Iowa Online Sports Betting

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

Welcome to legal Iowa sports betting.

Whether it’s a big event, a new sportsbook or a new state law, the Iowa sports betting landscape is always changing. PlayIA will help you keep track of it all as you explore the 18 legal sportsbooks in Iowa. You’ll only find safe Iowa sportsbook options here, so sign up and make your sports bets with confidence.

Best Iowa online sportsbooks

Since there’s an abundance of sportsbooks in Iowa, you can tap better bonuses and promos.

Rank
Sportsbook
Bonus
Features
Play
1
Up to $1,050 FREE
New User Bonus. T&Cs Apply.
NBA Playoffs Promo: Bet $5 Win $150
PLUS $50 Free On Deposit
PLUS Up to $1,000 Deposit Bonus
To Claim: Click Play Now
2
$1,100 BONUS
First Bet Insurance
Up to $1,100 First Bet Insurance
Weekly Odds Boosts
Use Promo Code: LEGALCZR
5
$100
Risk Free Bet
Exclusive Offer:
$100 Risk Free Bet
Use Promo Code: BETBONUS

Sports betting update

May 17, 2022

The NFL schedule came out Thursday and sportsbooks went right to work setting some game odds for sports bets. FanDuel also set odds for about 80 college football games, including the Cy-Hawk Game.

The May 21 Preakness Stakes is this weekend but Kentucy Derby winner Rich Strike isn’t going to the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. That means we won’t have a Triple Crown winner this year.

Golf and tennis join horseracing with major events on the horizon. The PGA Championship tees off in Tulsa on Thursday. Qualifying is underway for Roland Garros. The French Open’s main draw begins Sunday on clay.

Top 6 Iowa sports betting sites

The Hawkeye State is home to online and retail sportsbooks. Iowa has seen almost 20 sportsbooks go live since the legalization of sports betting.

Here are reviews of the top 6 best Iowa sportsbooks:

1. DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings Sportsbook Iowa

Bonus: $50 + $1,000

Bonus Code: Click to Claim Promo

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 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 devices. If you’re looking for a great user experience with a sportsbook that’s not shy about dishing out exciting promo offerings, you’ll want to check out DraftKings.


2. BetMGM Sportsbook

BetMGM Sportsbook in Iowa

Bonus: $1,000

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.

The recognizable brand name has certainly helped, but there’s much more to see once you look under the hood. Users of BetMGM IA Sportsbook, which is available for Apple and Android devices, quickly learn that everything they need is right at their fingertips.

The list of available sports to watch on is incredibility deep. 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 check it out.


3. Caesars Sportsbook

Caesars Sportsbook

Bonus: $1,100 

Bonus code LEGALCZR

Caesars Sportsbook comes with all the experience of decades of betting in legal markets.

You can access the app on mobile or bet on your computer browser. Either way, bets are available on all the popular leagues along with live betting, a slate of promos and bonuses, and an easy-to-navigate app.

You can place bets on all the top US and international leagues and even take advantage of a steady array of promos.


4. BetRivers Sportsbook

betrivers sportsbook iowa

Bonus: $250

Bonus code: PLAY250

BetRivers arrived in Iowa the very moment customers could set up sportsbook accounts using mobile registration at the start of 2021.

Parent company Rush Street Interactive IA has a contract with Wild Rose Casino Clinton and Wild Rose Casino Jefferson to operate its online sportsbook. You’ll find house specials for popular sports bets and off-the-beaten-path wagers like jai-alai and rugby as well.

Iowa customers will like the 1x playthrough for bonus money at BetRivers. It features a user-friendly menu layout that makes a sports event or team future easy to find.


5. Unibet Sportsbook

Unibet Sportsbook IA

Bonus: $100

Bonus code: BETBONUS

Unibet is a mobile-first sports betting company known around the world. Unibet went live in Iowa ahead of the 2021 football season, thanks to its partnership with Harrah’s Casino in Council Bluffs.

Upon opening the app, you’ll see the green-and-white themed sportsbook and a main page packed with games and odds.

Unibet is known for creating special game-betting offers with Iowa customers in mind. Fans will find live betting odds and a simple but easy-to-use app interface. It’s a great app for sports betting beginners. They even throw in a $25 bonus if you refer a friend to their sportsbook.


6. FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel Sportsbook Iowa

Bonus: $1,000

Bonus Code: Click to Claim Promo

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.

FanDuel Sportsbook in Iowa is super clean and easy to navigate around. You can be up and running quickly and easily and never miss a beat with all the games and sporting events.

Best Iowa sportsbook bonuses 2022

While Iowa online sports betting is legal and has been since August 2019, the Iowa sports betting promos haven’t stopped and won’t stop for the foreseeable future. Here are the best sportsbook bonuses for online sports bettors in Iowa.

SportsbookDeposit BonusBonus CodePlay Now
DraftKings Iowa$50 + $1,000Click to Claim PromoPlay Now!
BetMGM Iowa$1,000PLAYBONUSPlay Now!
Caesars Iowa$1,100LEGALCZRPlay Now!
BetRivers Iowa$250PLAY250Play Now!
Unibet Iowa$100BETBONUSPlay Now!
FanDuel Iowa$1,000Click to Claim PromoPlay Now!

