Sports betting in Iowa is now a reality with the passage of Iowa State Senate Bill 617 on May 2019. The Supreme Court ruling to allow each state in the US to legalize sports betting was a game-changer, no doubt. But how exactly has it affected Iowa? Fans of sports and gambling in the Hawkeye State had to be thrilled with the decision but many are still wondering how long it will take before they can actually bet on sports legally in Iowa. The Senate bill not only legalized sports wagering in the state of Iowa but also set in place the rules needed to govern and tax the new activity.
The newly legalized sports betting in Iowa is overseen by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. As a result of these new rules, online sports betting is now legal in Iowa. We’ll also take a closer look at whether you can bet on daily fantasy sports (DFS) in Iowa and the sports we think most of the state’s betting action will focus on when legalization does happen. If you’re wondering what’s happening in other parts of the country, check out our guides to legal US sports betting for each state.
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|Quick Facts about Online Sports Betting in Iowa|
|Median household income:||$60,523|
|Online sports betting legal since:||Aug 15, 2019|
|Licensed sportsbook operators:||DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook, Unibet, Bet Rivers|
Rosalie Michaels covers Iowa sports betting for WSN. Watch her go through the sports betting situation in Iowa, where you can bet, how to sign up, which sports you can bet on, and much more.
WSN is happy to announce that legal sports betting in Iowa is now a reality. In May 2018 the US Supreme Court overturned a long-standing federal ban on sports betting and gave each state the authority to create their own laws governing it. In May 2019 the Iowa state government passed the bipartisan Senate Bill 617 legalizing wagering on sports in the state. The bill landed on Governor Kim Reynolds’ desk and became a part of Iowa law with her signature. The bill went into effect on August 15 bringing mobile sportsbooks to residents and visitors of Iowa.
“Gov. Reynolds believes that legalizing sports betting will bring this practice out of an unregulated black market. This law will regulate, tax and police sports betting in a safe and responsible way,”
source: Pat Garret, Gov. Reynolds’ spokesman.
This page has everything you need to know about sports betting in Iowa. We look at the history of gambling in the state leading up to the Supreme Court decision in 2018. We’ll also explain the current situation in detail plus what we can expect for sports gambling legalization in the future. Finally, we’ll look into which sports are likely to attract the most gambling action when legalization does come to The Hawkeye State for when betting is legalized, and we also answer the question of whether it’s legal to bet on fantasy sports and DFS in Iowa right now.
To find out more about other parts of the country, read our comprehensive US legal sports betting guides for each state where you can learn about fast withdrawal betting sites for each state and have access to betting odds and information concerning payout processes and banking methods for the sportsbooks legally allowed to operate in your area.
Let’s take a look at the major developments in bullet form and then we’ll dig into the details:
Regulated sports betting in Iowa didn’t happen overnight and has largely been following in the footsteps of New Jersey where the future of sports betting in America has been made. Here’s a blow-by-blow legal history of the progression of gambling in Iowa.
Iowa is unique because the state has decided that the allowance of casinos shall be left up the individual counties, meaning that a gambling game referendum must be held and passed before casinos can operate in an area. As of now, 22 separate casinos are operating in the state with three of them being Native American run.
Iowa is unique because the state has decided that the allowance of casinos shall be left up the individual counties, meaning that a gambling game referendum must be held and passed before casinos can operate in an area.
Let’s take a look at a few of the main plot points from Iowa’s gambling story:
1983 – Iowa Legislature passed the Pari-Mutuel Wagering Act allowing horse and dog racing.
1985 – The lottery in Iowa was started later compared to some other parts of the US but in 1985 Iowa introduced a state lottery. After seeing some success by bringing in revenue through the lottery, the state later introduced inter-state lottery games including Powerball.
1990 – The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission granted excursion boat gambling licenses (riverboat casino licenses) to several entities.
1991 – The first riverboat casinos in the USA opened in Iowa waters.
2019 – Iowa Senate Bill 617 passes setting in place rules relating to gambling regulation and wagering. Take a look at all the best sports betting bonuses available in Iowa.
Recent data indicate that about 80% of sports wagering takes place online making mobile/online betting nearly a necessity for states wanting to legalize sports betting.
Current Iowa laws allow each casino to operate under two separate skins, meaning that they can invest in making both a personalized skin for their brand while also partnering with a sportsbook partner to have another skin.
Mobile sports betting came to Iowa back in August 2019 with online sportsbooks being launched in conjuncture with brick and mortar locations (existing casinos/racetracks).
