Can Iowa Break Big Ten West’s Big Ten Title Game Drought?
Christopher Boan - Dec 1, 2023
Sports betting is live and legal in Iowa with plenty of online sportsbooks to choose from. At IowaBets.com, you'll find everything you need to know to help you choose the right one for you. Take your pick of the best Iowa sports betting offers available at trusted Iowa betting sites.
There are plenty of sportsbooks to choose between in Iowa. Lucky for you, we ranked the seven best Iowa sportsbooks you should consider.
We have some of the best experts in the US writing, analyzing and explaining Iowa sports betting and casino news. We talk to the industry, regulators and law makers so that you always know what's going on and what's coming up.
Here is everything you need to know about Iowa sports betting in a quick glance. Read on for more details.
|✅ Is Sports betting Legal in IA?||Yes, online and in person|
|🚨 Latest Sports Betting News||ESPN BET Launched Nov 14|
|🔥 Number of Online Sportsbooks in IA||19|
|🚀 IA Sportsbooks Coming Soon||Fanatics Sportsbook|
|⚖ IA Sports Betting Regulator||iowa Racing and Gaming Commission|
|📅 Last Verified||December 2023|
This is your guide to the top Iowa sports betting sites. There are 19 online sportsbooks operating in the Hawkeye State according to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. We rank the top seven for you.
Much of the reason that these operators are in the top seven, are because of the various Iowa sportsbook promos that are offered.
The ESPN BET sportsbook is the newest member to the Iowa sports betting scene. The highly anticipated brand welcomes a generous welcome offer of Bet Anything Get $250 in Bonus Bets with code REPORT.
Long before the world of online casinos and sports betting existed, MGM had already established itself as one of, if not the biggest names in gambling and entertainment. The organization has always put customers first, and their sports betting app reflects that priority. A clean layout, well-designed parlay builder and excellent bet tracking features, combined with a fairly low vig and many exclusive wagers, make BetMGM Iowa a great place to play. Plus, an exclusive "Edit My Bet" feature takes the early cash-out option to the next level, allowing bettors to swap, delete or add to parlay bets while one or more legs are still undecided.
After their welcome bonus has been claimed, players will also often find no-strings-attached bonus bets in their accounts. These can be used on any bet, with any odds, and they're a great, risk-free way to try different types of bets or bet on sports you normally wouldn't. And we'd be doing you a disservice if we didn't mention the highly rated MGM MLife Rewards program, which earns you credit towards perks and extras for all your betting (in-person or online), dining and stays with MGM-affiliated properties and apps.
Available in eight states, including Iowa, the Betway IA Sportsbook is a European company that provides online casino games and sports betting to people in Europe, North America, South America and even Africa. Since being founded in 2006, they've become an industry leader, known for sponsoring a range of high-profile leagues, teams and individual athletes.
Like Bet365, the selection of betting options reflects the company's European roots, but fans of the major North American leagues will find everything they want to wager on, too. Though the design of the sportsbook is a bit pared down and simple, a quick and easy interface makes it easy to bet online. There's a rewards program in place that can earn you extra bonus bets, and there are plenty of daily and event-based promos to keep things interesting.
The UK-based Bet365 was founded in the year 2000, without so much as a permanent office. From humble beginnings, the company is now one of the leading gambling brands in the world. In 2018, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to allow individual states to control sports betting, Bet365 began to move their operations across the pond.
The Bet365 Iowa Sportsbook began with an online sportsbook serving New Jersey, and now offers sports wagering in Colorado, Virginia, Ohio and Iowa as well. The current welcome bonus is very generous, the betting options are varied and the performance of the site and app is fast and responsive. If you're a fan of international or more niche sports, you'll find a lot of options on Bet365.
The Boston-based daily fantasy giant has become the go-to sports betting destination for many people around the country, including those in Iowa. Beyond the competitive odds and impressive welcome package (details below), the daily promos and boosts for existing DraftKings Iowa members are hard to beat. You can always find an interesting, fun or valuable bonus for a wide range of sports and competitions – and a good deal of the offers are all three.
A player-friendly layout and menu system complement a wide selection of bet types and sports, leagues and events available to bet on. Although we'd like to see a "light" color scheme option, the site and app are both extremely easy to navigate and everything is very clearly marked.
