The State of Indiana is one that doesn’t leave any room for error in their codes as to what constitutes illegal forms of gambling. For example, since only one criteria needs to be met pursuant to Illinois statute for a device to be considered an, ‘Electronic Gaming Device,’ an individual’s computer would likely qualify as such if being used for the purpose of online gambling. From the statute:

(b) “Electronic gaming device” means any electromechanical device, electrical device, or machine that satisfies at least one (1) of the following requirements:

  1. It is a contrivance which for consideration affords the player an opportunity to obtain money or other items of value, the award of which is determined by chance even if accomplished by some skill, whether or not the prize is automatically paid by the contrivance.
  2. It is a slot machine or any simulation or variation of a slot machine.
  3. It is a matchup or lineup game machine or device operated for consideration, in which two (2) or more numerals, symbols, letters, or icons align in a winning combination on one (1) or more lines vertically, horizontally, diagonally, or otherwise, without assistance by the player. The use of a skill stop is not considered assistance by the player.
  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, pictures, representations, or symbols are used as an equivalent or substitute for the cards used in these games.

- See more here.  

Because the law includes the words, ‘Simulation of these games,’ there can be little to no doubt that playing such games on one’s computer would lead to the computer itself being construed as a gambling device.  

There is a difference in penalties for those merely conducting unlawful gambling as opposed to for operators of unlawful gambling. For mere participants, they may be found guilty of a Class B Misdemeanor which could carry penalties of up to 180 days in jail in addition to fines of up to $1,000. Operators may be found guilty of a Level 6 Felony which carries with it imprisonment of six months to two and a half years and fines of up to $10,000. 

Furthermore, for both players and operators, the law does specifically mention use of the Internet to facilitate these gambling activities, so as a result, there can be absolutely no ambiguity when it comes to the conclusion that online gambling is absolutely illegal in the State of Indiana.  

Generally speaking, the State of Indiana does crackdown on illegal gambling operations and there are many examples of same including a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament at a local bar with a small $20 buy-in that saw a bar owner get arrested:

Of course, there have also been cases of illegal sports betting rings being busted and arrests made:

Naturally, there have not been any arrests that I can find of anyone in Indiana for merely acting as a player on an online betting site and that is probably because the police would really have no way to know that someone is doing it. Furthermore, absent some sort of complaint, it is doubtful that they would really have any reason to care.

However, since there is absolutely no ambiguity in the law, which goes out of its way to specifically mention Internet gambling, and also because the punishments for first-time offenders (at least, those that could happen theoretically) are so severe; one must conclude that online gambling ranks as, ‘Banned.’



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