With no professional sports teams, Iowa sports fans are heavily involved in collegiate sports teams. While it’s probably not the state you think of when you think of a sports betting hotspot, there are definitely plenty of sports fans, so sports bettors are inevitably sprinkled throughout the state.
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Up until May 2019, sports betting was illegal in the state of Iowa. Finally, a little over a year after the US Supreme Court overturned the PASPA ruling, sports betting was legal in Iowa.
Sports betting in Iowa is regulated through the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission and offers both land-based physical sportsbooks at casinos and racetracks, as well as online sports betting apps.
In that same breath, online betting has really never been illegal in Iowa, so sports bettors have been able to bet on sports at offshore sportsbooks in the meantime. The state of Iowa has always been indifferent, and never cared enough to update laws and regulations for online betting so sports betting was technically allowed in the state of Iowa prior to 2019.
In regards to Daily Fantasy Sports, there was never really a full ban on DFS in Iowa, but since the legalization of sports betting, they’ve worked daily fantasy into their sports gambling bill, making it legal for sites like DraftKings and FanDuel to operate in the state.
The only casino gambling option available in the state is at Tribal casinos - there are nearly two dozen to choose from, so you never have to go far to get in on the action. The casinos have plenty of slot machines and even some have table games.
You can easily bet on horse racing in Iowa. There are plenty of tracks to visit, but if you’re looking to bet on dog racing, you’ll have to venture elsewhere. Dog racing is explicitly illegal in the state of Iowa.
Can I bet on sports in Iowa?
Yes, as of August 2019 sports betting is legal in the state of Iowa. You can visit physical casinos or racetracks that have a sportsbook license, or you can download one of the licensed sportsbook apps that is run by the state. If you use one of these sportsbook apps, you will have to go to a casino to sign up for the app, per the new law.
Online sports betting is simple and convenient and many people prefer it instead of leaving their house to go visit venues. You can bet on sports from your couch, the sports bar or even the bus. As long as you can connect to the internet, you are ready to bet on sports.
Whether you choose to bet on one of the state-run online sportsbooks or an offshore online sportsbook, you must be 21 years of age to sign up at an online sportsbook. While signing up at an offshore sportsbook will save you the initial trip to the casino to register for your account, both options are a great way to bet on sports in Iowa nonetheless.
Deciding which sportsbook you want to use and that meets your needs is one of the hardest decisions to make. Sportsbooks are a dime a dozen, and you really need to dig in and find the best ones.
Luckily, we have done most of the work for you. We have a list of the top sportsbooks that offer sports betting in the United States, and to Iowa residents, and thoroughly vetted them to ensure you have all of the information before you sign up.
We evaluate bonuses, deposit options, odds selection, mobile-friendliness, cashout options, and live betting options and write subjective reviews that help you make the right decision based on your betting needs.
Check out our online sportsbook reviews to find a sportsbook that matches your needs.
Iowa Casinos and Sportsbooks
There are 13 casinos in Iowa that are licensed to operate as a sportsbook. If you want to use the corresponding mobile accounts for any of these venues, you will need to visit the casino and register for a mobile sports betting account before you can use the app or sportsbook mobile site.
- Ameristar III Casino in Council Bluffs
- Catfish Bend Casino in Burlington
- Diamond Jo – Worth in Northwood
- Grand Falls Casino in Larchwood
- Harrah’s Council Bluffs in Council Bluffs
- Horseshoe Council Bluffs in Council Bluffs
- Isle of Capri Casino Hotel in Bettendorf
- Isle of Capri Casino Hotel in Waterloo
- Lakeside Hotel and Casino in Osceola
- Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack and Hotel in Altoona
- Q Casino & Hotel in Dubuque
- Rhythm City Casino Resort in Davenport
- Riverside Casino and Golf Resort in Riverside
Betting on Iowa Sports teams
There are no professional sports in Iowa, so we will look at their top collegiate team, the Iowa State Cyclones.
The college basketball team has always been a fan favorite in Iowa, who has been impressive as of late. You can see them in the NCAA March Madness tournament, where they have earned a spot for the past six seasons, making it to at least the second round.
You can bet on the Iowa State Cyclones at any time of year, but many like to get their bets in during March Madness, filling out brackets and placing bets on individual games. Online sportsbooks have great odds and allow you to track your bets as you go.
Iowa Sports Betting Legalization Timeline
2019: A Fast Legalization
SF366 was the first attempt to legalize sports betting in Iowa. It got some early support and was recommended by the committee in just one day. it stalled, but it still showed that there was an appetite for this. This provided an impetus for the House to pass a bill, sending it over to the Senate in April.
The Senate approved it very quickly and by May, the governor had already signed the bill into law. There was a special clause in Iowa that we do not see in many other states. More on that later.
2020-2021: Success and Expansion
Because sports betting was so successful in Iowa, more and more revenue came into the state's coffers. With this in mind, they wanted to expand it even more.
Iowa had previously had a clause where you had to go to a retail location to register in-person to be able to bet online. In 2021, they removed this requirement, facilitating betting in Iowa.