Betting laws in the state have evolved significantly over time since their inception. For instance, the law initially didn’t support full-scale online sports betting, designing online wagering to be still attached to physical betting. Punters interested in opening online betting accounts had to do so at a retail betting outlet and undergo the necessary verifications in person.
Nonetheless, the law changed in 2021, allowing wagerers to complete every registration process online. Also, they can conduct everything regarding their betting activities digitally from the comfort of their homes.
The state’s laws have different licenses for online and physical retail sportsbooks. However, it designed the system such that a betting service provider can acquire licenses for both types of betting and offer them side-by-side. It is the system under which most bookmakers in the state operate.
Instead of opening retail outlets, several leading online sportsbooks have teamed up with locally-based tribal casinos to provide sportsbook services using the sportsbook’s platform.
Here, we cover everything you need to know about IA sports betting, including the wagering opportunities and selecting the best online sportsbooks available.
Full List of the Best Iowa Betting Sites
Iowa has at least 18 leading sportsbooks competing for market share in the state’s ever-growing gambling industry. This list contains 10 of the most active Iowa sports betting sites providing online sportsbook services. They include:
While the listed names are mainly online, some have retail sportsbook offerings. Also, note that the above-listed sportsbooks have all received legal permits to operate sports betting services in the state. Completely avoid bookmakers that don’t have the required licenses.
The Best Bonus Betting Deals & Offers
Companies offering online sports betting in Iowa provide bonuses and promotional deals to boost their chances of recording successes while wagering. These bonuses exist in several different forms, but we capture the most popular ones here:
Also called the sign up bonus, the welcome bonus is the most popular bonus type, and bookmakers design them for new wagerers registering with their sportsbooks. Although different types of sign up bonuses exist and have varying aims, the general goal is to create a more pleasant early betting experience for new registrants.
One type of welcome bonus that Iowa sports gambling companies offer is the cash sign up bonus that requires bettors to make an initial deposit, after which the sportsbook will give them an extra amount to complement the amount they deposited. It boosts their betting balance and enables them to stake on more games.
For instance, a sportsbook can create a risk-free bet offer exclusively for new bettors on their platform.
The Guaranteed Bet
Iowa sports betting bonuses can also be in the form of guaranteed bets. Gambling industry participants also call this the “win-win” or “money-back” bet. The central idea is that you get back the funds you staked on a game regardless of the outcome. For instance, if the bet turns out to be a win, the bettor doesn’t need the bonus. However, if it ends as a loss, the bookmaker replenishes its account with the lost funds.
The role that odds play in betting is vital as they determine the payout figure that a bettor gets when their bets end up as winnings. Typically, the betting company calculates the amount they receive by multiplying the fund they staked times the odds attached to that game.
For example, if the odds for a game read 1.20 and they risked $50 for it, their payout will be $1,000.
Iowa sportsbooks introduced the odds boost to significantly increase the odds that bettors would normally get on a particular game. As an illustration, if the typical odds for a winning bet on a match between the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons is 1.5, an odds boost offer can give wagerers 1.15 odds for such a game. It will boost the potential amount they will get if their bets turn out correctly.
The deals available for bettors don’t end at their initial or sign up phases. IA sports betting sites have several bonus offerings to reward and improve the betting of existing wagerers on their platforms.
Like the welcome bonus, the reload bonuses come in different forms. For instance, the reload deposit bonus boosts the funds that wagerers commit to their betting accounts, giving them a slightly larger balance to stake with. They frequently offer these added funds as percentages of the amount the bettor deposits. Note that the particular percentage figure is usually smaller than what punters get at sign up.
The reload bonus can also be a free bet, odds boost or win-win bonus. You should note that in some cases, certain reload bonus offerings may not always be available to all long-standing. Bookmakers providing legal sports betting in Iowa may identify their more active customers to grant them these bonus deals.
Things to Note About Bonus Deals
There are a few key pieces of information to remember when taking on deals that Iowa sportsbooks offer. One is the maximum amount on offer, which is the highest figure you can get from the bonus. For instance, a sportsbook may present a 100% initial deposit bonus and place a maximum cap of $1,000. If your first deposit is $2,000, don’t expect more than $1,000 in rewards.
Other things to note about bonuses include the wagering requirements and validity periods.
Choose Your Bet of the Day in Iowa
One attractive thing about wagering in Iowa is that betting opportunities abound, including tournaments based within Iowa and those played elsewhere in the US. Iowa sports betting apps have committed significant efforts to make these top-notch opportunities available to wagerers.