Neck-and-neck with DraftKings is another big brand that got its start in the DFS world – FanDuel. When it comes to usability, betting options, app performance and competitive odds, FanDuel and DraftKings are very similar. The differences generally come in with the style and frequency of promotions and special offers.
After a welcome offer that grants players $200 in bonus bets simply for placing a $5 wager, FanDuel Sportsbook Iowa has a lower volume of daily bonuses – you may not find a deal to take advantage of every time you log in. However, they offer more frequent reload bonuses, more substantial odds boosts, and some cross-promotional bonuses with their horse racing and casual gaming apps. Some of their biggest odds boosts are tied to the location you're betting from, so Iowa bettors can safely expect to get some specials related to the region's favorite teams.
The BetRivers Iowa Online Sportsbook originated with the well-known Rivers Casinos in Pennsylvania. It's quickly become a very solid option for sports bettors and is already available in a dozen different states. While the current welcome offer is a bit lower in value than some of their competitors, BetRivers Iowa does offer players daily odds boosts, semi-frequent bet insurance promos and a variety of "bet and get" deals.
The iRush Rewards Program is one of the best in the biz, giving players the chance to earn dining rewards, tickets to events, branded swag and more. The app actually got a makeover earlier this year, and the new presentation is well-organized and easy to navigate, with a helpful "stats" tab to give you up-to-date info on any game you're putting money on. Placing bets is simple, and we didn't run into any issues with slowdown or connectivity.
Like MGM, Caesars has also long been a big name in the gambling and entertainment world. Believe it or not, Caesars owns and operates over 50 gaming properties across the U.S. And fortunately, for Iowa sports bettors, they've built a thriving online presence, too.
The Caesars Iowa Sportsbook has one of the most distinctive looks you'll find, setting itself apart with a very clean, bright design and featuring entertainer J.B. Smoove in a number of Roman-inspired costumes. Everything is very light and fun, and many of the promos are built to match that vibe. For instance, they'll occasionally run promos where you can earn bonus bets every time the hockey or baseball team you bet on scores.
There aren't as many existing player offers as you might see elsewhere, but the daily odds boosts and extremely creative bonus offers are very appealing. A smooth, streamlined user interface, good variety of betting options and the chance to earn Caesars Rewards round out a very player-friendly experience.
If you're trying to decide which Iowa sportsbook to sign up for, it can be a tricky decision. They all have different strengths and features that make them stand out.
Well, what if we told you that there's absolutely no reason you need to stick to using a single sports betting app? Though placing all your sports bets with one platform can help some bettors stay organized, there are a whole host of benefits you get from signing up for multiple books.
The first and most obvious advantage is that you can claim a separate welcome bonus at every single sportsbook you sign up for. When you look at the relatively solid value for new player offers, this can be an excellent way to try to build up a bit of a bankroll, which you should be able to move between the platforms without too much trouble. Clearly, no bonus bet or boosted wager is guaranteed to pay out, but the best Iowa sportsbook bonuses certainly do give you a leg up.
Creating an account on multiple platforms also gives you a chance to see which one(s) you prefer, and gives you access to more overall bet types and sports to bet on. The user interface, layout and look of a site or app can definitely enhance or take away from your experience, so it's important to find one you like.
You may prioritize certain features over others, like the daily boosts from the DraftKings Sportsbook or the early cash-out option from BetMGM. In terms of variety, one sportsbook might really emphasize certain prop bets or prop betting in general, while another just gives you more overall options to bet online.
You might find an operator that makes a big splash during college sports tournaments, with special boosts and bonuses you can use with your favorite Iowa teams, like the University of Iowa or Iowa State. But another might have more secondary leagues available year-round, with the best betting options for the Canadian Football League, European basketball or Japanese and Korean baseball.
Finally, being able to place bets with different books lets you shop around for the best odds you can find. One Iowa sports betting app may have a moneyline at +120, but you might find that same team at +140 in another online sportsbook. You can also build the same parlay or same-game parlay in multiple apps to see how the odds compare. The bottom line is that with more places to bet, you give yourself the best chance at finding the most favorable odds for a bet you may well already be set on making.
So why do online sportsbooks have welcome offers and regular promotions? The answer is that they provide value to both the books and the players they're trying to recruit. We've used a lot of the page above explaining the different benefits and extras that Iowa bettors can scoop up.
