Iowa Online Gambling

Our comprehensive free guide to IA online gambling with news, reviews of Iowa gambling sites, and the best of IA sports betting sites, online casinos, and mobile poker apps!

Looking for another state? Check out our US online gambling guide.

5 Best Iowa Online Gambling Sites

We have reviewed and ranked the top online gambling sites in Iowa.

1. Betway IA

  • Initial Risk-Free Bet Offer
  • Easy to use Software
  • PayPal Support
  • 24/7 Live Chat Available

Betway has an array of selections for sporting enthusiasts in Iowa. Their easy-to-use online betting software is great for players looking to place their bets. Their bonus offers are some of the best in the business, especially for new users. Betway offers one of the most user-friendly gambling experiences with its state-of-the-art interface, various accepted deposit and withdrawal methods, and first-class customer support. Betway Sportsbook is a perfect choice for anyone who wants to have some fun while gambling in Iowa.

2. BetMGM IA

  • Risk-Free Bet For New Players
  • Various Bonuses and Offers
  • Superior App Support
  • PayPal Support

BetMGM Sportsbook has recently introduced its services to Iowa, covering a variety of sporting markets from MMA to Baseball. The sportsbook is run by MGM Resorts International, which is one of the biggest gambling corporations in the world. The platform offers a streamlined interface with a beginner-friendly layout, which is easy to use and secure. Players can expect an extensive range of sports with numerous betting options. Players wishing to enjoy mobile gaming with the sportsbook can use their offered application or instant-play platform. Their app allows multiple bets, single betting, and more. BetMGM also has one of the most reliable customer support services, with 24/7 access through various channels.

3. Caesars Sportsbook IA

  • A Plethora of Betting Markets
  • Exclusive Rewards Club
  • 100% Matched First Bet Insurance 
  • Various Banking Methods

In Iowa, Caesars Sportsbook is one of the most reliable and trusted names in the betting industry. Thankfully they offer their acclaimed services in the state of Iowa as well. With the majority of sporting services being covered on their betting platform, players can make the most out of their gambling experience with Caesars. They also offer various loyalty programs in collaboration with their partners through which you can earn points to spend on leisure activities in selected hotels, restaurants, and shopping locations.

4. DraftKings IA

  • Attractive Sign-Up Offer 
  • High-Valued Bonuses
  • Regular Moneyback promos
  • Unique App Features

DraftKings has a reputation for offering one of the best daily fantasy sports platforms in the US. DraftKings is at the very top in terms of reliability, deposit bonuses, and offering a top-quality experience for their players. When it comes to bonuses and rewards, they are easy to understand and their odds are fair and competitive. Besides daily fantasy sports, DraftKings also has a vast variety of sports for players to bet on, with markets like Spread, Moneyline, along with some of the most comprehensive betting markets in Iowa.

5. Unibet IA

  • Sizeable Risk-Free Bet Offer
  • Loyalty Incentives 
  • Recurring Bonuses
  • Multi-Platform App Support

Unibet's strongest suit is the variety of future bets offered by the platform. The site works excellently on mobile gadgets since every section featured appears streamlined on smaller gadget screens. Players can place wagers on a vast variety of sports, such as NFL, NBA, Baseball, and Soccer. Since Unibet is one of the most prominent names in the iGaming industry, reliable customer service is a given. Their representatives respond fairly quickly and in our experience genuinely want to help players with their inquiries. Unibet is a renowned sportsbook with numerous betting types for various sports, odds pricing, and a number of withdrawal options.

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Legal Real Money Gambling In Iowa

Iowa state laws will prohibit players from gambling on a range of activities, however, the good news is that online sports gambling is available for all Iowa residents above the age of 21. Below is a list of activities you can bet on while you are in the state of Iowa.

IA Online Casinos

Online casino gambling has not been legalized in Iowa, though there are hopes that IA online casino sites will be legalized soon. Residents of Iowa can instead play at social casino websites or sweepstakes websites. There are still plenty of options available, from slots games to table games with actual prizes. For sweepstakes and social casino websites to be legal in the state, they must be free to play. These games must not require any kind of payment, e.g., advance payments for residents of Iowa to collect their winnings. The websites must also publish their winning odds.

IA Online Sportsbooks

The state of Iowa made sports betting legal in May 2019, with the very first sportsbook applications going live in August of that year. Although there are no prominent pro teams in the state, Iowa still has a vast variety of top sportsbook websites. Iowa residents can select from over sixteen legal online sportsbooks that provide a vast array of sign-up bonuses to new players. Enjoy parlay bet builders, prop bets, and live betting in most legal sports betting sites in Iowa! As of January 2021, it is possible to sign up at any of Iowa's sportsbooks. However, you must be inside the state to be able to place wagers. Every online sportsbook in Iowa will differ slightly, but the ones we have recommended all offer fair and competitive odds and are conducive for a good betting experience.