Bet on Sport
Iowa residents are avid sports lovers and closely follow games played locally, nationally and in other countries, ranking among the top 10 US states that watch sports the most. However, among the several sporting types, football seems to be the most popular, although basketball, golf, volleyball and tennis also command a huge following in the state.
Several Iowans express their passion for sports by wagering on their favourite teams and games.
Bet on Competitions
Because of its small size, Iowa doesn’t see much major league sporting action. Nonetheless, the state’s residents are fans of major league teams in neighboring states, some of whom use sporting facilities as their home stadiums.
What the state lacks in significant league presence, it possesses in minor league activity, with many teams across several competitions. In addition, the state, fortunately, didn’t outlaw college betting, presenting another avenue for savvy wagerers.
Bet on Tournaments
If you reside in Iowa, you may miss out on top major league games featuring teams played in the state. However, you can extend your support to teams in nearby states like Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, etc.
If you prefer to be focused on teams based in Iowa, you can check out the several minor leagues in which the state’s teams feature. These include the United States Hockey League, the United States Soccer League Two, the National Basketball Association (NBA) G League, Midwest Hockey League, etc.
For collegiate sports, there are indications that Iowa is a top-performing state, with most of its college teams appearing at the upper levels of the NCAA and other prestigious school sports tournaments.
Bet on Teams
Iowa has no major league team but that hasn’t deterred the state’s residents from following these tournaments. Some Iowans attend games played by teams based in neighboring states, and research shows they have favourites among them. Minnesota Timberwolves or the Milwaukee Bucks are popular among Iowa basketball fans, while the Kansas City Royals, Chicago Cubs, and Minnesota Twins hold sway in baseball. Iowa bettors in football prefer the Minnesota Vikings or the Kansas City Chiefs.
Even though it lacks a major league presence, the state is making a statement in the minor leagues. The Iowa Timberwolves are recognised names in the NBA G League, constantly winning divisional titles and featuring at the upper levels of the championship. Although they recently joined the league, the Iowa Wild and Cedar Rapids Roughriders also sway in the American Hockey League. Other teams include the Burlington Bees and Cedar Rapids Kernels in baseball and the Des Moines Menace in football.
Iowa is also doing good work in the collegiate sporting arena, with its teams serving as a good foundational preparation ground for talent in the professional leagues. The state’s teams include the award-winning Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Drake Bulldogs and Northern Iowa Panthers. These teams feature in the major sporting types across top NCAA Divisions and other collegiate events.
The Legal Situation of Online Sports Betting in Iowa
The timeline for betting becoming legal in Iowa dates back to May 2018, when the US Supreme Court outlawed the PASPA Act that had held down betting activities in the United States for at least two decades. With the law out of the way, the power fell on states to choose whether or not to permit wagering in their territories and to develop the legal structure to regulate betting activities if they decide to legalize wagering.
Deliberations for a comprehensive betting law in Iowa started in the Iowan Senate, resulting in the passing of the SF-617 in April 2019 and its signing into law the following month.
National and local sports betting brands quickly applied for and secured licenses to provide services to the ready punters in Iowa. Elite Sportsbook and William Hill led the way, followed soon by PointsBet and BetMGM.
IA Sports Betting Bill
The legal framework for betting in Iowa is the SF-617, which oversees regulation for everything related to sports betting, fantasy sports, casinos and the rule of the entities that make these services available to the public.
The law allows for both retail and online sports betting, with the option of mobile wagering for digital-savvy players. Originally, the law stipulated a provision requiring everyone to register physically at a retail casino or sportsbook outlet regardless of the betting style they intended to carry out.
However, the state’s authorities retired the law in 2021, meaning that users can now do everything related to betting without having to leave the comfort of their homes. Wagering in the state has since taken off massively, with a corresponding huge impact on the finances the state derives from betting activities.
Fortunately, the state permits wagering in collegiate sports but prohibits “prop bets” on in-state games played by college teams based in the state.
The body that is in charge of enforcing these laws and regulating sports betting IA companies is the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC). The IRGC issues licenses to all the players in the Iowa betting market. It ensures that they adhere to the law’s rules and that these companies uphold customers’ interests (bettors).
Sports Gambling Taxes in IA
The federal government regards your betting winnings as income and levies a 24% tax on them. The Iowan state government shares this sentiment and requires bettors to pay an extra 5% tax. Federal and state taxes will only apply when the amount exceeds $600.
What Is the Sports Gambling Age in Iowa?
