Iowa Sports Betting & Wagering (February 2024)
Sports betting was illegal throughout the United States from 1992-2018 because of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. A section of PASPA was used by professional sports leagues as the reason why states could not legalize sports wagering.
Iowa wanted to enact sports betting before PASPA was deemed unconstitutional. The state legislature was attempting to legalize sports betting prior to the PASPA decision in hope of a favorable ruling.
Iowa was not successful when it came to passing a sports betting bill prior to the Supreme Court’s decision on PASPA in the summer of 2018. However, the state was able to pass a sports betting bill one year later in the early summer of 2019.
In Iowa, mobile and retail sports betting is legalized under the 2019 bill. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is the governing body over sports betting in the state. Iowa has quickly become a substantial sports wagering market in a short period of time.
Retail and mobile sports betting launched in Iowa on August 15, 2019. IA was the 11th state in America to legalize sports betting.
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Steps to Start Legal Iowa Sports Betting
Iowa has multiple sports betting providers operating in the state. Therefore, residents and visitors to the state have a nice slate of books to choose from to bet on sports. In Iowa, you can register for a sportsbook in person at a retail betting location or anywhere in the state on a mobile book. Some mobile books require you to register in person. The easiest and quickest way to start betting on sports is through your mobile device on a sportsbook that allows you to register from your phone or computer. You can register for multiple sports betting platforms in Iowa. Proceed to the website or app of a legal mobile sportsbook. Click the register button and fill in the required information. You must be 21 years of age and physically within IA state borders at the time of registration. Once your account is created, make your first deposit and start testing your luck on sports!
1). Make sure you are 21 years of age and in Iowa.
2). Choose if you would like to register at a retail sportsbook or from your mobile book.
3). To register on your mobile device, proceed to a legal sportsbook’s app or website.
4). Fill in the required information to sign up for your account.
5). Once your account is created, make your first deposit and start betting on sports.
Mobile Betting Apps in Iowa
IA has nine mobile sportsbooks that are currently available in the state. Additionally, Unibet will be launching at some point in the near future to bring the total to ten. The best mobile sports betting providers in the nation operate in IA.
BetMGM launched on January 4, 2021. BetMGM has become a well respected sports betting app. BetMGM is a product of MGM Resorts International which is known for providing great landlocked and mobile casino experiences. It took BetMGM a little time to emphasize mobile sports betting, but the company has strongly improved the wagering experience in the past year. BetMGM provides a risk free bet up to $600 for new users.
BetRivers launched in IA on January 4, 2021. BetRivers is operated by Rush Street Interactive. BetRivers has become a moderately popular betting platform in the United States. It’s not on the level of DraftKings or FanDuel, but the betting experience is above average. BetRivers matches your first deposit up to $250. Also, BetRivers has the best loyalty program in mobile sports betting.
William Hill became available in Iowa on August 15, 2019. William Hill is associated with four landlocked casinos in IA. William Hill’s retail betting experience is phenomenal. However, bonuses on the mobile app are sparse. William Hill offers a risk free bet up to $500.
ELITE Sportsbook launched a couple weeks after opening day in IA on August 29, 2019. Bettors must join the Resort Club before they can use the mobile app. This additional step has deterred bettors from ELITE Sportsbook. The entire registration process for ELITE Sportsbook must be completed in person at one of the app’s three partner casinos.
Q Sportsbook was the third mobile betting provider in Iowa. The book launched on November 12, 2019. Q Sportsbook only has a mobile app so you cannot bet on a browser version of the sportsbook. This is fine for most bettors, but Q Sportsbook is the only provider in IA that does not offer a desktop website. The software partner is IGT.
PointsBet launched on November 26, 2019 and it has become one of the most successful books in the state. PointsBet is offering $2,000 in risk free bets for new users in IA. I do not love risk free bets, but $2,000 is a ton of money. The appeal of PointsBet is the unique wager type called points betting. PointsBet also offers traditional bets as well on its platform.
