Iowa Online Sports Betting

Legal sportsbooks, sports betting apps and how to register online in IA

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.

Best online sports betting sites in Iowa

Rank
Sportsbook
Bonus
Features
Play
1
Up To $1,025 Free
Sign Up Bonus. T&Cs Apply.
$25 Free No Deposit Needed
Up to $1,000 Deposit Bonus
To Claim: Click Play Now
2
$1,000
Risk Free Bet
Up to $1,000 refund if you lose your first bet
Available on Desktop, Android & iOS
To Claim: Click Play Now
3
$500 BONUS
100% Match On First Deposit
100% Deposit Match Up to $500
Free $10 Weekly Bet
Use Bonus Code: PLAYBONUS
4
up to $1,015 free 
Sign Up Bonus
$15 Free Bet just for joining
100% Wager Match up to $1,000 
MUST USE PROMO CODE BFS15
Promo code is CASE SENSITIVE
5
$2,000
In Free Bets On Deposit
Get 2 Risk-Free Bets Up to $2,000
Use Promo Code: BETBONUS

How sports betting works in 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:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Email
  • Date of birth
  • The last four digits of your Social Security number 

You’ll also need to accept the terms and conditions, including the stipulation that you are 21 years or older.

  • iPhone and iPad betting apps: To download an iPhone betting app, simply visit the sportsbook’s website via your iPhone, which will prompt you to install the iOS app. Sportsbook apps fully function much like sportsbook websites and include a cashier section, account and bonus information, and all the sports betting markets.
  • Android betting apps: Unlike Apple, Google Play does not allow any gambling apps in its store. There are Android sports betting apps available in Iowa, though, you’ll need to visit the brand’s websites to install them. Depending on your device’s settings, a pop-up message warns you that you are downloading from an “unknown source.” As long as you make sure that you are at the correct website and your browsing session is secure, this download is safe.

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.

Which online sportsbooks are available in Iowa?

SportsbookCasino PartnerLaunch Date
BetfredGrand Falls CasinoSeptember 2020
BetMGMDiamond Jo Casino DubuqueJanuary 2021
BetRiversWild Rose casinosJanuary 2021
DraftKingsWild Rose casinosFebruary 2020
EliteRiverside CasinoAugust 2019
FanDuelDiamond Jo casinosSeptember 2020
Hard RockHard Rock CasinoDecember 2019
PointsBetCatfish Bend CasinoNovember 2019
Q SportsbookQ CasinoDecember 2019
William HillPrairie Meadows CasinoAugust 2019

Top 5 Iowa sports betting sites for 2021

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:

1. DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings Sportsbook Iowa

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.


 

2. FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel Sportsbook Iowa

Bonus: $1,000

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.


 

3. BetMGM Sportsbook

BetMGM Sportsbook in Iowa

Bonus: $500

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.


 

2. FanDuel Sportsbook

Betfred Sports in Iowa

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.


 

5. PointsBet Sportsbook

PointsBet Sportsbook Iowa

Bonus: $2,000

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.


 

Other sportsbooks available:

  • BetRivers Sportsbook: The market leader in neighboring Illinois has crossed the Mississippi River. Like BetMGM, there’s no retail book that bears this branding in Iowa, but it’s fully functional online. The beauty of this book is a great volume of alternate lines on many events. This takes a lot of guesswork out of getting the line you want on spreads and totals on the game you want to bet.
  • Elite Sportsbook: Elite Sportsbook is partners with Rhythm City Casino Resort in Davenport and Riverside Casino & Golf Resort in Riverside and offers retail and online betting. Bet.Works created this platform.
  • Hardrock Sportsbook: The Hard Rock mobile sportsbook launched in December 2019. Its retail partner is the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City. The app, available for Android and Apple devices, is powered by Gaming Innovation Group, Inc.
  • Q Sportsbook: Q Sportsbook launched in December 2019, which its retail location is at the Q Casino in Dubuque. The app is available for both Android and Apple devices. It is the product of a partnership between the casino and sportsbook provider IGT.
  • William Hill Sportsbook:William Hill was the first to enter the Iowa sports betting market. The online sportsbook is partners with four Iowa casinos. You can take advantage of the “Bet $50, Get $50” welcome bonus, whether you’re betting on the William Hill app or the site. This easy bonus is yours as soon as you bet $50. It can be as a single bet or multiple smaller ones.

How do I fund my online sports betting account?

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:

  • ACH Bank Transfers: You might know this deposit method better as e-checks. Electronic checks have replaced paper ones, although they work in the same way. You can get pre-verified to speed up the clearing process, which can take up to three days. Some books will let you bet with e-check deposits, holding on to withdrawals until the original funds clear.
  • Electronic Wallets: Even if you have never heard the term e-wallet before, you have likely heard of PayPal. This is the best-known example of a third-party online wallet. These provide a secure step between your bank and the betting sites. Other examples include Skrill and Neteller. You do get a secure third-party account for both deposits and withdrawals. In return, these services charge small fees.
  • Prepaid Cards: Many sportsbook brands, including DraftKings and FanDuel, have created prepaid debit cards. You will need to apply for one separately from the sportsbook registration. You then load your card via your bank card before you can use it for deposits and withdrawals. Besides transacting on your sportsbook account, you use the card anywhere that Discover cards are accepted.
  • Alternative Bank Transfer: For the ultimate in secure transactions, bank wires can be sent to most Iowa sportsbooks. This is a slower deposit method, taking three or more days (and may include a fee). Bill pay also works at some online sportsbooks by allowing you to fund your account as if you were paying a utility bill. Money orders and cashier’s checks complete the options for legacy banking deposits. You can order a check by mail for your withdrawal.
  • Cash Deposits: You can deposit at the casino cage or retail sportsbook into your mobile betting account. If you can’t get to the casino, then PayNearMe is a useful alternative. This method lets you fund your account at your local 7-Eleven. You print a barcode from your account and take it (along with the cash) to the convenience store to deposit.

