Iowa Sports Betting

Last Updated: Apr 08th, 2021

With a more convenient online registration process and competitive marketplace, Iowa sports betting continues to trend upward.

The proof is in the numbers. Iowa set a monthly record for sports betting handle four consecutive months to close out 2020, with even higher numbers likely in 2021.

Previously, Iowa bettors had to register at a casino to open an online sports betting account. That requirement expired on January 1, 2021, meaning bettors can now register with any Iowa sports betting operator from their smartphone, mobile device or home computer.

Iowa sports bettors have no shortage of options when choosing a sports betting operator. The state is home to 18 licensed casinos with sports betting, nearly all of which offer online and mobile sports betting.

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How We Pick the Best Iowa Sports Betting Sites

Among the criteria our team at Bookies.com considers when evaluating Iowa sports betting sites:

Bonus offers: Iowa sportsbooks offer several bonuses to sign up new players. Some of the bonuses are more generous, others more restrictive. We also consider frequency of promotions, such as odds boosts.

Safe and legal: We only review and recommend legal sites that are licensed by the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission, ensuring your account and funds are secure. We do not recommend offshore-based sports betting sites, which are not legal and lack effective regulation.

User experience: Is the operator’s mobile sports betting app easy to use and navigate? Can you easily find the sports and games you are looking for? The technology in most sports betting apps is amazing, but some apps are more user-friendly, intuitive and responsive than others. We help you find the best sportsbook app for your needs.

Odds and prices: Finding value is important to every sports bettor. Some sportsbooks consistently offer more favorable prices. Signing up with more than one sportsbook allows you to shop and find the best lines and odds before placing a sports bet.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Iowa?

Yes. Online and in-person sports betting began in August 2019. Iowa allows each retail sportsbook to partner with two online brands.

A positive development for Iowa sports bettors was the expiration of in-person registration. Until 2021, Iowa bettors had to drive to a casino sportsbook and register to be able to use its online app. Now remote registration is permissible. That means bettors can immediately sign up and download the sports betting app(s) to access the mobile sportsbook of their choice without having to drive across the state to a casino.

Iowa Sports Betting Apps

Sports betting apps provide the convenience of wagering on your smartphone or mobile device from anywhere in the state, any time of the day. Iowa bettors have nearly a dozen mobile betting apps to choose from, with more on the way. The list includes many of the top U.S. and global operators, including:

William Hill Sport
William Hill: The state leading operator in online betting handle, William Hill Sportsbook is partnered with six Iowa casino sportsbooks, including Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Altoona, the runaway leader in retail Iowa sports betting handle. William Hill’s recent acquisition by Caesars Entertainment, which owns two casino sportsbooks in Council Bluffs, further increased William Hill’s dominance in the state.
FanDuel
FanDuel: Partner of Diamond Jo Casinos, FanDuel Sportsbook is a powerhouse in online sports betting and daily fantasy sports. The FanDuel mobile betting app is one of the most popular in the U.S., offering a wide range of traditional and in-play betting options. Interface is responsive and easy to navigate.
DraftKings Sport
DraftKings: Rival to FanDuel is partnered with Iowa’s Wild Rose casino properties. DraftKings is leading online sportsbook operator in at least a half-dozen states and dominates daily fantasy sports market with FanDuel. DraftKings sportsbook app offers an impressive amount of action on every sport, with live betting markets and prop bets for almost every game.
BetMGM Sport
BetMGM: Online platform of gaming giant MGM Resorts entered Iowa sports betting market in January 2021 under Diamond Jo Dubuque license. BetMGM sportsbook app is now available in nearly a dozen states and aggressively offers bonuses and promotions for both new and existing players.
BetRivers Sport
BetRivers: Popular digital sportsbook entered Iowa market in January 2021 through partnership with Wild Rose casino properties. Now available in more than a half-dozen states through BetRivers and SugarHouse brands. App offers competitive odds and minimal playthrough requirements to claim bonuses.
PointsBet Sport
PointsBet: Global operator, partnered with Catfish Bend Casino in Burlington, offers a number of creative promotions (no juice games, overtime insurance, etc.) along with its own PointsBetting system, in which bettors can win or lose or more than original bet depending on how right or wrong their wager is.

Hard Rock: Music and entertainment-themed gaming operator owns Sioux City casino property and is gradually expanding its sports betting and casino operations across the U.S. Sports betting app is fast and efficient and offers plenty of promotions.

BetFred: England-based sportsbook is one of the leading oddsmakers in Europe. Entered Iowa market through partnership with Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort in Larchwood. Has U.S. sports gambling operations in Iowa, Colorado, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Offers large number of betting options for sports in U.S. and around the world.