Iowa sportsbook promos help take some of the pressure off new players, help existing players extend their sports betting budget and generally keep the experience varied and interesting. What special offers do for sportsbooks is give people a little extra incentive to check out their site or app.
If someone wants to give sports betting a shot, bonus bets or odds boosts can help tip their mental scales in favor of signing up. So in the end, Iowa bettors get great value and the books get more interest and traffic.
As mentioned, online and retail sports betting in Iowa launched simultaneously in late 2019. And while many physical sportsbooks (like several William Hill books) aren't affiliated with an online partner, many popular locations are tied to online betting sites.
The Elite Sportsbook has an online version, as well as retail options at their casinos in Grand Falls, Riverside and Davenport. The Wild Rose Casino in Emmetsburg features DraftKings Sportsbook branding, while the Wild Rose locations in Clinton and Jefferson are tied to BetRivers.
Similarly, BetMGM and FanDuel split two Diamond Jo properties, with BetMGM teaming with the Worth Casino and FanDuel pairing with the Dubuque location. UK-based Bet365 continues to build their North American presence as the online partner for the Casino Queen Marquette, and Caesars Sportsbook leads the way, with a total of five retail sportsbook agreements, including two Isle Casinos, Prairie Meadows, Harrah's, and the Horseshoe Casino.
Though some people prefer a browser-based betting experience, you'd be hard-pressed to find a highly rated sportsbook that doesn't have at least a functional mobile app. Over 80% of bets are now placed on mobile devices/
First and foremost, mobile apps let bettors place bets from anywhere, at any time. Out watching a game? Live bets are an option. Visiting a friend? You can still put in a wager. Mobile sports betting apps are also a handy way to track any action you do have, with many featuring real-time stats and game updates. With nearly every online sportsbook, the phone or tablet experience will be virtually identical to logging on with a computer. Same options, same odds, same offer and all the same features.
In the same way that some people prefer using a computer and some their phone, others prefer placing bets the old-fashioned way, at a retail sportsbook. Though we say old-fashioned, modern sportsbooks are anything but. You can typically follow your bets on multiple walls of screens, showing nearly every major event happening at a given moment.
While you can still place bets at the counter, you can also use self-service kiosks to create your bet slips. Most physical sportsbook locations will also have a lounge area, where you can get comfortable, order some food and enjoy all the action.
At any time, you might find the best odds for a game or event on any number of online sportsbooks. Odds are constantly shifting and changing. However, in our experience, you can typically find the most player-friendly lines and odds on the following platforms. If that changes, we'll try to keep this section up to date.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with recreational betting, and placing bets here and there on events you're interested in. However, there are also several strategies you can use to give yourself the best chance of coming out on top. Seasoned sports bettors may be familiar with most of these, but here are some strategies you can use to try to push the odds in your favor.
In almost every sport, teams play better at their home stadium, arena or park. Before betting, you can research how big an edge this gives a particular team, and generally how big of an edge it is for a particular sport.
Matched betting involves taking bonus bets from sportsbooks and using them to bet on all outcomes of an event, increasing your chance of a profit. This normally won't work on a single site. You would need to use at least two different sportsbooks with varying odds to place wagers on opposite sides of a line.
Often shortened to "arb" betting, arbitrage requires a bettor to review lines and odds at different sportsbooks until they find a pair of lines on opposite sides of an outcome that guarantee profit when bet together.
An example would be if the moneyline for Team A is at -110 at one book and +115 at another. With very large bets in the correct amounts, a small profit can be made betting both sides. Sportsbooks have discouraged this by monitoring and changing lines rapidly, so when lines move, they often do so across many sites and apps almost simultaneously. Still, shopping for the best odds on a bet will always be to a bettor's advantage.
The software that powers the different sports betting platforms is very similar across the board. Almost all sportsbooks have game-tracking technology for most sports, which is particularly useful for live betting. Every book will show odds and results in real time, and you can actually see the numbers change right in front of you. All licensed platforms have encrypted and secure banking transactions, and your account will usually be protected by multiple levels of security, including optional two-factor authentication.
By now, you can probably see that there's a lot to consider when you're deciding what Iowa sports betting platforms to sign up for. Read on and we'll summarize what we think are the top things to look for.
