Since May 2019, Iowa has been a full-service sports betting state, with both online and retail options available. There are now a dozen sportsbook apps active in Iowa, and the majority of its land-based casinos have a sportsbook onsite.
Iowa’s journey into legal sports betting began even before the Supreme Court ruled that the federal ban on sports betting was unconstitutional in May 2018. An Iowa congressman filed a sports betting bill in early 2018 similar to the one that became law the following year. Although it didn’t pass, it primed the pump for the legalization of Iowa online sports betting that came in 2019.
One of the most curious aspects of the law, however, was an in-person registration requirement that expired at the start of 2021. Players who wanted to bet online in Iowa had to travel to a physical casino to complete their account creation but now can do so from anywhere in the state. It is no longer necessary to travel to register for an Iowa sportsbook app. Sports betting handle in Iowa increased immediately after the outdated requirement ended.
More apps are anticipated to launch, and we have all the information about what’s going on in Iowa sports betting below.
Legal Iowa online sports betting in 2021
Best Iowa sports betting apps
Online sports betting launched in Iowa in August 2019. And partnerships between Iowa casinos and sportsbooks have resulted in a continually growing number of apps in the state. You can register your account without having to visit a casino and complete the entire account sign-up process at home, or anywhere within the state of Iowa. Up until Jan. 1, 2021, patrons were required to visit one of the casinos attached to the sports betting app to register for mobile Iowa sports betting accounts in-person.
|Sportsbook||Iowa Partner||Launch date|
|BetMGM Sportsbook Iowa||Diamond Jo casinos||January 2021|
| DraftKings Sportsbook Iowa||Wild Rose casinos||February 2020|
|PointsBet Sportsbook Iowa||Catfish Bend Casino||November 2019|
|Hard Rock Sioux City sportsbook||Hard Rock Casino||December 2019|
|Q Casino sportsbook||Q Casino||November 2019|
|Elite sportsbook||Rhythm City Casino, Riverside Casino||August 2019|
|Caesars Sportsbook Iowa||Harrah's Casino, Isle Casino, Horseshoe Casino||August 2019|
|Bally Bet||Grand Falls Casino||June 2020|
|FanDuel Sportsbook Iowa||Diamond Jo casinos||September 2020|
|BetFred Sportsbook Iowa||Grand Falls Casino||September 2020|
|BetRivers Sportsbook Iowa||Wild Rose casinos||January 2021|
|theScore Bet||Ameristar Casino||February 2021|
|Unibet Sportsbook Iowa||Harrah's Casino||September 2021|
Bally Bet entered the Iowa market in July 2021 via a deal with Elite Casino Resorts, the owner and operator of a trio of gaming destinations in the state. In October 2020, Twin River Worldwide Holdings rebranded itself as Bally’s. The company has been aggressively expanding since then, including the introduction of the Bally Bet platform.
In the UK, Betfred is one of the top sportsbooks, but the company started setting up roots in the US only recently. Iowa is one of its first points of entry, launching in September 2020 via a deal with Grand Falls Casino.
BetMGM is the online arm of MGM Resorts International and is a well-known sports betting brand in several states. The app launched in January 2021 using a partnership with Diamond Jo Casino Dubuque to gain access to the state.
No retail book in Iowa exists with the BetRivers name, but it launched the BetRivers Sportsbook app in January 2021. The online brand associated with Rush Street Interactive partnered with Wild Rose casinos.
The first sports betting app to open in Iowa in August 2019, Caesars has done well in the state. It operates with four casino partners in Iowa: Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino, Lakeside Casino, Isle Casino Waterloo and Isle Casino Bettendorf.
After launching a daily fantasy sports app in Iowa in October 2019, DraftKings became the sixth sports betting app in Iowa in February. Accounts can be funded by methods that include credit/debit cards and PayPal.
The second sports betting app up in Iowa in late August 2019, Elite operates on a Bet.Works platform. Elite Casino Sportsbook is partnered with three casinos: Riverside Casino & Golf Resort, Rhythm City Casino in Davenport or Grand Falls Casino in Larchwood.