You must be at least 21 years old to legally make bets in the state.
How to Choose the Best Bookmakers in Iowa
It is not easy to tell which is the best bookmaker in Iowa because there are several possible names. But some features are standard across these top sportsbooks. We cover those qualities here:
- Regulatory Status
The most important requirement for every Iowa sportsbook is to be registered with the appropriate authority in the state as a betting service provider. If the sportsbook is licensed to operate in Iowa, it will have to abide by the laws the IRGC sets and would be obligated to take steps to protect its interests.
- Responsive and Helpful Customer Service
There will be several instances when you need to reach out to your betting service provider, increasing the need for highly responsive customer service. The first requirement that the best sportsbook in Iowa has to satisfy is to provide multiple access channels through which customers can reach them, including live chat, an email address, social media handles and probably, a phone number.
- Platform Security
Increased online betting implies that the platforms built by the various bookmakers will hold their customers’ sensitive data, including personally identifying information and financial details.
The customers concerned can see themselves exposed to a great deal of harm if such information falls into the hands of malicious actors. Thus, bookmakers must pay a lot of attention to platform security. Ideally, the best sportsbook in Iowa uses the latest cybersecurity systems and has undergone security checks by third-party security experts.
- Betting Coverage
With the best sportsbook in Iowa, you should be able to select a game and wager on any tournament anywhere in the world. This seamless access to games should also extend to less popular sporting types, giving bettors good options from which they can choose.
- Value-adding Services
Betting platforms have advanced their service focus to provide features that boost their customers’ chances of success at wagering.
Some features help reduce losses, like the cash out option, while others make it possible for wagerers to record more winnings as the odds boost.
Which Iowa Bookmaker Has the Best Odds?
We know that odds are important in determining the value you get from winning bets. Thus, looking out for bookmakers that offer high and rewarding odds is good.
However, while doing so, you need to be careful. Iowa sports betting odds fluctuate regularly because bookmakers in the state frequently change how they set their odds. The best thing to do is study different bookmakers for a considerable period using the same sports and games and then select which provides consistent odds across various sports and events.
Deposit Methods at Iowa Sportsbooks
Iowa sports betting apps have adopted different payment methods to ensure wagerers have a smooth experience conducting deposits and other transactions. These include:
- Bank Account
Multiple options exist if you want to deal directly through your bank, including wire transfers, online banking, and cheques (physical/online).
Debit/credit cards powered by the major card processors will work with almost all sportsbooks. If your bookmaker offers a Play+ card, you should get it because it provides the services of an E-wallet and card rolled into one.
Apps like PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, etc., are also great as they are fast and don’t charge too many fees.
Withdrawal Methods at Iowa Sportsbooks
Like deposits, Iowa sports betting sites have also fine-tuned the withdrawal process to enable bettors to get their funds out without hassles.
- Bank Account
Online banking, wire and ACH transfers and cheques are available if you want to move funds from your betting account directly to your bank account.
If you go with the card option, the sportsbook can send the withdrawn funds to the bank account attached to your card.
When you withdraw to PayPal, Skrill or Neteller, you can use the funds directly from the wallets or send them to your bank.
Note that several sportsbooks require that your withdrawal methods are exactly the ones used during deposits.
Best IA Sports Betting Apps
No Iowa sportsbook app is the absolute best, as each has its pros and cons. Nonetheless, Iowa’s best sports betting apps have certain features in common, including intuitive design, strong build, top-notch security, and frequent updates.
Iowa Live Betting & Streaming
From the onset, Iowa sports betting companies have made the live betting feature on their platforms, enabling bettors to wager on any event at any time during the game.
The best sports betting apps in Iowa have also added a live streaming service allowing punters to watch games as they unfold live.
Local IA Bookmakers Vs Online Betting Sites
Iowa betting laws allow retail sportsbooks and online betting sites to operate in the state, from which bettors can select. If you’re considering which one to choose, it is best to go for online sportsbooks for many reasons.
One is that they offer stress-free services, as you can carry out any betting related from the comfort of your home, including registration, deposits and withdrawals and customer service.
Then, each online sportsbook in Iowa provides attractive bonuses, including odds boosts and free bets.
How to Win at Betting in Iowa
There are no specific strategies to succeed at betting in Iowa, but the tips discussed here have helped several wagerers over time:
- Take Advantage of Innovative Features
Iowa sports gambling providers are constantly introducing new services to improve their customers’ user experiences and increase their chances of continued recording successes. One such service is the live bet, where you can bet on games that have started, reducing your risks since you can now make more accurate guesses of how the matches will turn out.
