Iowa Online Sports Betting
In May of 2019, Governor Kim Reynolds placed her signature on historic bill SF617, officially legalizing online sports betting in Iowa. Legal sports betting went live on August 15, 2019 with nine retail locations and four mobile apps launching on opening day, becoming the first state to do both simultaneously.
Iowa possesses a strong gambling tradition with more than 20 casinos throughout the state, plus a passion for sports – a great combination for online betting. This page will serve as your walkthrough of the Iowa sports betting landscape, from choosing your sportsbook and signing up, to funding your account and making a bet.
Sports Betting in Iowa: The Basics
Similar to brick-and-mortar casinos throughout the state, you must be at least 21 years old to engage in Iowa sports betting.
You can bet on sports in the state of Iowa as long as you are physically located within the state. It is not required that you are a resident, only present within the state’s borders. Online gambling sites and mobile sports betting apps within the state have geolocation software to ensure that this requirement is met.
Other Sports Betting Restrictions
Anyone who has been banned from a casino, including those who have self-excluded, are not eligible to take part in Iowa sports betting. In addition: coaches, trainers, players, or anyone that works in relation to them are not able to wager on events in which they may be participating.
Creating an Account
In the old days prior to 2020, bettors in Iowa actually had to drive to a retail casino to sign up for an online sportsbook account. As of January 1, 2021, this is thankfully a thing of the past. Bettors in Iowa can now register for a new account on all legal and live online sportsbooks via computer or mobile device and begin betting right away. Registration only takes a few minutes and once your identification is verified, you can start placing your bets immediately.
Deposits / Withdrawals
One of the greatest advantages to using legalized sportsbooks is the plethora of banking options at your disposal. Options will vary by site, but the most popular options include:
- Cash at the Cage
- Play+ Prepaid card
- Online Banking
Top Iowa Online Sportsbooks
Interested in Iowa mobile betting? There are more than a dozen online sportsbooks operating within the state of Iowa, some of which have more than one retail partner.
DRF Sportsbook Iowa
- Launch: January 25, 2022
- Retail Partner: Lakeside Casino in Osceola
The Daily Racing Form entered new, uncharted waters by launching the company’s first ever mobile sportsbook on January 25, 2022. DRF previously supplied premium data and editorial coverage to horse racing and sports enthusiasts throughout the United States before expanding their services into bookmaking. Through market access gained from the Lakeside Casino in Osceola, DRF Sportsbook is giving Iowans the first look at its brand new product.
Caesars Sportsbook Iowa
- Launch: August 15, 2019
- Retail Partner: Isle Casino Bettendorf, Isle Casino Waterloo, Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino, Lakeside Casino, Harrah’s Council Bluffs, Horseshoe Casino
Industry giant William Hill was the first operator to offer online sports betting in the state of Iowa, which now operates under the Caesars Sportsbook brand. Caesars mobile betting app for Android was available at launch on August 15, 2019, with the iOS option following just a few days later and relaunched under the Caesars Sportsbook brand in August 2021. Caesars Sportsbook is the retail sportsbook sponsor at six Iowa locations: Isle Casino Bettendorf, Isle Casino Waterloo, Prairie Meadows, Lakeside Casino, Harrah’s Council Bluffs, and Horseshoe Casino.
FanDuel Sportsbook IA
- Launch: September 9, 2020
- Retail Partner: Diamond Jo
FanDuel has made a habit of becoming the top online sportsbook in every market they enter, and are already on pace to do the same in Iowa. After opening two retail locations immediately after sports betting was launched in the state, the prominent brand was already off to the races. Mobile betting followed nearly one year later, making Iowa FanDuel’s 8th state of operation.
FanDuel offers a packed promotional schedule, lightning-quick deposit and withdrawals and some of the best lines in the industry. They’ve established a reputation for being extremely player friendly and find new and innovative ways to keep bettors interested through a variety of betting options and stellar customer service.
- Launch: January 4, 2021
- Retail Partner: Wild Rose
BetRivers brings years of experience from other US states like Pennsylvania, Colorado and Illinois and comes complete with tons of betting options and the iRewards program. The iRewards program is the premier loyalty system that rewards players with points that can be traded in for bonus cash, odds boosts, bonus bets and more!
