Legal Sports Betting in Iowa

Daniel Smyth
Iowa Wolves

Iowa was the 11th state in the US to legalize sports betting after the Federal ban was lifted in May, 2018. Since it’s launch, sports betting has grown significantly as more bettors are starting to bet on sports in local casinos and online.

Best Iowa Online Betting Websites

Both Draftkings and WIlliam Hill offer online sports betting in Iowa. Sign up today using our links below to get a bonus when opening a new account.

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The total list of online sports betting sites in Iowa include:

There are other sports betting websites that have not entered the market yet, including Bet365, 888sport, to name a few. A timeline for the next operator to enter the market is unclear. 

Sports betting statistics in Iowa 2021

As you can see from the below report provided by statista.com, state sports betting revenue has more than doubled in a year and these numbers are likely to continue growing:

Statistic: Sports betting revenue in Iowa from August 2019 to December 2020, by month (in million U.S. dollars) | Statista

Casinos where in-person sports betting is available

The best legal sportsbooks in Iowa really depend on preference and proximity to the bettor. All but one casino in the state has opened a sportsbook, giving sports fans in the Hawkeye state plenty of options.

Below is the complete list of land-based Iowa sportsbooks:

  • Ameristar Council Bluffs
  • Catfish Bend Casino
  • Diamond Jo Casino Dubuque
  • Diamond Jo Worth Casino
  • Grand Falls Casino Resort
  • Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sioux City
  • Harrah’s Council Bluffs Casino & Hotel
  • Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs
  • Isle of Capri – Bettendorf
  • Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo
  • Lakeside Hotel Casino
  • Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino
  • Q Casino
  • Riverside Casino and Golf Resort
  • Rhythm City Casino 
  • Wild Rose Casino & Resorts – Clinton
  • Wild Rose Casino & Resorts – Emmetsburg
  • Wild Rose Casino & Resorts – Jefferson

Queen Casino in Marquette has a sportsbook partner with “Vigtory”. However, launching a retail or online sportsbook has proven to be slow for the company. They have been acquired by FuboTV who claim that the online sportsbook should be available by the end of 2021.

All casinos in the state can host sportsbooks. In practice, this means that there are 19 different sports betting venues within state lines. Every casino in the state has received a license to operate sports betting and all but the Queen Casino has launched a retail sportsbook.

What’s more, every license holder has the option to run two online betting sites. Internet sports wagering has already grown significantly, as mentioned, and many more major brands will likely link up with a live venue in the coming months and years. 

A Balanced Sports Betting Bill

Governor Kim Reynolds signed off on a sports betting bill that had a unique clause. Until January 2020, those who wanted to bet online in Iowa had to first register an account inside a licensed brick-and-mortar casino. This process made sports betting more restrictive compared to other states.

The American Gaming Association believes the bill strikes the right balance between consumer protection and commercial optimization because licensing conditions are less restrictive than in other states. In fact, when Reynolds signed off on SF617 it opened the door to both in-person and online betting.

As per the bill, local casinos can offer pre-event and in-play sports bets. What’s more, license holders will be allowed to operate two online betting website.

The road to legal sports betting in Iowa

Iowa’s successful sports betting bill was actually the product of previous Senate submissions. However, in reality, the history of SF617 is the only thing that matters for sports fans and Iowa bookmakers.

February 2019: A New Sports Betting Bill was introduced

SF366 was submitted to the Iowa Senate on February 25 as a way of introducing sports betting, tax, and a regulatory framework. It received a recommendation from the Committee the same day. By February 26, SF366 was referred to the Ways and Means under Committee under Senate Rule 38.

April 2019: The House Passed The Bill

SF366 eventually stalled but its momentum gave SF617 the chance to thrive. An initial meeting took place in April before a fiscal note was added in support of the bill. By April 22, the House had amended and passed the bill, meaning it moved back to the Senate for approval.

May 2019: The Governor Signed The Bill and Betting Became Legal

Thanks to previous support for SF366 and a positive vote by the House, it didn’t take long for the president and speaker of the Senate to give their approval. By signing the bill on May 6, SF617 was sent to Governor Reynolds.

Just seven days after clearing the Senate, Gov. Reynolds put pen to paper and made legal sports betting in Iowa a reality.

August 2019: The First Sportsbooks launched

The first sportsbooks in Iowa were launched on August 15, 2019. Several of them opened retail only sportsbooks, however, others launched mobile sports betting apps in Iowa that same day. William Hill was the first major online operator to open for business in the state, but more operators are expected to join the Iowa sports betting industry over time.

January 2021: The In-Person registration requirement was lifted

The in-person registration requirement for online sportsbooks ended on the very first day to start out the New Year. Other online sportsbooks such as PointsBet and BetMGM also launched and took advantage of this new rule immediately.

February 2021: Lawmakers Want To Expand Betting Options

With the booming success of sports betting in Iowa, some lawmakers saw an opportunity to expand the total possible betting options. House Study Bill 200 would legalize esports betting in Iowa along with betting on sports-related events like the Heisman Trophy or NBA Draft for example.

Iowa Sports Betting FAQ

What is the legal sports betting age in Iowa?

To bet on sports in Iowa, you need to be 21 or older.

What is the Iowa sports betting tax rate?

Licensed sportsbooks in Iowa will have to pay an upfront fee of $75,000 (plus a $10,000 renewal fee) and 6.75% tax on sports betting revenue.

Can I bet on sports online in Iowa?

Yes. Every licensed operator can run two online/mobile sports betting sites. You can now register remotely for whichever online sportsbook you want.

Can I bet on the Iowa Hawkeyes or Iowa State Cyclones?

Yes, but there are restrictions to betting on collegiate sports in Iowa. You cannot place live bets on any of Iowa’s collegiate athletes. That rule is in effect wherever those athletes play.