Iowa Sports Betting

Iowa sports betting was legalized in May 2019, 28 years after it was banned under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act by the US Supreme Court. By August 2019, both live and retail sports betting was officially “live,” with William Hill launching Iowa’s first legal sportsbook. It’s regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. 

In 2020, sports bettors still need to visit brick and mortar casinos in order to register with specific sportsbook apps but betting options include all pro sporting events, as well as international sports and college games. You need to be inside state lines to place a bet, and you must be aged 21 and over. 

This article will take a closer look at everything to do with Iowa sports betting. We’ll be taking a look at the best sportsbooks, the legality of Iowan sports betting, and we’ll be answering your most popular questions with an FAQ at the end of the article. 

Online Sports Betting In Iowa

Top 5 Legal Sports Betting Sites

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1

William Hill

  • Match deposit welcome bonus up to $50
  • Top-notch cashout feature
  • Huge amount of sports covered
  • 80 years worth of experience

2

DraftKings

  • $25 risk-free no-deposit welcome bonus
  • Slick user interface
  • 13 different sports covered
  • Daily Fantasy Sports available

3

PointsBet

  • $250 worth of free bets when you first sign up
  • Bet builder available
  • Massive payouts/sharp odds
  • Excellent feature called PointsBetting unique to this app

4

FanDuel

  • Risk-free bet up to $500 for new players
  • Lots of banking options
  • More futures bets than at most other sites
  • Daily Fantasy Sports available

5

Elite

  • 100% risk-free bet up to $500 for new players
  • Good mobile client
  • Easy site navigation
  • Native to Iowa

How Online Sports Betting Works In Iowa 

Iowa Sports Betting Launch 

The origins of Iowa sports betting can be traced all the way back to 1992, when it was banned under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. In May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court adjudged this Act to be unconstitutional and set the wheels in motion for the legalization of sports betting in the state. 

A year later in 2019, Iowa introduced a fresh gambling legislation. Not long afterwards, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the legislation into law. 

In August 2019, Iowa retail and mobile sports betting was officially launched when sportsbooks and apps went live for the first time. However, Iowan’s still have to register in-person with a brick and mortar casino before they can place wagers on any sports betting app. This requirement will remain law until January 2021. 

How To Bet On Sports 

Sports betting has been illegal for so long in Iowa that many Iowans might be wondering how to bet on sports.

Fortunately, it’s really simple and can be done in just a few steps:

  • First, choose a legal sports betting site that looks right for you, such as DraftKings sportsbook
  • Then, register your account at a local casino
  • Once your account is up and running, make your first deposit
  • Grab any welcome bonus that’s on offer
  • Find your favorite sport
  • Take a look at the various betting markets and betting options
  • Decide on a match you want to bet on
  • Take a closer look at the odds to see if the bet is worth it
  • Enter a stake
  • Press ‘place bet’

Which Iowa Casinos Have Sportsbooks?

There are 19 commercial casinos in Iowa, and at the time of writing 18 of them have launched sportsbooks. It’s highly anticipated that by the end of the year, the remaining nineteenth will have opened one, too. 

Here is a list of all 18 Iowa casinos that have sportsbooks:

  • Ameristar – Kambi
  • Catfish Bend Casino –
  • PointsBet
  • Isle Bettendorf – William Hill
  • Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo – William Hill
  • Lakeside Hotel Casino – William Hill
  • Prairie Meadows – William Hill
  • Rhythm City Casino – Elite, Bet.Works
  • Riverside Casino Golf Resort – Elite, Bet.Works
  • Harrah’s
  • Horseshoe Casino
  • Q Casino – IGT
  • Hard Rock – Gaming Innovation Group
  • Diamond Jo Casino Dubuque – Bet, FanDuel
  • Diamond Jo Worth – BetFair, FanDuel
  • Wild Rose Casino Clinton – DraftKings
  • Wild Rose Casinos Emmetsburg – DraftKings
  • Wild Rose Jefferson – DraftKings
  • Grand Falls Casino – Elite, Bet.Works, BetFred
  • Casino Queen Marquette

Iowa Online Betting Partnerships 

Iowa is a bit different from other states in that sports betting licenses are only available to local casinos. This means that sportsbooks can only operate and accept sports wagering in Iowa if they partner with one of these businesses. 

