Iowa Online Gambling

Everything you need to know about DFS & online sports betting in IA: Expert reviews, welcome bonuses, app analysis, FAQ, & more.
Last updated: November 2021

What forms of gaming are permitted in Iowa?

Online Casinos

Online Sports Betting

Online Poker

Fantasy Sports

Online Lottery

Land-Based Casinos

Iowa’s recent legalization of sports betting has led to a huge expansion in the online gaming industry. Many of the country’s most popular online sportsbooks are now accessible in the state.

Since there are so many options, we’ve collected and reviewed Iowa’s top online gambling sites to help you pick the best one. All the sites here are 100% legal and safe and are regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

Read on as we take a look at the types of legal online gambling in Iowa. We will cover all the state’s main gambling sites, land-based casinos, and how to gamble online safely.

Types of Legal Online Gambling Available in Iowa

Online sports betting and sweepstakes online casinos are legal in Iowa.

Sports Betting

Sports betting became legal in Iowa in May 2019, which allowed online sportsbooks to expand in the state. Each of the 19 land-based casinos in Iowa can apply for three online sportsbook licenses. The first online sports betting sites launched alongside retail sportsbooks in August 2019. Here are all the online sportsbooks now available in Iowa.

  • DraftKings Sportsbook
  • BetMGM Sportsbook
  • Caesars Sportsbook
  • BetRivers Sportsbook
  • FanDuel Sportsbook
  • BetFred Sportsbook
  • PointsBet Sportsbook
  • Unibet Sportsbook
  • Bally Bet Sportsbook
  • theScore Sportsbook (App only)
Rank
Our Rating
Welcome Bonus
Highlights
#1
$1000 Risk-free
  • Big risk-free bet
  • Best promotions
  • Great mobile app
#2
$500 Risk-free
  • Player-friendly wagering
  • Community competitions
  • Great sports coverage
#3
$1500 Risk-free
bonus code REVIEWBONUS15
  • Solid welcome offer
  • Good odds boosts
  • Quality betting app
#4
20% up to $1000
  • Famous brand
  • Quality mobile app
  • Variety of betting options

Online Casinos

Online casinos are not legal in Iowa and might not be for a while since lawmakers seem to be more focused on online sports betting. Thankfully, Iowa players can still enjoy casino games through some sweepstake casinos.

Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily fantasy sports betting was legalized in Iowa alongside sports betting. Currently, only two operators are licensed to provide daily fantasy sports betting.

  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel

Online Poker

Online poker is illegal in Iowa, despite multiple attempts to legalize it between 2012 and 2015. With the recent legalization of online sportsbooks, legislators could once again look into bringing online poker to the state.

Choosing a legal Iowa online gaming site provides a much safer and rewarding experience when compared to offshore sites. Licensed and regulated sites allow you to relax and enjoy various betting types that are 100% legal.

Betting at a regulated betting site means that it is held to strict industry standards for security and fairness. The site’s license proves its trustworthiness and ensures it provides accurate betting odds. All games and sports bets are also audited by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

Legal Iowa gambling sites protect your personal and financial information by using industry-standard security technology. They also all provide Responsible Gambling tools and resources. This includes offering settings such as deposit and bet limits, account locking, and links to various support sites.

Online gaming in Iowa also contributes significantly to the state’s tax income. Iowa has received over $9 million in tax through sports betting since its legalization, and the gaming industry employs over 8,000 people. Over $95 million of the revenue of Iowa casinos has gone to nonprofit organizations.

How to Know If an Iowa Online Gambling Site Is Legal, Regulated and Safe

Look for the following signs to determine if an Iowa online gambling site is licensed and regulated.

Gambling Regulator License

The first step is to check the footer text at the bottom of the site’s homepage. This text tells you the regulator that has licensed the site to operate. All Iowa online gambling sites should be licensed by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

Land-based Casino Partner

Iowa sportsbooks need to be partnered with a physical casino to obtain a license. Look for the logo of the site’s official partner to ensure it is legitimate.

