Indiana Daily Fantasy Sports Sites: The Best DFS Sites for Legal Betting
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Online Daily Fantasy Sports in Indiana – Overview
The legalization of daily fantasy sports in Indiana came as something of a surprise, given the state’s historically hard line on online gambling. Unlike many other states, which operate in a legal gray area, Indiana specifically refers to online gambling in its state statutes, leaving no one in any doubt as to its legal status.
In 2016, a senate bill proposing to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports gained momentum and was eventually signed into law by Governor Mike Pence. Since this law has been passed, Indianans have been free to play daily fantasy sports with all the major operators present in the state.
The new law explicitly banned daily fantasy betting on amateur sports. This is significant as both the NCAA, which organizes college sports, and the national group of high school sports associations are headquartered in Indianapolis and hold considerable sway over state politics.
Indiana was one of the first states to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports and so the perceived success or failure of this legislation will have a considerable bearing on whether or not others follow suit.
Here is a list of daily fantasy sports available in Indiana:
Online Daily Fantasy NFL – there’s no such thing as an unimportant game
Indianans are proud of their NFL team and rightly so: after the golden years under future Hall-of-Famer Peyton Manning, the new face of the franchise Andrew Luck provides plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future. It naturally follows that residents of the Hoosier State are also big fans of NFL fantasy with fantasy sports’ popularity being a big reason for the push to legalize and regulate the industry. A lot can change over the course of the season so playing daily fantasy means you can unearth those midseason gems and redraft your way to the playoffs.
Online Daily Fantasy NASCAR – off to the races
Racing is huge in Indiana with the world-famous Indy 500 at the world-class Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With so many racing fans in the Hoosier State, it is of little surprise that daily fantasy NASCAR is also a big deal. For daily fantasy newcomers, the relative simplicity of NASCAR can be appealing, but the basic premise is the same as other fantasy games. Keep up-to-date with driver performances, track history and practice times to get the edge on your competition.
Online Daily Fantasy NBA – apply your basketball knowledge to win awesome prizes
The Hoosier State is home to the Indiana Pacers, who are on a roll having qualified for the NBA playoffs in 8 of the last 10 seasons. Indianans are also no strangers to NBA Fantasy, which has taken off in recent years. With small team sizes, each pick counts for more but, with a new draft every game night, your mistakes don’t haunt you for too long. Look out for cold streaks and ride your hot hands to win fantastic prizes.
Online Daily Fantasy MLS – when your draft is as fresh as the grass
The popularity of soccer in Indiana has sky-rocketed in recent years since the formation of expansion team Indy Eleven in 2013. Their rise has been swift and, with their sights set on joining the MLS in the coming years, has been matched by a growing interest in MLS Fantasy. The comparatively limited array of statistics in soccer means it is less of a natural fit for fantasy sports than its North American cousins, but the potential impact of a goal or a clean sheet is that much greater.
Timeline of Daily Fantasy Sports Legislation
Unlike many states where the law on daily fantasy sports is maddeningly ambiguous, Indiana’s legislation is crystal clear: daily fantasy sports do not constitute illegal gambling and all Indianans over the age of 18 are allowed to play. Prior to the 2016 law, daily fantasy sports appear to have been prohibited under the state’s ban on all forms of online gambling. With this legislation, Indiana joined Virginia as the only states to fully legalize daily fantasy sports and, since then, a number of other states have followed their example.
|2017||Draft Kings, Fanduel and Fantasy Draft are all awarded licenses to operate daily fantasy sports in Indiana. Yahoo Sports joins them a few months later.|
|2016||Governor Mike Pence signs a senate bill into law, legalizing daily fantasy sports in Indiana.|
|2006||The Indiana state statutes are amended to specifically outlaw all forms of online gambling.|
|2006||The question of whether or not daily fantasy sports constitutes illegal gambling is devolved to the states under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which prohibits betting on games of chance.|
|1990||The Republican senate leadership blocks the referendum result and gambling remains illegal in Indiana.|
|1989||60% of Gary, Indiana residents vote to legalize gambling in a city-wide referendum.|
Legal Daily Fantasy Betting Age in Indiana
Daily fantasy sports played in Indiana must be at least 18 years old. Under the 2016 legislation, operators are required to verify participants’ ages, but it is not clear how watertight this is. However, operators that are found to be serving underage gamblers can expect a stiff fine, especially in this fairly conservative state, which is one of the few to prosecute illegal poker games. All forms of illegal gambling are charged as a Class B misdemeanor in Indiana.
DFS Betting AgeAll DFS participants must be at least 18 years old to play.
Alcohol AgeThe legal drinking age in Indiana is 21.
Weed AgeRecreational marijuana is not legal in Indiana and this appears unlikely to change anytime soon.
Is Daily Fantasy Betting Legal Outside of the State?
Daily fantasy sports has experienced a meteoric rise in the US since its emergence in the mid-2000s. State legislatures have been playing catch-up in determining whether or not it is a game of skill or chance and therefore whether or not it should be considered illegal gambling.
Indiana was the second state to fully legalize this form of gambling, right after Virginia daily fantasy betting, was legalized. That happened two weeks earlier. Since then, twelve more states have also legalized daily fantasy sports and several more are poised to join them.
In the absence of a clear state law, an opinion of the state attorney general is key to daily fantasy sports’ legal status, though not always decisive. In neighboring Illinois, for example, Fanduel and Draft Kings have continued to operate despite a negative opinion from the state attorney general in 2015.
The Best Fantasy Sports App in Indiana
Dedicated fantasy sports apps make your life so much easier, especially when there’s potentially a new draft every night of the season, and Draft Kings and Fanduel remain lightyears ahead of the competition in this department. Fanduel’s app is pretty hard to fault, having won the Best Sports App at the Webby Awards in 2015 and 2016, and it’s easy to see why: the smooth interface and intuitive layout make for an enjoyable draft, which really matters for hardcore players, who are potentially doing hundreds of them a year.
Taxes on Daily Fantasy Winnings: Legal Overview
In Indiana, all gambling winnings constitute taxable income and residents are obliged to declare them, even if they won them out-of-state. Even non-residents have to pay tax on money won at riverboat casinos and pari-mutuel horse racing in Indiana. If gamblers make more than $600 in a year, after deducting entry fees and deposits, they have to declare this to the IRS. Regular players may wish to register this as business income, which would allow them to net off losses against other income.
Upcoming Regulation Changes to Be Aware Of
In Indiana, daily fantasy sports are unambiguously legal and that is extremely unlikely to change. Then-Governor Mike Pence was likely fairly reluctant to pass this bill into law, given his campaign pledge not to expand gambling in Indiana, but the sizeable majorities with which it passed in the state legislature meant that it would have been very difficult for him to veto it.
The most likely change on the horizon would be the legalization of daily fantasy sports based on amateur sports, but this would be met with fierce resistance given the influence of the NCAA in the Hoosier State. This issue taps into the wider issue of college sports having amateur status while still involving huge sums of money. If this form of betting is widely legalized elsewhere in the US, Indiana may reconsider its opposition, but it is unlikely to be a pioneer.