Iowa Sports Betting

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Iowa legalized sports betting in May 2019, with the first sportsbook apps going live in August of the same year. While no major pro teams make their home in Iowa, the state still hosts a variety of online sportsbooks.

People in Iowa can choose from more than a dozen legal online sportsbooks that offer various bonuses to new customers. This is a complete look at the Iowa online sports betting market and all of the available sportsbook apps.

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What’s happening in Iowa sports betting right now?

  • May 26, 2022 – Iowa will benefit for at least another year from failed legalization attempts by both Minnesota and Missouri this year.
  • May 19, 2022SBK will launch in Iowa later in 2022 after Smarkets signed a market access agreement with Affinity Interactive.
  • May 12, 2022 – Iowa’s sportsbooks reported $177.4 million in handle for April, which is up 49.9% from last April. Sportsbooks held 7% for $12.4 million in revenue and $838,174 in taxes.
  • May 5, 2022 – Sports betting legislation is still caught in a filibuster in Missouri, which means Iowa’s sportsbooks could continue to benefit from Missouri residents for at least another year. Missouri’s legislative session ends May 13.
  • April 29, 2022BlueBet will launch its new US sportsbook brand ClutchBet in Iowa in the “coming weeks,” according to a company announcement.
  • April 20, 2022MaximBet, which announced in February it is focusing on a launch in Iowa, became the first sportsbook to partner with an active MLB player in Colorado‘s Charlie Blackmon. Players got the right to sign deals with sportsbooks under the new collective bargaining agreement.
  • April 11, 2022 – Iowa sportsbooks reported $233.5 million in bets for March, which is up 8.2% over February and 44.7% compared to March 2021.
  • April 7, 2022 – Betting on regular-season Major League Baseball games is finally back after opening day was delayed. This year’s game at the Field Of Dreams is between the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds on August 11.
  • March 28, 2022 – Iowans can now bet on the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship events after regulators approved a request from DraftKings earlier this month. Any sportsbook can offer the bets though DraftKings is the only one offering them for now, according to PlayIA.
  • March 22, 2022 – Sportsbooks in Iowa are likely pulling for the University of Miami on Friday with local favorite Iowa State making an unexpected run to the Sweet 16. Iowa allows betting on in-state colleges but does not allow prop betting on individual college athletes.
  • March 11, 2022 – Iowa sportsbooks took $215.9 million in bets during February and made $8.6 million in revenue, or a 4.0% hold. Operators paid $593,540 in taxes for the month.
  • March 2, 2022HF 2497, which would legalize esports betting among other thing, passed the House by a 71-28 vote.
  • February 25, 2022 – Iowa sportsbooks will benefit for at least another year of no mobile sports betting in South Dakota. A House committee killed a bill legalizing mobile SD sportsbooks after the activity was compared to murder and theft. That means the only place to bet legally in South Dakota is Deadwood, about 400 miles away from the state’s most populous city of Sioux Falls on the Iowa border.
  • February 18, 2022 – There was $16.275 million bet on the Super Bowl in Iowa this year, according to an Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission spokesperson. That is a bit surprising considering last year’s total was $16.3 million and remote registration had only been open for a little more than a month at that point in 2021.
  • February 11, 2022 – Iowa sportsbooks set a new handle record with $303.3 million in bets for January. That pushed the total handle bet in the state since its August 2019 launch past $3 billion.
  • Feb. 4, 2022 — WynnBET, the online arm of Wynn Resorts, plans to launch an online sportsbook in Iowa in the “near future,” the company says in its New York launch announcement.

Comparing top Iowa sports betting apps

Prospective players have plenty of sports betting options to choose from in Iowa. Beyond the signup offers, set your sights on the books that have the most features that you want. Here is our list of the best sports betting sites in Iowa in some key areas:

  • Betting on major games and events: DraftKings, FanDuel. The industry giants are go-to sports betting apps for many bettors in Iowa, in part because of what they offer for the biggest games and tournaments.
  • Largest selection of sports: BetMGM, BetRivers. Top sportsbooks have a lot of options, but BetMGM and BetRivers tend to have the largest overall selections.
  • Competitive odds: Caesars, PointsBet. Caesars and PointsBet are regularly in line with or better than the market as a whole.
  • Sportsbooks with rewards programs: Caesars, BetRivers. Rewards programs are standard in the world of casino gambling, but not as commonplace for sports betting. Caesars and BetRivers are two of the exceptions to that rule. The two have simple rewards programs that allow bettors to accrue points based on their play.     
  • Best sportsbooks for promos: BetMGM, Caesars. BetMGM and Caesars do a solid job on this front, with a regular array of promotions for existing players.

1. DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings Sportsbook offers a smooth app filled with features. Top highlights include the Flash Bet option for live wagers and betting pools where you can see how you stack up against other bettors for a chance to win prizes. While DraftKings has a solid signup bonus, it could improve with more regular promos.

  • App rating: 4.9 (iOS), 4.8 (Android)
  • Key takeaway: Great UX makes for a slick betting platform.  
  • Best feature: Betting pools
  • Bonus offer: $1,000

2. Caesars Sportsbook

Caesars regularly dishes out promos for existing players, while the odds are typically competitive up and down the menu. On the downside, the sportsbook app can lag at times, and some users have expressed frustration with customer service wait times.

  • App rating: 4.6 (iOS), 4.4 (Android)
  • Key takeaway: Competitive odds from a trusted brand name.
  • Best feature: Regular promos
  • Bonus offer: $1,100

3. BetMGM Sportsbook

BetMGM offers sports you likely won’t find at many other books, such as snooker. If you’re looking to bet on a sport that attracts a decent amount of interest, there’s a good chance you’ll find it here. The website layout could be more efficient, but the app experience is generally solid.

  • App rating: 4.8 (iOS), 4.4 (Android)
  • Key takeaway: Bet on a wide range of sports.  
  • Best feature: Edit my bet
  • Bonus offer: $1,000

4. BetRivers Sportsbook

BetRivers has snagged a decent amount of market share in Iowa. While its online sportsbook could be better and more efficiently organized, it still offers a variety of good features. BetRivers offers a large menu of sports, a good layout for props and alternate lines, and one of the industry’s best rewards programs.

  • App rating: 3.5 (iOS), 2.7 (Android)
  • Key takeaway: Features and sports that you won’t find elsewhere.  
  • Best feature: iRush Rewards
  • Bonus offer: $250

5. Unibet Sportsbook

Unibet is another online sportsbook with a large overseas presence that is in the midst of expanding in the US. The app is pretty bare-bones when it comes to its appearance, but it works just fine and is easy to use. Unibet consistently receives high marks for its live betting and streaming capabilities.

  • App rating: 2.9 (iOS), 3.3 (Android)
  • Key takeaway: Simple and no-frills approach with great live betting.  
  • Best feature: Live streaming
  • Bonus offer: $100

6. FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel offers one of the better web and mobile experiences you’ll find for any sportsbook. It lays everything out in clear fashion, and the site makes improvements where necessary. For instance, it overhauled its prop bets to be more user-friendly and intuitive. There are lots of great features, but FanDuel could improve by adding more regular promos.

  • App rating: 4.8 (iOS), 4.7 (Android)
  • Key takeaway: Simple to use with a number of great features.  
  • Best feature: Same game parlays
  • Bonus offer: $1,000

7. PointsBet Sportsbook

PointsBet has introduced a new way of wagering to the US. PointsBetting offers increased potential rewards as well as increased risks. The PointsBet app is also great for regular betting, with competitive odds. Overall, the online sportsbook is solid, but navigation could be better in a few spots.

  • App rating: 4.7 (iOS), 4.5 (Android)
  • Key takeaway: Competitive odds and lines are a priority.  
  • Best feature: PointsBetting
  • Bonus offer: $2,000

8. Betway Sportsbook

Betway is a global gambling company with roots dating back to 2006. It does a good job of keeping its odds competitive, and there’s a big menu of sports and bets to choose from. Adding a few more regular promotions would help Betway stand out even further.

  • App rating: 4.6 (iOS), 4.3 (Android)
  • Key takeaway: Smooth betting platform with regular odds boosts.  
  • Best feature: Competitive odds
  • Bonus offer: $250

New Iowa sports betting apps

DRF Sports became the 18th sports betting app in Iowa upon its launch in January 2022. That came on the tail of a busy fourth quarter of 2021 that saw Betway, Barstool, and Circa make their official debuts in the Hawkeye State.

Each of the 19 casinos in the state can have up to three online partners. The industry’s biggest names all have a presence in the state, but some smaller books could fill the remaining slots. Tipico Sportsbook could be one of those to launch in Iowa in 2022.

