IA Betting Guide
People in Iowa love their sports; however, they don’t have many options when it comes to professional sports teams. Fortunately, Iowa residents have a lot of passion for their college teams throughout the state.
Iowa provides those interested in sports betting with many different options in terms of sportsbooks. If you’re an Iowa resident and want to get started betting, check out our guide below before making your first bets.
Is Sports Betting Legal In Iowa?
In April of 2019, SF617, the bill to legalize sports betting in the state of Iowa, easily passed the Senate and the House. A month later, it was signed by Governor Kim Reynolds, and in August of 2019, retail and online sports betting went live in Iowa.
It wasn’t yet perfect, as Iowans who wanted to register for an online or mobile sportsbook had to do so in-person at a retail location. But thankfully, that changed in January 2021, when the law was amended to allow online sportsbook registration.
Now all Iowans, and people visiting Iowa, can place legal sports bets inside the state no matter how close they’re to a retail sportsbook.
How To Start Betting In Iowa
Opening a sports betting account and placing legal wagers in Iowa is easy, now that bettors are allowed to create their accounts online.
First, you need to choose one of the legal sportsbooks in Iowa in which to create an account. Almost all available sportsbooks offer deposit bonuses and registration gifts, like free bets, so do your research and find the best fit for you. A good fit also includes the types of bets you like to place. If you’re big into UFC, make sure to register with a sportsbook that offers a wide range of UFC and MMA events.
Once you’ve chosen a betting site, register for an account either on their website or mobile sportsbook app. All you need to do is fill in the requested information – name, address, email address, phone number – and there may be a request for a portion of your social security number so they can confirm your identity and age.
Once you’ve got an account, you’re ready to make an initial deposit. Most sportsbooks in Iowa take payment through credit and debit cards, online wallets like PayPal, ACH bank transfer, prepaid gaming cards, or cash at a retail location.
Once that’s done, good luck with your first wager.
The Best Licensed Sportsbooks In Iowa
Since sports betting became legal in Iowa in 2019, a number of top sportsbooks have entered the market.
The daily fantasy sports giant turned all-around sports betting behemoth came to Iowa as a sportsbook in 2020. DraftKings in Iowa has three retail partner locations – the three Wild Rose properties in Clinton, Emmetsburg, and Jefferson. Along with allowing bettors to wager on games and fantasy sports in one location, DraftKings is known for large bonus offers.
Arriving in Iowa in January of 2021, BetMGM partnered with a retail sportsbook at the Diamond Jo Worth Casino. Along with being one of the biggest names in gaming in the world, BetMGM brings its award-winning MGM Rewards to Iowa sports bettors.
Joining the Iowa sports betting scene in September of 2020, FanDuel is another one of the daily fantasy sports giants that’ve turned into a full-service sportsbook. You can find the FanDuel retail sportsbook at the Diamond Jo Casino, and their online and mobile sportsbook is one of the best in the business.
Owned by Rush Street Interactive, which makes its home in Chicago, BetRivers came across the Mississippi River in the early part of 2021. Partnered with the Wild Rose Casino, which is also partnered with DraftKings, BetRivers only has online offerings in Iowa. But their online and mobile sportsbook is one of the best, and they do offer an excellent rewards program.
Operating as William Hill when it first came to Iowa, the Caesars sportsbook has been in Iowa since the first day of legal sports betting. Their footprint in the state is huge, with retail partnerships with six casinos and racinos – Isle Bettendorf, Isle Casino Hotel Waterloos, Lakeside Casino, Prairie Meadows Racetrack, Harrah’s Council Bluffs, and Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs.
The Australian sportsbook that’s changed the way we bet has been in Iowa since 2019. With PointsBetting, you can get paid more on bigger wins, and that type of betting has proven popular across the country. In Iowa, Pointsbet has a retail partnership with the Catfish Bend Casino.
Iowa Gambling Restrictions & Rules
As with other states that have legalized sports betting, you must be at least 21 years old to place sports bets in Iowa. Because sports betting laws are unique to each individual state, if you’re placing wagers through an Iowa-based sportsbook, you must be within Iowa state lines when making those bets.
You don’t need to be an Iowa resident to be a customer at Iowa sportsbooks. If you’re in Iowa, but from another state or country, you can still register for an account, make deposits, and place legal wagers.
Licenses Recognized In Iowa
There are currently 19 licensed casinos in Iowa, and each of them can have up to three sportsbook partners.
License holders and their sportsbook partners are:
- Ameristar Council Bluffs – theScore Bet
- Casino Queen Marquette – Fubo Sportsbook
- Catfish Bend – PointsBet
- Diamond Jo – FanDuel
- Diamond Jo Worth – BetMGM
- Grand Falls – Elite Sportsbook
- Hard Rock Sioux City – Hard Rock Sportsbook
- Harrah’s Council Bluffs – Caesars
- Horseshoe Council Bluffs – Caesars
- Lakeside Casino – DRF Sportsbook
- Isle Bettendorf – Caesars
- Isle Waterloo – Caesars
- Prairie Meadows – Caesars
- Q Dubuque – Q Sportsbook
- Rhythm City Dubuque – Elite Sportsbook
- Riverside Casino – Elite Sportsbook
- Wild Rose Clinton – DraftKings
- Wild Rose Emmetsburg – DraftKings
- Wild Rose Jefferson – DraftKings
Each of these 19 casinos can have a retail sportsbook operator and up to two online and mobile sports betting partners, meaning the options in Iowa could grow to as many as 38 online and mobile sportsbooks in the state.
Unless the laws change, or more casinos are allowed to open in the state, that’s the maximum number of licensed sportsbooks that can open in Iowa.
Responsible Gaming Organizations That Operate In Iowa
Recognizing that the expansion of sports betting is likely to expand issues with gambling problems, the Iowa state gaming laws make specific provisions to promote responsible gaming.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has links on its website to the National Council on Problem Gambling, and the many resources they offer to addicted gamblers.
There’s a self-exclusion program in Iowa that’s run by the IRGC, and gamblers can opt-in to the program online or at any of the 19 casinos in the state. They also run the Iowa Gambling Treatment Program.
The Iowa Department of Health has set up a toll-free number: 1-800-BETS-OFF, and the many Caesars properties in the state sponsor their own programs, Operation Bet Smart and Project 21.
How To Know A Sportsbook Is Safe
If you place your wagers with one of the licensed sportsbooks in Iowa, your money and identity are kept as safe as possible. These sportsbooks have undergone rigorous vetting by the regulatory agency, and have paid a hefty license fee for the privilege of operating in Iowa.
They’re also all required to carry the responsible gaming seal at the top of each online page, which makes it easy for you to identify which sportsbooks are regulated and operating legally in the state. You can also find the list of legal sportsbooks on the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission’s website.
If a sportsbook says that you can place bets from outside Iowa, it is operating offshore, and it isn’t safe.
What To Do If You Encounter Sports Betting Problems In Iowa
Because you were smart and you only placed bets with legally operating sportsbooks in Iowa, you automatically have redressed through the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission should a problem arise. It’s unlikely that you’ll face an issue with payment, or a bet not being honoured, but no matter the problem, you can contact the commission and file a complaint.
The IRGC will investigate your claim, and it’ll be responsible for mediating between you and the sportsbook or casino involved.
Available Sports in IA
We provide betting picks for free and from professional handicappers on Basketball, Soccer, Ice Hockey, Baseball, and Soccer, including MLS and international leagues and tournaments. Of course, we cover all major leagues in the U.S., NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB. Don’t forget to compare the odds between the different sportsbooks we’re partnered with before you place your bets.