How odds and lines work in Iowa

Sports fans in Iowa have a lot of ways to bet. We explain the main types of wagers, which include live betting.

Most popular types of bets

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:

  • Point Spreads: In many games, there is a clear favorite to win. The question that point spreads address is ‘by how many points / goals?’. With this bet type, the underdog is given a boost. This might be +1.5 goals in hockey, or +9.5 points in football or basketball. Each team is then given the same price – usually -110. This means you’ll win $100 for every $110 you bet (or a proportion of this for other bet sizes). If you pick the underdog, their score plus the spread needs to be better than the other team’s total. If you pick the favorite, they need to beat the other team by more than the spread. Note the 0.5 ensures ties are not possible when the spreads are added.
  • Moneyline Bets: Sportsbooks will give each team odds to win the game. The favorite will get a minus sign in front of their odds. This shows the amount you’d need to bet to win $100. For example, odds of -300 mean that you’d need to bet $300 to win an additional $100 (or $30 to win $10). The underdog will have positive odds. These show how much you’d win for a $100 wager. For example, odds of +220 means you’d win $220 for a $100 bet, plus your stake back. If you bet $5 on the same team, you’ll win $11.
  • Totals Bets: This time you are betting on the combined total goals or points for both teams in a match. These wagers are also known as over/under bets. Each book will set a score, and you bet either under or over – depending on your judgment. Odds are usually set at -110 for both sides of the spread. For example, if an Iowa sportsbook sets a total of 50 points in a college football game, you’d use your knowledge of the teams’ defenses and offenses to decide whether it is likely to be higher or lower scoring than this and bet accordingly.

Other types of bets

  • Futures Bets: Most bets are placed for upcoming games, or even on the day; however, futures bets are for events in the future. For example, as soon as the Vince Lombardi Trophy is lifted one year, you can place a futures bet on the next Super Bowl winners. Futures bets encompass division or conference winners, player of the year and the eventual winners of the World Series or Stanley Cup.
  • Parlay Bets: Parlays give you a way to combine more than one wager on a single bet slip. It is a high-risk, high-reward wager because the more bets you add, the greater the payout or loss. Many Iowa sports betting apps have promotions that returns for bets with four or more legs. Parlays can include various types of bets, for example, totals, spreads or moneylines.
  • Teaser Bets: These multiple match bets are easier to land than a pure parlay because the spreads are wider. Teasers are also known as “alternative spreads” at some books. Instead of +1.5, you might bet +5.5 – giving you a better chance of winning. This is balanced by lower odds on those games with wide spreads. With less chance of an early bust, Teasers are a popular way of enjoying a day of betting action for a single stake.
  • Round Robin Bets: For those familiar with horse racing bets, round robins are the sports betting equivalent of “boxing” a bet. Each team you pick will play off against each other, and in multiples depending upon how many selections you make. The advantage of these bets is that one team losing will not stop you winning, although it will eliminate any singles or multiples involving that team.
  • Prop Bets: Proposition, or prop bets, are wagers on a player or team performance. These can include first player or team to score, betting for individual game periods, highest scoring player and many more. Prop bets can be based on season-long performances, too, for example, player of the year.

Live betting

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.

What sports teams can I bet on in Iowa?

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 SoxChicago Cubs and the Minnesota TwinsNBA 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.

How to bet on horse races in Iowa

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:

  • Win: Your selection needs to come in first place.
  • Show: Here, your horse can come either first or second place.
  • Place: If your horse places in the top three, you will get a return.
  • Exacta: You must pick the first- and second-place horses in the exact order.
  • Trifecta: You must pick the first-, second- and third-place horses in the exact order.
  • Superfecta: The hardest bet to land, you must pick the first, second-, third- and fourth-place horses in the right order.

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 path to legal sports betting

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:

2018

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.

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 Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission regulates sports betting.
  • Each licensee can offer up to two skins.
  • Online sportsbooks have to conduct registration in person until the end of 2020.
  • Prop bets on in-state college teams, including live bets, are not permitted.
  • Operators have to pay $75,000 for an initial license, $10,000 to renew and 6.25% of revenue as tax.

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.

2020

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.

2021

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.

Iowa Sports Betting FAQs

Is sports betting legal in Iowa?

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.

Where can I bet on sports in Iowa?

Most Iowa casinos offer retail sports betting. You can also bet online using one of the many sports betting apps. The top sports betting apps in Iowa include DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet.

Are online sportsbooks safe?

As long as you stick to books that are licensed by the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission (IRGC), then you can bet with peace of mind. These books are regulated, with fair terms of use and protection for problem gamblers. If you have a dispute, you can complain via the IRGC website.

Are offshore betting sites legal or safe?

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.

Is it legal to bet on college sports?

Yes, you can bet on college sports; however, prop bets on college athletes are not allowed.