Iowa sports betting app bonuses, promos

Online sportsbooks in Iowa always have to be on their guard. After all, the competition is always the press of a button away, so sportsbooks offer a variety of bonuses and promotions, both as an incentive for you to play and a reason for you to stay.

Bonus rewards typically come as either free sportsbook bets or site credits. Free bets are essentially vouchers for wagers of a certain value. They are not divisible, and you lose any amount you don’t bet, so you should always bet the face value of the free bet. Site credits, on the other hand, act more or less like cash. You can use them or divide them for wagers however you wish.

Here are some of the most common sports betting bonus types that you’ll see:

  • No Deposit: For little more than the time it takes to register for an account, the sportsbook will give you a bonus in free bets or site credits to use after you finish making your account.
  • Deposit: The sportsbook pledges to add a certain percentage of your deposit on top of your original deposit amount.
  • Insurance: The sportsbook will refund a portion of your net losses either for a specific contest or a period of time. However, insurance bonuses will only compensate you for net losses, not for each bet you lose. These bonuses are sometimes called cash-back bonuses.
  • Event Repetition: In this type of bonus, you will pay a certain amount to join the contest for a particular player or team. The sportsbook will identify a certain activity — points scored in a certain manner, yards gained, hits produced or goals scored — and drip a small amount of money back to you for each time it happens.
  • Loyalty Program: Loyalty programs exist to incentivize you to play. You earn points for the total dollar amount that you spend on-site and earn perks and prizes as you gain more points.
  • Odds Boosts: Odds boosts take the payout for a particular bet and inflate it in the player’s favor. Needless to say, boosts usually occur on underdog bets for which the sportsbook is trying to drum up action. Many sportsbooks separate odds boosts into their own tab on-site.

Read the fine print

No matter the type of sportsbook bonus you redeem, you need to read through the terms and conditions listed with each bonus before you claim it. If there are no terms and conditions, then do not claim the bonus.

The first thing to look for is the playthrough requirement. As we mentioned, books will give you either free bets or site credits as rewards. Although these will work for betting on-site, you will not be able to cash them out.

Instead, you will have to play through an amount of the bonus a specified number of times before converting it into actual money. In some cases, the playthrough requirement is only a single run through the cash. However, for other bonuses (particularly deposit bonuses), you could see a requirement of 25x your bonus amount or more. In such a case, to release a $10 bonus as cash, you’d have to bet $250 or more. You don’t have to lose, per se, but you do have to put that amount at risk.

The other thing to look for is the time limit. Along with the money you’ll spend on the playthrough requirement, you’ll also have to commit to a certain amount of time to reach the mark. In the example above, if you have to bet $250 and you usually wager in $5 increments, it’s going to take a while. Usually, bonuses come with time limits, and any unredeemed amounts are forfeit if time runs out.

How IA sports betting works

Online sports betting is available to Iowa bettors. Once you’ve downloaded a sports betting app, you’ll need to complete the registration form and use one of the bonus codes 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.

Apple iPhone and iPad betting apps

  • To download a betting app on your Apple device, 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 sports betting markets.

Android betting apps

  • As of March 2021, the Google Play Store began allowing gambling apps. All Iowa sports betting operators offer an Android version of their sportsbook app. If you can’t find the app in the Google store, you will certainly find it on the sportsbook’s website. Depending on your device’s settings, a pop-up message may appear to tell you that you are downloading from an “unknown source.” This download is safe as long as you are at the correct website and your browsing session is secure.

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. 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.

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 straightforward 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 gets a boost. This boost might be +1.5 goals in hockey or +9.5 points in football or basketball. Each team receives the same price — usually -110. So, 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, which 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: You are betting on the combined amount of goals or points for both teams this time. 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, suppose an Iowa sportsbook sets a total of 50 points in a college football game. In that case, 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 return 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 from 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.

Live Iowa sports betting odds

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. For NFL followers, regional favorites are:

MLB fans in Iowa typically follow the White SoxChicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers and Minnesota Twins.

NBA lovers won’t miss a Chicago Bulls game or even the Minnesota Timberwolves or the Milwaukee Bucks. You can wager a variety of NBA bets; however, you can’t bet on the NBA Draft in Iowa.

Those who track the NHL follow the Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues or the Chicago Blackhawks.

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 wagers 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, which means you bet numerous times, allowing 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.

Path to legal sports betting in IA

Iowa’s history with sports betting is not very long, to be sure. However, the Hawkeye State’s actions are a great example of moving legislation along efficiently and taking 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 introduced 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 three skins.
  • Online sportsbooks have to conduct registration in person until the end of 2020.
  • Prop bets on in-state college athletes are not permitted.
  • Operators have to pay $45,000 for an initial license, $10,000 to renew and 6.25% of revenue as tax.

The commission wastes little time pumping out rules for operators and issuing licenses. In August, the first mobile and retail sportsbooks in Iowa appeared only three months later.

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 Missouri, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Illinois bettors come, too, since they cannot bet on Illinois college games while in the Land of Lincoln.

Iowa sports betting FAQ

Yes, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed bill SF 617 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.

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 Betfred Sports, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet.

As long as you stick to books 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.

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 minimal oversight on the companies involved. 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 Iowa.

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