Iowa Sports Betting – Best 17 Iowa Sportsbook Apps 2023
Iowa sports betting is legal and available both online and in person. Seventeen online sportsbooks are active in the state, and people in Iowa can register, deposit, and bet online from anywhere within state lines.
While no major pro teams make their home in Iowa, the state legalized sports betting in 2019, with the first bets taking place in August of that year.
Read below for more information about Iowa sports betting, the best sportsbook apps, and the latest bonuses and promotions.
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Best Iowa sportsbooks 2023
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What’s happening in Iowa sports betting right now
- Nov. 17, 2023 — Iowa sports betting handle hit $255.2 in October, a 3.8% increase from September and a 6.9% increase year-over-year.
- Nov. 14, 2023 — ESPN Bet is now live in Iowa, replacing Barstool Sportsbook. ESPN is now live in 17 states.
- Nov. 7, 2023 — Hard Rock Bet announced that it is exiting Iowa. The final day of wagering will be Nov. 28, the last day to withdraw will be Dec. 27, and the app will shut down entirely on Dec. 28.
- Nov. 2, 2023 — PENN Entertainment announced that ESPN Bet will take over for Barstool Sportsbook in 17 states, including Iowa, on Nov. 14.
- Oct. 11, 2023 — Iowa sports betting handle rose to $245.7 million in September, a 74% increase from August. That total was a state record for September and a 22.7% increase year-over-year.
- Sept. 11, 2023 — Iowa sports betting handle hit $141.3 million in August, up 28.9% from July and 15.3% year-over-year.
- Sept. 8, 2023 — Five Iowa college athletes pled guilty to illegal underage gambling. The five, including Iowa State quarterback Hunter Dekkers, are among more than 12 athletes charged in the investigation.
Comparing top Iowa sports betting apps
With the variety of sports betting options in Iowa, set your sights on the books with the most features you want. Here’s a list of the best online sportsbooks in Iowa in some key areas:
- Betting on major games and events: DraftKings, FanDuel. The sports betting giants are the go-to options for many bettors in Iowa, partly because of what they offer for the biggest games and tournaments.
- Largest selection of sports: BetMGM, Bet365. Top sportsbooks have many options, but BetMGM and Bet365 tend to have the largest overall selections.
- Competitive odds: Caesars, Betway. Caesars and Betway are regularly in line with or better than the market.
- Rewards program: Caesars, BetRivers. Rewards programs are standard in casino gambling but not as commonplace for sports betting. Caesars and BetRivers are two of the exceptions to that. The two have simple reward programs that allow bettors to accrue points based on their play.
- Promos: BetMGM, Caesars. BetMGM and Caesars do a solid job on this front, with regular promotions for existing customers.
1. Bet365 Iowa
One of the top sportsbooks in Europe, Bet365 is growing in popularity in North America. The Bet365 app offers an extensive menu of betting options, live wagering features, and regular promos. Bettors can also edit bets, personalize their display, and stream events from the app. The app has received fairly unfavorable reviews from Android users, however.
- App rating: 4.6 (iOS), 2.5 (Android)
- Key takeaway: Stream a wide range of events.
- Best feature: Live betting
- Welcome bonus: $150
2. BetMGM Iowa
BetMGM offers bets on sports you likely won’t find at many other books, such as snooker or surfing. 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. The “Edit my Bet” feature is a favorite of users.
- App rating: 4.8 (iOS), 4.4 (Android)
- Key takeaway: Bet on a wide range of sports.
- Best feature: Edit my bet
- Welcome bonus: Up to $1,500
3. Betway Iowa
Already a top sportsbook overseas, Betway is entering more North American markets with its easy-to-use app that offers competitive odds and good live-betting options. Betway also gives users a cash-out option on live events, allowing streaming of some games. Some customers, however, complain of sessions that expire too quickly, requiring repeated sign-ins by users.
- App rating: 4.7 (iOS), 4.4 (Android)
- Key takeaway: Competitive odds.
