Legalized sports betting has come to Iowa, and with it, a range of ways to bet on sports.
Sports betting apps offer innovative betting; for instance, you can bet while watching the game. In-play betting, with odds updating in real-time, allows you to wager as games are happening.
While it is still possible to access a sports betting website via your desktop computer, it is no longer required. Sports betting apps allow you to register, deposit, claim bonuses or promotional deals and place your bets from your iOS or Android smartphone.
This page covers the features and use of mobile sports betting apps in Iowa.
Below, you’ll find information on the apps currently available. Next, we offer an installation and registration guide, followed by a walk-through of the layout and features of IA sports betting apps, including depositing funds and placing a bet.
Finally, we cover miscellaneous questions in an FAQ section.
Currently, there are four sports betting brands available in Iowa.
You can access the other one, Elite Sportsbook, through your smartphone using its responsive website. It will automatically adjust to your screen size, giving you access to all the functions of the desktop site.
PointsBet is offering a $150 bonus for deposits of $50 or more with the promo code “PLAYNJ.” You can access the William Hill “Bet $50, Get $50” promo offer through the app or via the desktop website.
Before you download a sports betting app, you’ll have to choose among the competing sites available in Iowa.
This section assumes you have compared the sportsbook bonuses, familiarized yourself with our sportsbook reviews and have made your decision.
The next step will depend on your mobile device.
If you are using an iPhone or iPad, you’ll be limited to books that have completed the new technical requirements needed for gambling sites to enter the Apple App Store.
William Hill and now, Hard Rock, offer an iOS app in Iowa, though many other sportsbooks are still working on their platforms.
Should the brand you choose not offer a dedicated iOS app, you can still access the platform via the responsive websites. These days, websites have full functionality and will adapt to your iPhone screen automatically.
Android phone and tablet users will need to download Iowa sportsbook apps directly from the websites of the brands. If you visit the sites on your phone, it will offer you a download. Alternatively, check the footer area of the sportsbooks’ websites where you’ll usually find a link.
Google also doesn’t allow betting apps. Fortunately, Android allows for downloads from “unknown sources,” though you’ll need to override warning messages along the way.
Once you install the app, registering at a sportsbook is easy. Most sites require the following information:
That’s it; you’ll be active as soon as your email is verified. You can explore the app, make a deposit (or claim a no-deposit bonus) and place your first bet.
This section covers the main areas of sports betting apps: the betting interface, where you’ll choose sports, games and specific bets. However, there are also screens for your account information, promos and bonuses, the cashier, as well as responsible gambling.
Here is a quick overview, with more detail on the individual sections below:
Many of the mobile sportsbooks come from brands with years of experience testing and organizing their betting interface. While a lot is going on for most apps, you’ll find accessing the various sections (and placing bets) to be intuitive.
You’ll need to be inside state lines to deposit and place bets.
Once you have an app installed, getting your money on board is easy. Before you part with any cash, make sure you have compared the sports betting bonuses and grabbed a good deal.
If you live close to a casino, you’ll be able to deposit cash via the cage; however, this will only work for the brands licensed by that brick-and-mortar casino.
If not, then you’ll find plenty of options to deposit and withdraw money:
Your sportsbook will always send winnings back via the way you deposited, if possible. If not, and you can’t find a suitable alternative, a paper check can be sent to your home as a last resort by some brands.
Once you have downloaded an app, registered and deposited, you are ready to place your first sports bet.
At the basic level, the process involves locating your sport, the games you want to bet on, then selecting a bet type.
With so many options for sports, leagues and lines available, you’ll have a lot of choices.
This section shows you how to navigate the apps to get where you want to be.
If you want to bet on the pro leagues that are in season, then your task is simplified. These are always found at the top of the list of sports. Depending on which sports betting app you use, you’ll find them as the sports’ ball icons or at the top of a text-based menu.
Clicking on football or basketball is not quite enough. Within each sport, you get divisions/conferences, college action and sometimes international fixtures.
If you have a specific team in mind, clicking on the magnifying glass icon will bring up a search box. If you prefer, then you can scroll through the list of events instead.
The number of sports available on the new sportsbook apps is excellent. In addition to the big pro leagues (football, basketball, hockey and baseball), there are lines for soccer, golf, auto racing, tennis, fighting sports and many niche/country-specific sports, too.
Once you locate a game on a sportsbook app, you’ll see the popular bets only. Space constraints mean that the moneyline, totals and spreads are the only options shown.
Each game will have many more betting opportunities, which can be reached by tapping on an individual fixture.
