Iowa Sports Betting and Gambling News

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

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

Sports betting is the latest addition, alongside DFS contests. You can bet on sports at retail sportsbooks, or via mobile apps.

Horse racing betting is also available online. There are also legal options for casino games and slots, plus online poker, under sweepstakes gambling rules. Completing the list is the Iowa lottery, which has online games in addition to the retail ticket and scratch card sales.

Legal Gambling Options in Iowa

Online Sports Betting

Big brands including William Hill and FanDuel have partnered with brick and mortar casinos in Iowa. They give you access to a full range of sports betting via apps, websites or in person.

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

Online Lottery

The Iowa lottery raises money for 4 funds. These assist veterans and their families, the environment and infrastructure / community projects. This has been running since 1985, and now includes a detailed website portal in addition to the retail kiosks.

You’ll be able to enter Iowa draws including the 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 already running at many of Iowa’s biggest casinos. Many use the branding and expertise of big betting brands.

Expect walls of HD TV screens showing the action and staff to take you through the finer details of placing your bets. Many retail sportsbooks offer food and beverage options while you wager.

Daily Fantasy Sports

With DFS contests now legal alongside full sports betting, picks contests are now live in Iowa. Big brands including DraftKings and FanDuel offer Daily Fantasy Sports contests.

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

Online Casino

While there are no state regulated online casinos in Iowa, there are options under sweepstakes gambling rules. Popular sites including LuckyLand Slots and Chumba Casino operate nationally, using a virtual currency called ‘Sweeps Cash’.

You’ll be able to enjoy slots (some with progressive jackpots), plus limited table games and keno options.

Online Poker

Sweepstakes gambling laws are used by Global Poker. This site operates nationally, and welcome credit card payments. Like the sweepstakes casinos, you’ll play with Sweeps Cash, which can be exchanged for dollars and withdrawn.

Enjoy cash games and poker tournaments – most of which use the popular Texas Hold’em format.

Iowa Gambling and the Law

Bill 617 is the most recent addition to the gambling legislation in Iowa. This was signed into law by governor Kim Reynolds on the 15th of May 2019. It set out a licensing framework for both retail and online sportsbooks. Each of the 21 riverboat and land-based casinos were invited to apply for licenses. Up to 2 mobile sportsbook licenses per casino, and competitive (low) taxation on their revenue, ensures that there will be plenty of competition in the Hoosier state.

To legally gamble online in Iowa, you need to be 21+. There is no need to be a permanent resident, though you will not be able to bet from outside of state lines. Until the end of 2020, you will need to complete registration at online sportsbooks in person at the license-holding casino.

Here are some key details from Bill 617:

  • Each Iowa casino can apply for 1 retail and 2 online sportsbook licenses
  • The license fee is $45,000
  • Revenue is taxed at 6.75%
  • Restrictions on bets for Iowa college sports teams
  • Daily Fantasy Sports 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, with William Hill the first online site to launch just 3 months later. You can legally bet on pro sports, college sports and a range of international fixtures.

You will need to be inside state lines to bet (geo-location technology ensures this is the case), and 21 years old or over.

Until 2020, you will need to complete registration at online sportsbooks in person at the casino holding the license.

What kind of sports can I bet on?

All the major pro leagues, individual sports and college action (as long as this does not include an Iowa team) can be wagered on online.

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

Do I need to live in Iowa to bet online?

No, you can register for an Iowa sportsbook without needing to be a resident. You will need to complete your registration in person (until the end of 2020). It will not be possible to place bets on Iowa sportsbooks from outside of state lines.

What kind of bets can I place online?

Betting apps give you access to the full range of single match bets, multiple match bets and entertaining side-bets (props) that you’d enjoy in a retail sportsbook. There are also innovative new types of betting available including in-play and cash-out bets.

Here is the list of popular bet types:

  • Money Line
  • Spreads
  • Totals (under / over betting)
  • Parlays
  • Teasers (alternative spreads)
  • Round Robins
  • Futures
  • Proposition Bets
  • Period Betting

Note that there are many more bets which are specific to their sports.

How do I fund my online sportsbook account?

When you deposit at regulated sportsbooks, you’ll have access to mainstream deposit methods which you will not find at the shady offshore equivalents. These include credit / debit cards, bank transfers, electronic wallets and cash options (via the casino cage or convenience stores).

Many online sports betting brands also have their own prepaid debit cards. These are used for both deposits and withdrawals.

Is it safe to bet at offshore sportsbooks?

No. Offshore sites are risky. With regulated sites in Iowa, there is no need to risk your bankroll disappearing. Licensed sites offer protection for your money and a way to complain (via the Lottery and Gaming Commission).