- Best feature: Live betting and streaming options
- Welcome bonus: Up to $250
4. FanDuel Iowa
FanDuel offers one of the better web and mobile experiences for any sportsbook. The app lays everything out in a clear fashion, and the site makes improvements where necessary. For instance, it overhauled its prop bets to be more user-friendly and intuitive. While there are many good features, FanDuel could improve by adding more regular promos.
- App rating: 4.8 (iOS), 4.7 (Android)
- Key takeaway: Simple to use with some great features.
- Best feature: Same-game parlays
- Welcome bonus: Bet $5, get $150 in bonus bets.
5. Betfred Iowa
Betfred is a relatively new sportsbook to the US, but it has decades of experience in Europe. It offers competitive odds along with a sleek and aesthetically pleasing display. One of the few dings on Betfred is its banking options, which are still a bit anemic compared to the choices US bettors typically have elsewhere.
- App rating: 3.7 (Apple), 4.0 (Android)
- Key takeaway: Experienced European sportsbook has plenty to offer.
- Best feature: Sleek presentation
- Welcome bonus: Up to $105
6. Caesars Iowa
Caesars regularly dishes out promos to existing customers, while the odds are typically competitive up and down the menu. On the downside, the sportsbook app can sometimes lag, and some users have expressed frustration with customer service wait times. Caesars also offers one of the top loyalty programs in the industry, Caesars Rewards.
- App rating: 4.6 (iOS), 4.4 (Android)
- Key takeaway: Competitive odds from a trusted name in gambling.
- Best feature: Regular promos
- Welcome bonus: $1,000 first bet on Caesars.
7. BetRivers Iowa
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 solid features. The menu of sports on which you can bet is large, and the book has a good layout for props and alternate lines, along with one of sports betting’s best rewards programs, iRush Rewards.
- App rating: 3.5 (iOS), 2.7 (Android)
- Key takeaway: Features and sports that you won’t find elsewhere.
- Best feature: iRush Rewards
- Welcome bonus: Up to $100
How to get started with the best Iowa sportsbook bonuses
Most Iowa sportsbooks provide competitive sign-up bonuses and online sports betting promotions. Before signing up, look for the incentives that are best for you. Here are some of the top sportsbook welcome bonuses in Iowa and the codes to access them:
- Bet365 bonus code: Use the code LSRIOWA; bet $5, get $150 in bonus bets.
- BetMGM bonus code: Use the code PLAYLSR to get up to $1,500 back in bonus bets if you don’t win.
- Betway promo code: Get a bonus bet for up to $250 with your first wager. No code necessary, click to claim.
- FanDuel promo code: Bet $5, Get $150 in bonus bets. No code necessary, click to claim.
- Betfred bonus code: Use the code LSRBONUS. No Sweat Bet, up to $105 if your first wager loses.
- Caesars promo code: Use the code LEGAL1000. $1,000 First Bet on Caesars.
- BetRivers bonus code: Use the code LSRRIV to receive a second-chance bet for up to $100 if your first bet loses.
Before claiming any bonuses, understand how they work and what you need to do. Here are some of the typical ones you’ll come across:
- Deposit bonus: The sports betting app will match your first deposit up to a set amount as a percentage of the total. You must meet the playthrough requirement before you can withdraw the matching funds.
- First bet bonus: The sportsbook may provide a refund or bonus amount if your first bet loses. If that happens, the refund will often take the form of site credits or a bonus bet you can use to wager again.
- Odds boost: An odds boost is when a sports betting site increases the odds on an initial line to make the potential return more attractive for bettors. Boosts may be available for all kinds of bets in all sports.
The registration process will typically be simple as you follow the prompts and enter the necessary information. The sportsbook will then verify your details. If it has trouble doing so, you must provide additional documentation. Barring that, you can be ready to bet at a legal Iowa sportsbook in minutes.
New Iowa sports betting apps
DRF Sports became the 18th online sportsbook in Iowa 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.
Following a couple of sportsbooks exiting the state (theScore Bet and Unibet), Tipico Sportsbook, ClutchBet, and Bet365 joined the fold, bringing the number of Iowa sportsbooks back to 19.
