Even before the Supreme Court ruled on the PASPA Act in May 2018, politicians in Iowa were pushing ahead to introduce legal sports betting. While their first effort failed, Senate File 617 finally passed later that year. Governor Kim Reynolds signed it into law on May 13, 2019.
Following this, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission worked hard all summer to finalize sports betting regulations. This ultimately allowed Iowa sportsbook apps to open their doors on June 8, 2019.
The bill allows all 19 casinos in the Hawkeye State to offer in-person and online sports betting. It also authorized daily fantasy sports (DFS) for the first time in Hawkeye State history.
Legal Sports Betting In Iowa
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) runs Iowa’s sports betting scene. The IRGC lays down gambling laws and enforces rules in the state. These regulations include:
- The betting license fee is $45,000.
- 6.75% tax rate imposed on all sports betting revenue.
- Each Iowa sports betting license holder can offer two sportsbook brands.
- Bettors are not allowed to place prop bets on in-state college events.
- Sportsbooks cannot accept bets on special events like political races, the Oscars, or Esports.
- Bettors must be over 21 to use Iowa sports betting apps.
- Bettors must be physically in Iowa.
The rules stated you had to register in-person to use an Iowa sportsbook app. But the requirement only ran until January 1, 2021. Since then, you can register online.
Iowa Pushes Nebraska To Legalize Betting
One of the interesting aspects of the legalization of sports betting and gambling in Iowa is that it affects other states. Neighboring state, Nebraska, has noticed quite the impact as well. It’s no secret that Nebraskans cross the border to gamble in Iowa, spending an estimated $500 million per year at Iowa casinos and sportsbooks. Nebraska is now trying to fight back in several ways. It is giving Ho-Chunk, Inc., the development arm of Winnebago Tribe, approval to build three casinos in Nebraska.
In addition, Nebraska is now pushing its own sports betting legalization. Nebraska Senator Tom Braise, who supports legalization, said that restrictions on betting only hurt the state. “It encourages Nebraskans to place illegal bets, online or with those books, send more tax dollars to Iowa and enhances the profits of the Iowa casinos,” Braise said to the press.
Iowa Sports Betting Operators
Whether you feel like betting with one of the world’s biggest sportsbooks, the most famous American brands, or a more local sportsbook – Iowa has it all. Here’s a list of the best sports betting apps you can enjoy in Iowa. Also, don’t forget to check our offers page for more sportsbooks and bonuses.
William Hill Sportsbook Iowa
- Overview: Founded as a British-based sportsbook, Caesars Entertainment recently bought William Hill. The pedigree of both well-known operators shines throughout the William Hill Sportsbook IA app.
- Physical Location: William Hill operates six in-person sportsbooks in Iowa: Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino, Lakeside Casino, Isle Casino Waterloo, Isle Casino Bettendorf. They are also located at both Caesars Entertainment casinos in Council Bluffs.
- Features: The William Hill app offers wide coverage of all US and international sports. In addition, bettors know William Hill for their competitive odds and variety of betting options.
- Bonus Offers: Check out our offers page to make sure you maximize your William Hill welcome bonus!
FanDuel Sportsbook Iowa
- Overview: Many locals consider FanDuel as the best sportsbook app in Iowa. The company started as a DFS provider but is now a dominant force in the US sports betting market.
- Physical Location: FanDuel Sportsbook entered Iowa through a deal with Diamond Jo Casino.
- Features: The FanDuel betting app delivers a great selection of in-play and pre-match markets. In addition, the app interface is easy for newcomers to use. For added convenience, it offers bettors the ability to transfer funds between sports betting and DFS.
- Bonus Offers: Check out our offers page to make sure you maximize your FanDuel Sportsbook welcome bonus!
DraftKings Sportsbook Iowa
- Overview: There are few sportsbooks, online or mobile, that provide the variety of customization options you will find on DraftKings.
- Physical Location: DraftKings Sportsbook joined the Iowa betting industry through a partnership with the state’s Wild Rose casino brand.
- Features: As with FanDuel, players who use the DraftKings app can switch between sports betting and DFS platforms. The DraftKings sports betting app offers good coverage of most sports and is famous for its live betting markets and prop bet opportunities.
- Bonus Offers: Check out our offers page to make sure you maximize your DraftKings Sportsbook welcome bonus!
BetMGM Sportsbook Iowa
- Overview: BetMGM is the sportsbook platform and online gaming brand of casino giant MGM International.
