Iowa Online Sports Betting Laws
Iowa is one of the states that moved swiftly to legalize sports betting in 2019. Iowa sports betting numbers have risen ever since, with four successive record handle months to finish 2020. And with bettors able to register remotely starting in January 2021, the new year started off with a new single-month record handle of $149.52 million.
Administrative law and government relations attorney
Jennifer has a degree in Journalism from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C, in 2005. She's been living in Las Vegas helping clients in the casino and gaming industry, as well as other regulated businesses, across Nevada for over 15 years.
She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and books on US gaming law, including most recently, The Law of Regulated Gambling: A Practical Guide for Business Lawyers, American Bar Association (2020), and That (Expletive) Broad: Women Who Broke Barriers in the Casino and Gaming Industry (2020).
Is Sports Betting Legal in Iowa?
Yes, sports betting has been legal in Iowa since a new law was passed at a rapid pace in 2019.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Iowa?
Yes, online sports betting enthusiasts in Iowa have been allowed to wager on top sporting action since 2019.
How Old Do I Have to be to Place a Bet in Iowa?
You cannot take part in sports betting of any kind in Iowa if you are not 21 or over.
Select a sportsbook where you want to open an account.
Sign up as a customer by registering. Since January 2021, you can register online, so long as you are within state lines. You’ll need to give your personal information such as name, address and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
Deposit funds in your account using one of the methods approved in Iowa.
Make sure you take advantage of any welcome bonus as a new customer.
Iowa moved quickly to legalize sports betting after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was declared unconstitutional in 2018. That move effectively opened the door for states to license sports betting if they wished – and the Hawkeye State was one that clearly did.
The state legislature passed bill SF 617, which enabled and placed retail and online sports betting under the oversight of The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC), in May 2019. Just three months later, in August 2019, the first bets in the state were placed.
Sportsbooks were incentivized to do business in Iowa by some of the lowest licensing fees in the US. The cost of an initial license for the first year is just $45,000, and an annual renewal fee is $10,000.
In the immediate aftermath of Iowa online sports betting being legalized, it was not possible to sign up remotely for an account. Players had to travel to one of the casinos affiliated to online sportsbooks. There they had to verify their identity and complete the registration process in person before they could wager on sports online.
That changed at the start of 2021. Players can now sign up for an account with an online sportsbook from their desktops or mobile device, without having to visit a casino in person. You have to be within the state of Iowa, however, because sportsbooks have geolocation technology that will check your location before allowing you to register.
William Hill was the first operator to launch an online and mobile app in Iowa in August 2019, just a few weeks after the sportsbooks at Iowa casinos began in-person operation. It has five casino partners in the state: Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino, Lakeside Casino, Isle Casino Waterloo, Isle Casino Bettendorf, and Horseshoe Council Bluffs.
William Hill was soon followed by the sportsbooks of Elite, Q Casino, and Hard Rock Sioux City, as well as PointsBet, DraftKings, and BetMGM. As of May 2021, there were nine sportsbooks operating in the state, with Unibet expected to become the 10th, with a launch planned for the start of the 2021 NFL season.
Yes, they are. Gambling is taxed federally as well as locally, like in most states of the US. It is extremely advisable to keep a record of all your winnings. Sportsbooks are obliged legally to report the winning of their players.
Iowa laws require you to be at least 21 years old to gamble within their state. This includes even lotteries and raffles – activities that are excluded from such restrictions in many states.
Although you don’t have to be a resident of the state to visit Iowa betting sites, you do need to be within the state boundaries to register for a sports betting account and to be able to place wagers here.
No individuals in Iowa who are involved in any sport league – that includes players, coaches, athletic trainers, and officials – are allowed to bet on their own sports.
Esports have begun to command enormous audiences in recent years. However, because of the youth of many of the participants, and a healthy proportion of the people tuning in to watch, no betting on esports is allowed in Iowa.
It remains illegal for US citizens to wager on politics. Even though hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide are staked on each presidential election, no sportsbook licensed in the US will carry odds on political markets.
Wagers may only be placed on an “authorized sporting event”. This includes a professional sporting event, collegiate sporting event, international sporting event, or professional motor race event. This specifically does not include minor league, high school, or youth sports.
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) were legalized in Iowa at the same time as regular sports betting in May 2019.
However, it was a few months before the two biggest operators in DFS – DraftKings and FanDuel – cleared the regulatory hurdles needed to be able to serve the Hawkeye State.
Fans in Iowa can now enjoy DFS on a wide variety of sports, including the traditional favorites – football, basketball, baseball, and hockey.
Iowa has no pro football teams – but it is home to no fewer than four Division 1 college outfits, including the Drake Bulldogs, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones and Northern Iowa Panthers. There is always plenty of interest in the NCAA action at Iowa betting sites.
