Iowa Online Gambling

Located in the Midwest with an approximate 3.1 million residents, Iowa is not considered a typical “hotbed” for gambling. Although IA gambling history is lengthy, things are just getting started for Iowa in terms of online gambling.

So, if you’re looking for a great variety of online sportsbooks, keep reading to learn what the Hawkeye State has in store for you.

Best IA Gambling Sites

SportsbookHorse Racing
PointsBetTwinSpires Racing
BetMGM SportsTVG
William Hill Sports Book Xpressbet
FanDuel Sportsbook

One of the main reasons we have an extensive and transparent ranking system is because every operator is built differently. We fairly analyze all online operators with these criteria:

  1. Game or Odds Variety
  2. Bonus Offer
  3. Customer Support
  4. Interface
  5. Payment Methods

Forms of Legal Online Gambling in Iowa

Gambling in IA got its start in 1983, and since then, the different types of gambling have undergone strenuous amendments. Currently, these are the different categories of online and in person gambling found in Iowa:

TypeOnlineLand-based
Casino GamesIllegalLegal
Sports BettingLegalLegal
Horse RacingLegalLegal
PokerIllegalLegal
Fantasy SportsLegalN/A
BingoIllegalLegal
LotteryIllegalLegal

Let’s look further and break down the few forms of legal online gambling in IA.

Casino Games

Unfortunately, real money casino games are still prohibited at this time. The only legalized casino games in Iowa are on riverboats or at the 19 land-based casinos.

Casino games were originally legalized in 1989 on approved riverboats. Later in 1994, casino games became legalized at racetracks with the addition of casino slots. By rapidly increasing in popularity, casinos have opened up throughout the state.

Even though we are seeing a trend towards legalized online casinos in the US, Iowa is taking its time moving forward. Certainly, there is a lot of red tape, plus, the online casinos will only minimize the traffic of existing land based casinos.

Sports Betting

Unlike casino games, the path to sports betting legalization sparked more support and acceptance from the local government. As soon as the IA Racing and Gaming Commission gave the green light in 2019, sports operators raced to open.

In fact, IA players were previously required to visit land-based casino partners to create an account. Currently, this is no longer the case, and players can successfully sign up for an account online. As a direct result, sports betting in IA has singlehandedly hit record high revenues. 

Some of the most popular and user-friendly sports operators in Iowa are:

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)

Widely accepted in 43 states, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is a type of sports gambling that follows an entire sports season. Unlike typical fantasy sports where players choose their teams for the entire season, competitors can change their teams daily. 

The DFS market is presently dominated by two major competitors, FanDuel and DraftKings. Both of these are available for online wagering, and players must be 18 or older to place DFS bets in IA. 

Bingo

Although Bingo has been considered legal since 1973, this only covers social and charitable gambling. In order to play Bingo for real money, the organization must apply and be approved for a Bingo license. The games must be low risk, low reward, and two jackpots cannot be played in a 24-hour period. Additionaly, jackpot prizes must be set prior to the start of the game.

Another thing to consider when playing Bingo in IA is that any cash winnings over $600 are subject to a deduction of 5% state withholding tax.

Furthermore, online bingo gambling is not a legal or accepted form of play in Iowa. Anyone found playing unregulated online bingo for real money may be subject to harsh legal repercussions not only including fines, but also jail time.

Horse Racing

Making its debut in 1983, Horse racing is one of the first legalized forms of gambling in Iowa. Currently, horse racing is legal for online or in person betting. There is only one racetrack, Prairie Meadows in Altoona.

Shortly after the racetrack got its start, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission began allowing slot machines (in 1994) and then table games (in 2005).