We’ve listed above the online betting partnerships but it’s also worth mentioning that online operators are permitted to partner with numerous license holders. This allows the likes of DraftKings more room in the market. 

Moreover, the barrows to market entry are remarkably low, with a sports betting license costing just $45,000. The tax rate, meanwhile, is set at just 6.75%. This is highly beneficial to sports bettors because low tax rates mean that the betting sites can set more attractive odds. 

What Can You Bet On Right Now In Iowa? 

You can bet on all pro sports in Iowa, as well as college sports. You can also bet on local teams – both pro and college teams – such as Iowa’s most popular college teams, including Iowa State. However, you can’t place wagers on individual player props that involve state school games. 

Anyone who lives in Iowa will know, though, how close college football is to any Iowan’s heart, and it’s important to note how hard the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission worked to legalize college sports betting here. As such, local fans and sports bettors will enjoy betting on the likes of Iowa State Cyclones and the University of Iowa Hawkeyes. 

And although Iowa itself doesn’t play host to too many big-name pro teams, it’s no secret that many Iowans fell in love with the Chicago Bulls thanks to Michael Jordan. The Kansas City Chiefs represent a big draw here, too, and you can bet on these teams. 

You can bet on Daily Fantasy Sports, too, such as those offered by DraftKings and FanDuel. 

In terms of the actual sports you can bet on, it really depends on the sportsbook you sign up to. All the best sites, such as those we listed earlier in this article, offer markets for the major U.S. sports, but their exact sports coverage is varied. This is why it’s important that you take the time to research each Iowa sports betting site to make sure they’ve got the sports you want. 

Here are most of the sports you can bet on in Iowa:

  • American football
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Athletics
  • College football
  • Chess
  • Darts
  • eSports
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Snooker
  • Table tennis
  • Boxing
  • WWE
  • Handball
  • Cricket
  • Cycling
  • Hockey
  • Horse racing
  • Netball
  • Pool
  • Soccer
  • Formula 1
  • Beach volleyball
  • Bowls
  • Aussie Rules
  • Badminton
  • Bandy
  • Greyhounds
  • Rugby league
  • Rugby union
  • Ice hockey
  • MMA/UFC
  • Motorsports
  • GAA
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

You can also bet on all the major worldwide sporting events, including March Madness, the World Series (MLB), the Super Bowl (NFL), the Stanley Cup (NHL) and the European Champions League (soccer). 

Away from sports, other things you can wager on include politics and entertainment, including the American election and reality TV shows. 

What Bets Are Available At Iowa Sportsbooks? 

Iowa sportsbooks offer a comprehensive selection of betting options. If you’re new to sports betting and looking to get started, here are the most popular types of bets you’ll find:

  • Moneyline – More popular with American sports bettors than any other type of bet, the moneyline bet is super simple: All you’re doing is wagering on who will win a particular match. For example, you might have the Dodgers to beat the Yankees. It doesn’t matter by how many points they win by – all they need to do is win.
  • Point spread – The point spread is similar to the moneyline bet, but with added complexity. Essentially, before a game starts, a betting site chooses a favorite and an underdog. Then, they decide on a total number of points the favorite might win by. You must then decide whether you think the total points spread will be higher or lower.

    For instance, let’s say the Lakers are playing the Bulls, and the sportsbook decides the Lakers will win +10 points. If you take this bet, the Lakers can’t just win – they must win by at least 10 points.

    The point spread is harder to get right than the moneyline bet, but it’s popular because the payout is bigger.

  • Over/under bets – The over/under bet is really simple, but it differs slightly for each sport. For example, in an NFL game you will bet on the total number of points scored by both teams, just like you would in the NBA. In tennis, however, you might bet on the total number of games.

    Here’s how it works, using an NBA match as an example: Before the match starts, the sportsbook will decide on a total number of points they think will be accrued by both teams combined. Let’s say the combined total is 185.5. It’s then up to you to decide whether you think the true outcome will be over or under.

    If you understand a sport and have read the latest form and stats, the over/under bet can be profitable over the long term.