Legal Jurisdiction

Legal gaming sites need to know the state you are in, as many operators have not yet expanded to all states. This ensures they are providing legal betting that falls under your state’s laws. Always check for a list of available states and make sure to select Iowa if it is available. The use of geolocation technology ensures that you will only be able to make wagers if you are located in Iowa.

Reputation

Many of the top sportsbooks launched in Iowa as soon as sports betting was legalized. These names have been operating in other states long before coming to Iowa and have a strong reputation as a result. If you do not instantly recognize the company, always search for legitimate reviews to confirm their legality.

Customer Service

A common characteristic of unlicensed offshore gambling sites is their lack of customer support. These sites tend to avoid offering features like live chat, unlike licensed Iowa sites. Make sure you can get in touch with a site’s support team through live chat, email, or phone to ensure you can get assistance when you need it.

Transparent Terms and Conditions

Legal Iowa gaming sites will want to build a trusting relationship with their players. This means you can find detailed bonus terms and conditions, privacy policies, and betting rules. Links to these pages are usually found at the bottom of the site’s homepage.

US Headquarters

Iowa sportsbooks must have a land-based casino partner in the state. Sites with parent companies also usually have offices in the US, and their addresses are provided in the footer text.

Important Information When Choosing an Online Gambling Site in Iowa

The top Iowa gaming sites all provide a host of betting options to ensure everyone can enjoy high-quality and safe entertainment. There are a handful of factors to look at when choosing a site that showcases its useability and the value it provides.

Welcome Bonus

A valuable welcome bonus is one of the most important features to look for. For sportsbooks, popular welcome offers include risk-free bets and deposit bonuses. Many sites have similar bonuses, so make sure to search for the ones with the best value.

It’s also essential to check the terms and conditions to find out the bonus’s wagering requirements and restrictions. Welcome offers with a high maximum payout and high wagering requirements may not be the best option for you than a smaller offer with wagering requirements that are more easily attainable.

Promotions

While almost every site has a welcome offer, most will also offer bonuses and promotions for existing players. Checking a sportsbook’s promotions page is a quick way of seeing if they offer a steady stream of bonuses. These offers come in various types and ensure that players can enjoy high-value promotions.

Popular promotions include free bets, bet insurance, reload bonuses, and cashback bonuses. Sportsbooks also tend to offer more valuable variants of these bonuses for specific sporting events. If you’re interested in a site that we have covered, check out our review for a summary of its main promotions.

Rewards

Reward programs are a common feature of many licensed gambling sites in Iowa. These programs usually award points to players as they bet, which lets them advance through various levels to earn perks and extra bonuses.

Some sites also let you redeem points for even more rewards, which increases the site’s value. Reward programs are available to all users and are one of the best ways to earn benefits for wagering on the site.

Mobile

Many regulated Iowa gaming sites offer a mobile app that lets you take all the site’s features on the go with you. Not only can you make wagers on the go but also make deposits and withdrawals, check out bonuses and promotions offered, and contact customer service.

Mobile apps are free and easy to download and use and let you access your account and funds exactly like the desktop site. If the gaming site does not have an app you can still play through your browser. Mobile gaming should run smoothly and have an easy-to-use interface so you can enjoy your user experience.

Game Selection

The best Iowa sportsbooks give you plenty of options for both sports and markets. It should also be easy to find your preferred sport and view the various bet types.

All of the online bookies will offer the popular sports and many niche ones as well. In terms of betting markets the ones that are common at all sportsbooks in the state are spreads, totals, moneylines, parlays, and futures.

You should also check that the site provides updated odds, and a live betting section is always an excellent feature.

Gaming Regulator Information

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) licenses and regulates all online gambling sites in Iowa. Sportsbooks must be partnered with a land-based casino, and each casino can receive up to three licenses from the IRGC. Licensed sites are held to the IRGC’s regulations to ensure they are safe and fair.