Lottery

Appointed by the Governor, the Iowa Lottery Division operates under the Department of Revenue and Finance. Five members are appointed to the board overseeing the lottery for the state. Some of the responsibilities of the IA lottery division include:

  • Provide support to state’s veterans through Iowa Veterans Trust Fund
  • Backing the Vision Iowa program
  • Support the Iowa Public Safety Survivor Benefits Fund
  • Help the IA General Fund

Lottery in IA got its start in 1985 and has not changed much since. The IA lottery is only available in person. Even though the Hawkeye State technically has a lottery mobile app, lottery tickets cannot be purchased on the app.

Poker

Traditionally a go-getter, Iowa has been rather hesitant to add poker to the online and land-based options. If the time comes for online poker to become accepted, it would be regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, which is the same as the land-based casinos.

IA Gambling Law

The most current law Senate File 617 (SF 617) involves the widespread acceptance and implementation of online sports gambling. This law was officially signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds in 2019.

As far as all other gambling categories go, each has had its own path to legalization. Here are the key dates in Iowa gambling history:

1983
Pari-mutual gaming is legalized
(horse and dog racing) (99D)
1989
Riverboats were legalized
for casino use (99F)
1989
Live horse racing
legalized (99D.9A)
1994
Slot machines get
installed in racetracks
2004
Table games get added
in racetracks
2019
Online sports wagering
legalized (SF617)

Local License Holders

Above all, the 19 land-based IA casinos offer licensing for online sportsbook partners. Legally, each casino is allowed two skins to operate under their licensing umbrella. With the expansion of sportsbooks, we expect to see more competition over time.

IA License HolderIA Gambling SitesLocation
Ameristar Casino Council BluffsSportsbook at Amerisports2200 River Road
Council Bluffs, IA 51501
Casino Queen MarquetteDraftKings Sportsbook100 Anti-Monopoly Street
Marquette, IA 52158
Catfish Bend CasinoPointsBet Sportsbook3001 Winegard Dr.
Burlington, IA 52601
Diamond Jo CasinoFanDuel Sportsbook301 Bell Street
Dubuque, IA 52001
Diamond Jo Casino- Worth777 Diamond Jo Lane
Northwood, IA 50459
Grand Falls Casino ResortBetfred Sports1415 Grand Falls Blvd.
Larchwood, IA 51241
Hard Rock Sioux CityHard Rock Sportsbook111 3rd St.
Sioux City, IA 51101
Harrah’s Council BluffsWilliam Hill Sports Book1 Harrah's Boulevard
Council Bluffs, IA 51501
Horseshoe Council BluffsWilliam Hill Sports Book2701 23rd Avenue
Council Bluffs, IA 51501
Isle Casino BettendorfWilliam Hill Sports Book1800 Isle Parkway
Bettendorf, IA 52722
Isle Casino Waterloo777 Isle of Capri Blvd
Waterloo, IA 50701
Lakeside Hotel CasinoWilliam Hill Sports Book777 Casino Drive
Osceola, IA 50213
Prairie Meadows Racetrack and CasinoWilliam Hill Sports Book1 Prairie Meadows Drive
Altoona, IA 50009
Rhythm City CasinoRhythm City Casino7077 Elmore Avenue
Davenport, IA 52807
Riverside Casino & Golf ResortElite Sportsbook3184 Highway 22
Riverside, IA 52327
Q CasinoQ Sportsbook1855 Greyhound Park Rd Dubuque, IA 52001
Wild Rose Casino and Resorts-ClintonDraftKings Sportsbook777 Wild Rose Drive
Clinton, IA 52732
Wild Rose Casino and Resorts-Jefferson777 Wild Rose Drive
Jefferson, IA 50129
Wild Rose Casino and Resorts-Emmetsburg777 Main St.
Emmetsburg, IA 50536

Each form of gambling has a different minimum age requirement. This applies to both online and traditional gambling at land-based businesses.

Casino Games21 Years Old
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)18 Years Old
Sports Betting21 Years Old
Horse Racing18 Years Old
Lottery21 Years Old
Bingo18 Years Old
Poker21 Years Old

Audiors and Regulators

While there is a variety of regulating authorities in Iowa, regulation depends on the category of gambling. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission regulates most of the gambling activity in IA, both online and in person.