To place bets with these legal online sportsbooks you must go to a corresponding casino and open an account in person. This provision will expire on the first day of 2021 and customers will be allowed to open accounts online.
|Casino||Sportsbook Partner||Retail Sportsbook Launch Date||Mobile/Online Launch Date|
|Hard Rock Sioux City||Hard Rock Sportsbook||Sep. 20 2019||Dec. 16, 2019|
|Wild Rose: Jefferson||DraftKings||Oct. 13, 2019||Feb. 19, 2020|
|Wild Rose: Clinton||DraftKings||Oct. 13, 2019||Feb. 19, 2020|
|Wild Rose: Emmetsburg||DraftKings||Oct. 13, 2019||Feb. 19, 2020|
|Diamond Jo||FanDuel||Aug. 29, 2019||Aug. 29, 2019|
|Diamond Jo – Worth||FanDuel||Aug. 29, 2019||Aug. 29, 2019|
|Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo||Caesars Sportsbook||Aug. 15, 2019||Aug. 15, 2019|
|Isle of Capri – Bettendorf||Caesars Sportsbook||Aug. 15, 2019||Aug. 15, 2019|
|Lakeside Hotel Casino||Caesars Sportsbook||Aug. 15, 2019||Aug. 15, 2019|
|Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino||Caesars Sportsbook||Aug. 15, 2019||Aug. 15, 2019|
|Harrah’s Council Bluffs Casino & Hotel||Caesars / Unibet||Aug. 23, 2019||TBA|
|Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs||Caesars / Unibet||Aug. 23, 2019||TBA|
|Ameristar II||Kambi / Penn National||Aug. 15, 2019||TBA|
|Casino Queen Marquette||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|Catfish Bend Casino||PointsBet||Aug. 15, 2019||Nov. 12, 2019|
|Grand Falls Casino Resort||Elite Sportsbook||Aug. 15, 2019||Aug. 27, 2019|
|Iowa Greyhound Park||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|Q Casino||Q Sportsbook||Nov. 12, 2019||Aug. 27, 2019|
|Rhythm City Casino||Elite Sportsbook||Aug. 15, 2019||Aug. 27, 2019|
|Riverside Casino and Golf Resort LLC||Elite Sportsbook||Aug. 15, 2019||Aug. 27, 2019|
All these betting sites are affiliated with the physical casino or racetrack in brackets and are based in Iowa, ensuring a safe and secure betting experience for the public. To deter competition from illegal betting sites Iowa has made it a class “D” felony for an unlicensed person to take or receive sports wagers from Iowa residents in the state.
This means that offshore betting sites are technically engaged in illegal wagering and can be arrested if they enter the Great state of Iowa. This law creates a unique situation, where it may not technically be illegal to use these offshore platforms, while at the same time being illegal to operate them. However, WSN.com would never suggest using an offshore betting platform for the inherent dangers associated with it. For example, there is no one enforcing the platform to pay out your winnings, especially if it’s a big payoff.
Ever since sports betting became legal in New Jersey, licensed sportsbooks and casinos have sought to close sponsorship deals with individuals, sports teams and leagues.
Iowa may be new to the Sportsbook scene, but they’ve already got a full complement of sportsbooks available through their brick and mortar partnerships. No direct sponsorships between teams and sportsbook have been announced in Iowa yet but that may change.
Several New Jersey teams have announced partnerships including the NHL team the New Jersey Devils who have partnered with Caesars Sportsbook and FanDuel.
Almost all sports are available for betting in Iowa, including major leagues like MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL.
For the most part, college sports like NCAA are available too, but there are some exceptions. High school sports and events with any competitors under the age of 18 are prohibited. Bettors in Iowa will be thrilled that horse racing is now a bettable option in the state.
Iowa may not be Kentucky but, anyone looking to bet on the Derby or similar races can now take part. To give you an idea of what’s available, check out the following sports offered by DraftKings Sportsbook, which offers spread betting, live betting, moneyline betting, futures, prop bets, and more.
If you want to get started with horse betting in Iowa then you’ll eventually make your way to Altoona, Iowa, home of the Prairie Meadows race track. Home of the Hawkeye State’s only racetrack.
Iowa is not home to an NFL team, so they are forced to support teams in neighboring states. The most popular team in Iowa are the Minnesota Vikings with the Green Bay Packers coming in as a second favorite. If you want to start sports betting on the NFL or NCAAF then you’ll need to find your legal sports betting options. Read our guide on legal NFL sports betting or our guide on legal College Football betting to get started today.
In a state with no NBA team, Iowans are big fans of the Chicago Bulls. Iowa is also a big state for the NCAAB with the Hawkeyes, Cyclones, and Bulldogs teams being big favorites for locals. Read our guide on legal NBA betting to get started with a legal sportsbook in Iowa today.