The options shown are often sport-specific; they include period betting and player props. Tap on the lines you are interested in, and this will add them to your betting slip. There is no commitment, yet; the final step is to use your bet slip to organize and place your wagers.
It will be up to you whether you make selections from the list of games and odds and then deal with them all at once, or whether you prefer to go to your bet slip and place them one at a time.
The default view shows a list of your selections, with three sections: singles, parlays and round robins.
You can easily remove any bets you don’t want (there is an “x” for this) or place them in the different multiples and singles formats. The final step is to add the amount you want to bet before confirming and placing your wager.
At most sites, you will not be able to reverse a bet already placed. Some Iowa online sportsbooks will have a cash-out option, which lets you resolve any wager early with the price you are offered, reflecting any changes in the odds. You can use this to cash in partially resolved parlays, too.
Sports betting fans in Iowa have the edge when it comes to benefiting from sportsbook bonuses.
With up to 38 online sportsbooks possible (two for each live casino), there will be a lot of brands competing for your business.
You can take advantage of their welcome offers, then compare their ongoing deals and incentives to return to boost your betting bankroll.
Here are some of the offers to look out for:
In other states, sportsbooks cross-promote their gambling verticals to new bettors.
For example, offering free play for online slots. Since casino games are not part of the current legislation in Iowa, this is something to keep in mind for the future.
If you took advantage of the competing welcome bonuses, you already have a good idea of which sportsbooks you prefer.
The next step is to see which ones will reward you moving forward. Some Iowa sportsbooks will have a longer list of ongoing and one-off promotions than others.
Ongoing rewards can be split into two types: promotions and loyalty schemes.
Promotions can be reoccurring. Examples include parlay insurance, where you get your stake back if larger parlays lose by one leg.
Odds boosts are also frequent; these take certain games (or combinations of two or more games) and increase the odds. If you have a game in mind, it is always worth checking the promo pages at different books. You never know when your game will be the subject of an odds boost.
Other standard promotions include reload bonuses, enhanced loyalty point deals, leaderboard or picks contests and free bets (for example, to try out new types like in-play or cash-out betting).
Loyalty schemes feature cash-back offers in various formats.
Some are a flat rate, giving you a small percentage of each bet in points that you can use to claim bonuses. Others are more complex, with tiers unlocking bonuses and promotions.
A third type links to the comp schemes at live casinos. Your bets may get you free rooms and resort credits nationwide at some brands.
The speedy transition from no betting to legislation and then to sports betting apps being live in Iowa has surprised many bettors.
It took only a few months for the first retail sportsbooks and apps to go live. Once the sportsbooks transition to the new code requirements laid out by Apple, they will subsequently become available in that app form, too.
With so many brands online, there is an excellent opportunity to take advantage of competing bonus offers.
By the time you have enjoyed the free bets, matched bonuses and risk-free first bet deals, you could already have your betting bankroll off to a flying start.
Yes, act SF 617 became law on May 8. This set up a licensing framework where the 18 land-based and tribal casinos in Iowa could get sports betting licenses. The first Iowa retail and online sportsbook went live in August.
You need to be at least 21 years or older to place a bet. Sportsbooks verify your age with the last four digits of your Social Security number.
While you can access many sport betting apps from outside the state, you will need to be inside state lines to deposit or place a bet. Geolocation technology has come a long way since sports betting started in other states, with relatively few cases of wagers being blocked close to state lines.
The following casinos already have their retail sportsbooks open:
Ameristar Council Bluffs
Isle Casino Bettendorf
Isle Casino Waterloo
Lakeside in Osceola
Harrah’s Council Bluffs
Horseshoe Council Bluffs
Grand Falls in Larchwood
Diamond Jo in Dubuque and Northwood
William Hill and Elite sportsbooks were the first to go live with sports betting apps. Hard Rock is the third brand to offer mobile sports betting.
William Hill power the sportsbook apps at four casinos, with Elite covering two. The Hard Rock mobile app is connected to the Hard Rock Casino in Sioux City.
No. Offshore, or gray market, sport betting apps are licensed offshore. These brands have little oversight and are heavily restricted from using traditional banking networks. While some brands have been operating for many years, others have disappeared, taking bettors bankrolls with them.
With legal and regulated sports betting apps in Iowa, there is no longer any reason to take the risk with offshore betting sites.
All Iowa betting websites and apps will have a suite of tools to protect those with gambling problems.
These include links to help organizations (locally and nationally), self-assessment questionnaires, betting limit and deposit limit tools, timeout capability and the ability to self-exclude.
Some brands display links to this information prominently with a green and yellow badge at the top of their apps. If you can’t find it there, you will almost always find it in the footer information.