Iowa Online Gambling Guide 2021

Iowa Online Gambling Guide 2021
The Hub for Mobile Sports Betting In The Hawkeye State. Legal, Safe, Fun.

Iowa online gambling became a reality on May 15, 2019 when the state’s governor Kim Reynolds signed into law Bill SF167 that legalizes sports betting and remote gambling in the Hawkeye State. Until recently Iowa was home to some great brick and mortar casinos, but in 2019 it became the 11th US state to march ahead with times and pioneer online gambling that is regulated, safe and 100% legal.

There are currently 8 sports betting operators live in Iowa, including some of the biggest names in the online betting world like DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, Hard Rock and more. Iowa sports betting apps cover all of the popular sports and offer players the chance to bet on college sports as well. New to Iowa’s sports betting? Read out full guide written by BestAppBet experts, including everything there is to know about Iowa and online gambling offerings in the state.

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The state of Iowa is home to 3.15 million people and has been listed as one of the safest states to live in. The Midwestern state is bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west.

Iowa currently hosts 23 land-based and riverboat casinos spread across the state and now with its latest addition to its gambling portfolio: online and mobile sports betting. The bill legalizing online betting was signed in 2019 and since the Hawkeye State has seen some of the world’s biggest and most prestigious sports betting operators launch in partnership of the state’s casinos.

Legal Gambling in Iowa

Governor Kim Reynolds signed bill SF 167 into law on May 15, 2019.

With the bill, there is now a licensing framework for both retail and online sportsbook. It allows each of Iowa’s 23 casinos to apply for two Iowa online sportsbook licenses. For more information about the online betting apps.

Key features of the bill include:

  • Sports betting revenue taxed at 6.75%
  • Iowa casinos can apply for one retail sportsbook and two online sportsbook licenses
  • $45,000 license fee with a $10,000 annual renewal
  • Betting allowed on Iowa collegiate sports teams
  • Regulation of daily fantasy sports alongside sports betting
  • Restricts betting on college athletes and high school teams

The Hawkeye State offers plenty of competition with its low taxation rate. American Gaming Association executive Sara Slane expanded:

“The state of Iowa has set its legal sports betting market up for success with a reasonable tax rate, mobile wagering, strong consumer protections and provisions that put responsible gaming at the forefront. Through the leadership of champions like Iowa Gaming Association President and CEO Wes Ehrecke, Iowans will now have a safe alternative to the illegal market that has thrived in the Hawkeye State and across the country…”

To take advantage of Iowa’s online gambling you will need to be 21 years or over and within the states lines to bet. There is no need to be an Iowa resident.

The legalization of gambling in Iowa

Iowa’s introduction to legal gambling actually began with a church picnic being raided and a Catholic priest being prosecuted.

In the small town of North Buena Vista in 1971, the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church held its annual picnic. It included a wheel of fortune, bingo, a dice table and other small card games. It has been running for over 40 years and attendance numbers grew from 150 to over 8,000 visitors each year.

By the end of that day in 1971, all of the gambling equipment had been confiscated and Father Carl Ruhland was charged with running a gambling house. This was the result of the state attorney’s decision to crack down and enforce the gambling laws.

After Rhuland entered a guilty plea and paid the $100 fine there was public outrage. It was so extreme, that a resolution to repeal the ban on gambling in Iowa came out in 1972.

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Modern Gambling in Iowa

Iowa now has several forms of legal gambling. It is now legal, safe and regulated by the state. To date, most of the state’s activity still sits with the brick-and-mortar casinos. However, the fairly new expansion of both land-based and online sports betting is already showing promising growth.


Sports betting has been legal in Iowa since 2019. The launch of multiple online and retail sportsbooks was surprisingly quick, and there are now 16 retail sportsbooks operating in various Iowa Casinos.

Online and Sweepstakes Casinos

Online casino gambling is still prohibited by Iowa state law as the focus of the bill has been on introducing Iowa sports betting rather than online casinos. However, as an alternative Iowans can play sweepstakes casino sites. As long as the sweepstakes are essentially free to play. It is illegal to charge advance payment in order to collect winnings and to publish odds.

Iowa Lottery

The state-run Iowa Lottery is a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association. The proceeds fund different state programs. These include law enforcement and firefighters’ families, state-funded projects, veterans and the Vision Iowa tourism initiative.

Online Horse Betting and other racing

Iowa’s animal racing remains a staple gambling offering. It offers several different methods for betting on the races within the state.