When a company treats people well, the word gets around. Online sportsbooks are no exception, and people will sing the praises of good experiences and sound the alarms for bad ones. You can visit our site to read reviews of each and every licensed, legal sportsbook in the Iowa sports betting market.
We've touched on this above, but it bears repeating. Different books will have different bet types and even a different variety of sports and leagues you can bet on. Before you sign up for a sportsbook, you may want to make sure the betting options you're looking for are available there. And for the most variety, you can always sign up for multiple platforms.
Competitive odds are important to any bettor, and you'll want to make sure the sportsbooks you're interested in have fair betting lines. We listed some of the apps with the best odds a little further up the page, but you can also check a given app's reviews to get a better idea of how their odds stack up.
Welcome bonuses and existing player offers can really make or break the experience on a particular sportsbook. Signup deals can help you start off on the right foot, and regular promos can help keep things interesting, or even give you some incentive to try different types of bets. Bonuses can stretch your sports betting budget, take some pressure off and make the entire experience a lot more fun.
You want to be able to quickly navigate any Iowa sports betting app or website, so it's important to find ones that feel natural when you're browsing and placing bets. Slowdown, crashes and geo-tracking bugs can also be very frustrating, so you'll want to make sure the sportsbooks you sign up for get good ratings for performance and speed.
Let's face it – at some point, you'll likely have a question or minor issue you need help with, and it's nice to know that you can quickly reach a responsive and helpful customer support team. Live chat options are always preferable, but the more ways to get in touch, the better.
It doesn't come into play too often, but sportsbooks will sometimes have different rules for settling or voiding bets. For instance, you might see differences in how they handle ties in golf, rainouts in baseball or players missing games due to injury. You may want to look up this kind of information before signing up, particularly if you tend to make certain types of bets.
You'll find very similar banking options across all of the licensed Iowa betting sites, summarized above. In our experience, transactions were timely and accurate for every method listed.
You can use Venmo at most of the state's online sportsbooks, with the exceptions noted above. The fast and reliable payment system is a solid choice for secure transactions.
DFS competitions are 100% legal in Iowa, essentially adding a gambling component to traditional fantasy sports. You see how your lineups and picks stack up against other players, with cash prizes at stake.
Betting on horse races is legal, either online, at the Prairie Meadows track or at several off-track betting locations, many inside casinos.
The Iowa Electronic Markets, created for research and teaching purposes is one of the only places you can bet on U.S. government elections. You'll still need to fill out some information and meet certain criteria to be granted access.
Betting on events like the Academy Awards or Grammys remains illegal in Iowa.
Placing wagers on esports events is also prohibited under the current Iowa betting laws.
Sports betting (both at retail sportsbooks or online sports betting sites) is completely legal, licensed, regulated and monitored by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Legal retail and online sportsbooks simultaneously launched in 2019, though there were some limitations for online sports betting.
Iowa bettors used to be required to sign up for online accounts in person, at a retail sportsbook location like the Diamond Jo, Lakeside Casino or Isle Casino Waterloo. However, new regulations went into effect on New Year's Day 2021, and since then, people have been able to sign up for Iowa sports betting apps from anywhere. Currently, there are over 20 legal sportsbooks operating in the state, so there's no shortage of options.
Before the Hawkeye State made the move to legalize sports betting, there was already a long history of casino gambling, mainly tied to the popularity of debatably "legal" riverboat casinos in the 19th century. Tucked in between the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, Iowa did go on to become the very first state to officially legalize riverboat casinos, in 1985. About a decade later, the first retail casinos opened their doors to Iowa bettors.
In terms of Iowa sports betting history, the state has always been full of knowledgeable and passionate sports fans. It's no surprise then that since the 1990s, momentum to legalize sports betting continued to grow. Informal family or office-pool sports gambling has always been a part of following college sports teams like the Iowa Hawkeyes or Iowa State Cyclones. And the region is full of people who root for neighboring pro teams like the Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Wild, Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers or Chicago Bears.
The first rumblings about official, government-regulated Iowa sports betting began in 2017. In 2018, the Iowa House proposed a study on the topic to gauge the interest of residents. The results showed a significant interest in legalizing sports betting, and in April 2019, a full-fledged sports betting bill was introduced to legislators. The very next month, SF 617 was signed into Iowa law, opening the door for retail and online sports sportsbooks to open their doors in the very near future.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission began accepting applications for a sports betting license right away, and eager Iowans would only have to wait until August 15th for the first sports betting options to become available. Retail sportsbooks like Riverside Casino's Elite Sportsbook saw almost immediate success. And many sports betting apps began accepting online sports bets on that very same day, after offering pre-registration in the time leading up to launch.