The IRGC has a host of standards that sportsbooks must meet to receive a license. These include having adequate responsible gambling tools and utilizing standard security technology. Bonus terms and conditions and privacy policies are also checked to ensure they are fair to players.

You can also contact the IRGC using its online contact form if you have an issue with a sportsbook. This should only be done as a last resort if you cannot resolve the issue by contacting the site.

History of Online Gambling Legislation

Online gambling legislation in Iowa has had a long and unsuccessful history until recently. While physical casinos have been operating since 1991, online gaming only became legal in 2019 when bill SF 617 was passed.

This bill made both online betting legal for sports and daily fantasy sports, although online casinos were excluded. The state has had the ability to legalize daily fantasy sports since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed in 2006, which was the first step to legalizing online gambling in Iowa.

The next attempt was in 2011 and sought to legalize online poker, which failed. 2012 saw a second attempt at legalizing online betting, although this was also rejected. Another unsuccessful attempt was made in 2013, and it was not until 2018 that the sports betting bill began to gain support. Sports betting became legal on a state-by-state basis in May 2018 when the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amature Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

Responsible Gaming Resources in Iowa

The IRGC and the gaming platforms are responsible for ensuring that online gambling remains a form of entertainment and does not become an addiction. They must ensure that sportsbooks have adequate responsible gambling tools and policies. These include:

  • Enforcing the state’s minimum gambling age limit of 21
  • Allowing players set bet limits and self-exclude when they need to
  • Providing timeout options to give players more control
  • Giving back to the community through funding for nonprofits
  • Supporting problem gambling programs such as the Iowa Gambling Treatment Program
  • Ensuring that operators keep your personal data and funds secure

Gambling Limits

Gambling becomes a problem once you start spending more than you can afford. The ability to set deposit, betting, and time limits are standard options at legal online sportsbooks.

  • Deposit Limits: This option lets you set a maximum deposit amount, so you do not overspend.
  • Betting Limits: Betting limits apply to your bet amount, letting you set a maximum wager.
  • Timers: These pop-ups let you know how long you have been playing.
  • Time-Outs: You can limit the amount of time you spend online per day.
  • Self-Exclusions: Self-exclusion tools come in temporary and permanent options. This lets you close your account for a few months, years, or permanently, which will place you on the IRGC exclusion list.

Community Benefits

Responsible gambling also extends to the community surrounding Iowa casinos. Whether it be through tax revenue or donations to local organizations, most sites will be happy to tell you about their contributions.

  • Tax Income: Casinos partnered with the Iowa Gaming Association have paid over $400 million in state, county, and local tax. Iowa taxes are used to fund state-wide improvements. These include conservation efforts and workforce training.
  • Nonprofit Funding: Nonprofit groups in counties with casinos have received funding of over $95 million.
  • Local Economy: Iowa casinos contribute to the state’s economy by spending 86% of their expenditure on Iowa-based suppliers.

Problem Gambling Resources

The IRGC ensures that all regulated sportsbooks provide users with problem gambling resources. These include links to official Iowa support sites. Responsible gambling pages should also include extra resources. Standard features include listing common addiction signs to help players recognize problems.

The major support organizations in Iowa include:

  • The Iowa Gambling Treatment Program (IGTP): The IGTP funds and supports many of Iowa’s problem gambling services.
  • YourLifeIowa.org: This support organization provides various problem gambling resources like self-assessment forms. You can contact them on (855) 581-8111 or via live chat on their site.
  • Gamblers Anonymous (GA): Iowa is home to 14 GA chapters, and both open and closed meetings are available. You can find a list of meeting locations on the GA site.
  • Self-Exclusion Lists: The IRGC runs a self-exclusion program that lets players exclude themselves from all licensed gambling sites. You add yourself to the list by visiting a state-licensed gambling facility or by sending an email from the IRGC site.
  • National Problem Gambling Helpline (NPGH): You can also text or call the Iowa branch of the NPGH on 1-800-522-4700.
  • GamTalk: GamTalk is an online support group for problem gamblers that is available 24/7.