Hard Rock Sportsbook
Hard Rock Sportsbook is an emerging platform in Iowa and throughout the United States. The sportsbook launched on December 19, 2019. Hard Rock uses Gaming Innovation Platform as its software provider. This is a great brand and it has shown with the easiness and accessibility of the Hard Rock Sportsbook.
DraftKings was well known prior to launching its sportsbook because of the company’s Daily Fantasy Sports games. DraftKings launched on February 19, 2020 and it was the sixth book to go live in IA. No platform has a better bonus than DraftKings in Iowa. The company will match your initial deposit up to $1,000. This is regarded as the best welcome bonus in legal American sports betting.
FanDuel Sportsbook went live on September 9, 2020 in Iowa. Like DraftKings, FanDuel became popular immediately because of its Daily Fantasy Sports app. FanDuel offers a risk free bet for new users up to $1,000. This bonus applies to a new user’s first bet on the platform.
As of February 2021, Unibet has not launched in Iowa. It’s unclear when Unibet will become available. The Kindred Group who runs Unibet signed an agreement with Caesars Entertainment in February 2020 to bring the platform to Iowa at some point in 2021.
Physical Locations to Bet on Sports in Iowa
Nearly twenty of Iowa’s state licensed casinos have acquired sports betting licenses. Retail betting is very popular in the state because of the wide variety of landlocked books.
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Isle Bettendorf Casino
Isle Bettendorf’s retail sportsbook is operated by William Hill. William Hill Sportsbook offers a great betting experience. The book has countless televisions and seating areas to watch the game. Betting kiosks are open daily from 10:00am to midnight.
Isle Waterloo Casino
The William Hill Sportsbook at Isle Waterloo is a premier retail betting location. William Hill Sportsbook provides a superior betting and game viewing experience. The property is open everyday, but it closes at 9:00 PM seven days a week. This is disappointing for people looking to enjoy primetime action.
The William Hill Sportsbook at Lakeside Casino is open everyday. However, it closes at 9:00 PM everyday like Isle Waterloo which is disappointing. The property has multiple televisions and kiosks which provides visitors with an amazing sports betting experience.
Prairie Meadows Casino
The William Hill Sportsbook at Prairie Meadows Casino is the perfect place to bet on sports. The property is on the fourth floor of the casino and it overlooks the Prairie Meadows Racetrack. You can bet on live horse racing right from the book while wagering mainstream sporting events.
Grand Falls Casino
The BetFred Sportsbook at Grand Falls Casino gives new players a 100% wager match off their first bet. This is a great bonus for a retail betting location. The property is 3,500 sq ft with LED televisions in every area of the book. While you’re watching the game, you will have the ability to eat and drink at the sportsbook’s restaurant.
Rhythm City Casino
The ELITE Sportsbook at Rhythm City Casino does not give bettors the best retail betting experience in IA. ELITE offers a new sign up bonus for bettors. The book gives new players up to a $500 risk free bet, but the property has a lot of betting rules which can take the fun out of sports wagering. For example, the free bet can only be bet on a team up to +300.
The Draft Day Sportsbook at Riverside Casino is operated by ELITE Sportsbook. ELITE Sportsbook rules apply so you will receive a bonus if you are a new bettor. The best part about the Draft Day Sportsbook is the restaurant and bar. You can receive free food credit if you place qualifying wagers.
The Q Casino Sportsbook is 4,200 sq ft. and it includes 47 HDTVs and a 165” video wall. The Q Sports Bar is serving up delectable food for game day as well as serving 20 beers on tap. The sportsbook is newly renovated which has made it one of the best betting locations in IA.
Catfish Bend Casino
The PointsBet Sportsbook at Catfish Bend Casino was recently constructed so the property is upscale relative to other betting locations in the state. The property has slot machines and blackjack tables inside the sports bar so you can stay in one place for nearly all your gambling needs. The property has multiple televisions and a full service sports bar.
Hard Rock Sioux City Casino
The Hard Rock Sportsbook is an upscale betting location in IA. The property is open until 8:00 PM everyday, but they will adjust hours if a big game is on television. The property is a frequently visited location by visitors to Sioux City.