Despite some recent regression in the overall numbers, the monthly sports betting handle for Iowa is now hovering at an average of around $200 Million, with 90% of that being generated through legal online sportsbooks, and the remainder coming from retail sportsbook locations like the aforementioned example at Elite Casino Resorts. To sum it all up? In 2022, sports betting in Iowa generated a net revenue of $22.9 Million for the state.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission oversees all forms of gambling (offline or online) in the state. In short, they establish the rules and regulations that the best Iowa sports betting sites, online poker rooms, off-track betting sites and any site that offers online casino games must follow. This helps protect players by requiring certain standards for security, fairness, software performance and timeliness for transactions. Here's a snapshot of the gaming activity the commission licenses, regulates and monitors:
The tax rate for gross profit from Iowa sports betting is 6.75%, which is tied with Nevada for the lowest tax rate that online betting operators are required to pay. (Sportsbooks must also set aside 0.75% of gross gaming revenue for charitable causes.) Comparatively, the tax rate for sports betting revenue in New York is 51%, a full 7.5 times higher.
Nonetheless, the state has still made significant proceeds from expanded online betting, as mentioned in the sections above. And the low tax rate makes the state an attractive destination for legal sportsbooks looking for new customers. Sports betting apps get to pay fewer taxes, regardless of the overall Iowa sports betting handle, and sports bettors get access to more sports wagering options.
While there were initially some restrictions (i.e. in-person signup even for online accounts) in place for legal sports betting in Iowa, it's now a very simple and streamlined process to place sports wagers in person or online.
Three William Hill retail sportsbook locations and several more throughout the state (like the Diamond Jo, Riverside Elite Sportsbook or Lakeside Casino Sportsbook) provide everything you'd expect from a traditional sports betting experience. Signing up for Iowa sports betting apps is also just as quick and easy as you'd hope, and similar to what you'd find in any other state with legal sports betting.
There are no noteworthy restrictions on bet types or the events you can bet on, so Iowa bettors get the full suite of sports wagering options. And as we mentioned in the section just above, the low tax rate on sports betting revenue means more operators are likely to enter the Iowa sports betting market in the future.
📅 2018 – The Iowa House of Representatives passes a study bill to measure how interested constituents are in legal sports betting and daily fantasy sports games.
📅 April 8, 2019 – The sports betting bill SF 617 was introduced to the Iowa Senate.
📅 April 17, 2019 – After just over a week, the Senate approves the bill.
📅 May 13, 2019 – Governor Kim Reynolds signs the bill, creating the first official Iowa sports betting law. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission begins accepting sportsbook license applications soon after.
📅 August 15, 2019 – For the first time in state history, both retail and online sportsbooks begin accepting bets. Daily fantasy sports become available as well.
📅 January 1, 2021 – After posting significant profits for the state government, the in-person signup requirement is removed for online sports betting sites.
Yes. In 2019, both retail and online sports betting were legalized in Iowa.
You need to be at least 21 years old to place any kind of wager or gamble in any form.
The withholding rate for winnings is 5% for Iowa income tax and 24% for federal income tax.
No, there's no requirement that you be a resident. If you're physically located within state lines, you can use an online sportsbook to place bets.
Above all else, betting on sports should be viewed as entertainment. Just like any other form of entertainment, you should set a budget and avoid spending your money impulsively. You've probably heard it before, but you should never bet money that you can't afford to lose.
We'll take it a step further and say that you shouldn't bet money that you're uncomfortable losing. If you begin to feel like your betting is out of control, online sportsbooks have options to limit the amount of money you can deposit or wager in a given timeframe. And you can also choose to self-exclude from a platform for a predetermined amount of time.
Additionally, you can contact many free national and state-based resources for problem gambling, including the Iowa Gambling Treatment Program.
Tom Ober is a professional writer living in New Hampshire. An avid Boston sports fan, he's rooted with his heart (and wallet) for the local teams for many years. When he's not stationed in front of a game on the TV, he's probably playing Gin Rummy or a video game that's roughly 30-40 years old.