Is it legal to bet on the Indy 500? Betting motorsports responsibly

May 23, 2024

One of the most popular and prestigious events in the motorsports calendar – the Indy 500 – is rapidly approaching on Memorial Day Weekend. Millions of people around the world will tune into the race, while over 200,000 people will travel to Speedway, Indiana to witness the event in person. The race is bound to get a lot of attention, but will fans be able to place a wager on the Indy 500 if they so wish? Let’s get into the legality of betting on the Indy 500, whether you’re watching on television or in-person at the track.

How and where can I bet on the Indy 500?

Is sports betting legal in Indiana?

Sports betting is available in Indiana for its residents or people traveling to the Hoosier State for the Indy 500. Both in-person and online sports gambling have been legalized in the state. The Hoosier State was one of the first few states to legalize sports betting after the federal ban on sports gambling was overturned. In-person sports betting was launched on September 1, 2019, while mobile sports betting followed shortly after on October 3, 2019 (Forbes).

Location considerations 

For those not in Indiana for the Indy 500, you can still gamble on the race as long as you’re in one of the 38 states that have legalized some form of sports gambling. Of the 38 states overall, 30 have legalized online sports betting. Those 30 jurisdictions include Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Some states have legalized sports gambling, but only at in-person retail locations. Those states include Delaware, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin. 

And there are 12 states that have not legalized sports betting at all. Those are California, Texas, Idaho, Utah, Minnesota, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Age considerations 

The majority of the 38 states, including Indiana, require a person to be at least 21 years old to bet on sports. However, there are a handful of states that have a minimum age of just 18 years old. Some of those locations include Kentucky, Montana, Rhode Island, Washington, D.C., and Wyoming.

It’s important to remember that you must abide by the rules set by the state in which you are in. That means an 18-year-old from Kentucky cannot legally bet on the Indy 500 in Indiana.

Do FanDuel and DraftKings have betting on the Indy 500?

Yes, FanDuel and DraftKings will have several markets available for the Indy 500. Both sportsbooks already have odds available for the race, including outright winner, top-3 finish, or top-5 finish. Remember to put in your research and gamble responsibly.

History of betting on the Indy 500

The Indy 500 has been happening every year during Memorial Day weekend since 1911. There were a few times that the race did not happen during the World Wars, but besides those few outliers, the Indy 500 is a staple of the motorsports calendar. The race occurs at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and usually attracts multiple hundreds of thousands of people (Britannica). But betting on the Indy 500, or any motorsports race, was not permitted until the 2018 when PASPA was repealed, then in Indiana in fall 2019.

In the early months of 2018, the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). This lifted the federal ban on sports betting and permitted states to legalize sports gambling. Motorsports was one of the many sports that had been illegal to bet on, but with the overturn of the ban, gambling on races became a reality. Sportsbooks now offer odds for plenty of motorsports events, including NASCAR, IndyCar, and Formula 1.

5 Responsible Gaming tips for betting on motorsports

1: Set a limit for yourself for the race

Finding a limit and sticking to it is critical for gambling. For the Indy 500, it’s one race that happens in one day, so figure out your budget for how much you will allot to gambling on the race, and don’t exceed it.

2: View sports gambling as paid entertainment

Only gamble what you’d be willing to spend on other forms of entertainment, like a ticket for a sporting event or concert. Perceive betting as paid entertainment, as that can guide how much you should be willing to spend/risk.

3: Learn about the Indy 500 and motorsports rules

A motorsports race is different from other sports that you may bet on. Do your research on the race to learn about the odds and markets available.

4: Avoid gambling under the influence of drugs or alcohol

It’s important to try and avoid betting under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Plenty of motorsports events have alcohol present, so if you’re headed to the Indy 500 or a different race, remember to gamble responsibly, which means not doing so if you’ve been drinking. 

5: Learn your betting budget and unit size

Before you bet, you should figure out your betting bankroll, which can be thought of as a budget for gambling. It should be an amount that you’re comfortable losing entirely, with no impact on your financial health. From there, learn your unit size. A unit is usually 1-4% of your betting bankroll and the normal size of one bet.

Gambling Addiction treatment and resources 

A gambling addiction can be just as dangerous as an alcohol or drug addiction. However, help is available for those suffering from problem gambling. Birches Health offers telehealth treatment options for those fighting a gambling problem by providing care from a team of trained professionals who have years of experience. All meetings are completely confidential, and 90% of patients feel an increase in quality of life after treatment with Birches.

If you believe you or someone else could benefit from the Birches Health offerings, please call (833) 483-3838 or email hello@bircheshealth.com to chat with someone today. 

Sources:

Indiana Sports Betting – Is Sports Betting Legal In IN? – Forbes Betting

Indianapolis 500 | Cars, Winners, History, & Facts | Britannica

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