Iowa sports betting is here.
Since the passage of SF 617 in May 2019, legal sportsbook operators offer regulated sports betting in the Hawkeye State. Online sportsbook giants, including DraftKings, FanDuel, Elite, PointsBet and William Hill, all call Iowa home. Of course, there are several retail sportsbooks, too.
As of Jan. 1, 2021, sports bettors in Iowa no longer need to visit a retail casino to create an online sports betting account. You can now download and create an account anywhere within the state of Iowa.
Online sports betting is available for Iowa sports bettors. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you’ll need to complete the registration form and use the bonus codes listed above to lock in the special promotions. While the details will vary, all sportsbooks will require the following information:
You’ll also need to accept the terms and conditions, including the stipulation that you are 21 years or older.
To place a bet, you must be within IA state lines. Any doubts regarding your location and the mobile sportsbook won’t allow you to wager. To enforce this rule, sports betting apps require access to your phone’s location services, while web-based sportsbooks will require you to download a geolocation app from your device’s app store. Using a VPN or proxy server will not allow you to place sports bets.
|Sportsbook||Casino Partner||Launch Date|
|Betfred||Grand Falls Casino||September 2020|
|BetMGM||Diamond Jo Casino Dubuque||January 2021|
|BetRivers||Wild Rose casinos||January 2021|
|DraftKings||Wild Rose casinos||February 2020|
|Elite||Riverside Casino||August 2019|
|FanDuel||Diamond Jo casinos||September 2020|
|Hard Rock||Hard Rock Casino||December 2019|
|PointsBet||Catfish Bend Casino||November 2019|
|Q Sportsbook||Q Casino||December 2019|
|William Hill||Prairie Meadows Casino||August 2019|
The Hawkeye State is home to online and retail sportsbooks. Iowa has seen 10 sportsbooks go live since the legalization of sports betting. Here are reviews of the top 5 sports betting sites:
Bonus: $25 + $1,000
No bonus code required
DraftKings has become a go-to spot for scores of online sports bettors here in Iowa. A slick app that’s chock full of bells and whistles is a big part of the reason why. Among the top attractions is a fantastic live betting experience.
While nearly all mobile sportsbooks offer it these days, DraftKings has taken it to a whole other level with lightning-fast tech doing the legwork behind the scenes. Odds and lines are constantly updating while winning wagers are paid out in a flash.
The DraftKings IA sports betting app is available for both iOS and Android. If you’re looking for a great user experience with a sportsbook that’s not shy about dishing out exciting promo offerings, you’ll definitely want to check it out.
No bonus code needed
FanDuel remains a titan in the world of Daily Fantasy Sports. The company has also evolved into one of the top online sports betting sites in the nation. It offers up a user-friendly iOS and Android app that looks great and works like a charm.
There are always enticing promotional opportunities to take advantage of, and FanDuel has also been an innovator in new ways to play. One of its biggest contributions has been the same game parlay, a feature that has caught on like wildfire across the industry.
The FanDuel Sportsbook in Iowa is super clean and real easy to navigate around as a result. You can be up and running quickly and easily and never miss a beat with all of the games and events you want to wager on.
Use bonus code: PLAYBONUS
The BetMGM online sportsbook is among the many companies battling to be at the top of the charts with sports betting. The company is off to a fantastic start on that front as its overall reach has been expanding tremendously.
The instantly-recognizable brand name has certainly helped, but there’s much more to see once you look under the hood. Users of the BetMGM IA sportsbook, which is available for both iOS and Android, quickly learn that everything they need is right at their fingertips.
Included on the list is an incredibly deep market of sports to wager on. While plenty of competitors offer up niche sports as well, BetMGM goes the extra mile with things you won’t find everywhere. There’s a lot to love here, so you should definitely check it out.
Bonus: $15 free + $1,000
Bonus code: BFS15
BetFred is one of the top bookmakers over in the UK. The company is now setting up roots here in the US with Iowa being one of its first points of entry. Early returns have been incredibly promising as BetFred has been very well-received.
The roots of BetFred stretch back to 1967, so this is an operator that knows what it’s doing. That becomes apparent once you check out the mobile app, available on both iOS and Android, which features all of the markets and bet types you need.
You can live bet as a game plays out, place wagers on all of the top US and international leagues, and even take advantage of a steady array of promos. BetFred isn’t quite a household name just yet, but it looks like it’s on its way towards big things.
Bonus code: BETBONUS
Just a couple of years ago, the PointsBet name wasn’t part of the industry lexicon. That has changed in big league fashion in a short period of time. The Australia-based sportsbook has become a huge hit in legal states, including Iowa.
PointsBet began attracting attention with a wide array of promo offerings and innovative features. The company introduced its PointsBeting concept to the masses. It’s a new way to wager which affords users the chance to have more of a say on the risk to reward ratio.