Wild Rose Clinton Casino
The DraftKings Sportsbook at Wildrose Clinton has some unique viewing areas. The property has 21 HDTVs, two video walls, and a 219” TV. In addition to this, the property has a full service bar and restaurant.
Wild Rose Jefferson Casino
The DraftKings Sportsbook at Wild Rose Jefferson is bigger than the Clinton property. It’s 6,000 sq ft. with 28 HDTVs and a 200 inch video wall. The property also includes Coaches Corner, a full service bar and restaurant.
Wild Rose: Emmetsburg Casino
The DraftKings Sportsbook at Wild Rose Emmetsburg is a great betting location. It’s not the biggest sportsbook, but it’s a nice place to wager and enjoy a bite and a beer at Coaches Corner.
The Barstool Sportsbook at Ameristar Casino is known for great bonuses. Every weekday from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM you will be able to experience boosted odds through the Barstool Power Hour promotion. The property has six betting windows, ten betting kiosks, and 50 HDTVs.
Harrah’s Council Bluffs Casino
The William Hill Sportsbook at Harrah’s Council Bluffs is only a kiosk betting location. It’s easier to bet on the platform’s mobile app. The kiosks are open daily from 10:00 AM to midnight.
The William Hill Sportsbook at Horseshoe Casino provides bettors with an average wagering experience. William Hill’s diverse betting menu is the main reason to visit this property. The features of the book when it comes to viewing and seating are standard.
Diamond Jo Worth Casino
The FanDuel Sportsbook at Diamond Jo Worth Casino is small but exceptional. The book is open until 1:00 AM on Saturday night. The book is not large, but it has tons of premium seating, HDTVs, and a full service bar. New players will receive a risk free bet up to $1,000.
Diamond Jo Dubuque Casino
The FanDuel Sportsbook at Diamond Jo Dubuque is a 2,150 sq ft. property that offers great odds and a nice bonus for new players. There are four betting windows and nine kiosks for betting. You will be able to watch your game of choice on one of 34 screens in the sportsbook.
The DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen has not opened yet, but it will at some point in 2021. Casino Queen is still building their book. It will have multiple televisions, premium seating areas, and a full service bar and restaurant.
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Future Iowa Sports Betting Venues & Locations
Iowa does not have any major professional sports teams so retail betting locations in stadiums is not likely. The state features a large arena that hosts events and some of the state’s minor league franchises. This could be a likely location for a future retail sportsbook. Bars and restaurants are another possibility for retail betting locations, but the state features widespread mobile betting. It’s really not necessary to open more retail books in the state outside of casinos.
- Wells Fargo Arena
Iowa Sports Betting Regulation & Laws
The fight to bring sports betting to IA began before the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned by the Supreme Court. In 2018, Representative Jake Highfill proposed a sports betting bill that did not pass. However, it was similar to the ultimate bill that was passed one year later.
The 2018 legislative session adjourned prior to a sports betting decision, but Highfill told state residents that the majority of the legislature wanted to implement sports betting in 2019.
In 2019, Ways and Means Committee chairs, Senator Bobby Kaufman and Representative Roby Smith supported the Iowa sports betting bill. This bill was titled SF 617.
It received 16 hearings in both chambers of the Iowa Congress. It passed with bipartisan support.
The law contained specific sports betting regulations. According to the bill, revenue would be taxed at 6.75%, there would be a $45,000 licensing fee, and mobile betting would be legalized. Prop bets would not be accepted for in state college teams, but college sports betting would be legal in IA.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission was given the jurisdiction to oversee the state’s sports betting industry. SF 617 was signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds on May 13, 2019. Retail and mobile sports betting launched on August 15, 2019. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission put emergency laws in play to ensure that legal sports betting would begin before the 2019 professional and collegiate football season.
What are the Tax Rates for the Retail and Online Sports Betting Operators in IA
Iowa tax rates for retail and mobile sports betting are very low relative to other states throughout the country. Retail and online sports betting platforms are taxed at the same rate. The sports betting tax rate is 6.75% on a sportsbook’s gross adjusted revenue. The licensing fee for sports betting operators is $45,000.
