Every state that allows casinos, sports betting or lotteries takes problem gambling seriously.
While most who gamble do it for recreation, some have difficulty controlling it. The policies that protect these people are known as “responsible gambling.”
These measures help to prevent minors from gambling. In Indiana, you need to be 21 years or older to place a bet.
This page covers protections for problem gamblers in Indiana.
You’ll find information on agencies that help people with issues, learn self-exclusion rules for riverboat casinos (and racetracks) and we’ll share a checklist that can help identify gambling problems.
After that, we’ll cover the probable measures Indiana will likely introduce when the first online sportsbooks go live.
Responsible gambling at live casinos
Compared to some states, the responsible gambling laws that apply to live casinos are limited.
The rules mostly involve signage and adherence to a statewide self-exclusion system. Each licensed riverboat casino and racetrack pays $500,000 per year toward the governance of the self-exclusion system.
The signage is straightforward and must be close to the entrance of all Indiana casinos.
Each casino must prominently display phone numbers and website information of help organizations for problem gamblers, and provide information on how to self-exclude.
Self-exclusion is more complex. When someone joins this scheme, casinos have a responsibility to not accept any bets from him or her. The casinos need to have a means of identifying people who self-exclude. Once identified, the facility must remove him or her from the casino.
This system is made more complex by the fact that individuals can ask to be removed from the self-exclusion list. Implementation of this process is a significant part of the license in all live casinos.
How to register for self-exclusion from Indiana casinos
You can register for the Voluntary Exclusion Program (VEP) in the following places:
- The Indiana Gaming Commission offices, which are in Indianapolis.
- Any casino located within Indiana.
- An approved problem gambling treatment provider that is in the Hoosier State.
When you sign up, you agree not to enter any Indiana casino and that you will be removed (or could even be arrested for trespass) if you do not leave.
There are three durations for self-exclusion.
The most straightforward is for a lifetime. Also, there are one-year and five-year options.
If you choose one of these limited durations, you need to have yourself removed from the list of excluded persons by visiting the commission office or by mail. Without this removal, you will remain on the list.
A list of excluded people is distributed to every Indiana casino. Some casinos may also exclude people from their properties in other states (this is voluntary).
The casinos then have a responsibility to prevent individuals on this list from gambling to the best of their ability.
Problem gambling: A sample checklist
Experts agree that there is a list of symptoms that you (or someone you know) might have a gambling problem.
While a responsible gambler may regret a losing session once in a blue moon, problem gamblers tend to fall into patterns of thinking and behavior.
If the answer to any of these questions below is yes, then you or your loved one should seek assistance from a gambling treatment provider.
Here are the questions to consider:
- Have you ever borrowed money for gambling?
- Have you ever sold possessions to get money for gambling?
- Are you ever reluctant to use your “gambling money” for other expenses?
- Do you ever gamble for longer than you have planned?
- Have you ever found arguments or frustrations cause you the urge to gamble?
- If you lose, do you have an urge to gamble again to win back your losses?
- Do you ever gamble until you entirely run out of money?
- Do you ever gamble to escape worry or troubles?
- Do you ever lose track of time while you are gambling?
- Do other people ever comment that you spend too much time gambling?
- Does your gambling ever leave you feeling irritable?
Note that these are samples of many different questions. If you answered yes to any of them, then it is certainly worth contacting a treatment professional to discuss further.
Responsible gambling: Treatment providers and help organizations in Indiana
The best resource for problem gambling information in Indiana is the Indiana Council on Problem Gambling. They have an office in Indianapolis, though you can contact them via telephone around the clock.
As well as listing state-funded treatment providers and providing questionnaires and events, the ICPG have resources for friends and family that may be concerned about a loved one.
Indiana Council on Problem Gambling
- 309 Washington Street #334, Indianapolis, IN 46204
You will find information on problem gambling resources in Indiana from the National Council on Problem Gambling website. If you call the NCPG helpline on 1-800-522-4700, you can get advice and guidance and get in contact with providers of any specific assistance in your local area.
The NCP lists the Indiana Familiar and Social Services Administration as a contact in addition to the NCPG. This acknowledges that general health and addiction assistance often goes hand-in-hand with gambling issues.
National Council on Problem Gambling
Finally, you will find a resource page for problem gambling on the in.gov website.
This page is a listing, with the Indiana Council on Problem Gambling and the associated awareness program at the top of the list. You will also find information on Gamblers Anonymous (including local meetings), and information on the Voluntary Exclusion Program here: www.in.gov/igc/problemgamblinghelp/2332.htm.
Responsible gambling and the Hoosier Lottery
It is not only casinos and online sports betting that require assistance for players with gambling problems. You will find the Indiana lottery also takes it seriously.
Its responsible gaming page provides information and the telephone number of the Indiana Council on Problem Gambling. Hoosier Lottery also provides videos that explain how the odds of lotto games work, plus a link to a page containing the warning signs that you may have a problem.
Responsible gambling and online sports betting
Online sports betting provides extra challenges for the implementation of responsible gambling policies. Indiana bill H 1015 includes an additional 3.33% levy on profits, which will fund organizations and treatment providers.
Looking at states that already offer legal online sportsbooks, you will see the critical elements in place. Technology allows players more flexibility with their self-exclusion and time-out options.
Here is what’s possible:
- Self-exclusion: Online sportsbooks provide tools that allow for flexible self-exclusion, ranging from one week to a lifetime.
- Bet limits: Players can set their maximum bet limits, which could be from a single wager or a specified time — for example, a daily $100 total, with a max of $30 per bet.
- Deposit limits: This involves the ability to set daily, weekly or monthly maximums on the amount you can deposit.
- Questionnaires and links to help organizations are also part of the responsible gambling information of online sites.
KYC checks: Key to implementing responsible gambling
In Indiana, you must be 21 or older to gamble. This rule applies to online sports betting, as well as live casinos. The sportsbook websites will have an obligation to make sure their players are legal age.
They will do a via KYC (know your customer) check for all depositing players. You’ll be asked to provide ID documents. These will include government-issued photo ID, proof of address and proof of your deposit method. The last one will depend on how you deposit.
KYC checks have another benefit. By verifying the identity of bettors, the sites can protect themselves from bonus abuse and money laundering. This, in turn, protects the legitimate bettors.
Wrapping up: Indiana’s responsible gambling policies
Indiana casinos already share a self-exclusion program.
Any player who joins this can no longer enter any live casino. It is the casinos’ responsibility, under their licensing conditions, to protect self-excluded players.
You will find the Indiana Council for Problem Gambling, which has plenty of resources for Indiana residents. These resources cover friends and family, as well as individuals that require help. There are many state-funded treatment-providers.
By helping the small percentage of players who have legitimate issues with their gambling, Indiana allows recreational gamblers to enjoy the games.
If you do feel your gambling is becoming a problem, I recommend checking a self-assessment questionnaire. By dealing with any issues early, you can minimize the potential for damage.