Elite: Locally-based Elite Casino Resorts LLC owns three Iowa casinos, including popular Riverside Casino & Golf Resort near Iowa City, giving sports bettors a hometown option. Offers online sports wagering on its Elite sportsbook website, with app coming soon.

How to Download an Iowa Sports Betting App

Iowa sports betting apps are free to download and available for Android and iOS devices. Go to your sports betting operator’s website to download the app. Apple device users can also download from the App Store.

When downloading, make sure your location services are turned on, which enables your sportsbook operator to detect your location. All wagers must be placed inside state lines. Online sportsbooks use geofencing technology to pinpoint your location.

Sign-up Process for Online Sportsbooks in Iowa

Once you’ve chosen an Iowa sportsbook operator, the sign-up process is simple and fast.

Go to the operator’s mobile or desktop site and click on the “create an account” or “register” button. You will be asked to provide name, email address, phone number, date of birth, home address and last four digits of your Social Security number (to verify identity and make sure you are of legal age to wager). Once your information is accepted, set a password and your account is created.

The next step is to deposit funds into your account. Iowa online sportsbooks offer several banking options. After funds are received, you are ready to bet. You are also free to claim any sign-up bonuses that are offered. Many sportsbooks will require additional proof of identity (driver’s license, state ID or passport) before accepting your first deposit.

If you experience any issues during the sign-up process, online sportsbooks offer technical support through live chat, phone and/or email.

What Deposit and Withdrawal Methods are Available in Iowa?

Iowa online sportsbooks offer a variety of payment options. Among them:

Mastercard
Credit/debit cards: The most popular deposit option with funds usually transferred instantaneously. But be aware that some financial institutions may not process gambling transactions (the number is declining as sports betting becomes more mainstream), those that do allow them may charge fees, and credit/debit cards generally can’t be used to make withdrawals.
E-wallets
E-wallets: Most commonly accepted are PayPal, Neteller and Skrill. E-wallets allow for timely and seamless transfer of funds to and from your sports betting account for low fees.
Casino Prepaid Card
Play+/Prepaid cards: Play+ cards can be funded with a credit card or bank account and can be used to move funds in and out of sportsbook accounts. You can then access the cash at an ATM. Several Iowa online sportsbooks offer their own branded prepaid card, which often include additional perks. Prepaid cards through credit card companies such as MasterCard and Visa are also accepted and widely available at retail outlets.
Bank Transfer
ACH/wire transfer: An ACH transaction electronically moves funds from your bank account to online sportsbook account through an automated clearinghouse. A wire transfer moves the money directly without a third party. Both work well for deposits and withdrawals. Wire transfers are faster but charge higher fees.
PayNearMe
PayNearMe: Cash-only deposit method in which participating Iowa retailers (7-Eleven, CVS Pharmacy, Family Dollar) scan a barcode to transfer cash to your sports betting account.
Cash
Cash at casino cage: All Iowa online sportsbooks are partnered with a casino in the state. Visit the casino cage affiliated with your sportsbook.

What Types of Sports Bets Can I Make in Iowa?

Iowa sportsbooks offer all of the most popular wagers, including:

Point spread: A team is favored by a specific number of points. Bettors select the favorite or underdog and ‘’give’’ or “get’’ points.

Moneyline: A wager on a team to win a game based on moneyline odds set by the sportsbook. No point spread is involved. A college football betting example: If Iowa is -140 against Nebraska (+120), a bettor wagers $140 to win $100 on favored Iowa, or $100 to win $120 on underdog Nebraska.

Totals (over/under): A bet the that combined points of both teams in a game will be over or under the number set by the sportsbook.

Parlay: A single wager combining two or more games, all of which must win for the parlay to cash.

Teaser: Parlay wager that allows bettors to favorably adjust point spread in exchange for reduced odds and payoff. In college basketball, if Iowa State is a 7-point favorite over Kansas State, a bettor can play a 6-point teaser and take Iowa State -1 or Kansas State +13. The same 6-point adjustment is applied to all other games in the parlay.

Futures: A wager to be determined at a later date. For example, an NFL futures bet would be wagering on an NFL team to win the Super Bowl before or during the season.

Prop bet: A bet that may or may not impact the final outcome of a game. For example, the result of the Super Bowl coin toss or how many yards quarterback Aaron Rodgers will throw for in a game or specific quarter.

Does Iowa Offer Live Sports Betting?

Yes. Live or in-game sports betting allows wagers to be placed after a game has started. Available wagers include spread bets, moneylines, prop bets and totals, with the odds adjusted in real time as the game progresses. Online sportsbooks use analytic algorithms to continually adjust and recalculate odds.