Legal Iowa Sports Betting Timeline
- In 2018, Representative Jake Highfill proposed the state’s first sports betting bill.
- The IA legislature adjourned before a decision was made on the bill.
- SF 617 was proposed in 2019 by Senator Bobby Kaufman and Representative Roby Smith.
- The bill passed in both chambers with ease.
- Governor Kim Reynolds signed SF 617 into law on May 13, 2019.
- The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission put emergency laws in play to ensure that legal sports betting would begin before football season in 2019.
- Retail and mobile sports betting launched on August 15, 2019.
List of Sports Wagers Allowed in Iowa
- Moneyline: Choosing a specific winner.
- Point spread: The margin of a team’s victory or loss.
- Totals: The number of points scored in a contest.
- Props: Side wagers on things that may happen. Props are very broad. There are no prop bets allowed on games that involve in-state college athletic teams.
- Live betting: Bets that take place during the game with odds that are constantly changing.
- Futures: A bet on a future outcome.
- Parlays: Group wagers that are often from different events. All legs must hit for a successful bet.
- Teasers: Spread or total bets where the bettor can put the odds in their favor.
Iowa Sports betting Bonuses & Bonus Codes
Iowa sports betting has great bonuses because the top sports betting platforms in the United States are operating in the state. In Iowa sports wagering, bonuses are primarily given to new players on all sportsbooks. The best bonuses in Iowa online betting are deposit matches and risk free bets. If you’re looking for the best Iowa sports betting bonuses, look for deposit matches. This is the best way to get off to a great start when utilizing Iowa sports betting platforms.
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Iowa Promos, Promo Codes and Promotions
Iowa sports betting platforms offer various promotions throughout the year. Some promotions in Iowa online betting are weekly recurring promotions. The most common Iowa sports betting promotions are weekly odds boosts, parlay insurance deals, and big event bonuses. IA does not have any major professional sports teams in the state. Sportsbooks will usually run promotions on major professional sports teams in border states. However, Iowa sports betting providers will run promotions for bettors involving the University of Iowa and Iowa State University.
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Best IA Sports Betting Cities
Iowa has nineteen casinos scattered throughout the state. The three biggest sports betting cities in Iowa are Council Bluffs, Davenport, and Sioux City.
Council Bluffs is in the southwestern corner of Iowa. The area is near Missouri so area bettors support the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals. Ameristar Casino, Harrah’s Casino, and Horseshoe Casino are the three casinos in the city. Ameristar features a Barstool Sportsbook. Harrah’s and Horseshoe both offer William Hill Sportsbooks.
Davenport features the Rhythm City Casino. The Isle Bettendorf Casino is near Davenport and another popular option for area bettors. Davenport is on the eastern border of IA near Illinois. Bettors in this area tend to support the professional sports franchises in Chicago. Rhythm City’s sportsbook is run by ELITE and Isle Bettendorf’s retail book is run by William Hill.
Sioux City is the home of the Hard Rock Casino. People in Sioux City usually favor the Minnesota sports franchises like the Vikings, Wild, Timberwolves and Twins. The Hard Rock Casino’s sportsbook is run by Hard Rock.
IA Teams to Bet On
Iowa does not have any major professional sports franchises. There are a few minor league franchises in the state, but these teams are not very popular. The state’s two most popular collegiate athletic programs are the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Iowa State Cyclones.
Iowa Hawkeyes Football
The Iowa Hawkeyes football team played their first season in 1889. The team plays inside Kinnick Stadium and they are members of the Big Ten Conference. The Hawkeyes have won five national titles.
Iowa State Cyclones Football
Iowa State’s first season was in 1892. The team plays inside Jack Trice Stadium and they are members of the Big 12 Conference.
Iowa Hawkeyes Basketball
The Iowa Hawkeyes basketball team plays inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The team competes in the Big Ten Conference. The Hawkeyes have appeared in three Final Fours.