Land-Based Gambling Available in Iowa

Four tribal casinos and 19 commercial state-licensed casinos are located in Iowa. Many of these physical casinos are partnered with online sportsbook operators to offer online sports betting in the state.

These land-based casinos can apply for three online sportsbook licenses each. If you are looking to play casino games, you will need to visit a physical casino. Aside from slot machines and table games, many also offer retail sportsbooks and horse race wagering.

  • Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs: 2200 River Rd, Council Bluffs, IA 51501
  • Blackbird Bend Casino: 17214 210th St, Onawa, IA 51040
  • Casino Queen Marquette: 100 Anti Monopoly, Marquette, IA 52158
  • Catfish Bend Casino: 3001 Winegard Dr, Burlington, IA 52601
  • Diamond Jo Casino: 301 Bell St, Dubuque, IA 52001
  • Diamond Jo Casino Worth: 777 Diamond Jo Ln, Northwood, IA 50459
  • Grand Falls Casino: 1415 Grand Falls Blvd, Larchwood, IA 51241
  • Hard Rock Sioux City: 111 3rd St, Sioux City, IA 51101
  • Harrah’s Council Bluffs: 1 Harrah’s Blvd, Council Bluffs, IA 51501
  • Horseshoe Council Bluffs: 2701 23rd Ave, Council Bluffs, IA 51501
  • Isle Casino Bettendorf: 1777 Isle Pkwy, Bettendorf, IA 52722
  • Isle Casino Waterloo: 777 Isle of Capri Blvd, Waterloo, 50701
  • Lakeside Hotel & Casino: 777 Casino Drive, Osceola, IA 50213
  • Meskwaki Casino: 1504 305th St, Tama, IA 52339
  • Prairie Flower Casino: 1031 Avenue H, Council Bluffs, IA 51510
  • Prairie Meadows: 1 Prairie Meadows Dr, Des Moines, IA 50009
  • Q Casino: 1855 Greyhound Park Rd, Dubuque, IA 52001
  • Rhythm City Casino Resort: 7077 Elmore Avenue, Davenport, IA 52807
  • Riverside Casino & Golf Resort: 3184 IA-22, Riverside, IA 52327
  • Wild Rose Casino and Resort Clinton: 777 Wild Rose Dr, Clinton, IA 52732
  • Wild Rose Casino and Resort Emmetsburg: 777 Main St, Emmetsburg, IA 50536
  • Wild Rose Casino and Resort Jefferson: 777 Wild Rose Rd, Jefferson, IA 50129
  • WinnaVegas Casino Resort: 1500 330th St, Sloan, IA 51055

FAQ

Is online gambling legal in Iowa?

Yes, online gambling is legal in Iowa for online sportsbooks and daily fantasy sports. Online casino gambling and online poker is not legal.

Can I use my Iowa online gaming accounts in other states?

Yes, you can access your Iowa online gaming accounts in other states, but you will not be able to place bets. Most sites will allow you to check odds, make deposits and withdrawals, and even set up an account out of state. However, through the use of geolocation technology, you must be physically located in the state to make wagers.

I’m traveling to Iowa. Can I set up my account before I arrive?

Yes, you can create your account for an Iowa online sportsbook before arriving. We also recommend this as it is less stressful since you can start playing as soon as you arrive in Iowa.

The registration process will also be faster as you will have your identification documents close by. If you need help with signing up at a particular site, check out our review for an easy-to-follow guide.

Can I Play on Iowa Online Gambling Sites if I am Just Visiting the State?

Yes, anyone within Iowa’s borders can create an account at an Iowa online gaming site. You do not need to be a resident to register, but you must return to Iowa if you want to bet using your account.

What is the minimum age to Gamble Online in Iowa?

The minimum online gambling age in Iowa is 21, and you will need to confirm this by entering your date of birth when creating an online gambling account. You also need to provide the last four digits of your SSN to confirm your identity.

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