FanDuel Sportsbook made its debut in Iowa in September 2020. The sports betting giant gained access to the market off of a deal with Boyd Gaming, the operator of a pair of Diamond Jo casinos in Dubuque and Worth. Visitors to both properties will find retail FanDuel books located on the main casino floors.
Hard Rock Sportsbook (Sioux City)
Hard Rock Casino Sioux City first opened its doors in 2014, and just five years later, a retail sportsbook opened on site in September 2019. The company debuted its online sportsbook in Iowa in December of the same year, making it the final option to launch before the first year of legal sports betting in the state came to a close.
An Australian company that broke into the US market in New Jersey early in 2019, PointsBet launched an app in Iowa in November 2019. In addition to traditional wagers, PointsBet offers a unique feature called Points Betting wagers, a high-risk type of wager that gives players the opportunity to win more depending on how “right” they are.
A retail sportsbook opened for business at the Q Casino in Dubuque in August 2019. That was followed by the online launch just a few months later in November. Q is owned by the City of Dubuque and operated by the Dubuque Racing Association. The property has gone through several name changes through the year and was previously known as Mystique.
Canada-based theScore Bet made its debut in the Hawkeye State in February 2021. Its land-based partner is Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs, a member of the Penn National Gaming family which has its own sportsbook on site. In August 2021, Penn National closed a deal to acquire Score Media & Gaming, the parent company of theScore.
The Unibet sports betting app arrived in Iowa in September 2021 with just a few days to spare before the start of the NFL season. Partnered with Harrah’s Casino, the book is the second online skin for the Council Bluffs location. Unibet, a product of Kindred Group, make it a baker’s dozen of sports betting choices in Iowa.
Iowa sports betting updates and news
Iowa sportsbooks and casinos
Most of the 19 commercial casinos in Iowa have opened sportsbooks; here’s a rundown:
|Rhythm City||Y||N||Elite, Bet.Works|
|Hard Rock||Y||Y||Gaming Innovation Group|
|Diamond Jo Dubuque||Y||N||BetFair, FanDuel|
|Diamond Jo Worth||Y||N||BetFair, FanDuel|
|Wild Rose Clinton||Y||Y||DraftKings|
|Wild Rose Emmetsburg||Y||Y||DraftKings|
|Wild Rose Jefferson||Y||Y||DraftKings|
|Grand Falls||Y||Y||Elite, Bet.Works, Betfred|
|Casino Queen Marquette||N||N|
The most successful sporsbook in Iowa for its location in a suburb of Des Moines. The only casino property in the state with live horse racing, Prairie Meadows also offers slot machines, table games and poker tournaments.
Address: One Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona, IA 50009
Sportsbook Hours: Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to midnight, Friday 10 a.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 1 a.m., Sunday 8 a.m. to midnight.
One of the last remaining riverboat casinos in Iowa, Ameristar packs 1,500 slot machines and 20 tables game on a boat.
Address: 2200 River Road, Council Bluffs, IA 51501
Sportsbook Hours: Daily 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Diamond Jo Worth
The closest legal sports betting option for many Minnesotans, Diamond Jo Casino in Northwood has slot machines, table games and a poker room. The sportsbook is operated by FanDuel.
Address: 777 Diamond Jo Lane, Northwood, IA 50459
Sportsbook Hours: Daily 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo
A newer casino in Iowa, opening in 2007, the Waterloo location features nearly 900 slots and video poker machines along with table games. The sportsbook is operated by American Wagering.
Address: 777 Isle of Capri Blvd, Waterloo, IA 50701
Sportsbook Hours: Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to midnight, Saturday 8 a.m. to 1 .m., Sunday 8 a.m. to midnight
Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs
Located along the Missouri River, this property has slots, table games, a large poker room and a golf course. The book contains sports betting and horse betting.
Address: 2701 23rd Avenue, Council Bluffs, IA 51501
Sportsbook Hours: Monday to Friday opens 11 a.m., Saturday and Sunday opens 9 a.m.
