Legal Horse Betting in Indiana

Race tracks, OTB and online betting

1

Horse racing has been a mainstay in Indiana since the 1800s, though legal Indiana horse betting is a relatively recent phenomenon.

While many states legalized pari-mutuel betting early, the Hoosier State did not authorize it until 1993. The first racetrack would follow in 1994, and the first thoroughbred race where betting was allowed took place the year after that. Now there are multiple places where you can wager on horse races at Indiana, including online via horse race betting apps.

This page covers all you need to know about horse racing in Indiana. Here we cover all the tracks and OTB offices, explain how to use online horse betting sites in Indiana, and provide details regarding the key races in the calendar as well as the critical moments in Indiana’s racing history.

Best horse betting site in Indiana

Is betting on horse races legal in Indiana?

Yes, wagering on horse races is legal in Indiana. An act was passed to legalize pari-mutuel betting in 1993, and the first races with betting followed shortly thereafter.

Today there are three ways to legally bet on horses in Indiana:

How to bet on horses in Indiana

  • At the racetracks: You can place bets at the Horseshoe Indianapolis or Hoosier Park racetracks, and this not confined to live events. Both venues have simulcast betting, with live races from around the country shown.
  • OTB venues: In addition to the live and simulcast betting at the Indiana racetracks, there are three off-track betting offices in Indianapolis, Clarkesville and New Haven. You can enjoy a drink and a meal while placing bets in these venues.
  • Online betting: You can also wager on races at horse betting sites like FanDuel Racing. There you can bet on both domestic and international races on your computer or mobile device.

Major horse racetracks in Indiana

Country fairs take place throughout the summer and often feature standardbred horse races. For the best of the action, you’ll need to head to one of the two major racetracks. These are the Horseshoe Indianapolis racetrack in Shelbyville and Hoosier Park in Anderson.

1. Horseshoe Indianapolis

This venue is located at Shelbyville, around 30 minutes from Indianapolis. Caesars Entertainment owns and operates the venue. The racing season runs from April to October each year, which includes thoroughbred and quarter horse racing.

There is a lot more to Horseshoe Indianapolis than just the racing. This is a “racino” with a big casino hosting more than 2,000 slots, table games and a poker room. There are numerous dining options and an entertainment complex which has hosted many well-known musicians.

The biggest race each year is the Indiana Derby. This is a thoroughbred event, which moved to Horseshoe from Hoosier Park in 2013. With a purse of $500,000, it attracts many of the best 3-year-old’s over 8.5 furlongs on the dirt track.

This is one of many “stakes” races including the Indiana Oaks (for fillies), Sagamore Sired Stakes, Shelby Crown Stakes, Horseshoe Indianapolis and Crown Ambassador stakes. There are significant events for standardbred and quarter horse racing, too. The highlight of the calendar is the Breeders Crown Open Pace.

Horseshoe Indianapolis information:

  • 4300 N. Michigan Road, Shelbyville, IN 46176, USA
  • 1-877-386-4463
  • Open 24 hours

2. Hoosier Park

Indiana’s other racecourse is located close to Anderson, northeast of Indianapolis. This course no longer has thoroughbred races, though you will find a packed standardbred and harness racing schedule.

Caesars Entertainment also owns this racetrack casino, which bought this track along with Horseshoe Indianapolis in 2018. It was recently renamed as Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.

Along with betting on the live action, you will find simulcast racing all year round. This allows you to bet on races from around the country. Live racing takes place from April to October. As well as the dirt racetrack, you’ll find a busy casino, entertainment complex and several restaurants on the site.

While the lack of thoroughbred racing means no big-name races, there are many “stakes” events for standardbred horses. These include the Dan Patch Stakes, which has a purse of $300,000. The highlight of the harness racing calendar, the Breeders Crown, was run at Hoosier Park in 2017.

Hoosier Park information:

  • 4500 Dan Patch Circle, Anderson, IN 46013
  • 1-800-526-7223
  • Hours: Open 24 hours

Off-track betting in Indiana

If you can’t make the racetracks, you can bet on races from Indiana and tracks in many other states via off-track betting venues. OTBs are licensed to take bets and show simulcast live footage of the races. You’ll find that some OTB venues include dining and entertainment options, too.