It’s no surprise, given how recently sports betting was officially frowned on in Iowa, that responsible gaming and gambling is a subject taken very seriously in the state.
All Iowa online sports betting sites carry a “responsible gambling” badge on every page. Several other measures have been put in place to ensure that people enjoy Iowa sports betting responsibly.
All sports books offer way in which bettors can limit their play, including:
Session time limits
Furthermore, there is also a broad selection of services and local organizations available for those struggling with gambling addiction, including:
Gamblers Anonymous: A listing of dozens of GA meetings in the Iowa area.
Council on Compulsive Gambling: A private, nonprofit group which works to educate and assist compulsive gamblers. Bettors can complete their short survey to see if they are at risk and/or call 1-800-Gambler 24/7 if you need immediate help.
Iowa Department of Health: An integrated provider network, that offers problem gambling prevention and education services which reaches all 99 counties in Iowa.
National Council on Problem Gambling: the NCPG develops policy and programs to combat and treat compulsive gambling. They have a national problem gambling helpline, and moderated support forums and groups.
2019 - May
The bill to legalize Iowa sports betting is passed by the state.
2019 - August
Retail and online betting goes live, with William Hill and Elite Sportsbook launching in the state.
2019 - November
PointsBet and Q Sportsbook launch in Iowa.
2020 - February
DraftKings launches in Iowa at three Wild Rose locations.
2021 - January
Online registration for sports betting is introduced, making it far easier to sign up.
A full up-to-date list can be found here.
|Casino/Retail Sportsbook||Retail Sportsbook Partner||Address||Online Sportsbook Partner|
|Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs||Amerisports||2200 River Road, Council Bluffs IA 51501||theScoreBet|
|Catfish Bend||PointsBet||3001 Winegard Drive, Burlington IA 52601||PointsBet|
|Diamond Jo Casino||BetFair - FanDuel Sportsbook||301 Bell Street, Dubuque IA 52001||Betfair - FanDuel|
|Diamond Jo Worth||Betfair - FanDuel Sportsbook||777 Diamond Jo Lane, Northwood IA 50459||BetMGM|
|Grand Falls Casino Resort||Betfred||1415 Grand Falls Boulevard, Larchwood IA 51241||Betfred|
|Hard Rock Hotel and Casino||Hard Rock Sportsbook||111 3rd Street, Sioux City IA 51101||Hard Rock Sportsbook|
|Harrah’s Council Bluffs Casino & Hotel||William Hill||1 Harrah’s Boulevard, Council Bluffs IA 51501||William Hill|
|Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs||William Hill||2701 23rd Avenue, Council Bluffs IA 51501||William Hill|
|Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo||William Hill||777 Isle of Capri Boulevard, Waterloo IA 50701||William Hill|
|Isle of Capri - Bettendorf||William Hill||1800 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf IA 52722||William Hill|
|Lakeside Hotel Casino||William Hill||777 Casino Drive, Osceola IA 50213||William Hill|
|Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino||William Hill||1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona IA 50009||William Hill|
|Q Casino||Dubuque Racing Association – Q Sportsbook||1855 Greyhound Park Road, Dubuque IA 52001||Dubuque Racing Association – Q Sportsbook|
|Rhythm City Casino||Elite Sportsbook||7077 Elmore Avenue, Davenport IA 52807||Elite Sportsbook|
|Riverside Casino and Golf Resort LLC||Elite Sportsbook||3184 Highway 22, Riverside IA 52327||Elite Sportsbook|
|Wild Rose Casino & Resorts Clinton||DraftKings Sportsbook||777 Wild Rose Drive, Clinton IA 52732||DraftKings, BetRivers|
|Wild Rose Casino & Resorts Emmetsburg||DraftKings Sportsbook||777 Main Street, Emmetsburg IA 50536||DraftKings|
|Wild Rose Casino & Resorts Jefferson||DraftKings Sportsbook||777 Wild Rose Drive, Jefferson IA 50129||DraftKings, BetRivers|
Yes, you can. Iowa online betting has been legal since 2019. Several respected operators have since gained licenses to offer sports betting to people located within the state.
Yes, it is. Iowa online sports betting has been allowed since 2019. You can now bet with a sportsbook at several locations in the state. Moreover, you can also sign up and – as long as you are in Iowa – bet through your desktop, laptop or mobile wherever you are.
There are several Iowa betting sites that are operated by respected and well-established sportsbooks. Many of these have been working in the sports betting market for decades and have worked hard to build up good reputations. We strongly recommend that you bet only with licensed and authorized Iowa sports betting sites.
Yes, it is. DraftKings made its name in Daily Fantasy Sports, which Iowa online betting enthusiasts can now enjoy in the state. However, DraftKings also moved quickly to open up a sportsbook too and is establishing its reputation in the sports betting sector.