Casino GamesIA Racing & Gaming Commission
Sports BettingIA Racing & Gaming Commission
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)IA Racing & Gaming Commission
BingoIowa Gaming Association
LotteryIowa Lottery Board
Horse RacingIA Racing & Gaming Commission

Responsible Gambling

Above all, Iowa takes all avenues of gambling seriously. For example, part of the reason why IA is so hesitant in making changes to their gambling laws is to ensure responsible gambling for all of their residents. With that being said, every operator must provide users with tools to limit and monitor their activity. Some of the available responsible gambling resources include:

IA Gambling Tax Rate

Surely, gambling benefits the state for a number of reasons, the main one being the tax revenue. Coming in slightly lower than most other states in the US, Iowa has a 6.75% online sportsbook tax rate.

Likewise, players are subject to a 5% state withholding tax for prizes over $600. In addition to the state tax, players can expect to pay a 24% federal withheld tax.

Remember to keep track of both your losses and your winnings for tax season. For any specific tax help, please make sure to contact a licensed accountant with questions.

IA Bonus and Promotions

On top of online horse racing running promotions, the online sportsbooks will typically have promos centered around Iowa Hawkeyes basketball games. Before placing any bets, we highly recommend taking the extra step to see any promotions or bonuses around major sporting events.

Here is a list of betting bonuses and promotions in Iowa:

  • Risk-free bet
  • No-deposit bonus
  • Deposit match bonus
  • Leaderboard promotions

Likewise, don't worry if the online gambling option doesn't offer any ongoing promotions; check out the available rewards program suited to your player account.

Payment Methods in IA Gambling Sites

Payment methods are typically parallel across the board as you venture from state to state. Currently, these are the legal payment methods that you may encounter:

VISAPayPalPayNearMe
Online BankingPlay+ACH/VIP Preferred

Regrettably, credit cards are not an accepted payment method to fund your account in the Hawkeye State. With that in mind, our favorite payment method is PayPal. Due to its convenience and an added layer of player protection, PayPal continues to outrank in every sense of the way.

Final Thoughts

Limitations aside, Iowa is quickly paving the way for a successful online gaming presence in the US. Surely, playing in IA has its perks, such as the lower tax rate, responsible gambling resources, and various sports books.

Undoubtedly, it is clear that the legalization of online gambling in IA has been a major benefit for the local economy in the short and long term. This is great for the residents and the community, and we can expect to see further online advancements take place within the next few years.

Iowa Online Gambling FAQs

What is the gambling age in Iowa?

The minimum gambling age depends on the form of gambling. For instance, all sports betting, horse racing, and casino games require players to be at least 21 years old. On the other hand, horse racing, bingo, and daily fantasy sports require players to be at least 18 years old to bet.

Can you play FanDuel in Iowa?

Yes, is legal and licensed in the state of Iowa. FanDuel had a much anticipated launched in Iowa in Sept. 2020. You can register online or even head into two retail FanDuel Sportsbooks located at the Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque or the Diamond Jo Worth Casino in Northwood.

Where can I play online bingo in IA?

Unfortunately, online bingo is not legalized in Iowa at this time. Currently, Bingo is considered a social or charitable game, and only licensed operators can hold in-person games. Additionally, bingo games are required to be low risk, low reward, and the jackpot prize is set before the start of the game.

Can I play online casino games in Iowa?

No, online casinos are still prohibited in Iowa. Currently the only casinos that you can gamble at are riverboat casinos, land based casinos, and tribal casinos. In total, of-age visitors and residents can play at any of the 19 casinos located throughout the Hawkeye State.

When did online sports gambling become legal in Iowa?

Online sports gambling became legal in IA in 2019. It has been one of the quickest accepted forms of gambling in the US. Since then, the online gambling market has been revolutionary for the IA community.

References

PlayingLegal.com