You can enjoy bingo and keno games in Indiana.
There are a lot of bingo halls in Indiana. In fact, you can enjoy social, small-stakes bingo games in even the smallest Indiana town. Or you can head to one of the riverboat casinos or racetracks, and you can play electronic keno games.
Online, your bingo options are more limited, although there is an opportunity to play online bingo at Chumba Casino (more on that below), a US sweepstakes casino.
We hope that the introduction of online sports betting via bill H 1015 will become Indiana’s first step on the path to many online gambling options. If casino regulation happens, we can expect a lot of bingo and keno options, in addition to the popular online slots and table games.
This page covers the state of play for online bingo in Indiana and explores how a future regulated market might look.
First, we cover the types of online bingo. After that, we look at the current bingo options. You’ll find a guide to the live bingo scene around Indiana toward the bottom of this page.
Online bingo: Types of games
Moving online has allowed bingo game designers to create hundreds of game variations.
You’ll find colorful themes; quirky bonus plays and novel games online. Most modern games have been designed to work on mobile devices, as well as desktop computers.
What is the difference between bingo and keno?
Bingo: In bingo, you get a card, and balls are drawn until one or more players win. Basic games give prizes for lines, and for a full house.
Many online bingo variants have different patterns for wins, for example, the corners or even points of a star. There are variations which have 90 balls and 75.
Keno: While the drawing of balls links these games, you win keno differently. You get to pick numbers before the game begins. Matching those numbers in the smallest possible amount of drawn balls is then the objective. How many numbers you choose is up to you.
This only scratches the surface of the variations possible.
A significant advantage of online bingo is that jackpots can be created. With potentially millions of players involved, some progressives reach life-changing levels (internationally). Smaller prizes for the first to hit a full house are awarded every day.
There is a social element of these games online.
Leaderboard contests, chat rooms and hosts for the game to liven up the players are all popular. As well as group games, there are plenty of titles that you can play individually. Simply load up a game, choose your bets and enjoy.
Many of these games are fast-paced, too. With the software crossing off the numbers, you won’t need to keep up. This also lets you spread the risk by buying multiple cards for the same game.
Sweepstakes casinos: Flambingo
Online casinos use sweepstakes gambling laws to operate legally in Indiana. One of these, Chumba Casino, has an online bingo title listed among the other games that are mostly slots.
This is a simple, yet colorful title called Flambingo. It is themed around a tropical beach and is hosted by a bright-pink cartoon flamingo. When you load up the game, you’ll see 10 cards in two rows across the screen.
All you need to do is select the number of cards you want to play, the cost (bet) for each card, then click play. All the daubing is done for you, and the drawing of balls is quick.
If you don’t like the cards, there is a button on the top right to reload them.
Chumba Casino let you play for either “gold coins” (entertainment only) or “sweeps cash” (that you can exchange for dollars if you win). They are US-based, legal and accept regular bank cards for deposits.
Since this casino uses state sweepstakes laws to stay legal, it cannot sell you chips. Instead, you get “Sweeps Coins” for “free” when you buy the gold coins. New players in Indiana also get $2 in “Sweeps Coins” free just for registering, and more if you send a letter with your account details.
Online bingo games at state-regulated casinos
While sweepstakes casinos are legal, they can’t yet compete with the game selection at state-regulated casinos in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. With the movement toward online gambling already underway for Indiana, there is a chance that regulated casinos could appear at some point.
Keno and bingo titles are in the minority at existing state casinos. Most of the games are slots, with table games a distant second.
You’ll still find a selection of titles. For example, Golden Nugget NJ has Empire Bingo and Fireball Bingo. These games pay out for different patterns (you’ll see them at the top of your screen), as well as lines and full house hits.
You can play slingo games at several state casinos. These are a hybrid of slot gaming and bingo that have proven to be popular. A clown-like puppet avatar hosts them.
Titles include Slingo: Deal or No Deal (uses the game-show branding), Slingo Showdown (a Wild West theme) and the fireball heavy Slingo XXXTreme.
