A Closer Look At Indiana Gaming Regulations


Indiana is one of the newest states to partake in the riverboat gaming trend. As of 2010, the state of Indiana only allows riverboat gaming, racetrack wagering and the Hoosier lottery. Although new, the structure of the gaming commission is consistent with other neighboring states.

As a result, a limited number of gaming licenses are issued each year. The state permits up to 11 gaming licenses to be issued only to counties along the Ohio River, Patoka Lake and Lake Michigan. All other areas of the state that contain a body of water cannot acquire a license.

The Indiana Gaming Commission reports directly into the Governor and is a segment of the executive branch. The commission board consists of seven total members appointed by the Governor. The requirements of the board members include:

One member must have a background in law enforcement

  • One member must be a CPA
  • One member must be a lawyer in Indiana
  • Three members must be from a county on the Ohio River
  • Three members must be from a country on Lake Michigan
  • The final member can be from any other county

The seven members of the board serve a three-year staggered term. Also, to keep balance within the commission, no more than three board members can be of the same political party. Although separate from the Indiana Gaming Commission, the State Police are also involved by conducting background checks and investigations for those applying for a gaming license.

The commission also controls racetrack wagering, the Hoosier lottery and charitable gaming. The riverboat gaming companies must pay the commission $3 per person admission tax from each vessel on a daily basis. Additionally, adjusted gross revenues are taxed at a 20 percent state tax rate.

One interesting rule implemented by the commission in 2003 is the Voluntary Exclusion Program. This allows citizens to be excluded from any gaming-related activities, mailers and hand-outs from a casino. The individual can sign-up in person at any Indiana casino or an Indiana Gaming Commission office. The terms are for one-year, five-years or a lifetime.

The Indiana Gaming Commission follows a similar structure to other riverboat gaming states. Although limited, the commission has a tight hold with strong regulations to ensure compliance. Due to the newness of the gaming concept to Indiana, perhaps in the future they will expand their authority to permit land-based casinos into the state.