IA Horse Racing Betting

Home to the Prairie Meadows Casino & Hotel, Iowa has a rich history in horse racing betting that started in the late nineteenth century. Back then, a majority of the racing in the Midwest was involved in standardbred harness racing. The state provides legal OTB (off-track betting) and ADW (advance deposit wagering) within a majority of the state's casinos and Iowa Greyhound Park. Players can also place wagers on horse racing throughout the US via TVG, which has a reputation as being the most popular operator when it comes to horse racing betting. Besides that, the state has plenty of mobile and online sportsbooks that accept bets on horse races.

IA Daily Fantasy Sports

The legalization of sports betting in Iowa also brought daily fantasy sports to the state. Daily fantasy sports is a twist on conventional fantasy sports. Compared to leagues that take months to finish (making up one season), daily fantasy sports only take a day. Players in Iowa can choose an entirely new line-up and play as often as they wish. Daily fantasy sports games also come with real money rewards for their players. The top DFS contenders are DraftKings and FanDuel.

IA Online Poker

Unfortunately, online poker has not been expressly legalized in Iowa as of yet. There have been several past and current attempts to legalize it, however. While Iowa does not have allowed online poker yet, it does have other options for the state's residents. You can play poker on websites operating under the US sweepstakes regulations. Since these websites employ a sweepstakes model, gamblers can partake in legal ring games and online poker tournaments which operate as sweepstakes contests. A lot of sit & go, tournament, and cash game players are patiently waiting their turn as more and more states open up to real money poker.

Iowa Lottery

Iowa's state lottery has been in operation since its establishment in 1985. It provides many options for players, such as Lucky for Life, Mega Millions, and InstaPlay games. There are also expectations that an online lottery will be introduced in the state someday soon. According to reports, legislators have been working on allowing e-tickets since December 2018.

How We Rank Top Online Gambling Sites In Iowa

An Iowan's online gambling experience can be affected by more than how much money they win (or lose). A gambler's experience should be fun and any sites that have the habit of making their players feel frustrated should always be avoided when there are sites that can make your gambling experience something to remember.

We have very strict criteria when recommending casino sites to our Iowan players. If operators pass all of our tests, we go ahead and promote them on our own website.

Safety & Licensing

We only recommend sites that are licensed by authorities approved by the state of Iowa. If a site doesn't hold the appropriate licensing your money and personal information could be at risk! Offshore gambling is something we strongly advise against and we suggest that you only bet on sites that you are 100% confident in are legitimate.

Reputation & Prestige

If a gambling site is not viewed in a positive light by its customers then they are failing. What can be more important to any business than maintaining their client's trust? There are many sites out there that do not pass our very high standards. Those that do though we are happy to recommend.

We do extensive research on all the gaming sites we look into and from this, we can gain a great sense of how easy a site is to use, how trustworthy a site is, etc. Sure, problems can occur from time to time but if we see a site is having persistent issues then that's when the alarm bells start ringing.

Customer Service

Sometimes unexpected issues might occur while you are gambling online or you might simply want to ask a question about a gambling promotion. If you are feeling anxious to get your questions answered the last thing you want is a lousy support team. 

The first thing that a great sportsbook should have is live chat. Receiving a reply as soon as possible is great and saves us from waiting 24 hours or more wondering if the issues can be resolved. If a sportsbook offers its customers around-the-clock support that also gives them a thumbs up in our books.

Great gambling operators add comprehensive help documents in their support section, with a clean, fast, and accurate search box for you to find answers without having to speak to a customer representative.

Best Odds & Markets

When browsing through a sportsbook it is good to know that there are a variety of sporting events that can be bet on as well as specific markets within the sport. A good sportsbook will allow its players to bet on a wide array of things that can happen during a game, live. They must also offer their players competitive and fair odds.

When navigating sporting markets we look for variety. For example, in a game of soccer, there can be more than fifty markets available to bet on. It is important to us that a player doesn't feel like they have a lack of options.

Special Bonuses

You might be aware that it is common practice for sportsbooks and casinos alike to offer welcome bonuses for their new clients. Some offers might appear to be great but there can sometimes be unrealistic wagering demands that would mean it is very unlikely that you will ever be able to cash this bonus out.

IA sign-up bonuses can come in the form of free bets, risk-free bets, cash bonuses as well as some other variations. The best casinos tend to offer the most enticing bonuses for their customers that are also fair. A common sportsbook special offer will involve you betting a minimum amount of money in order to receive some free bets. The operator basically wants to avoid players getting a bonus and cashing it out immediately without playing (and losing ;)).