There are currently three OTBs to choose from in Indiana:

  • Winners Circle OTB: In Clarksville, this venue promotes itself as a Vegas-style lounge. It offers big screens to follow the action, as well as smaller personal screens. A bar and food concessions are available. The hours are 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays to Thursdays, with midnight closing Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Winners Circle OTB: In Indianapolis, this downtown venue offers a daily racing calendar and sports broadcasting, too. As well as the ability to bet on racing, you’ll find a pub and grill, and the Triple Crown Club lounge, which does require membership. Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight Sundays to Thursdays, and until 1 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Winners Circle OTB: In New Haven and located close to Fort Wayne, this venue has a bar for regular and craft beers. It also hosts a New Orleans-style restaurant called Voodoo BBQ & Grill. Opening hours are shorter than the other venues, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays to Thursdays, and closes at 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Both Hoosier Park and Horseshoe Indianapolis racetracks also allow OTB on races around the country and feature screens for simulcast racing.

Online horse race betting in Indiana

As noted, you can also wager on horse races online in Indiana. When you bet at these sites, you’ll be entering the pari-mutuel pools just like when you go to the tracks or off-track betting venues. You can deposit and withdraw using regular bank cards and common payment methods. You can even get an edge in your betting via free results services and past performance data.

Our top recommendation for online horse race betting in Indiana is FanDuel Racing.

Many Hoosiers are likely already familiar with the FanDuel brand thanks to sports betting. FanDuel has been operating in Indiana since 2019, and now the company’s racebook is here for the state’s bettors.

FanDuel Racing focuses on domestic racing, but there are plenty of opportunities to bet on international races, too.

Getting started at FanDuel Racing Indiana

Horse racing fans can take advantage of a new deal from FanDuel racing, regardless of whether or not you have an account with the company already. To use the racebook’s “ No Sweat First Win Bet” deal, just click the link at the top of this page.

Once you click that link, you’ll be asked to create your account which is a quick and simple process. You’ll be asked to provide some personal information, including your full nameemail addressphone numberphysical addressdate of birth, and last four digits of your Social Security Number. Continue following the prompts and agree to the site’s terms, and your account will be created and available right away.

From there you can deposit funds via a variety of methods, and when you do you’ll also have to provide some more information depending on the method you choose. Depositing options include debit and credit cardsonline bankingACH/e-checksPayPal, a FanDuel prepaid card among others.

Once you have funds in your account, you can look through the races, pick horses, and start submitting wagers. If you’re new to horse betting, check out FanDuel Racing’s useful Horse Betting 101 tutorials for tips about how to get started and even handicapping advice.

History of Indiana horse racing

While Indiana was late to the party with passing pari-mutuel betting laws, horse racing does have a long tradition there.

In the 1800s, the state fair and many smaller summer fairs featured standardbred and quarter (harness) racing. These were popular activities during a period where few home-based entertainment options existed. There was no official way of wagering on these races. With the Prohibition Era soon to follow, it would be a long time until those betting options became available.

The Riverboat Casinos Act of 1993 was the first step toward liberalizing gambling laws. As well as introducing the casino licenses, this act allowed pari-mutuel betting. The first racetrack was built (at Hoosier Park) and opened its doors on July 1, 1994.

Indiana Downs would open in 2002. The casino later changed its name to Indiana Grand, and most recently to Horseshoe Indianapolis. Both tracks are under the jurisdiction of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.

In 1995, the first thoroughbred racing started at Hoosier Park. Events like the Indiana Derby and Oaks would go on to become “stakes” races, attracting the top talent from around the country, including Triple Crown winners. Then in 2012, thoroughbred racing was moved to Horseshoe Indianapolis. Hoosier Park still features a packed calendar of standardbred and quarter horse races.

Both racetracks would get permission to add slots and table games in 2007. Today they are called “racinos,” in that they feature both a racetrack and a casino, plus host other events.