BetRivers is owned and operated by Rush Street Interactive, which also owns retail casinos throughout the country. Rush Street has partnered with industry-leading Kambi for lines and pricing.
BetMGM Sportsbook IA
- Launch: January 4, 2021
- Retail Partner: Diamond Jo Worth
BetMGM makes their way into Iowa via a partnership with Diamond Jo Worth Casino and brings years of experience with them. Initially launching as playMGM, BetMGM emerged in mid-2019 after a complete facelift and the new name. MGM International has made their intentions clear that they have lofty goals of being the top online sportsbook in the US.
BetMGM backs up their claims with a massive financial investment and partnership deals throughout the country. There is a packed weekly promotional schedule, competitive lines and one of the largest selections of prop bets in the business.
Elite Sportsbook Iowa
- Launch: August 27, 2019
- Retail Partner: Riverside Casino & Golf Resort, Grand Falls Casino, Rhythm City Casino Resort
Elite Sportsbook officially launched with online wagering in Iowa on August 27, 2019, just in time for the 2019 football season. It offers a full complement of betting options, plus some interesting features like ‘early cashout’ which allows for wagers to be cashed out at any time before, or during an event at the current betting price.
Elite Casino Resorts is the owner of Elite Sportsbook, and the three Iowa resorts with which the online enterprise is currently partnered: Riverside, Grand Falls, and Rhythm City. The online sportsbook uses the Bet.Works platform to provide customers with an experience that lives up to the “Elite” name.
Q Sportsbook Iowa
- Launch: November 12, 2019
- Retail Partner: Q Casino
Q Sportsbook received the go-ahead from the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission on November 8th, 2019, and officially opened its doors a few days later on the 12th. All sports wagering with Q is conducted through a mobile sports betting app. It has options for both Android and iOS users. It allows single bets, spreads, parlays, round robins, futures, teasers, and more. Whatever you are keen to bet, Q has a way to do it.
Q Sportsbook is partnered with the Dubuque based Q Casino, which is a city-owned operation. The sportsbook is powered by the popular IGT software platform, one of the most-used in the United States sports betting market.
Fanatics Sportsbook Iowa
- Launch: November 26, 2019 (as PointsBet)
- Retail Partner: Catfish Bend Casino
Fanatics Sportsbook launched in Iowa on February 6, 2024, replacing PointsBet, which had been in the state since 2019. Fanatics now owns PointsBet and has been shifting to its Fanatics Sportsbook in the states where PointsBet used to operate, including Iowa. This is good news for bettors in Iowa, because Fanatics is a solid product that is sure to succeed in the state. PointsBet is a good sportsbook, but it never really caught on among the many sports fans in Iowa. Fanatics Sportsbook has retained its licensing partnership with Catfish Bend Casino for access to the state’s mobile market.
Hard Rock Sportsbook IA
- Launch: December 16, 2019
- Retail Partner: Hard Rock Sioux City
Hard Rock first got involved in online gaming in New Jersey in 2018. It launched online operations the same week that the doors opened on the new Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City, following a thorough (and pricey) renovation of the old Trump Taj Mahal property.
Hard Rock, in conjunction with its Sioux City location, now operates a user-friendly online sportsbook in Iowa. Place wagers on everything from football and baseball to rugby and darts. Hard Rock bettors also enjoy live betting, with odds updated on the fly. The Iowa sportsbook utilizes the Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) software platform and has been approved by the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission.
DraftKings Sportsbook Iowa
- Launch: February 19, 2020
- Retail Partner: Wild Rose Clinton, Emmetsburg, and Jefferson
DraftKings online sportsbook officially launched in Iowa on February 19, 2020. On top of their mobile launch, DK rolled out three retail sportsbooks at Wild Rose Clinton, Wild Rose Emmetsburg, and Wild Rose Jefferson.
DraftKings is one of the largest names in online gaming today. Having risen to the top of the Daily Fantasy Sports world, its premium sportsbooks have also been a hit in other states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New Jersey. They make it easy to transition back and forth from DFS to sportsbook too, which is a major plus.
Create your account here.