There are even more entertaining games to enjoy at state casinos. You’ll find scratch-off cards, video poker, virtual racing games and plenty of titles that feature progressive jackpots.
Bonuses and incentives for online bingo games
When casino regulation finally arrives in the Hoosier State, we can expect a lot of bonuses and promotions.
The experience in the states that are already live is that the brands compete fiercely to get your business. Bonuses are easy to clear with online bingo and keno games. These are weighted equally to slots for meeting playthrough requirements.
While it is a little early, here is a taster of the type of bonuses online bingo fans in Indiana can expect when regulated online casinos do appear:
- No-deposit cash bonuses: Expect incentives for merely registering at state casinos. These are usually smaller (up to around $25) and will need to be wagered at least once in order to clear. If several casinos open with bingo games, these small, no-deposit bonuses add up fast.
- Matched welcome offers: The usual way of incentivizing deposits is for casinos to offer a 100% matched bonus, based on your first deposit. This is put into a bonus account, which you need to wager before you can withdraw it.
- Loyalty programs: Almost every online casino has a comp scheme. These range from flat-rate schemes, which award bonuses based on your play levels, to a tier-level scheme with different bonuses as you move up.
- Promos: We recommend checking out the current and past promotions before you join any online bingo site. A quality brand keeps players interested (and their bankrolls topped up) with regular deals.
- Tournaments and leaderboards: These are more likely to feature slots than bingo, though are worth checking out. While some casinos have social elements (free play for Facebook contests, for example), tournaments can be a lot of fun, as well as having the potential for profit.
Advantages of playing bingo online
If you enjoy live bingo and are thinking of checking out the online games, then you’ll find a lot of great reasons to get moving. While the speed constraints of live bingo games, online games are fast, colorful and exciting.
The sheer number of themes and design variations gives you a great starting point.
Here are our top four reasons that online bingo makes for a great game:
- Play any time: No need to wait for your local bingo hall to open. You can play any time, from a desktop or mobile device. With some games only last a couple of minutes, you can join for a quick bingo session any time.
- You choose the stakes: Play online bingo for pennies per card or move up the stakes to a level that is exciting for you. The flexibility of bingo means you can spread your stake over several cards or go big with fewer cards.
- Big prizes: You’ll find the potential for jackpot-sized payouts at many online bingo or keno games. The casinos that run these games also host slots, where you’ll find jackpot prizes going sky-high.
- Bonuses and incentives: When regulated casinos come to Indiana, there will be a lot of competition. You can take advantage of bonuses, promos and incentives.
Live bingo halls in Indiana
Online bingo has a lot of plusses, but what it can’t beat is the social element that live Indiana bingo halls provide.
There are more than 600 bingo halls in Indiana. Most towns have at least one, and there are many in Indianapolis and other bigger cities.
These bingo halls are legal under Indiana’s charity gambling laws, which means the profits go to religious or educational causes. Bingo halls also run for the entertainment of seniors.
You can also enjoy keno machines in the riverboat casinos and racetracks. These are smaller in number than slots.
One TripAdvisor review of the French Lick Casino says the titles are dated. If you want playability and don’t mind the graphics being older, you’ll find some enjoyable games with plenty of potential for bigger wins. Expect minimum bets of around 25 cents per card, going up to bigger stakes for high rollers.
Wrapping up: Online bingo in Indiana
As things stand, this page is more of a preview than a review.
Bill H 1015 laid down the rules for regulated sports betting online in Indiana, although it did not cover internet casino games or bingo. A lot of people are anticipating that future legislation will cover these games.
While we wait for regulation, there is a single online bingo game which Indiana players can enjoy: Flambingo at Chumba Casino. You can play for “Sweeps Coins,” which you can swap for dollars and withdraw it if you win.
If and when regulation does come, we can expect the options to explode. Mobile bingo games, jackpots and slot-bingo hybrids are all possible.