Game Inventory

Regardless of what game you love, we all need to break the routine and play a different poker or blackjack variant, some different type of slot games, or simply have fun with some prop and parlay bets. The point is, whatever sportsbook or casino site you are wagering on should offer a wide range of games and experiences. We know most casino players love live dealer games, and sports bettors enjoy in-play betting.

Deposits & Withdrawals

Banking methods are pretty standard across gambling sites in Iowa. Hawkeyes and Iowans can obviously use their debit or credit cards, as well as standard e-money institutions such as PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller. Which ones are best really depend on personal preferences and whatever explicit or implicit limits these organizations have on your account.

The first time you play on a betting site, you may need to submit a few KYC documents though the times after should be smooth and quick. After all, brands and operators need to comply with anti-money laundering regulations.

How To Start Gambling In Iowa

Betting in Iowa should be a fun experience for all. If you follow these steps you will be able to get the most out of your gambling.

Choose a site you want to bet with

Through reading our guide you would have seen some of the best sportsbooks Iowa has to offer. Some of them might have stood out to you because they cover the sport you want to bet on or have a wide variety of markets for example. Betting on the correct site for you is arguably the most important part of the entire gambling experience.

Select a good bonus

A good casino site will be more than happy to entice new players to their site by offering very appealing welcome offers. A bonus offer does need to be studied closely before you can consider it to be worthy of your time. For sportsbooks make sure your bonus does not need to be wagered an unreasonable amount of times and also make sure you know what to do in order to activate the bonus being offered.

Register with the site you trust the most

The next step will be to sign up for the sportsbook you have chosen. When doing this make sure you are signing up for the offer with the welcome bonus. You will then need to give your personal details such as your full name, D.O.B, and phone number for example. You will also need to provide proof of address and some form of identification to prove you are a legal citizen.

Put money into your betting account

You will now need to deposit money into your betting account. Select an amount you can afford to lose and pay with the payment method of your choice. It is worth noting that a lot of casinos only issue a bonus if you have used either your debit/credit card. Also, if you want to trigger the bonus you will have to deposit at least the minimum amount specified on the offer so please bear this in mind.

Place your bets

This is the part we all want to get to. Once the money is in your account you will be all freed up to bet. Pay close attention to the odds you are betting on as these will determine the money you will ultimately end up winning if the bet were to be successful.

Withdraw your money

If you are lucky or skillful enough to end up winning big with a sportsbook in Iowa you will want to withdraw your winnings. When you can expect to see your winnings hit your account will vary but this shouldn't be any longer than a few days.

Legal Gambling Bonuses In Iowa

Sportsbooks and gambling sites in Iowa have lots of enticing offers for customers considering what site they would like to gamble on. Bonuses rightly are considered an effective way to bring in new players.

Here is a list of some promotions you are likely to see on legal gambling sites in Iowa.

IA Welcome Bonus

New deposit bonuses are the most common type of promotion. Iowa has some very enticing ones and these bonuses can potentially extend the amount of time and fun you have gambling. A typical welcome offer for a sportsbook would involve you having to bet a required amount of money above specific odds detailed in the promotion in order to trigger a number of free bets.

IA Risk-Free Bets

Risk-free bets tend to have two variations. The most popular one is where you receive your losses in the form of a free bet and the other one is where your stake is returned in cash. Either way, your first bet can be considered a free hit.

IA Reload Bonus

Reload bonuses are for the use of existing players. Some reload bonuses can be achieved by activating them by placing a certain amount of bets throughout a week while some reload bonuses will just be given to you to entice you to gamble more with the sportsbook.

IA Odds Boost

An odds boost will increase the odds of your selection before you place your bet. Generally speaking the higher the odds of your selection, the more the odds will increase. This will ultimately mean that if your bet is successful you will win more money on the site.

IA Loyalty Programs

Loyal players deserve to be rewarded. Some casinos will have very specific guidelines on what you will need to do to become part of an Iowan loyalty program while others might reward customers based on how long they have been using their betting platform.

IA Gambling Laws

The state of Iowa is open to sports betting but all forms of poker and casino play are strictly prohibited. Here below is a table so you can get some idea of the gambling laws that are currently in operation in Iowa.

