Editor’s Note: The in-person registration mandate for online sports betting expired Dec. 31, 2020.
Sports betting became legal in Iowa in August 2019. The best feature of sports betting apps is you can bet wherever and whenever. Furthermore, you can tap innovative betting features, such as live betting, which let you wager as a game is 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 bets from your iPhone or Android device. Here, we’ll share information on the apps available in Iowa. We will walk you through the installation and registration process, an explain some of the typical layouts and features. Also, we’ll share how easy it is to deposit funds and bet from your phone.
Best mobile sports betting apps in Iowa
Sports betting apps in Iowa: What is available today?
Every online sportsbook in Iowa offers an app except for Elite Sportsbook, which is web-only. Here are the sports betting apps available in Iowa:
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- BetMGM Sportsbook
- PointsBet Sportsbook
- Betfred Sports
- BetRivers Sportsbook
- Hard Rock Sportsbook
- William Hill Sportsbook
- Q Sportsbook
Iowa sportsbook apps: Download and register
Before you download a IA 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.
Should the brand you choose not to offer a dedicated iOS app for your Apple device, you can 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 directly download Iowa sportsbook apps from the brands’ websites. 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:
- Full name
- Email address
- Home address
- Date of birth
- Last four digits of your Social Security number
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.
Iowa app download examples
Here are a couple of examples of how to get started with Iowa sportsbook apps. Hopefully, these will help to illustrate the process.
To get started with DraftKings:
- Follow our link to the DraftKings website.
- Download the app. There are options for both Apple and Android users.
- Click on the button to register and enter all of the requested information (name, email, etc.)
- DraftKings will send you an email to verify you are who say you are.
- Click on the verification email, complete the registration and make your first deposit.
- Click on this link to visit the PointsBet site.
- Download the app appropriate to your device, either the iOS or Android option.
- Click the button to register and fill in the requested information.
- The sportsbook will send you an email to verify your account. Click on the link and then complete the registration process.
Navigating sports betting apps
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:
- Account: This is where you will find your personal information, betting history and progress through any bonus offers once you are logged in. The log-in button is here if you are not yet logged in.
- Cashier: Your balance can be found here, along with the options for depositing and withdrawing.
- Bonuses and Promotions: This area of most sports betting apps is worth checking regularly. You’ll find ongoing and one-off promos and bonuses here.
- Responsible Gambling: Players will find information and support details for anyone who might have issues with gambling, along with bet limits, self-exclusion and timeout tools.
- Live Betting: Apps that offer this will highlight the option via a separate link/icon. You’ll place bets in the same way as the upcoming games. The difference is that only games that are underway are here.
- List of Sports: This is the first of three parts of the betting interface. For most apps, this comes in from the left as you swipe. It will show the pro leagues and major sports at the top, with niche sports lower on the list or via an A-Z list.
- List of Games: When you select a sport, you’ll see the major league games. You can scroll down to find the fixture you want to bet on, or use filters, which are overlaid on the bottom of this screen, to find your division/college games, etc.
- Bet Slip: Once you select lines from the list, these will plug into your bet slip. Accessing this can be via an icon in the header, or footer, depending on which app you are using. You can remove bets, organize them into multiples or singles, then add the amount before you commit to placing a wager.
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.
Depositing via sports betting apps in Iowa
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:
- Branded Prepaid Cards: Some books, for example, DraftKings, have created their debit card with Play+. You load them from your bank (via bank cards), then deposit, withdraw and spend the balance.
- ACH/e-check Bank Transfers: A popular way of transferring directly from your bank. If you get pre-verified (via VIP Preferred, not the sportsbooks), then this is instant. Again, it works for deposits and withdrawals.
- Bill Pay: While it is a stretch to call sports betting a utility, you can deposit via major banks at some books in the same way you’d pay your utility bills.
- Bank Wire: This is expensive (compared to e-check/bill pay), though some bettors prefer the tried-and-trusted security for larger amounts. Money order or cashier’s checks are options, too.
- Electronic Wallets: Most bettors will know of PayPal, a popular online wallet service, though far from the only one. Skrill and Neteller are typical options for sports betting apps. These third-party systems provide security; you’ll never give your card or bank details to any book. Furthermore, these systems work for withdrawing funds.
- PayNearMe: This is an alternative for cash payments if you don’t live close to a live casino. You take a barcode from your app’s cashier to a 7-Eleven store and make a deposit with cash.
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.
Placing a bet on Iowa sports apps
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.
The game level: Choose your bets
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.
Iowa sports betting apps: The bet slip stage
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.
Taking advantage of welcome bonus deals at Iowa sportsbooks
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:
- Free Bets: Nothing beats a free no-deposit bet as a way to get your bankroll started. Many books will offer bets of up to $25 for registering an account. There are terms and conditions, which are always a good idea to read. Look out for time restrictions (seven days is standard) and minimum odds. Depending on the book, you may need to wager your winnings before you can withdraw them.
- Matched Welcome Bonuses: The single most common way to attract new bettors is to double their first deposit. You may see this as a 100% match, up to $500. There are differences between the books in terms of the amount of playthrough required before you can withdraw your bonus money. Look for books that only need you to wager the money once.
- Risk-Free First Bet: This is a variation on the matched deposit bonus. The idea is that your first bet can’t lose. If your wager does not come through, then you get your money back in the form of a free wager. Look out for books that return your stake as cash. However, this is less common, though it does away with the requirement to wager your stake a second time.
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.
Sportsbook bonuses in Iowa: Promos and ongoing deals
If you take advantage of competing welcome bonuses, you can get an idea of which sportsbooks you prefer.
The next step is to see which ones will reward you for playing with them. 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.