Iowa State Cyclones Basketball
Iowa State’s basketball program was established in 1907. The Cyclones compete in the Big 12 Conference. Their home arena is Hilton Coliseum. They have appeared in one Final Four in program history.
Iowa Sports Betting Revenue Numbers
Sports betting began in Iowa in a retail and mobile format in the summer of 2019. The state’s betting handle has increased every month since April 2020. The April 2020 handle was $1,568,497. The latest handle from January 2021 was $149,524,789. The COVID-19 pandemic hurt the state’s sports betting industry, but IA has definitely recovered to some degree. The January 2021 handle was the highest total in state history. The end of football season and beginning of basketball and hockey played a big role in this monumental figure.
- April 2020: $1,568,497
- May 2020: $6,976,637
- June 2020: $12,711,201
- July 2020: $22,859,622
- August 2020: $50,313,674
- September 2020: $72,397,241
- October 2020: $81,902,416
- November 2020: $87,169,919
- December 2020: $104,815,630
- January 2021: $149,524,789
Quick Glance at Iowa Gambling & Industries
Iowa had a prominent gambling economy prior to the legalization of sports betting. There are countless state sanctioned casinos in the state.
Iowa Horse Racing Status
Iowa horse racing was legalized in 1983. In 1985, horse racing was taking place at multiple fairgrounds throughout the state. In 1989, the state’s first commercial track, Prairie Meadows opened in Altoona. Races are still taking place at Prairie Meadows today in addition to a full service casino and retail sportsbook.
DFS / Daily Fantasy Sports in Iowa
Daily Fantasy Sports was legalized under SF 617. There are three providers in the state: FanDuel, DraftKings, and Yahoo. In IA, people in the state can partake in DFS on professional and collegiate sporting events. The DFS laws in Iowa are stricter than other states throughout the nation.
IA Online Casino Play
Real money online casinos are not legal in Iowa. Even though the state has over twenty casinos, the legislature has not legalized online casino gambling. States have not legalized online casino gaming on a widespread basis like mobile sports betting.
Iowa Online Lottery
The online lottery is legal in Iowa. The Iowa lottery has a full online app that helps you navigate the system.
Iowa Poker Rules
Online poker is not legal in Iowa. Poker can be played for money at a charitable event or in a card room at one of the state’s casinos. Many people play online poker through offshore sportsbooks, which is illegal, but hard to trace.
Iowa Esports Scene
Esports betting is illegal in Iowa. Esports betting was outlawed under S 617 that passed in 2019. It does not appear that Esports betting will become legal anytime soon with sports back in full swing following the main period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
How to Become a Sports Betting Affiliate in Iowa
To become a sports betting affiliate, an online platform must partner with a retail casino. Each casino can operate up to two online skins in the state. The casino and online skin would have to apply for a license to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Once approved, a $45,000 fee must be paid to receive the license. Gross adjusted revenue for affiliates is taxed at 6.75% by the state.
FAQ for Iowa Betting
1) Is it legal to bet on sports in Iowa?
Yes, sports betting has been legal in IA since May 13, 2019 when it was signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds.
2) Does Iowa offer mobile sports betting or retail only?
Iowa offers both mobile and retail sports betting.
3) Can I sign up to bet on sports in IA remotely or do I have to physically visit the retail sportsbook location?
You can sign up for a sportsbook account in person or through your mobile device for most providers. However, some sportsbooks in the state require bettors to sign up in person to play online.
4) Who regulates Iowa sports betting?
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission regulates sports betting in the state.
5) When was Iowa sports betting legalized?
Sports betting was legalized in IA on May 13, 2019.
6) Who placed the first bet in the state of Iowa?
The first sports bet in Iowa was placed on August 15, 2019.
7) Can you bet on “in state” college games in Iowa?
You can bet on “in state” college games in Iowa. However, it’s illegal to bet on in-state college props.
8) Are wagers for all professional sports leagues and teams accepted in IA?
Yes, wagers on all professional sports leagues are legal in Iowa. Although, betting on Esports is prohibited.
Latest Iowa Sports Betting News
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