- Physical Location: BetMGM entered Iowa’s sports betting market through a deal with Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque.
- Features: The BetMGM sportsbook is known for its generous promotions and bonuses available to regular players and newcomers.
- Bonus Offers: Check out our offers page to make sure you maximize your BetMGM welcome bonus!
BetRivers Sportsbook Iowa
- Overview: BetRivers was the eighth sportsbook to enter the state. This presence in Iowa continues Rush Street Interactive’s expansion across the US with its BetRivers brand.
- Physical Location: BetRivers partnered up with Wild Rose casinos to offer its sportsbook platform to Iowa players.
- Features: BetRivers is popular with many Iowa players for competitive odds, extensive coverage of US sports, and low bonus play-through conditions.
- Bonus Offers: Check out our offers page to make sure you maximize your BetRivers Sportsbook welcome bonus!
PointsBet Sportsbook Iowa
- Overview: PointsBet is one of several global betting operators that is expanding rapidly across the US. The Australian sportsbook, traded in ASX Australian Securities Exchange, offers Iowa bettors its famous points-betting system, an exciting form of spread-betting.
- Physical Location: PointsBet entered Iowa through a partnership with Catfish Bend Casino in Burlington.
- Features: One of the most popular betting apps in Iowa, the PointsBet sports betting platform is known for its creative betting promotions, including overtime insurance. This sportsbook is also known for being very generous with bettors in refunding losing bets on upsets or close calls.
- Bonus Offers: Check out our offers page to make sure you maximize your PointsBet welcome bonus!
Hard Rock Sportsbook Iowa
- Overview: The legendary music, entertainment, and gambling operator launched its sportsbook app in Iowa on September 20, 2019.
- Physical Location: Hard Rock Sportsbook has a physical location in its casino, which is located in Sioux City.
- Features: The Hard Rock sports betting app, operated by the Gaming Innovation Group (GIG), offers plenty of promotions and boasts a slick and user-friendly design.
- Bonus Offers: Check out our offers page to make sure you maximize your Hard Rock Sportsbook welcome bonus!
BetFred Sportsbook Iowa
- Overview: Named after its founder from Manchester, England Fred Done, BetFred is another successful British retail and online sportsbook operator that entered the US market.
- Physical Location: BetFred partnered with Grand Falls Casino and Golf Resort in Larchwood to bring its sports betting app to Iowa.
- Features: It is known for its simple usability, attentive customer service, and comprehensive global sports coverage, especially offering attractive odds and exciting bets on international soccer and horse racing.
- Bonus Offers: Check out our offers page to make sure you maximize your BetFred welcome bonus!
Elite Sportsbook Iowa
- Overview: Smaller than every other sportsbook on this list, Elite Sportsbook is a local Iowa operator with a homegrown approach..
- Physical Location: Elite Casino Resorts operates three land-based casinos, including the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort near Iowa City.
- Features: It’s sports betting platform stands out for its local, attentive customer service. Also, Elite Sportsbook has great markets for regional Iowa sporting events.
- Bonus Offers: Check out our offers page to make sure you maximize your Elite Sportsbook welcome bonus!
How to Gamble Legally In Iowa
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is in charge of sports betting and gaming operations in the state. It enforces the rules and makes sure that players are fully protected when gambling on Iowa sports betting apps. If you are over 21 and located anywhere in Iowa, you can sign up and place your first bet in minutes. Just follow these easy steps:
- Check out our list of recommended Iowa sports betting apps.
- Select the app with the best bonuses, odds, and other key factors.
- Sign up by following the quick and easy registration process.
- Pick the payment method you want to use for deposits and withdrawals.
- Go to the sportsbook cashier page, follow the instructions and make a deposit.
- Check out the different markets, odds, and bets available.
- Choose your bets, which will automatically fill your electronic bet slip.
- Confirm your bets and wait for the games.
- If you landed winning bets, go to the cashier page and cash out your wins.
Iowa Mobile Sports Betting
We are all using our smartphones and tablets for many things these days, and sports betting is no exception. Because mobile betting apps are so easy to use, many sports fans in Iowa never use their computer and only wager on their mobile device.
All sportsbooks in the Hawkeye State are built on HTML5 technology. This means that every site is optimized for iOS and Android devices, giving you the option of placing bets on your mobile browser. You can also download the operator’s dedicated sports betting app, finding links in the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or on the sportsbook’s website. However, the best place to go is to our offers page, where you can find all links and information in one place. Going through our offers page ensures you maximize your welcome bonus.