  • Futures bets – With a futures bet, you’re wagering on something that will happen sometime in the future. For example, you could bet on a team to win the Super Bowl before the regular NFL season has even started. This type of bet is really exciting and the payoff is often big.

However, Iowans aren’t allowed to bet on player awards, including Rookie Player of the Year. 

As mentioned earlier, a bet that isn’t available in Iowa is props betting on college games. You also can’t bet on the NFL draft, while minor leagues and amateur leagues are also strictly off Iowa limits. 

Taking Advantage of Bonuses and Rewards 

One thing that makes sports betting so appealing (especially to recreational sports bettors) is the bonuses and rewards.

The exact bonuses and rewards vary from betting site to betting site, but here are the most popular types of bonuses and rewards you should look out for:

  • Sign up bonus – Otherwise known as a welcome bonus, the signup bonus is available to new players only. It usually takes the form of a match deposit bonus. For example, William Hill is currently offering a 50% match deposit up to $50.
  • Reload bonus – As well as a welcome bonus, some sites will offer a reload bonus. You can get this bonus by making subsequent deposits, although the exact amount is usually less than the initial welcome bonus.
  • Free bets – Free bets are a common occurrence at online sportsbooks, so make sure to look out for them. These are risk-free bets that are a reward to sports bettors who bet regularly. Typically, they’re small and no more than $1, and they must be used on specific sports.

Iowa Sports Betting Laws

For Iowan sports bettors, the sports betting laws are fairly simple. You must be aged 21 or over in order to legally place a bet, and you must register in-person at a physical casino before you start gambling on any mobile sports betting app. For now, this is the law until January 2021. 

However, prop betting is not permitted if it involves in-state college teams. 

It’s also worth noting that you need to allow geolocation on your mobile device so that you’re able to verify that you’re using an app that’s fully licensed in Iowa. Moreover, it’s illegal for any individuals who participate in sporting events, such as coaches and players, to place any bet, regardless of whether they’re actively involved in a particular event or not. 

For sportsbooks and casinos, there are a few extra specifics that you need to bear in mind. These include a $45,000 license fee and the fact that two unique sportsbook apps will be allowed to operate under the same license. Meanwhile, the tax rate on revenue is currently set at 6.75%. 

Iowa Sports Betting FAQ 

Is Sports Betting In Iowa Legal? 

Yes, sports betting has been legal in Iowa since 2019 when Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill. Licensed casinos are now permitted to accept wagers on pro and college sports. 

When Can Iowa Residents Start Placing Bets? 

Iowan residents can start placing bets as soon as they’ve successfully signed up to a legal sportsbook and made their first deposit. 

How Old Do You Have To Be To Legally Bet In Iowa? 

You must be aged 21 years old or over in order to bet in Iowa via betting apps legally.

Is It Legal To Bet On Iowan Sports Teams? 

You can bet on pro and college Iowan sports teams. However, you can’t bet on amateur and minor league teams. For example, while it’s legal to bet on an NBA team, you can’t bet on an Iowan NBA G League team, such as the Iowa Wolves. 

Do I Have To Live In Iowa To Bet Online? 

No, you don’t need to be an Iowa resident but you need to be inside the state lines before you place a bet.

Is Mobile Betting Available In Iowa? 

Yes, mobile betting is available in Iowa. However, until 2021 you must register with a mobile sports betting app in person at one of the state’s 19 licensed casinos. This is a legal requirement. 

Can I Bet Using An Offshore Sportsbook? 

No, you cannot legally bet using an offshore sportsbook as they contradict multiple state laws and federal laws. 

Can I Bet On Horses Racing In Iowa? 

Yes, you can legally bet on horse racing in Iowa, including at the Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack & Hotel, which offers live racing events. 

Just make sure to find a sports betting site that offers a racebook alongside its main sporting events when you want to bet online. 

Final Word On Iowa Sports Betting

Iowan sports betting is fully legal and Iowans can start betting as soon as they’re ready. Just remember to register your betting app with one of the 18 Iowan casino’s first. 

The next step is to take a look at a few betting apps, before deciding which is the right one for you. Then, create an account, grab the welcome bonus – and start betting.

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