Prairie Meadows is the state’s only live horseracing venue that also has a casino. Iowa also has one greyhound racing venue. However, it is unlikely the practice will continue considering market pressure and negative publicity.

The addition of online horse betting allows Iowa residents and visitors to bet on horse races without having to travel to Prairie Meadows.

Iowa Casinos

There are currently 23 casinos in Iowa. These include 4 Native American run casinos, 18 state-licensed land-based casinos and one riverboat casino.  The properties are spread almost evenly across the state, meaning that most residents live close to at least one location.

Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino is currently the largest Iowa casino. It has around 2,000 gaming machines and 44 game tables spread over almost 90,000 square feet.

Iowans have proven that they like to gamble with Prairie Meadows alone reporting revenues nearing $180 million a year. With two other casinos, Ameristar II and Horseshoe Bluffs Run, running at over $150 million for the year.

Iowa Operators

Since May 2019, Iowa’s choice of sportsbooks has grown. Currently, there are a total of 8 sportsbooks licensed by the state. These include large, international operators as well as smaller, local brands.. TBelow are the current sports betting operators that are currently licensed in the Hawkeye State:

DraftKings Sportsbook

The well-known sportsbook and DFS company launched in Iowa in February 2020. It has partnerships with Wild Rose Casino locations in three separate locations: Clinton, Emmetsburg and Jefferson.

DraftKings has launched with extensive experience and innovation, making its Iowa online sportsbook a welcome addition to the Hawkeye State.

PointsBet Iowa

PointsBet was one of the first Iowa sportsbook apps to launch. The Australian company may not be a familiar brand name to most Iowans, but that’s soon to change. PointsBet Iowa offers fixed odds markets but also ‘Points Betting’ where the winnings or losses aren’t fixed but depend on how correct the bet is.

William Hill

Being one of the biggest and most well-known sportsbook retail and online operators the UK, it wasn’t a surprise to see William Hill launch an Iowa online sportsbook.

William Hill has partnered with a few Iowa casinos including Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Isle of Capri in Bettendorf, Isle of Capri in Waterloo, and Lakeside Hotel Casino in Osceola.

Elite Sportsbook

Elite is a lesser-known company that launched its Iowa sports betting app. It offers a more personalized product and attentive, local service. Elite has partnered with Riverside Casino and Golf Resort in Riverside and the Rhythm City Casino Resort in Davenport.

Hard Rock

Hard Rock Sioux City’s launch in Iowa was low-profile, especially for such a well-known brand. It currently has brick and mortar sportsbooks in several states, including on in its Hard Rock Casino Sioux City venue.

Q Sportsbook

As one of the smaller, local operators in Iowa, its Iowa betting app is expected to function as an extension of its land-based operations. Most Iowans will know about the company’s friendly Q Casino in Dubuque.

Betfred Sportsbook

As a prominent UK retail betting company, Betfred launched its sportsbook in Iowa after its US debut in Colorado. Although its Iowa online sportsbook hasn’t gotten a mobile betting app yet, it powers a retail operation based at Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort.

FanDuel Sportsbook

Another established daily fantasy sports provider, FanDuel also launched an Iowa sportsbook app. It is a recognizable and trustworthy brand that formed a partnership with the Diamond Jo properties.

Types of Bets Available in Iowa

All of the most popular betting types are found on the Iowa online sportsbooks. These include:

  • Spread Betting: Betting on a team winning or losing by the point margin set by the sportsbook.
  • Moneylines: Based on a $100 baseline. The favorite team’s number shows what bet is required to win $100. Whereas the number next to the weaker team shows how much is winnable on a $100 stake. The expected winner is ‘below the line’ and is marked with a negative sign.
  • Parlays & Accumulators: A wager encompasses two or more individual legs (bets). All of the legs need to be won for the bet to be paid out. If won, the winnings will be more than the total of the individual legs.
  • Teasers: Wagers that include spread betting. Reduces the risk but lessens the payout.
  • Player & Championship Futures (No Awards Futures)
  • Live Betting: Bet during an actual sporting event and when the data feeds change the odds in real-time.
  • Prop Bets – Wagers on events other than the outcome of the game, such as goals scored by a certain player, first touchdown etc.

Popular Betting Markets Available In Iowa

Along with the major sports such as the NBA, NFL, MLB etc., there are many other options available within the Iowa sports betting offerings. The Hawkeye state offers international sports such as soccer, rugby, tennis and even the Olympics. There are also ample opportunities to bet on the sports closer to home such as basketball, baseball, boxing and football.