Some people prefer not to install apps that use their device memory and processing power, so they use mobile browsers to place their bets. Others prefer the convenience, connectivity, features, and alerts that come with a native app, so they use a mobile betting app. There are also many players in Iowa that use both desktop and mobile clients with the same user-account details. Wherever you are in Iowa, and whichever’s your way to bet: you’re never far away from Iowa’s best sportsbooks.
Betting On Iowa Sports
Are you a sports fan in Iowa that’s looking to put some skin in the game and wager on your favorite teams and athletes? Well, you’re in luck because with Iowa sportsbook apps, you’ll have thousands of bets at your fingertips. First, of course, there are bets on American sports like NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and college sports. In addition, you can wager on golf, tennis, boxing, motorsports, martial arts, rugby, international soccer, and tons of other sports and teams from near or far.
Yeah, Iowa doesn’t have any of its own big sports teams. Still, there’s a lot of great local action with Iowa Wolves basketball, awesome baseball played by Cedar Rapids Kernels, Iowa Cubs, and Sioux City Explorers. But like every American sports fan, bettors in Iowa also have their allegiances with the county’s top leagues.
Iowa NFL Betting
There is no NFL team in Iowa, but there are several great football teams in neighboring states. Therefore, most of the football support in the Hawkeye State splits three ways. There are fans of both the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers in the north and northeast. The Chicago Bears are popular in the east, and fans tend to gravitate towards the Kansas City Chiefs in southern parts of the state.
Regardless of which teams are passing and rushing, football gives Iowa bettors plenty of exciting options. The main NFL bets are money line, live betting, props, and futures.
Iowa NBA Betting
There are no NBA franchises in Iowa, but there is a prominent second-tier Iowa basketball franchise. The Iowa Wolves are based in Des Moines, founded in 2007 as part of an expansion season. They are owned by the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves while competing in the NBA-G League.
Iowa locals tend to support and bet on the Timberwolves. But there are also plenty of Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls fans in the state.
In addition to bets on final basketball game scores, props and live bets are popular NBA bets in Iowa.
Iowa MLB Betting
Baseball fans in Iowa don’t have an MLB franchise to call their own, but a few Minor League outfits drive great support. The most successful is the Iowa Cubs, a Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, based in Des Moines and playing home games at Principal Park.
Iowa has two teams at the High-A level. The Cedar Rapids Kernels are affiliated with the Minnesota Twins. The Quad Cities River Bandits, based in Davenport, are affiliated with the Kansas City Royals.
Naturally, those affiliations translate to popular support for the MLB franchises involved. Bettors in central and western Iowa are likely to be rooting for the Royals. The Twins dominate support in the north, and the Cubs are popular in the eastern part of the state. There is also some support for the St. Louis Cardinals in southeastern Iowa.
MLB betting includes plenty of props, futures, and live betting that gives you the chance to drill deep into every inning.
Iowa NHL Betting
Hockey fans in Iowa don’t have an NHL franchise to back on the ice, but there are a few good junior hockey teams in the state. The Des Moines Buccaneers and the Dubuque Fighting Saints serve as those representatives.
There’s a three-way split in support from NHL bettors wagering on Iowa sports betting apps. The Minnesota Wild claim a large share of fans in the state. However, the Chicago Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues also attract firm support from NHL fans in Iowa.
Iowa College & High School Betting
Iowa boasts four strong college football programs. University of Iowa’s Hawkeyes are the most successful. Founded in 1899, they have won multiple National and Conference Championships. The Iowa Hawkeyes maintain an intense rivalry with the Iowa State Cyclones from the other side of the state. The Northern Iowa Panthers serve as another proud Iowa football program, as David Johnson and Kurt Warner are notable alumni.
There have been concerns in many states, including Iowa about the potential effects of sports betting on the integrity of collegiate sports. To address these concerns, Iowa legislators set rules to limit the potential risks. Although some states ban bets on college sports, Iowa allows them.
You are now allowed to bet on any college athlete that is under 18. Even if part of a team, any wagers on the specific athlete or events related to them are automatically disabled. This age restriction naturally means that betting on high school sports in Iowa is not allowed. In addition, prop betting and live bets are now allowed on any events where an Iowa college team is competing.
Iowa Major Sports Partnerships
One of the most interesting things that follow the expansion of legal betting in the US is the turnaround in the attitude of sports leagues and organizations. Before the Supreme Court’s ruling of May 2018 that PASPA is unconstitutional, Nevada had a monopoly on sports betting. Back then, most sports organizations were vocally concerned about sports betting. But that attitude has changed completely. Heads of major sports leagues openly announce they support legal betting, and leagues, teams, and sports bodies are rushing to sign up with betting operators.