Another way that this Iowa online sportsbook has managed to stand out is by offering up odds and lines that are always on point. They’re among the most appealing and competitive across the industry. PointsBet is available for both iOS and Android and more than worthy of your time.
Before you can place a bet, you’ll need to deposit money. In Iowa, you cannot fund your sports betting account with a credit card. However, a range of safe payment options are available:
Sports fans in Iowa have a lot of ways to bet. We explain the main types of wagers, which include live betting.
When using a sports betting app, you’ll find it easy to locate the games and bet types. Starting with the most popular and simple bets (moneyline, totals or spreads) is a great strategy. Here are the basics:
Mobile betting apps make new formats possible. Live betting covers many of the bet types above but takes place while games are underway. The odds will change via a feed as the action unfolds and these can change quickly.
You’ll have an opportunity to assess the action, and place extra bets if you find an opportunity. Using apps means you’ll be able to do this from the stadium, the bar or at home while enjoying the game.
Some apps use a cash out feature for early redemption bets. You can redeem a bet at any time; the sportsbook will give you a price, and you choose whether to accept it.
Though there are no major league sports teams in Iowa, there are many options for betting. College sports are a major draw in Iowa, such as the Iowa Cyclones and the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Neighboring states host the pro leagues that Iowans love. The Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears are fan-favorites for NFL followers.
MLB fans in Iowa typically follow the White Sox, Chicago Cubs and the Minnesota Twins. NBA lovers won’t miss a Chicago Bulls game, or even the Indiana Pacers or the Milwaukee Bucks.
Those who track the NHL follow the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Chicago Blackhawks or the Milwaukee Admirals.
Horse race betting was already legal in Iowa before bill SF 617 was signed. This type of betting got a carve-out in the 2006 UIGEA and is well-established online.
Betting on horses follows a different format to sports betting. Instead of taking odds offered by the books, bets are organized into pools. Pari-mutuel betting takes the bets on all the horses, with the total fund paid out to the winning tickets only (minus a fee for the tracks). There are various pools for win, show, place and the various multiple horse bets.
Here are the main bets you can place:
You can “box” multiple horse wagers. This means you bet multiple times, which allows your selections to finish in any order. The final type of bet covers several races. With a Pick 5 or Pick 6 bet, you choose.
You’ll only find one horse racetrack in Iowa. Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Altoona offers a calendar of thoroughbred and quarter horse racing, as well as its big casino and sportsbook.
You can find more information here on our Iowa horse racing betting page.
Iowa’s history with sports betting is not very long, to be sure. However, the Hawkeye State’s actions are a great example of how to move legislation along efficiently and take advantage of new opportunities. Here is how Iowa sports betting came to pass:
The decades-old federal prohibition on sports betting, PASPA, comes crashing down by virtue of a 6-3 Supreme Court decision in May. All of a sudden, sports betting on the state level becomes possible throughout the US. New Jersey, which had led the charge in the fight against PASPA, is the first state outside of Nevada to launch sports betting.
Iowa Rep. Jake Highfill introduces a bill to legalize sports betting in Iowa early in 2018. The idea is that Iowa will have its law in place if PASPA falls, even if the ruling occurs after the end of the legislative session. The bill never passes, but it looks eerily similar to the bill that arrives in 2019.
Iowa’s Legislature and governor approve SF 617, a bill to legalize sports betting, almost a year to the day after the Supreme Court’s action on PASPA. The bill legalizes both online and retail sports betting in the Hawkeye State.
Features of the bill include the following:
The commission wastes little time in pumping out rules for operators and issuing licenses. The first mobile and retail sportsbooks in Iowa appear only three months later, in August.
All forms of sports betting begin expanding and flourishing in Iowa in earnest. By the end of the first full year, nearly all of Iowa’s casinos have sports betting in some form, whether retail, online or both.
In response, residents of and visitors to the Hawkeye State wager increasing amounts of money each month, culminating in a record $104.1 million in handle in December. Of that figure, more than $78 million comes from online sports betting.
Both overall handle and online sports betting’s share of handle are likely to increase in 2021. The state’s prohibition on remote registration ended on the last day of 2020.
Now players no longer have to travel to a retail facility to complete their registration for an online account. Residents can stay in their homes and play from their couches. Visitors need only cross the state lines from places like Missouri, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Illinois bettors come, too, since they cannot bet on Illinois colleges while in the Land of Lincoln.
Yes, bill SF 617 was signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds in May 2019, which legalized retail and mobile sports betting. Each casino is allowed to license up to two mobile sportsbooks in addition to a retail one.
To legally bet, you need to be 21 years or older and inside state lines.
No, offshore sites are not regulated on a state or federal level. While they claim to be legal, the licenses are issued by governments on Caribbean Island-states, and oversight on the companies involved is minimal. If an offshore book closes overnight and takes your bankroll with it, you have no legal recourse. There is no reason to risk betting at an offshore book now that legal options are available in the Hawkeye State.
Yes, you can bet on college sports; however, prop bets on college athletes are not allowed.