GameLand-BasedOnlineMobile
CasinoExcursion boat gambling, including coin-operated games, is legal. Gambling on land is prohibited except for on Indian reservations. Online casino sites are not yet permitted in Iowa.Casino mobile apps are still not permitted in Iowa.
Sports BettingIowa legalized sports betting in May 2019.In Iowa, online sports betting is legal.Mobile sports betting is legal in Iowa. The 2019 legislature that approved online sports betting in the state includes mobile betting.
Horse RacingHorse racing betting is legal in Iowa.Horse racing betting online is legal in Iowa.Horse racing apps can be used in Iowa.
PokerPoker has not yet been legalized in Iowa.Online poker sites are banned in Iowa.In Iowa real money poker apps are illegal.
The legality of different types of gambling activities in the state of Iowa.

IA Gambling Regulators

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC), established in 1983, is responsible for overseeing all internet fantasy sports contests, race meetings, pari-mutuel, and gambling operations in Iowa. It also issues licenses to operators legally providing their services in the state.

IA Gambling History

Below are some of the most notable events in the gambling history of Iowa.

1983 - The Horse Racing and Pari-Mutuel Betting Act

All kinds of gambling were illegal in Iowa between 1846 and 1972. Though a major breakthrough occurred in 1983 when Iowa legislators made pari-mutuel betting and horse racing legal in the state. With the Pari-Mutuel Wagering Act came the establishment of the IRGC, responsible for overseeing all forms of gambling and providing licenses to operators in the state. Later on, Greyhound racing was also legalized.

1985 - Iowa Lottery

The Iowa Lottery was established in April 1985, which sold pull tabs, scratch tickets, as well as lotto tickets. The sales began in August that same year, with an opening celebration held at the Iowa State Fair. The first-ever lottery product to be sold was Scratch, Match, and Win; an instant scratch game.

1991 - Riverboat Casinos

In April 1991, the first riverboat casinos were launched in Iowa, making it the first US state to legalize riverboat casinos. The first riverboats to launch that day were the Diamond Lady, the Dubuque Casino Belle, and the President. The Emerald Lady was premiered later in May 1991.

1994 - Bingo, First Slot Machines & Video Lottery Terminals

The very first slot machines were released in 1994 and placed on the pari-mutuel racetracks around the state. Bingo was also legalized towards the end of 2000. In 2004, video lottery terminals that resembled casino slot machines were rolled out but later removed in 2006, after an overwhelming number of complaints.

2019 - Legalization of Sports Betting

In May 2019, Governor Kim Reynolds approved bill SF617, formally legalizing sports betting in Iowa. Three months later, the state began accepting its first sports bets, with thirteen (out of nineteen) state casinos receiving their licenses.

Responsible Gambling in IA

Gambling should always be fun although many do develop severe gambling problems, affecting their quality of life. Gambling too much can lead to compulsive behavior which can be dangerous. In such a case, intervention (by family and friends) and self-assessment are vital.

Below are some responsible gambling resources you can contact if you feel that your gambling behavior is not under control.

OrganizationPhone NumberDescription
National Council on Problem Gambling Iowa800-522-4700a helpline assists Iowans with problem gambling
Iowa Department of Health800-BETS-OFFoffers detailed information on self-evaluation and treatment providers
Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission515-281-7352detailed information on self-exclusion programs
Iowa Problem Gambling Organizations

If you have doubts, read and learn more about problem gambling and gambling addiction.

IA Gambling: FAQ

Answers to common questions from gamblers in Iowa about their state's position on various gambling topics.

Sportsbook betting has been legal in Iowa since 2019. Unfortunately, other forms of popular gambling activities such as poker and casino games are currently prohibited. Although there is some hope that this will change in the future.

The legal age for gambling in Iowa is 21. When signing up for a sportsbook it is very likely that they will ask you to provide some form of identification so you can prove your age.

Who is regulating gambling in Iowa?

The IRGC (Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission) oversees all forms of gambling in Iowa. Besides that, it is also known for issuing licenses to gaming operators offering services within the state.

What casinos currently operate in Iowa?

The casinos that currently operate in Iowa include the Isle Casino Bettendorf, Prairie Meadows, Rhythm City Casino Resort, Diamond Jo Casino, Casino Queen Marquette, Q Casino, Horseshoe Council Bluffs, and many more.

Should I wager on offshore gambling sites from Iowa?

Offshore gambling should never be considered for players of Iowa. You will not be guaranteed protection and will not be viewed in a good light by the law. We strongly advise that you stay away from such activity.

Is it safe to use IA gambling sites?

If you are ever doubting a site's legitimacy please never go ahead and use it! All the sites we recommend on this site are 100% legitimate and hold the appropriate licensing that has been issued by the state of Iowa.

How are gambling profits taxed in Iowa?

Gambling in Iowa is taxed locally and federally, similar to most other US states. The state imposes a withholding rule of 5 percent of every gambler's winnings, along with a 24 percent withholding federal tax.