Riverside Casino and Golf Resort
Located along the Iowa River, Riverside Casino features a world-class golf course, slot machines, a variety of table games and a poker room.
Address: 3184 Highway 22, Riverside, IA 52327
Sportsbook Hours: Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Grand Falls Casino Resort
Situated near the South Dakota border, Grand Falls offers slot machines, table games and a poker room. The casino opened a state-of-the-art Betfred sportsbook early in 2020.
Address: 1415 Grand Falls Blvd., Larchwood, IA 51241
Sportsbook Hours: Sunday to Thursday noon to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday noon to 9 p.m.
Rhythm City Casino
Converted from a riverboat casino to land-based in 2016, Rhythm City offers slot machines and table games.
Address: 7077 Elmore Avenue, Davenport, IA 52807
Sportsbook Hours: Opens Monday to Thursday at 1 p.m., Friday at 11 a.m., Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m.
Diamond Jo – Dubuque
If you want to stop by a casino after checking out the movie site for Field of Dreams, this is the closest casino to the baseball diamond where Shoeless Joe Jackson emerges from the cornfield. The FanDuel sportsbook is 2,150 square feet with 34 screens.
Address: 301 Bell Street, Dubuque, IA 52001
Sportsbook Hours: Monday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday noon to 10 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday noon to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., self-serving betting terminals 24/7.
Isle Casino Bettendorf
Located along the Mississippi river, Isle Casino Bettendorf converted from a riverboat to land-based casino in 2016. The sportsbook is operated by American Wagering.
Address: 1800 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf, IA 52722
Sportsbook Hours: Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to midnight, Saturday 8 a.m. to midnight, Sunday 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Harrah’s Council Bluffs
Another former riverboat casino offers a small amount of gaming options but a large on-site hotel and a golf course next door.
Address: 1 Harrah’s Boulevard, Council Bluffs, IA 51501
Sportsbook Hours: Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Hard Rock Casino
Located in Sioux City’s historic Battery Building, the Hard Rock Hotel is one of only five AAA Four Diamond rated in Iowa. The property also has a concert venue, 800 slot machines and nearly 30 table games.
Address: 111 3rd St., Sioux City, IA 51101
Sportsbook Hours: Monday to Friday noon to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The only riverboat casino in Iowa that sits in a lake, Lakeside Casino offers slot machines and table games. American Wagering operates the sportsbook.
Address: 777 Casino Drive, Osceola, IA 50213
Sportsbook Hours: Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to midnight, Saturday 8 a.m. to midnight, Sunday 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Located on Chaplain Schmitt Island, Q Casino features slot machines, table games, a poker room and free greyhound races. The 4,200 square foot sportsbook features a 165-inch video wall along with 47 TVs.
Address: 1855 Greyhound Park Rd, Dubuque, IA 52001
Sportsbook Hours: Closed Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday to Sunday noon to 10 p.m., sports betting kiosks 24/7.
Catfish Bend Casino
The most southeast casino in the state located near the Illinois and Missouri borders, Catfish Bend offers slot machines, table games, live poker games and weekly poker tournaments.
Address: 3001 Winegard Dr., Burlington, IA 52601
Sportsbook Hours: Monday 11 a.m. to midnight, Tuesday to Thursday 3 p.m. to midnight, Friday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m, Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 a.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to midnight.
Wild Rose – Clinton
This small casino offers slot machines, tables games, off-track betting and a sportsbook operated by DraftKings.
Address: 777 Wild Rose Drive, Clinton, IA 52732
Sportsbook Hours: Closed Monday to Wednesday, Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wild Rose – Emmetsburg
Located near the Minnesota border, this small casino with slots and table games has the lowest sports betting handle of any Iowa casino.
Address: 777 Main St., Emmetsburg, IA 50536
Sportsbook Hours: Monday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Wild Rose – Jefferson
The closest casino for Des Moines residents to complete verification for the DraftKings sportsbook mobile app. The retail sportsbook is the largest in the state at nearly 6,000 square feet with a 200-inch HD projector and 28 TVs.