- Launch: September 10, 2020
- Retail Partner: Grand Falls Casino
BetFred is a well-known British sportsbook brand that originally went live in Iowa on September 10, 2020. The BetFred Sportsbook brick-and-mortar location is open for business and accepting bets at the Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort.
ESPN BET Iowa
- Launch: November 14, 2023
ESPN BET is the newest sportsbook in Iowa, going live on November 14, 2023. New customers can get $150 in bonus bet credits after making any sportsbook bet. Use the promo code GRIDERS to sign up! PENN Entertainment is running ESPN BET through a partnership with the sports television network.
- Launch: September 1, 2021
- Retail Partner: Harrah’s Council Bluffs
Unibet went live in Iowa as the second online skin for Harrah’s Council Bluffs following their launch on September 1, 2021. The European-born bookmaker offers a wide variety of sports markets and carries over its expertise and experience from serving mobile bettors in other states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 2019.
Circa Sportsbook Iowa
- Launch: October 1, 2021
- Retail Partner: Diamond Jo Worth Casino
Hailing out of the infamous Las Vegas, Nevada, Circa Sportsbook has long been a veteran in the sports betting industry. Known for their extremely high limits and diverse selection of prop bets, Circa is positioned to quickly rise to the top as it expands its mobile betting ventures. Joining Colorado as just the second state outside of Nevada to acquire Circa’s services, Iowa bettors are in for a serious treat.
Betway Sportsbook IA
- Launch: October 8, 2021
- Retail Partner: Wild Rose
Another extremely popular bookmaker originating from Europe, Betway Sportsbook is slowly but surely making its mark on U.S bettors across the map. The company reached its fifth state of operation following its launch in Iowa on October 8, 2021, joining Colorado, Indiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
SuperBook Sports IA
- Launch: October 27, 2022
- Retail Partner: Isle Casino Waterloo
SuperBook Sports is rapidly expanding, adding several new states in 2022. Iowa became its newest market on October 27, 2022, when it launched in the state through a partnership with Isle Casino Waterloo. Users in Iowa will love the huge selection of prop bets to choose from and the easy-to-use app and website.
bet365 Sportsbook IA
- Launch: June 5, 2023
- Retail Partner: Casino Queen Marquette
bet365 is the newest sportsbook to come to Iowa, partnering with the Casino Queen Marquette riverboat facility to gain mobile access to the state. bet365 is one of the biggest sportsbooks in the world but has just recently made a push to gain market share here in the US. Bettors in Iowa will enjoy the great odds process and wide variety of betting options that bet365 offers.
Iowa Retail Sportsbooks
Iowa was the first state to launch both online and retail sportsbooks at the same time. For those who prefer betting in person at a casino, there are currently 19 brick-and-mortar Iowa sportsbooks operating within the state. The Casino Queen Marquette was initially the lone holdout in Iowa, but eventually joined the party on November 3, 2021. Following their launch, every active casino in Iowa officially doubles as a retail sportsbook.
For decades the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was the main barrier standing between Iowa and legal sports betting. Originally passed in 1992, PASPA essentially prohibited sports betting across the country, with only a few exceptions. As anti-PASPA momentum began to build, Republican Jake Highfill filed House Bill 2448 in February 2018. The bill laid the groundwork for future legislation but lacked necessary details to move things forward. The proposed bill permitted sports betting in all of the state’s casinos and race tracks.
PASPA was eventually overturned in the US Supreme Court in May 2018, opening the door for states to once again pursue sports wagering. However, HB2448 failed to gain traction and died at the end of the 2018 legislative year. New Jersey was the first state to move forward with sports betting, followed closely by other states including Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Iowa Sports Betting Laws
In 2019, Rep. Bobby Kaufman and Sen. Roby Smith introduced SF617 and HF648 that would legalize Iowa sports betting. SF617 passed the Senate on April 18th, 2019 and was sent to the House. In the House, there was a contentious 90 minute debate and Kauffman was accused of rushing the bill. Eventually, cooler heads prevailed and the bill passed the House on April 22, 2019 by a vote of 67-31. In February Gov. Reynolds said that sports betting “needs to be regulated.” Reynolds stayed true to her word and signed the bill, officially making it a law.