How to get started with best Iowa sportsbook bonuses

Most of the sportsbooks in Iowa provide competitive signup bonuses and ongoing promotions. Before signing up, look for the incentives that are best for you. Here are the current top five welcome bonuses:

Before claiming any bonuses, understand how they work and what you need to do. Here are some of the typical offers that you’ll come across:

  • Deposit bonus: The sportsbook will match your first deposit up to a certain amount as a percentage of the total. You won’t be able to withdraw the matching funds until you meet a playthrough requirement.
  • Risk-free bets: After you sign up to play and make your first deposit, your first bet will be risk-free. If the bet loses, you get a refund in the form of free bets or site credits that you can use to place more bets.
  • Odds boosts: An odds boost means that the book is taking the initial line and increasing the odds to make the potential return more appealing. Boosts may be available for game outcomes, parlays, or player props.   

The registration process is simple, as you follow the prompts and enter the necessary information. The sportsbook will verify your details. If it has any trouble doing so, you’ll need to provide additional documentation. Barring that, you can be up and running at a legal Iowa sportsbook in minutes.

10 quick facts about Iowa sports betting

  1. Iowa legalized sports betting in 2019.
  2. The online and retail launch happened simultaneously in August 2019.
  3. Initially, there was an in-person registration requirement for online betting, but that expired at the start of 2021.
  4. Iowa recorded more than $2 billion in total bets in 2021.
  5. Iowa is one of the few legal sports betting states without a home pro sports team.
  6. Betting is legal on both pro and college sports.
  7. Iowa does not allow wagering on high school sports or entertainment-related events.
  8. To legally bet on sports in Iowa, you must be 21 or older.
  9. You don’t have to be a resident, but you will need to be within state lines when placing bets.
  10. It’s illegal for those with a close affiliation with leagues or teams to wager on their own sports.

What to expect at a legal Iowa sports betting site

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is the regulatory body for sports betting in the state, covering licensing and regulation for the sportsbooks while also aiming to ensure safety for sports bettors. This means every app authorized for play in Iowa undergoes testing and review for fairness and security before launching in the state.

Bettors across the state can now wager in a legal and safe fashion at their leisure. And, with the in-person registration requirement expired as of 2021, the convenience of signing up at one of the sites and placing a bet from anywhere within the state is a main reason the market continues to grow.

Latest Iowa sports betting news

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First Year Of Iowa Sports Betting With Remote Signup A Big Improvement

The first year of Iowa sports betting with remote registration led to record heights, including in January. Iowa bettors wagered a record $303.3 million in January, according to a report from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission released Friday. The previous Iowa sports betting handle record was $287.2 million in November 2021. The January 2022 handle […] Read More
Posted on: February 14, 2022 | Regulation Sports Betting | Pat Evans
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Iowa Sports Betting Slows After Three Consecutive Record Months

Iowa sports betting hit a relative lull in December following three consecutive record monthly handles. Iowa sportsbooks handled $266.5 million in bets during December, according to a report from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. That is down from the record $287.2 million in November and October’s $280.9 million. The month was Iowa’s third-highest handle […] Read More
Posted on: January 11, 2022 | Sports Betting | Pat Evans
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Iowa Sports Betting Hits Surprising New Height In November

It seemed obvious Iowa sports betting and many others could set handle records in October given the favorable sports calendar. Seeing that growth continue into November was not expected but that is exactly what happened. Handle hit $287.2 million, up 2.3% from the previous record of $280.9 million set in October. Sports betting revenue also […] Read More
Posted on: December 13, 2021 | Sports Betting | Matthew Waters

Iowa sports betting law and regulations

Efforts to legalize sports betting in Iowa began in earnest in 2018, but the year would come and go without resolution. That all changed quickly the following year, however, with Gov. Kim Reynolds signing sports betting into law in May 2019.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission helped to push things through for a successful online and retail launch in August. You originally needed to complete your registration in person to wager online, but that rule expired on Jan. 1, 2021.

The law permitted online sportsbooks to open for business, provided that they partnered with one of the state’s land-based casinos. The law also set one of the lower tax rates and licensing fees for betting. Here are some of the other main points of Iowa sports betting law:

  • The license fee is $45,000.
  • The state taxes sports betting revenue at a rate of 6.75%.
  • You can now register at an Iowa sportsbook entirely online.
  • Each casino is allowed three online skins for a max total of 57 sites.