- Acquire Sufficient Knowledge
You need to know about events or tournaments on which you wish to make bets. You achieve this by following the competition and the teams involved for a considerable period getting to know the stronger teams and their chances of success per game.
- Learn As You Go
The more bets you make, the more experienced you become. You must imbibe that experience and use it to get better. Learn from your wins, remembering the strategies that fueled those wins. Also, take note of losses and the mistakes that caused them.
- Shop Around for Betting Offers
Each online sportsbook IA announces bonuses and odds that will boost your balance and winnings. So, don’t stick to only one sportsbook.
The Most Active Betting Cities in Iowa
Sports betting has taken off in Iowa, but the action seems to be concentrated around certain areas led by Des Moines. The state capital also doubles as the state’s most populated city and sporting arena, hosting the state’s leading professional teams.
Cedar Rapids is second in population and sporting activity, featuring notable sides.
Other active cities in the state include Davenport and Iowa City, both being populated metros and known betting clusters.
IA Casinos With Sportsbooks
Iowa allows for retail and online gambling, making it possible for a single entity to acquire a license to provide both services. Top casinos have keyed into the opportunity, partnering with top sportsbooks to offer retail sportsbook services to Iowans.
Harrah’s Casino has an agreement with Caesars to offer its products in its units, exposing them to one of the best live betting service providers in the US.
The Catfish Bend Casino will allow Iowans to enjoy the attractive odds and welcome bonuses for which PointsBet is known. All Wild Rose Casino locations in Iowa are spaces to take advantage of the leading daily fantasy sports offering from DraftKings.
Other casino-sportsbook partnerships include FanDuel and Diamond Jo, William Hill and Lakeside Casino.
Iowa has a commendable concentration of the finest betting service providers anywhere in America. Conducting legal sports betting in Iowa exposes one to the top-of-the-range offerings for which these sportsbooks are known.
Here are a few things you might like to know about Iowa:
- One of America’s 50 states and districts, it, unfortunately, doesn’t rank among the most populated, sitting 32nd on the list with 3 million people.
- The leading cities in the state include Des Moines, Davenport, Iowa City, Sioux City, and Cedar Rapids.
- The state’s inhabitants mostly speak English, but a decent fraction is also versed in Spanish and French.
- The leading sportsbooks that have acquired licenses to operate in the state include Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, Barstool Sportsbook, etc.
- Casinos that also have a retail sportsbook unit (mostly through partnerships) include Harrah’s (Caesars), Catfish Bend (PointsBet), Wild Rose (DraftKings), Diamond Jo (FanDuel), etc.
- Iowans mainly carry out financial transactions relating to their betting accounts through their bank account, cards and E-wallets.
- Sports lovers in Iowa mostly love football but have significant interests in basketball, golf, tennis and volleyball.
- The state has no major league teams, but there are a ton of minor league competitions in which teams from the state heavily feature.
- The state’s professional teams include the Iowa Timberwolves (basketball), Iowa Wild (hockey), Cedar Rapids Roughriders (hockey), Burlington Bees (baseball), and Des Moines Menace (football).
- Iowa’s collegiate sporting sides include the Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Drake Bulldogs, Northern Iowa Panthers, etc.
- Top sportspeople that have emerged from the state include names like Omari Spellman (football), Sam Anas (hockey), Jeff Costello (hockey), Juan Abreu (baseball), and Lance Rozeboom (soccer).
- One commendable feature of wagering in Iowa is how the state has seamlessly balanced retail and online sports betting, making it possible for players to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Even though Iowa may not be the most renowned sporting center in the US, it has a remarkable betting scene. Interested wagerers can make bets both online and in retail stores. Thankfully, the state opens the betting licenses for both types of betting to all sportsbooks, so bettors don’t need to change their betting service provider.
We have provided every information you need when selecting online sports betting sites in Iowa.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Iowa allow online sports betting?
Yes. Players can register with licensed sportsbooks and place wagers online from their homes.
What sports betting apps are in Iowa?
There are at least 18 active sportsbook apps in Iowa, including DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, BetRivers, Barstool, etc.
Is BetMGM available in Iowa?
Yes. It offers online and physical sports betting in the state.
Is DraftKings sportsbook legal in Iowa?
Yes. It is available online and in Wild Rose (its retail partner) casinos statewide.
Is Barstool sportsbook in Iowa?
Yes. Barstool is available for mobile betting, and wagerers can also walk into Ameristar Casinos for a physical betting experience.