Iowa Gambling and Sports Betting News

The latest on sports betting, online gambling, lottery and more.

Iowans now have multiple options for gambling online legally. Here at, we cover the latest news, bonuses and reviews for online gambling in Iowa.

Sports betting is the latest addition, alongside daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests. You can bet on sports at retail sportsbooks or via mobile apps. When you register at an online sportsbook, you will need to use our promo code to qualify for bonus offers.

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Legal Gambling Options in Iowa

Online Sports Betting

Big sports betting brands, including PointsBet, William Hill and FanDuel, have partnerships with several brick-and-mortar casinos in Iowa. They provide access to a range of sports betting options via mobile apps, websites or at the land-based casino.

You’ll be able to bet on single games, add multiple selections into parlays or take advantage of innovations such as in-play and cash-out betting.

Online Lottery

The Iowa Lottery raises money to assist veterans and their families, the environment, infrastructure and community projects. The IA Lottery has been running since 1985 and includes a website portal in addition to retail kiosks.

You’ll be able to enter Iowa draws. including Pick 3 and Pick 4. The biggest prizes are available via multi-state draws, including the Powerball and Mega Millions.

Retail Sports Betting

Retail sportsbooks are operating at many of Iowa’s biggest casinos. Many use the expertise of the major sports betting brands.

Expect walls of HD TVs for watching games, and staff to be on hand to take you through the details of sports betting. Many retail sportsbooks have food and beverage options.

Daily Fantasy Sports

With daily fantasy sports contests legal alongside sports betting, picks contests are live in Iowa. Major brands, including DraftKings and FanDuel, offer DFS contests.

Unlike sports betting, you are not betting on individual games. Instead, DFS contests involve picking line-ups of players, which compete against other people’s picks in tournament or head-to-head contests.

Casinos & Gambling

While there are no state-regulated online casinos in Iowa; however, there are options under sweepstakes rules. Popular sites, including LuckyLand Slots and Chumba Casino, operate nationally, using a virtual currency called “sweeps cash.”

You can enjoy slots (some with progressive jackpots), plus limited table games and keno options. “Sweeps coins” are available for free.


Iowa has not introduced an online poker bill, nor is internet poker up for discussion. Iowa players have a variety of local poker rooms to choose from in addition to sweepstakes-style sites.

Global Poker uses sweepstakes gambling laws. This site operates nationally and welcomes credit card payments. Like the sweepstakes casinos, you can receive free “sweeps coins” by entering into contests or requesting them by mail.

Iowa gambling and the law

Bill 617 is the most recent addition to the gambling legislation in Iowa. Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the sports betting bill into law on May 15, 2019.

It set out a licensing framework for both retail and online sportsbooks. Each of Iowa’s 23 riverboat and land-based casinos can apply for two online sportsbook licenses. The low taxation on gambling revenue ensures that there will be plenty of competition in the Hawkeye State.

To gamble legally in Iowa, you need to be at least 21 years or older. You don’t need to be a permanent resident, though you must be present within state lines to bet. Until the end of 2020, you will need to complete your sportsbook registration in person at a license-holding casino.

Here are some key details from Bill 617:

  • Each Iowa casino can apply for one retail and two online sportsbook licenses.
  • The license fee is $45,000.
  • Revenue is taxed at 6.75%.
  • Betting on Iowa collegiate sports teams is allowed.
  • Daily fantasy sports is regulated alongside sports betting.

Iowa Online Gambling FAQ

Can I bet on sports online in Iowa?

Yes, Bill SF 617 licensed online sports betting in May 2019. William Hill was the first sportsbook operator to launch. You can legally bet on pro sports, college sports and a range of international fixtures in Iowa.

Furthermore, you must be 21 years or older and within the state lines to place sports bets in Iowa. Online sportsbooks use geolocation technology to ensure wagering is done legally.

Until the end of 2020, you will need to first register in person at a license-holding casino before you can wager online.

What kind of sports can I bet on?

In Iowa, you can bet on major pro leagues, individual sports and college action; however, you cannot wager on Iowa collegiate sports.

You can wager on NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB games, including soccer, boxing, MMA, golf, tennis, rugby and cricket. Depending on which sportsbook app you choose, there will also be a long list of niche and international sports from which to choose.

Do I need to live in Iowa to bet online?

No, you don’t need to be an Iowa resident to register for an online sports betting account. However, you will need to complete in-person registration until Jan. 1, 2021. It isn’t possible to place sports wagers at an online Iowa sportsbooks from outside state lines.

What kind of bets can I place online?

Betting apps give you access to the range of single and multiple bets and entertaining side bets (props). There are also innovative types available, including in-play and cash-out bets.

Here is the list of the popular bet types:

  • Moneylines
  • Spreads
  • Totals (over/unders)
  • Parlays
  • Teasers (alternative spreads)
  • Round robins
  • Futures
  • Proposition bets
  • Period betting

Note, there are many more bets that are sports-specific.

How do I fund my online sportsbook account?

When you deposit at regulated sportsbooks, you’ll have access to mainstream deposit methods. These include credit and debit cards, bank transfers, e-wallets and cash options (via the casino cage or retail stores).

Many online sports betting brands offer a prepaid debit card that you can use for deposits and withdrawals.

Is it safe to bet at offshore sportsbooks?

No, offshore sites are risky. With regulated sites in Iowa, you won’t be putting your bankroll in jeopardy. Licensed sites offer protection for your money and a way to deliver complaints (via the Iowa Lottery and the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission).