What Sports Can I Bet on in Iowa?

You can place a sports bet on nearly every pro and major college sport. The list includes but is not limited to: football, basketball, baseball, hockey, golf, tennis, soccer, motorsports, mixed martial arts, boxing, bull riding, lacrosse and international sports. Wagering on college sports involving Iowa-based teams is permitted.

A complete list of approved sports is available on the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission website (irgc.iowa.gov)

What Sports Can’t I Bet on in Iowa?

  • Individual player proposition bets in a game or match involving in-state schools are prohibited.
  • Wagering on the outcome of subjective trophy awards (Cy Young, Heisman Trophy, etc.) is not permitted.

Bonuses to Claim in Iowa

Iowa online sportsbooks offer a wide range of promotions. Some include playthrough requirements which require the bonus money be wagered a specific number of times before it can be fully redeemed, so it’s important to read bonus terms and conditions. The most common Iowa bonus offers:

Welcome bonus: A small bonus of $20 or so is added to your account just for signing up.

Deposit match: Make your first deposit and your online sportsbook will match that amount up to 100%.

Risk-free bet: Your first wager is free. If you win, the winnings are added to your account. If the bet loses, you don’t lose any of your own funds.

Free weekly bet: A modest free weekly bet offered to existing customers.

Latest Iowa Sports Betting Numbers

IOWA SPORTS BETTING, MARCH vs. FEBRUARY

Total Handle Mobile Handle Revenue
March $161.440M$139.389M $13.454M
February $143.615M$125.218M$7.708M
Change Up 12.4% Up 11.3% Up 74.5%

Updated April 8

LATEST NEWS: Iowa Posts Record Sports Betting Handle & Revenue in March

History of Sports Betting in Iowa

February 2018: Legislation to allow retail and online sports betting in Iowa is introduced. Bill fails to advance but sets framework for 2019 legislation.

May 2018: U.S. Supreme Court overturns Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, lifting the federal ban on sports wagering. Ruling gives all states the option to allow legal sports betting.

May 2019: Iowa in-person and online sports betting bill is signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds, a month after approval by state lawmakers.

August 2019: First Iowa retail and online sportsbooks go live.

December 2020: State exceeds $100 million in monthly sports betting wagers for the first time.

January 1, 2021: Requirement for in-person sports betting registration expires. Remote registration now permissible.

Iowa Sports Betting FAQ

How old do I need to be to bet on sports in Iowa?

The minimum age for sports gambling in Iowa is 21.

Who qualifies for an Iowa sports betting license?

Any entity licensed to operate gambling at Iowa casinos is eligible to apply for a sports betting license. Casinos pay a $45,000 sports betting licensing fee. Iowa’s 6.75% tax rate on gross sports betting gaming receipts is among the lowest in the U.S.

Do I need to live in Iowa to place a bet?

No. There is no residency requirement. But you must be physically located inside the state of Iowa to place a wager.

What Iowa teams can I bet on?

You can wager on all major college games involving Iowa-based teams, including Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa and Drake.

Is horse race betting allowed in Iowa?

Yes. Prairie Meadows in Altoona offers live thoroughbred racing and simulcast racing. Iowa has off-track betting and allows wagering on national online platforms such as TVG and TwinSpires. The state is also home to one greyhound racing track — Iowa Greyhound Park in Dubuque.

How will my winnings be taxed in Iowa?

All gambling winnings are subject to federal and Iowa state income tax. Winnings are subject to a 5% Iowa withholding rate.

Should I avoid offshore sportsbooks?

Yes. There is no need to play at offshore-based sports betting sites, which attempt to work around state and federal laws and lack effective regulation. Offshore sites may abruptly shut down, leaving bettors with potential loss of funds and no recourse.

What other forms of gambling are legal in Iowa?

Iowa offers casino gambling at nearly two dozen commercial or Native American casinos across the state. The state also allows daily fantasy sports, pari-mutuel wagering and operates a state lottery.

What help is there for sports betting addiction in Iowa?

Problem gambling support groups are available, including the Iowa Gambling Treatment Program (idph.iowa.gov/igtp) and Gamblers Anonymous (gamblersanonymous.org). Iowa bettors can also voluntarily self-exclude from wagering for a period of time by filling out a form with the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission.

References

  • Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission (https://www.justice.gov/)
  • US Department of Justice (https://www.justice.gov/)
  • American Gaming Association (https://www.americangaming.org/)
  • National Council on Problem Gambling (https://www.ncpgambling.org/programs-resources/resources/)