In July 2023, Elite Sportsbook stopped taking bets in Iowa and merged with Betfred, and Bally Bet paused operations temporarily to bring the total legal sportsbooks in Iowa back down to 17.
ESPN Bet took over Barstool’s spot in November 2023, and Fanatics has already begun to take over from PointsBet and should launch completely in the state in the coming weeks.
Full list of Iowa sports betting apps
Since opening in 2019, the Iowa sports betting market has quickly become crowded. Here are the 17 online sportsbooks currently available in the state as of December 2023:
- Bally Bet Sportsbook (temporarily paused operations)
- Bet365 Sportsbook
- Betfred Sportsbook
- BetMGM Sportsbook
- BetRivers Sportsbook
- Betway Sportsbook
- Caesars Sportsbook
- Circa Sportsbook
- ClutchBet Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- DRF Sportsbook
- ESPN Bet
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- Hard Rock Bet Sportsbook
- PointsBet Sportsbook
- Q Sportsbook
- SuperBook Sportsbook
- Tipico Sportsbook
10 quick facts about Iowa sports betting
- Iowa legalized sports betting in 2019.
- The online and retail launch happened simultaneously in August 2019.
- Initially, to bet online, you had to complete the registration process in person, but that requirement expired at the start of 2021.
- Iowa recorded more than $2 billion in total bets in 2021.
- Iowa is one of the few states where sports betting is legal without a major pro sports team.
- Betting is legal on both pro and college sports.
- Iowa does not allow wagering on high school sports or entertainment-related events.
- To legally bet on sports in Iowa, you must be 21 or older.
- You don’t have to be a resident but must be within state lines when placing bets.
- It’s illegal for those with a close affiliation with leagues or teams to wager on their 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 to accept wagers in Iowa undergoes testing and review for fairness and security before launching in the state.
Bettors across the state can now wager legally and safely at their leisure. And, with the in-person registration requirement expiring in 2021, the convenience of signing up at one of the sites and placing a bet from anywhere within the state is likely one of the reasons the market continues to grow.
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. However, that changed quickly the following year, 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 initially 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 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 among legal states. 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 register at an Iowa sportsbook entirely online.
- Each casino can have three online skins for a maximum of 57 sites.
Popular sports to bet on in Iowa
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 the University of Iowa and Iowa State having the biggest following. You can bet on those programs and potentially a couple of other smaller schools in the state without issue. Iowa doesn’t allow prop bets on college athletes, however.
Other top attractions at legal sportsbooks include soccer, tennis, and UFC. There are also bets on various international sports and 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 before 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 before and after 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 and the MLB postseason.
- 2020: Monthly sports betting handle in the state 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 in bets for the year.
- 2022: An attempt to legalize esports betting in Iowa passes the House in March (HF 2497). Later in July, theScore Bet stopped service in Iowa, announcing it had stopped all US sports betting operations. Expanded sports betting, including betting on drafts and league awards, goes into effect on July 1.
- 2023: Blackbird Bend Casino begins offering in-person sports betting at its facility. It is the first casino on tribal land to offer in-person sports betting in the state.
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 to launch in the state.
Where can I bet on sports in Iowa?
Iowa has 18 legal and regulated online sportsbooks to choose from as of mid-2023. Retail sportsbooks are available at many of the state’s casinos, too:
- Ameristar Casino
- Blackbird Bend 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?
No, Bovada has no license from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Offshore sportsbooks like Bovada may advertise themselves as legal, but the reality is different. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission website has a 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 Iowa?
The minimum legal sports betting age in Iowa is 21. Sportsbooks will verify your identity and age as part of the online registration process. You’ll need to provide supporting documentation if they can’t do so.
Can I 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 Iowa?
Iowa officially legalized daily fantasy sports contests in 2019 as part of its broader sports betting law. DraftKings and FanDuel 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
- Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission website, information on rules and regulations, licensing, self-exclusion, and more.
- Full list of approved sportsbooks from the IRGC site.
- Text of 2019 sports betting law signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds.
- Des Moines Register, coverage of local, state, and national sports.
- Quad-City Times, coverage of local, state, and national sports.