No MLB team calls Iowa home, but the state is home to several teams in the Midwest League including the Burlington Bees and the Cedar Rapids Kernels. To start betting on MLB today check out our guide on legal MLB betting sites.
Iowa lacks an NHL team but the state is home to many fans of the Minnesota Wild, and Iowa is actually home to the Iowa Wild, a team in the American Hockey League (AHL), which is affiliated with the Minnesota Wild.
Iowa is home to the Iowa Speedway, known by its nickname “The Fastest Short Tack on The Planet.” The nickname is deserved with the track coming in at .88 miles, making it one of the shortest NASCAR tracks.
The Iowa betting law SF617 is unclear when it comes to esports. The law defines “Authorised sporting events” as follows:
“…a professional sporting event, collegiate sporting event, international sporting event, or professional motor race event. ‘Authorised sporting event’ does not include a race defined in section 99D.2, a fantasy sports contest as defined in section 99E.1, minor league sporting event, or any athletic event or competition of an interscholastic sport defined….”
source: Iowa Senate File 617
This wording may not leave much legroom for esports at the present, nor does it explicitly deny esports either. Bettors interested in esports will have to wait for now to see if any sportsbooks wade into the legally murky waters of allowing esports, or any additional legislation on the subject.
For information on eSports and how to get involved then check out our guide on betting on eSports.
Is betting on fantasy sports legal in Iowa? The answer is yes. All the major DFS sites including FanDuel and DraftKings accept players from Iowa.
Daily fantasy sports betting became legal in Iowa back in May 2019 when a sports betting bill was passed in the state government. It was quickly signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds, and as of now gambling on college and professional sports is legal in the state. The law allowed residents of 21 years or older to place bets on fantasy sports.
If you’re a resident of Iowa or just visiting and you’re interested in participating in sports betting then here are some steps you can follow to open sports betting account and start placing bets on the Hawkeyes! To open a mobile betting account in Iowa you must visit an affiliated Casino to open an account. This rule is in place to ensure that those opening accounts are verified as the people to who the account belongs to.
When it comes time to place your bet online some states have a wide range of sports betting apps while others have just a few. If you’re looking for the best online sportsbooks available in Iowa then we’ve got you covered. Check out the descriptions on the following mobile apps to find out which one is right for you to place your sports bets with!
Keep in mind that sports betting apps are competing for your business with many sign up offers and incentives. These can come in the form of promos like free bets, risk free bets, and deposit bonuses. It pays to be informed when it comes to choosing your sports betting app!
To open an account with DraftKings you’ll have to create an account with DraftKings, visit one of the Wild Rose Casinos in Iowa. There are three Wild Rose casinos placed in Clinton, Emmetsburg, and Jefferson.
PointsBet may be an Australian sportsbook but they’re making big waves in the USA, including in Iowa and nearby Illinois, where they also operate. PointBet entered the Iowa scene when their mobile app was approved in 2019. In order to bet with the PointsBet sportsbook app in Iowa you will need to download to your iOS or Android device and then head into the Catfish Bend Casino in Burlington in order to register your account. Iowa is making new users verify their accounts in person through 2020 before they can place their first bet.
Q Casino, operating a stand-alone sports betting app available to users in Iowa. If you’d like to sign up to bet with Q Casino then head to the casino location in Dubuque, where you can sign up in person.
Operating out of Grand Falls Casino Resort in Larchwood, BetFred Sportsbook’s mobile app is available to those to make the journey to sign up in person at the Grand Falls location.
Located on the only riverboat casino in the state, Lakeside Casino in Osceola, Caesars Sportsbook is a great choice for sports bettors in Iowa.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has launched a voluntary self-exclusion program with a sign-up portal on their website. Self-exclusion programs have been proven to help problem gamblers by removing access to gambling platforms. Online gambling addiction is a serious problem with the constant access to smartphones creating an even greater gambling problem for many people who once were able to simply leave the premises. Self-exclusion is an excellent answer to this issue and is well worth looking into.
Here are answers to the Iowa sports betting questions we are asked most frequently:
Sports betting was legalized in Iowa in May 2019.
Yes. A tax of 6.75% is applied to betting operators in Iowa.
If you are over 18 years of age and find yourself in Iowa then you may go to any casino on our list and open a sports betting account in person. After opening in person then you may download their sportsbetting app and bet from your mobile device.
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After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard Janvrin has been covering iGaming and sports betting since December 2018. Richard has covered betting at Bleacher Report, Gambling.com, The Game Day, Forbes, and more.More info on Richard Janvrin
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