Full list of Iowa sports betting apps

Since opening in 2019, the Iowa sports betting market has quickly become crowded. Here are the 18 online sportsbooks available in the state as of 2022:

  • Bally Bet Sportsbook
  • Barstool Sportsbook
  • Betfred Sportsbook
  • BetMGM Sportsbook
  • BetRivers Sportsbook
  • Betway Sportsbook
  • Caesars Sportsbook
  • Circa Sportsbook
  • DraftKings Sportsbook
  • DRF Sportsbook
  • Elite Sportsbook
  • FanDuel Sportsbook
  • Fubo Sportsbook
  • Hard Rock Sportsbook
  • PointsBet Sportsbook
  • Q Sportsbook
  • TheScore Sportsbook
  • Unibet Sportsbook

While no major pro sports teams make their home in Iowa, the state is surrounded by nearby Midwestern teams. Loyalties are pretty scattered as a result, but the good news is there are plenty of options for rooting interest in each of the major sports:

  • NFL: Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings
  • NBA: Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves
  • MLB: Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, St. Louis Cardinals
  • NHL: Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues

College football and basketball are also very popular, with Iowa and Iowa State having the biggest followings. You can bet on those programs and potentially a couple of other smaller schools in the state without issue. Iowa doesn’t allow player prop bets on college athletes, however.

Other top attractions at legal sportsbooks include soccer, tennis and UFC. There are also markets for various international sports, as well as those with a niche following such as darts and table tennis.

When it’s time for the Super Bowl, you’ll find props on a few ancillary events like the coin toss, but sports betting is technically restricted to actual sporting events. As such, you won’t be able to bet on things like the Academy Awards or election results.

Iowa sports betting history

The wheels were in motion in 2018 to legalize sports betting in Iowa pending a change at the federal level. Despite that happening, the year ended without the state taking action.

The debate carried over into 2019. Gov. Kim Reynolds signed off on legal sports betting in May. The goal was for sportsbooks to be live in advance of the NFL and college football seasons.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission helped to expedite the process, and retail and online betting launched in August. Here are some of the key yearly events from pre- to post-legalization.

  • 2018: Efforts to legalize sports betting gain further traction after a US Supreme Court ruling in May 2018, but the year closes without substantive progress.
  • 2019: Iowa’s governor signs sports betting into law in May 2019. From there it’s a quick turnaround to the launch of retail and online betting in August, just in time for the start of the NFL, NBA, and NHL seasons as well as the MLB postseason.
  • 2020: Monthly sports betting handle eclipses the nine-figure mark for the first time in December, with a combined $104 million in wagers in Iowa. The year ends with more than $500 million in total bets.
  • 2021: The in-person registration requirement expires at the start of the year, changing the game in the state. As such, Iowa sets a new all-time handle record of $287 million in November for a total of $2 billion bets for the year.

Iowa sports betting FAQ

Is online sports betting legal in Iowa?

Yes, Iowa legalized online sports betting in 2019. The online and in-person launches took place in August 2019. Caesars Sportsbook was the first app to launch in the state.

Where can I bet on sports in IA?

There are 18 legal and regulated online sportsbooks to choose from in Iowa as of early 2022. Retail sportsbooks are available at many of the state’s casinos, too:

  • Ameristar Casino
  • Catfish Bend Casino
  • Diamond Jo Casino
  • Diamond Jo Worth
  • Grand Falls Casino
  • Hard Rock Sioux City
  • Harrah’s Council Bluffs
  • Horseshoe Casino
  • Isle Casino Bettendorf
  • Isle Casino Waterloo
  • Lakeside Casino
  • Prairie Meadows
  • Q Casino
  • Rhythm City Casino
  • Riverside Casino
  • Wild Rose Clinton
  • Wild Rose Emmetsburg
  • Wild Rose Jefferson

Is Bovada legal in Iowa?iowa racing and gaming commission logo

No, Bovada does not have a license from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Offshore sportsbooks such as Bovada may advertise themselves as legal, but the reality is different. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission website has a complete list of licensed providers. If a site doesn’t have the IRGC stamp of approval, it’s not worth taking the risk to bet there.

What’s the legal sports betting age in IA?

The legal sports betting age in Iowa is 21. As part of the online registration process, sportsbooks will verify your identity and age. If they can’t do so, you’ll need to provide supporting documentation.

Can you bet on horse racing in Iowa?

Yes, it’s legal to bet on horse racing in Iowa. Live racing action is available at Prairie Meadows in Altoona on select dates. The venue also offers simulcasting, as do off-track betting sites at Q Casino and Wild Rose Clinton. Online horse betting at sites like TVG is also legal.

Are daily fantasy sports contests legal in IA?

Iowa officially legalized daily fantasy sports contests in 2019 along with the broader sports betting law. DraftKings and FanDuel both operate their DFS sites in the state, and Iowa residents can sign up to play with either.

Can you bet on college sports in Iowa?

It’s legal to bet on both college and pro sports in Iowa. You can also bet on in-state teams such as Iowa and Iowa State. However, the state does not allow prop bets on individual college athletes.

More Iowa sports betting resources

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