The lack of major league franchises in Iowa means that there has been limited scope for this type of partnership within the state. However, several Iowa sportsbook operators have signed up with neighboring franchises, including DraftKings with the Chicago Cubs, PointsBet with the Chicago Bears, and BetMGM with the Minnesota Vikings.
Sports Betting Bonuses Available In Iowa
The sports betting industry is extremely competitive. To ensure maximum market share, Iowa sports betting apps reward bettors with a range of bonuses. Some deals are exclusive to new players only, but there are plenty of rewards available for regular bettors. These are the most popular bonus offers in Iowa:
- Welcome Offer: Almost every sportsbook app offers a welcome bonus. It can be anything from a free bet to a substantial deposit match. For example, DraftKings is offering a bonus up to $1,000 on your first deposit.
- Sign-Up Bonus: Sportsbooks offer a sign-up bonus to new players who just opened an account. The operator typically credits the bonus as soon as the customer finishes their registration.
- Deposit Bonus: The sportsbook will credit your account with bonus money when you make a deposit. This usually comes as a percentage of your deposit. For example, FanDuel offers a 20% match bonus. If you deposit $500, they will grant you an extra $100 to bet with.
- Risk-Free Bets: Everyone likes the idea of a risk-free bet. Here’s how it works: if you win the bet, you keep those winnings. If you lose the bet, you’ll get your money back.
- Odds Boost: An offer in which the sportsbook increases the odds on specific sporting events or markets to make the wager more attractive to bettors.
- Event Bonus: Major sporting events such as the Super Bowl are golden opportunities for sportsbooks to attract new customers. They often offer generous promotions that can only be placed on these games.
- Loyalty Rewards: Most sportsbooks run a loyalty program to reward their returning players. They award loyalty points for simply placing bets. These points count towards a VIP system that entitles them to benefits such as exclusive bonuses, personalized gifts, and private customer support.
Iowa Sports Betting Safety & Trustworthiness
Regulating and safeguarding the integrity of sports betting has been a key factor in drawing the sports betting regulations in Iowa.
All Iowa sportsbook apps are overseen by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) that governs all sports betting sectors in Iowa. The IRGC was also involved in drafting the rules and regulations that govern the sector, dealing with license applications, and ensuring that all sports betting apps in the state conform to these rules.
To get a betting operator license in Iowa, companies must undergo strict due diligence checks. They need to prove to the IRGC that they can follow regulations like data protection, technical infrastructure, customer safety, and financial security. The IRGC carries out regular checks, and it has the power to take action. They make sure rules are followed and bettors are protected.
Iowa bettors have additional reassurance with the rule that requires all Iowa sportsbook operators to maintain ring-fenced accounts for paying out winning players. This means that no matter the operator’s financial condition, winners will be paid out the money they are entitled to receive.
Iowa Sports Betting FAQs
For newcomers, sports betting can be a bit confusing. So here are answers to a few Iowa sportsbook apps issues that players frequently raise:
What sports bets are legal in Iowa?
Most standard sports bets are legal in Iowa. Iowa sports betting apps allow you to place moneylines, spread bets, futures, props, round robins, teasers, and live betting. Iowa sportsbook apps let you bet on everything from darts to weightlifting, but the best coverage is reserved for US major sports.
Can I bet on college sports in Iowa?
Yes, you can. Although betting on college sports is restricted in some states, Iowa sports betting apps allow you to bet on state college teams. However, you cannot bet on any college athlete younger than 18, and prop bets and live bets on Iowa college teams are not allowed.
Can I also bet on sports in person in Iowa?
Yes, in addition to online and mobile betting, Iowa also offers in-person betting at sportsbook venues located in many of the 19 land-based casinos across the state.
Are more sportsbook apps coming to Iowa?
Probably. The current regulations allow up to 19 operator licenses for Iowa sportsbook apps. There is a limit on the number of operators that can enter the Hawkeye State. But many more companies are showing interest in Iowa, so more sportsbook apps are expected.
How do I make a complaint with a legal sportsbook app in Iowa?
The first step to take when making a complaint with a legal sportsbook in Iowa is to contact the sportsbook app operator directly. If you still cannot get the complaint resolved, the next step will be contacting the IRGC who oversees Iowa sportsbook apps.