By contrast, the offshore sites don’t offer oversight and are based on the Caribbean Islands. If you have a dispute, or if the site shuts down and takes your bankroll with it, you have zero recourse. It is best to avoid these offshore sites.

Are online casinos legal in Iowa?

There are options for legal online casino games, though these are national sites and not part of Bill SF 617.

Sweepstakes casinos operate in 49 states using sweepstakes laws. Essentially, every spin or hand is a mini sweepstakes contest. You play using the virtual currency called “sweeps cash,” which you can exchange into dollars and withdrawn if you win.

To stay legal, casinos like LuckyLand Slots can’t sell you “sweeps cash” directly. Instead, you get this for free by buying “gold coins,” entering social media contests or sending a letter to a registered address.


How to bet online in Iowa

To wager on sports online in Iowa, you’ll first need to complete your registration in person. This requirement is in effect until the end of 2020.

You can start the process online, though, you’ll need to go to the casino with the license of the sportsbook to complete it.

Registering online is easy. You’ll need to provide the operator your name, email, date of birth, physical address and the last four digits of your Social Security number. The sportsbook will ask you to create a username and password, too.

How to download betting apps

Several sportsbooks are licensed for online betting in Iowa, which gives you a choice of bonuses and promotions. You can find out more about these on our sportsbook bonuses page.

Once you read our sportsbook reviews and have chosen a brand (or two), the next step is to decide how to access the betting site. You can download the sportsbook’s app or use your web browser.

  • Android Phones/Tablets: No gambling apps are allowed in the Google Play Store, which means you’ll need to download directly from the sportsbook sites. This method is safe despite needing to click through warnings that the app is from an “unknown source.”
  • Apple iPhones/iPads: Sports betting operators in Iowa will have apps in the Apple App Store. You can also follow a link from the websites. Note that changes in rules for Apple’s coding language mean some smaller brands are not ready with iOS apps.
  • Website Version: The browser-based sportsbooks are the only option for desktop computers and laptops. You can also access web-based sportsbooks from your phone. All the sites use responsive design, so they automatically adjust to your screen size.

How to fund your account

Depositing using cash at the casino cage is one of many ways to fund your sports betting account. The biggest advantage of regulated gambling sites in Iowa is you can deposit securely using mainstream banking options:

  • ACH/e-check
  • Bank wire
  • Bill pay
  • Branded prepaid debit card
  • Cash at the cage
  • Cashier’s check
  • Credit or debit cards
  • E-wallets: PayPal, Skrill or Neteller
  • Money order
  • PayNearMe at 7-Eleven stores

Why choose a regulated site?

When you choose a legal, regulated site, your money will be safe. While this is the main reason to choose Iowa betting sites, you’ll also find a better experience.

It starts with the brands. Names like William Hill, DraftKings and FanDuel have years of experience creating popular betting apps. Their technology is simple to use, and you’ll be sure no glitches will stop you from placing a bet on time. With a depth of betting markets and bet types unrivaled offshore, you’ll have much more choice.

When it comes to depositing and withdrawing, the choice of a regulated site over an offshore one becomes a no-brainer. Instead diving into the world of cryptocurrency or expensive gift card purchases, you can use regular payment options. With bank cards, cash and simple electronic transfers all available, you’ll be sure your deposits and withdrawals are fast and safe.

Finally, offshore sites have no oversight. In the past, gambling operators have disappeared, taking the entire bankroll of thousands of players. With regulated Iowa sites, your money is safe. In the event of a dispute, you can complain to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

Retail sportsbooks in Iowa

You’ll find a number of sportsbooks around the state at riverboat and land-based casinos. Many of these include major betting brands, like William Hill or FanDuel.

This list includes Iowa casinos and their live sportsbook operators:

  • Ameristar Casino, Council Bluffs

  • Catfish Bend Casino, Burlington: PointsBet Sportsbook

  • Diamond Jo Casino, Dubuque: FanDuel Sportsbook

  • Diamond Jo Casino, Northwood: FanDuel Sportsbook

  • Grand Falls Casino Resort: Betfred Sports and Elite Sportsbook

  • Hard Rock Hotel and Casino: Hard Rock Sportsbook

  • Harrah’s, Council Bluffs: Caesars

  • Horseshoe Casino, Council Bluffs: Caesars

  • Isle Casino, Bettendorf: William Hill Sportsbook

  • Isle Casino, Waterloo: William Hill Sportsbook

  • Lakeside Hotel Casino, Osceola, William Hill Sportsbook

  • Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino, Altoona: William Hill

  • Q Casino, Dubuque: IGT

  • Rhythm City Casino, Davenport: Elite Sportsbook

  • Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, Riverside: Elite Sportsbook

  • Wild Rose Casino & Resorts, Clinton: DraftKings Sportsbook

  • Wild Rose Casino & Resorts, Emmetsburg: DraftKings Sportsbook

  • Wild Rose Casino & Resorts, Jefferson: DraftKings Sportsbook

Responsible gambling in Iowa

Protection and assistance for people who develop gambling issues are baked into Iowa’s gaming laws. Responsible gambling awareness, links to support organizations and tools to manage time and spending limits are available online.

You will find that all reputable gambling brands take responsible gaming seriously. Many have detailed resource pages and a range of tools available.

Here is what to expect:

  • Information about problem gambling and examples of self-assessment questions.
  • Links and phone numbers for local and national help organizations, including the National Council on Problem Gambling.
  • The ability to set limits for bet sizes, deposit amounts and total wagered during a set time period. This can prevent bettors from “chasing losses.”
  • The ability to set up time-out periods for short or longer periods. Gamblers can also self-exclude permanently.