This is only a partial list of all the options. Different Iowa online sportsbooks will offer different betting opportunities. There is however a decent overlap and the markets are competitive.

Favorite Teams for Iowans to Bet On

With no major sports franchise in Iowa, fan allegiance is split among different teams from neighboring states, which makes for interesting sports betting. 

The following are a few teams that have many fans in the Hawkeye state:


The Kansas City Royals are one of the state’s favorites, founded in 1969, the team have played in four World Series, winning two.

Other baseball teams which are held in high regard are the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Twins and the St Louis Cardinals.

The Chicago Cubs were first named the White Stockings in 1876, have played in a total of eleven World Series and have won 3.

The faith in the Minnesota Twins maybe a little misguided. Founded in 1901 and named the Washington Senators, the team holds the record for the longest postseason losing streak in all four major American professional sports leagues. They have lost eighteen consecutive playoff games.

Finally, the St Louis Cardinals were founded in 1882 as the St Louis Brown Stockings and have won 11 World Series. This record is higher than that of any other National League team and second in the MLB only to the New York Yankees.


When it comes to football, the Minnesota Vikings is the state’s favorite team. Founded as an expansion franchise in 1961, the Vikings hold the ironic, undesirable title of the most successful NFL franchise to never win a Super Bowl.

Green Bay Packers are also one of the well-supported teams in the Hawkeye State. The Packers have won 13 league championships, the most in NFL history as well as 4 Super Bowl wins.

Another well revered team in Iowa is the Kansas City Chiefs, established in 1959 the Chiefs have won three AFL Championships and two Super Bowls. Young Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes won the league’s MVP title and took his team to win the Super Bowl in 2019. This year the Chiefs are returning as defending champions to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2020 Super Bowl.

The last team to bring support from Iowa is the Chicago Bears. Founded over 100 years ago, the team have won 9 NFL Championship including 1 Super Bowl.


Basketball is another sport which brings a lot of support from the Iowans. The favorite team in the state is probably the Chicago Bulls. Founded in 1966, the Bulls saw their biggest success in the 1990s, helping to popularize the NBA worldwide. They have won 6 NBA Championships, and of course were home to one of NBA’s greatest dynasties, #23 Michael Jordan.

The Minnesota Timberwolves is another popular team in the Iowa which was founded in 1989, and are affiliated with the Iowa Wolves. So it makes sense that they would draw the support of the Iowa State.

Another team of note is the Milwaukee Bucks, winning one league title back in 1971, 2 conference titles and 15 division titles since being founded in 1968.


The Minnesota Wilds which are affiliated with Wild Iowa brings them a lot of support from the Hawkeye State. Although founded in 1997, they didn’t start playing until the 2000-01 season. The Wilds lost their first game to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim but their first win came 5games later against Tampa Bay Lightning.

Chicago Blackhawks also get a lot of love from the Iowans. Founded in 1926, the Hawks are known as one of the ‘Original Six’ NHL teams. They have won six Stanley Cup championships.

The last NHL team worth a mention is the St Louis Blues. With a rivalry with the Chicago Blackhawks and having qualified for the playoffs in all but nine of their 52 seasons, it’s not hard to see the appeal.

College Sports

Iowa also has a great selection of NCAA teams that fit great within the Iowa sports betting scene, with sports such as basketball, baseball and softball. Some of these teams include:

  • Iowa Hawkeyes – With 34 Big Ten Championships and 23 national championships in wrestling and with national championships in five other sports. The Hawkeyes have been extremely successful.
  • Iowa State Cyclones – The name with a story, the Cyclones feature 12 sports and were named after defeating Northwestern University in 1895.
  • Northern Iowa Panthers – The Panthers compete in eleven games including basketball, football, volleyball and tennis.
  • Upper Iowa Peacocks – The Peacocks compete in all 13 varsity sports as members of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference except for men’s soccer where they are an associate member of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.
  • Iowa Wesleyan Tigers – The Tigers have been a successful team, in 2009 for the second time both the men and the women teams qualified for the NAIA National Basketball Tournament.

Final Thoughts on Sports Betting in Iowa

There is so much to choose from in Iowa sports betting. As long as you are in state limits and over the age of 21 you can place bets using the best Iowa sportsbook apps on your computer or mobile device. You don’t even have to be a resident and it’s 100% legal and secure.

Just remember to gamble responsibly and make sure to stop if it stops being fun.

So, what’s stopping you from joining in with all of the Iowa online gambling excitement?! Jump in today and claim a generous bonus here!

