Best Iowa sportsbooks 2023

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What’s happening in Iowa sports betting right now?

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:

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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Betfred Sports

BetFred Sports is a relatively-new sportsbook to the US, but it has decades of experience in Europe under its belt. It offers some of the most competitive odds that you’re likely to find, along with a sleek and aesthetically-pleasing display. The only ding on Betfred is its banking options, which are still a bit anemic compared to the options US bettors typically have elsewhere.

5. 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.

6. Betway Sportsbook

Already a top sportsbook overseas, Betway is quickly gaining momentum in North America. The app is easy to use, offers competitive odds and great live-betting options. Betway also gives users a cash-out option on live events, and even allows live streaming of some games. Some users complain of low withdrawal limits and sessions that expire too quickly, making the user sign in repeatedly.

7. 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.

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.

Following a couple sportsbooks exiting the state in theScore Bet and Unibet, Tipico Sportsbook, ClutchBet and bet365 joined the fold and brought the total number of Iowa sportsbooks back up to 19.

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.

How to get started with best Iowa sportsbook bonuses

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

  1. DraftKings Promo Code: $50 bonus bet plus 20% up to $1,000 with your first deposit.
  2. BetMGM Bonus Code: Get up to $1,000 paid back in bonus bets.
  3. BetRivers Bonus Code: Second chance bet of up to $100.
  4. Betfred Promo Code: Get up to $1,111 in Fred bets.
  5. FanDuel Promo Code: Bet $5 Get $150 in bonus bets.

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:

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.

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:

Full list of Iowa sports betting apps

Since opening in 2019, the Iowa sports betting market has quickly become crowded. Here are the 19 online sportsbooks available in the state as of 2023:

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:

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.

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 19 legal and regulated online sportsbooks to choose from in Iowa as of mid-2023. Retail sportsbooks are available at many of the state’s casinos, too:

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