By contrast the offshore sites have little or no oversight and are based on the Caribbean Islands. If you have a dispute, or the site simply closes and takes your bankroll with it – then you have zero recourse. These sites are best avoided.

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.

These casinos operate in 50 states, using sweepstakes laws. Essentially, every spin or hand is a mini-sweepstakes contest. You play using ‘Sweeps Cash’, which can be exchanged 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.

Resources

How to bet online in Iowa

Iowa is different to most states when it comes to registering a sports betting account. You’ll need to complete your registration in person – at least until the end of 2020.

You can start the process online, though you’ll need to go to the casino which has the license for your book to complete this.

Registering online is very easy. You’ll need your name, e-mail and date of birth to start with. Address and last 4 numbers of your SSN (along with a username for your account) complete this. There is one upside to the requirement to visit the casino to complete registration. This is that you can easily fund your account via the cage while you are there.

How to download betting apps

A lot of sportsbooks are licensed for online betting in Iowa – giving you a choice of bonuses and promotions. You can find out more about these on our sportsbook bonuses page.

This section takes you through the steps of downloading, registering and funding your betting account.

Once you read our sportsbook reviews and have chosen a brand, the next step is to decide how to access the betting interface. Your choices are to download an app – or use the browser version.

  • Android Phones / Tablets: No gambling apps are allowed in the Google Play store. This means you’ll need to download direct from the sportsbook sites. This is safe, though keep in mind you’ll need to click though prompts warning you that the app is from an ‘unknown source’.
  • iPhones / iPads: Sports betting sites in Iowa will have apps in the regular App Store. You can also follow a link from their websites. Note that recent changes in the rules for the coding language from Apple mean some smaller brands are not yet ready with their iOS apps.
  • Website Version: The browser-based sportsbooks are the only option for desktops / laptops. You can also access web-based sportsbooks from your phone. All the sites use responsive design. This means that the navigation and graphics automatically adjust to your screen size.

How to fund your account

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

Credit or debit cards are the go-to for many bettors in the Hoosier state. There are also prepaid debit card options from some sports betting brands. You can also deposit direct from your bank. ACH (also known as eChecks), Bill Pay or bank wires are all possible – as are old fashioned cashier’s checks or money orders.

Alternatives include electronic wallets (PayPal, Skrill or Neteller). If you want to use cash, and can’t get to the casino cage, then PayNearMe at 7-Eleven stores is also available.

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 all-round.

This starts with the brands. Names like William Hill, Betfair 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 placing a bet in time. With a depth of betting markets and bet types which is unrivalled offshore – you’ll have much more choice too.

When it comes to depositing and withdrawing, the choice of a regulated site over an offshore one becomes a no-brainer. Instead of having to dive 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 real oversight. In the past, gambling operators have simply disappeared, taking the entire bankroll of 1000’s of players. With regulated Iowa sites, your money is safe – and in the event of a dispute, you can complain to the Racing and Gaming Commission.

Retail sportsbooks in Iowa

You’ll find a number of sportsbooks around the state in riverboat and land-based casinos. Many of these are branded around the big betting brands (for example William Hill or FanDuel). This list covers those that are open as we go into 2020.

  • Isle Casino Bettendorf: William Hill / Stars
  • Isle Casino Waterloo: William Hill / Stars
  • Prairie Meadows Casino: William Hill
  • Lakeside Casino: William Hill
  • Rhythm City Casino: Bet.Works (Elite Sportsbook)
  • Riverside Casino: Bet.Works (Elite Sportsbooks)
  • Grand Falls Casino: Bet.Works (Elite Sportsbook) / Betfred
  • Diamond Jo Casino, Worth: FanDuel / Betfair
  • Diamond Jo Dubuque: FanDuel / Betfair
  • Q Casino: IGT
  • Harrah’s Council Bluffs: Caesars Interactive Entertainment
  • Horseshoe Council Bluffs: Caesars Interactive Entertainment
  • Catfish Bend: Points Bet
  • Hard Rock Casino: TBC
  • Ameristar Council Bluffs: TBC
  • Wild Rose: Opening Soon – DraftKings / Rush Street Interactive
  • Wild Rose: Opening Soon – DraftKings / Rush Street Interactive
  • Wild Rose: Opening Soon – DraftKings / Rush Street Interactive

Responsible gambling in Iowa

Protection and assistance for people that develop gambling problem is baked into the gambling laws in Iowa. This involves awareness, links to help organizations and tools to manage your own limits / time on the sites.

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

Here is the minimum of what to expect:

  • Information about problem gambling and examples of self-assessment questions which might highlight problems.
  • 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 some bettors prone to ‘chasing losses’ from losing money they could not afford to bet.
  • The ability to set up time-out periods (short-term) or longer self-exclusion periods (which can include permanent self-exclusion).