Address: 777 Wild Rose Drive, Jefferson, IA 50129
Sportsbook Hours: Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Casino Queen Marquette
One of the smallest casinos in the state, the Casino Queen is the only commercial casino in Iowa not yet offering sports betting. However, the casino did get approved for a license to offer sports betting early in 2020.
Address: 100 Anti-Monopoly Street, Marquette, IA 52158
Sportsbook Hours: N/A
How to start betting in Iowa
Currently, the process to start betting on sports online in Iowa is rather convoluted. On top of having to download an app and registering, you have to visit a sportsbook’s casino partner to complete the registration. This mechanic was baked into the Iowa sports betting law.
That all changed in early 2021. Players can now register and start betting from anywhere in the state. Here’s the process:
- Download an app/visit a sportsbook site. For any of the approved sportsbooks in Iowa, you just visit the site (links above) and you will be instructed how and where to download the app for iPhone or Android. Some Iowa sportsbooks run only a mobile browser, as well.
- Register with the sportsbook. Not shockingly, you must have an account to start betting at any online sportsbook. You’ll be asked to verify some personal information such as your name, address, phone number and the final four digits of your Social Security number.
- Fund your account. You obviously need money to bet, and that consists of depositing using one of a number of methods approved in Iowa.
Banking options at Iowa sportsbooks
There are a number of ways to deposit and withdraw at Iowa online sportsbooks, including:
- Online banking
- Credit card
- Debit card
- Pre-paid card
- Wire transfer
When you click the “deposit” button at any online sportsbook, you’ll be given the different options. Withdrawal methods usually match the deposit methods.
Bonuses at Iowa sportsbooks
As remote registration for sports betting accounts begins in Iowa, sportsbooks will be doing more to attract customers:
- Risk-free bets: Deposit and get a free bet up to the amount of your deposit. If you lose, you get credit to bet with equal to the risk-free bet amount. There is a playthrough requirement on those credits.
- Deposit bonus: Deposit and get funds that you can bet with any way you want. There is a playthrough requirement on any deposit match.
- No deposit bonus: Sign up and get a small amount of free money to bet with.
- Odds boosts: Improved odds on a game or player performance.
Most popular sports to bet on in Iowa
You can bet on almost any sport in Iowa; here’s a look at some of the biggest sports in the state:
NCAA betting in Iowa
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission made a point to get sports betting up by the beginning of college football season in 2019 because college football is king in Iowa. Without any major professional sports teams, the University of Iowa Hawkeyes and Iowa State Cyclones are the big draws.
In-play wagers are not allowed on in-state college teams.
NFL betting in Iowa
Football in general is very popular in Iowa, with favorite teams often depending on what part of the state people live in. The Minnesota Vikings have long been the most popular NFL team in the state, particular for those in the northern parts. To the west, the there are more fans of the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears.
Quickly gaining ground on the Vikings are the 2020 Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, especially for people closer to the Missouri border.
MLB betting in Iowa
Ray Kinsella will tell you that baseball has a special place in Iowa, home of the Field of Dreams movie site. Favorite baseball teams of Iowans are similarly territorial. The Kansas City Royals and Chicago Cubs capture the hearts of most Iowans, with the Minnesota Twins and St. Louis Cardinals grabbing their share of fans.
NBA betting in Iowa
Iowa did once have a team in one of the four major professional sports leagues. The Waterloo Hawks played in the NBA for one season in 1949-50. Michael Jordan eventually turned most Iowans into Chicago Bulls fans.
NHL betting in Iowa
Iowa might not seem like an ideal place for ice hockey, but the NHL has gained popularity in recent years. The Minnesota Wild moved its minor league affiliate, the Iowa Wild, to Des Moines in 2013 to cement a relationship with the state. Many Iowans still love the Chicago Blackhawks for their three Stanley Cup wins since 2010.
Iowa sports betting law
People within Iowa borders can now bet on all pro sports, college games, and international sporting events.
The only legal requirements are that you are over 21, inside state lines, and not on a self-exclusion list. There is no requirement to be a permanent resident of Iowa.