Gamble Responsibly

The exciting and fun world of sports betting is now legal and available to anyone in Iowa that is over 21. But keep in mind that fun and excitement is what it’s all about, and sports betting is a form of gambling that should never be seen as a safe way to earn money. Set budgets and timelines, and keep a close eye on your bankroll. If you are losing too much take a break and seek help if things are getting out of control. Always gamble responsibly, so you can keep coming back for more exciting Illinois sports betting.

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Daily fantasy sports giant DraftKings gaining momentum as one of biggest sportsbooks in America.  DraftKings Sportsbook is one live and legal in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and many more states, now also live in West Virginia with DraftKings live sportsbook, as well as mobile sports-betting app.  Open an account now with DraftKings state-of-the-art sportsbook and you can get a free bonus just for signing up.

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FanDuel, the biggest fantasy-sports operator in the world launched its sportsbook in 2018, and has since been busy becoming one of the country’s most successful sports-betting operators.  Following great success in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and more states, FanDuel is now also legal and live in West Virginia, offering a great website and even greater mobile app that lets you gamble online safely and legally from anywhere in the state.  

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Entertainment and gambling powerhouse MGM International extends the excitement of its legendary land-based casinos, enabling you to now place your bets and play on its sportsbook brand BetMGM via their website or mobile app.  After a roaring success in New Jersey, BetMGM is now available in Indiana, West Virginia and soon in Colorado.  It is safe and legal to play from anywhere in West Virginia, so join the BetMGM sportsbook excitement. 


Sports betting has always been an exciting way for fans to buy into the sport, in a way participate and add another dimension of thrill and excitement to the competition, match or any sporting event. With the evolution of remote betting first to phone, and later on to online betting, remote sports-betting not only became available to a wider audience, but also added a whole new level of excitement and magic to sports betting. Today’s mobile sports betting apps, which are readily available on both Android and Apple, are on the front line of technology, and alongside an exceptional slick and user friendly interface, opens to sports betting punters an entire universe of sports events, odds, games and features such as live streaming and in-play betting. Are you into NFL? Are you an NBA fan? Maybe your thing is baseball so you would like to bet on MLB? Or perhaps you are into world sports and want some European Premier Soccer betting? The mobile sports betting apps bring all of this amazing action to your mobile device, so you can bet on what you want, from wherever you are, at any time you choose to.


Are you a casino player? Did you always love casino, the atmosphere, the thrill and excitement, and most importantly the dream and sometimes reality of big winnings? You no longer need to wait for your next trip to Vegas, or wherever it is you are planning to go to a casino. Mobile and remote casino gambling has now entered to US, and it is here to stay. Already live in New Jersey, and closely followed by other states, Americans can now join the fun, download a casino mobile app from one of the top, legal and certified US casinos, and have all the magic of casino from their mobile device. Are you a BlackJack player? Or maybe you are into Roulette? Maybe Baccarat or Craps are your game, or are you a fan of slots? Whichever game is for you, you will find it on the mobile casino apps that are now becoming legal and regulated across states, and enable you to have your own private casino on your mobile device. It is legal, it is exciting, and it is magic.


For many, slot machines are the most thrilling part of the casino. The lights, animation, sounds and action take you into another dream world, where you can win huge prizes, jackpots, bonus rounds and what not. The Mobile slot apps that are now available in the US provide the world’s premier slots, all made regulated and fully compliant with the US regulations and laws. So you can safely and securely download the slots mobile app to your mobile device (where it is legal to do so), and have the most amazing slot game experience coming to life on your mobile phone. Are you into progressive slots where you get a chance at winning an amazing jackpot, or perhaps you are into an animated video slot that has branded content with your favourite movie, TV or music stars? All of these amazing titles are just a swipe away, all available on your mobile phone by downloading the mobile slot game app.     


A lot has changed since the first games of poker were played along the Mississippi River in the 1800s, with Poker becoming a worldwide phenomenon, crossing the boundaries of a card game and considered by many a sport, with tournaments, leagues and champions. Being a game with friends or a professional tournament, the online revolution turned poker to be a game that is played and followed by billions all over the world. And then the latest stage of the poker uprising which is the mobile poker apps, which enable you to access any kind of level, tournament and game from your mobile phone, no matter where you are in the world, and what time it is, you can join in the poker fun and excitement and play against other poker enthusiasts like you around the globe. Poker is now coming home again, and becoming legal to play remotely state after state in the USA also. So now Americans can already download a safe and legal mobile.