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IPGAP: Indiana Problem Gambling Awareness Program

History of Gambling

Hoosier Lottery

The Hoosier Lottery is operated by the State of Indiana. On November 8, 1988 Indiana voters approved a lottery referendum by 62 percent. On May 3, 1989, the Indiana General Assembly ratified the Lottery Act and a week later the governor signed the Lottery Act into law. In June 1989 a Lottery director was appointed and in July the Lottery Commission was appointed. On October 13, 1989, instant, or scratch-off, ticket sales began at 12:10 p.m. More information on the Hoosier Lottery is available at:

Hoosier Park Horse Track

Hoosier Park horse track in Anderson opened on September 1, 1994. Regulation/oversight of horse racing in Indiana is the responsibility of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.

Off Track Horse Betting Parlors

Off Track Horse Betting Parlors are located in five Indiana cities. Those in Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and Merrillville opened in 1995 and are operated by Churchill Downs which also owns Hoosier Park. Indiana Downs operates two off track betting facilities which are located in Evansville (2003) and Clarksville (2004). Regulation/oversight of these sites is the responsibility of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.

Casino Gaming

The Indiana Riverboat Gaming Act was passed on July1, 1993 allowing riverboat gaming in Indiana. This legislation allowed for ten riverboats. The first of these ten casinos opened in 1995. In 2004 legislation was enacted that allowed a riverboat in French Lick which will open in late 2006. Regulation/oversight of casino gaming is the responsibility of the Indiana Gaming Commission.

Indiana Downs Horse Track

Indiana Downs horse track is in Shelbyville opened on December 6, 2002. Regulation/oversight of horse racing in Indiana is the responsibility of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.

Charity Gaming

Charity Gaming is allowed in Indiana but only by specific types of organizations. Bona fide religious, educational, senior citizens, veterans, or civic organizations operating in Indiana that: operate without profit to the organization's members; is exempt from taxation under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code; and has been continuously in existence in Indiana for at least five (5) years or a bona fide political organization operating in Indiana that produces exempt function income (as defined in Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code) can provide Bingo, Raffle, Door Prize, Pull-Tab, Punchboard, Tip Board, Charity Game Night, Festival, and Special Bingo events. Approval from the Indiana Gaming Commission is required unless the total value of all prizes awarded at the event (including the sale of pull-tabs, punchboards, and tip boards sold at the event) is not more that $1,000 for a single event and not more than $3,000 total for all non-licensed events during a calendar year. Regulation/oversight of charitable gaming was the responsibility of the Indiana Department of Revenue prior to July 1, 2006 at which time 2006 legislation transferred responsibility to the Indiana Gaming Commission:


In 2007, the Indiana Legislature passed legislation allowing 2,000 slot machines at each of the two horse racing tracks. This brought casino type gaming to Central Indiana.

Minimum Age

Minimum Age to Participate in Legalized Gambling in Indiana
• Hoosier Lottery 18
• Casino Gambling 21
• Pari-mutuel Betting 18
• Charity Gaming 18

Illegal Gaming in Indiana

Video Poker/Cherry Master machines are in wide spread use throughout the State. These can be found in bars, private clubs and truck stops. These illegal machines number in the thousands. Pea shake parlors, a numbers game, can be found in some communities. Internet gambling, book-making, card games for money and numbers games can also be found in Indiana.

Other High Risk Gambling Activity

Often individuals engage in other activities that have the same pathology as gambling but are not generally recognized as gambling. For example stock and commodity trading.