prizes, buy-ins to local casino tournaments and trips to Vegas. So these could definitely be worth taking a look at.
Columbus Poker League – There is no fee to enter the Columbus Poker League. The top 16 players earns points, with first place earning $50 cash (nightly). All the points are combined at the end of each season (4 months), with the top players earning an entry into the tournament of champions. The TOC has a prize pool of $600-$800. The B-Town Poker and Terre Haute poker leagues are identical to the CPL.
Push Poker – Another points based poker league.
WPT Amateur Poker League – Win seats to larger events, paid trips to Vegas, $1,000 freeroll tournaments and discounts on things like insurance.