The two Isle Casinos in Iowa have histories stretching back to when the first licenses for riverboat gambling were awarded in 1990. Today, neither casino moves. One is based in Bettendorf, serving the Quad Cities area, while the other is in Waterloo. These casinos are owned by Eldorado Resorts.
More recently, both Isle Casinos opened retail and online sportsbooks. They partnered with global gambling giant William Hill, becoming the first to open app and website sports betting in the Hawkeye State. An additional partnership was announced with FOX Bet for online betting.
This page covers sports betting, casino games and entertainment at the Isle Casinos. First of all, you’ll find information on the live and online sportsbooks below. After covering the casino games, player promos and entertainment options, this guide outlines some of the rich history of these venues.
When sports betting was legalized in 2019, there was a rush to open the first retail and online books. This race was won by William Hill and the Isle Casinos (among others). Their retail sportsbook opened in late August 2019 — in time for the busy betting period that goes with the start of the NFL season. Online betting followed in early September.
The sportsbooks at Bettendorf and Waterloo are both located on the casino floor. They are William Hill branded, with the familiar logo visible above the betting terminals. There are multiple high-definition screens, with tickers showing the latest odds and scores on match days.
Hours of operation are identical for these books:
First-time bettors are welcomed at the Isle Casino sportsbooks. There are “how to” guides on the official websites — taking you through betting on different sports. These include football, baseball, basketball, horse racing, auto racing, soccer, hockey, MMA and boxing. For experienced bettors, you’ll find even more sports available via William Hill.
You can download apps or access a responsive website to bet online at the Isle Casinos. As long as you are 21+ and physically inside Iowa state lines, you can place bets. Until the end of 2020, you need to complete your registration in person at any retail William Hill sportsbook.
In addition to the regular bets you can place at the Isle Casino sportsbooks, the online sports betting apps give you access to new ways to bet. These include in-play betting. Here the odds for games change in real time as the action takes place — giving you a chance to bet.
Each Iowa casino is allowed two separate online betting licenses. It is expected that the other brand to partner with the Isle Casinos will be FOX Bet. This is a joint venture between FOX Sports and The Stars Group (owners of BetStars/PokerStars and more).
You’ll find a mix of dealt and electronic table games at each Isle Casino. Highlights include hand-shuffled blackjack games, and plenty of jackpot side bets. Small stakes games are available, though for the high rollers out there, the maximum bet is $1,000 per hand at blackjack. Table game action runs 24/7. This includes:
A new side bet was recently introduced for blackjack games. This is the “Trilux Bonus with Super 3.” It works by awarding prizes based on your initial two cards and the dealer’s face-up card. You can win up to 270x your bet.
Electronic games, including keno, slots and VP terminals, make up the vast majority of the games at the two Isle Casinos. These include reel slots and the latest video slot titles. You will see a list of jackpot winners on the respective casino websites. Popular games listed on the sites include Heidi’s Beer Haus, Ultimate Fire Link and Dancing Drums.
The casino loyalty card at Eldorado Resorts properties is called the “One Club.” This tracks your play on both sports bets and casino games. You accumulate points based on your level of play, which can be used for free play bonuses, hotel stays and resort credits.
There are five levels:
By the time you reach “President” level, you’ll be assigned a personal casino host — and receive invitations to special events. More regular rewards increase as you move through the lower levels.
You’ll find plenty of promotions at the Isle Casinos. Some of these are regular/reoccurring, while others are seasonal or one-time-only. Here is a selection of what to expect:
Each of the venues has a buffet, bars and restaurants. Special offers for these are available, in addition to the gambling promotions covered above. You will also find a small hotel at each location. Here is what to expect:
Things all changed for gambling in 1990, when the first licenses for riverboat casinos were awarded. The Isle Casino at Bettendorf was one of the first boats to receive a license. At this point it was called the “Diamond Lady.” This included a provision that the boat cruised on the Mississippi River during the April to October season. The name came from the original owners — the Isle of Capri Casino Co.
It would be 2007 before casinos in Iowa were allowed to stay put. This kicked off a surge in building, with hotel and entertainment complexes being built around the boats. In 2015, the Isle Casino Bettendorf kicked off a reconstruction project.
These casinos were purchased by Eldorado Resorts in 2017.
With major reconstruction work now complete, the Isle Casinos have largely left their legacy of river cruises behind. You’ll now find modern gaming floors, with multiple restaurant, bar and entertainment options.
These venues also host William Hill branded retail sportsbooks. Both are located on the casino floor — offering betting on pro leagues and many other sports. You can also download apps that will let you bet from anywhere in the state.