Under SF617 Iowa sports betting licenses may be purchased for a $45,000 fee, and requires an additional $10,000 payment each year for annual renewal. Each license originally allowed holders to host up to two separate mobile skins, but that number would eventually be raised to three skins at the beginning of 2021.
All legal sports betting is regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Iowa sports betting officially began on August 15, 2019, both in-person and through a mobile app.
Iowa’s Betting History
Iowa has a strong gambling community, as made evident by the state’s impressive selection of brick-and-mortar casinos and racinos. However, this hasn’t always been the case. From 1846 – 1972, all forms of Iowa gaming were illegal. During that time the state constitution contained an article stating “No lottery shall be authorized by this state nor shall the sale of lottery tickets be allowed”. Gambling laws were so strict during this time that even a pinball machine that awarded an extra ball was deemed an illegal gambling device. They had ruled that the term “Lottery” is often used to define a form of gambling, and the general legal term for gambling is “a chance for a prize for a price.”
Representative Lloyd F. Schmeiser was asked in 1972 if bingo for seniors was illegal, and he responded with a resounding “yes”. This interaction got the ball rolling on the lottery ban repeal, which eventually took place later that year. In 1973, the General Assembly began authorizing games of chance, including bingo and raffles by approved organizations.
1983 – Present
Fast forward to 1983, horse and dog track racing were authorized in the state at three locations. Tax revenue was designated towards public works and education. In 1985, the Iowa state lottery began, later offering interstate games like MegaMillions and PowerBall in 1991.
The addition to MegaMillions and PowerBall were just a small part of a larger gambling expansion package. Also included was the authorization for two riverboat casinos. In 1994, two more riverboat casinos were added along with three land based casinos. Since then, the number of B+M casinos and racinos within the state has skyrocketed to 19. In addition, there are also four Native American casinos. Offerings like slots, table games, and poker are all popular today within the state.
The Des Moines based Iowa Gaming Association was established in 1999 to help support and grow the state’s gaming interests. Iowa remains the only state that actually requires licensed casinos to contribute revenue towards charities and community projects.
Iowa has previously taken interest in legalizing and regulating online gambling. Attempts in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 all failed to pass, but it seems inevitable that online casino games will eventually arrive in Iowa as well. Successful Iowa sports betting may help ease the concerns of legislators, and move them on to the short list of states with legal, regulated online poker and casinos.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Iowa online sports betting legal?
Yes, sports betting is legal under Iowa law! That includes in-person, and mobile betting. Legal sports betting went live on Aug. 15, 2019. Iowa sports betting is regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
Where can I place bets in Iowa?
There are 19 different retail sportsbooks in Iowa that are accepting bets. In addition, there more than a dozen online sportsbooks that allow sports betting through a mobile app. Iowa sports betting has a presence throughout the state, from Council Bluffs, to Des Moines, to Dubuque.
What types of bets can I place?
All major sports betting types are accepted in Iowa, including but not limited to moneyline bets, spread bets, totals (over/under), props and parlays. Notably, Iowa does not permit in-game props for college sports, or individual international sports with participants under the age of 18.
Is Daily Fantasy Sports legal in Iowa?
Yes. It’s unusual for states to permit legal sports betting before DFS, but that’s exactly what happened in Iowa. Would-be participants had to wait until October of 2019 to play Daily Fantasy Sports.
Is online poker legal in Iowa?
Not yet. While SF617 opened the door for both Iowa sports betting and DFS, it did not cover poker. Additional legislation will be required before online poker is made available in the Hawkeye State. Sports wagering and DFS legislation is a big step forward for Iowa gaming though, and may help the state’s pursuit of poker in the future.
Can I sign up for a mobile sports betting account online?
Now you can! As of January 1, 2021, all bettors in the state are allowed to sign up for any sportsbook they want to from the comfort of their own home. In 2020 and prior, bettors had to go to a retail casino to sign up for an online sportsbook account, which was inconvenient to say the least.
What resources are available to those that may have a gambling problem?
Each individual Iowa sports betting operation, in addition to the Iowa Gaming Association, has a dedicated section for responsible gaming. Assistance for problem gamblers is available in the form of both treatment programs, and self-exclusion.