There are some restrictions for betting:
- Bets can only be taken on sports, not on things like elections and the Oscars.
- No bets on esports.
- Personnel involved in sports leagues (officials, coaches and so on) can’t bet on their own sports
- No in-game prop bets are allowed on in-state college teams.
There are also illegal offshore websites that offer sports betting in Iowa. Websites not listed on this page are not authorized to operate in Iowa.
Without regulation from the state, these offshore betting apps can’t be counted on to pay out winnings and have been known to disappear with people’s money.
Iowa sports betting revenue
Iowa sports betting revenue and wagers have been relatively low through the end of 2020, at least when compared to other states with legal online sportsbooks. That should pick up significantly as the barrier of in-person registration goes away in 2021.
More on Iowa and US sports betting revenue and handle here.
Iowa sports betting history and timeline
After weeks of deliberation, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed Iowa sports betting into law on May 13.
Sen. Bobby Kaufmann and Rep. Roby Smith, chairs of the Ways and Means committees, led the way as SF 617 received a total of 16 hearings in the two chambers and passed with bipartisan support.
The law contains a number of specifics on how sports gambling.
- 6.75% tax rate on revenue
- $45,000 license fee
- Mobile betting will be allowed
- Up to two different sportsbook apps can operate under each license
- You must register for mobile apps in person until Jan. 1, 2021
- Operators may not take prop bets involving in-state college teams
- Regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission
The IRGC moved quickly to pass emergency rules and get sportsbook operators licensed and authorized to launch sports betting Iowa before the college football and NFL seasons. Retail and mobile sports betting in Iowa began on August 15.
Even before the US Supreme Court overturned PASPA, Iowa was aggressively pursuing sports betting authorization in anticipation of a favorable ruling.
Rep. Jake Highfill filed a bill that looked very similar to what passed in 2019. Iowa’s legislative session adjourned without bill passage a week before the decision came in May, with Highfill promising that Iowa legislators were “all in” on passing a sports betting bill in 2019. He was right
Iowa sports betting FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Iowa?
Yes. An official launch took place in August 2019.
Where can I bet on sports in Iowa?
You can place wagers online, through mobile apps and at 18 of the 19 casinos located in the state.
Is online sports betting available in Iowa?
Yes, you can bet online from anywhere in the state once you register with an app or visit a retail sportsbook.
Who can bet on sports in Iowa?
Anyone over the age of 21 can legally bet on sports in Iowa.
How much revenue does Iowa sports betting generate?
Iowa sportsbooks are holding about 7% of sports bets in the early going. Revenue is limited by the requirement that people register for online Iowa sports betting accounts in person.
Are offshore sportsbooks legal?
Offshore sportsbooks that serve customers in IA violate a number of federal laws and state laws. While bettors might not get in trouble for placing a bet an offshore site, all of them do so illegally.
Is daily fantasy sports legal in Iowa?
The Iowa sports betting law signed by the governor in May 2019 also legalized daily fantasy sports.
DraftKings became the first DFS operator to receive a license from the Iowa Racing and Wagering Commission in October 2019, ending a prohibition of DFS in the state. FanDuel joined the fray a month later.
The market began with fantasy contests allowed only on athletes in professional sports, but as of May 2020 the sites are allowed to feature collegiate players in contests as well.
Is horse racing legal in Iowa?
Yes, in addition to being the most popular sports betting venue in Iowa, Prairie Meadows is the state’s lone live horseracing venue.
Located in Altoona, Iowa, Prairie Meadows opened in 1989. It typically offers thoroughbred, quarter and mixed meets four days a week from May to September.
Alongside horse betting on its live racing, Prairie Meadows offers simulcasting and wagering onsite. Players can place their bets and view races at tracks around the country in real-time.
There are also a few off-track betting sites around the state. In addition to Prairie Meadows, bettors can catch simulcast action and make wagers at Q Casino and the Wild Rose Casino – Clinton.
Iowa allows its residents and visitors to bet horse races online at sites such as TwinSpires, TVG and BetAmerica.