IowaBetting.com was established by advocates for licensed and regulated betting options in the Hawkeye state. Sports betting in Iowa launched on August 15th and our team will be here to cover the rollout at all casinos statewide. Whether you are a fan of sports betting, horse racing, or daily fantasy sports, you can count on IowaBetting.com for the latest developments and accurate reporting.
Iowa has a history of relatively strict gambling regulations, but recent federal and state developments have opened up various forms of gambling in the Hawkeye State. Starting with legalized horse racing in the mid-eighties, Iowa has slowly grown more accepting of legal betting.
The most recent result of Iowa’s changing attitude was the passage of SF 617 in May 2019 lifting the state’s longstanding ban on sports betting and daily fantasy sports. SF 617 places the regulation of both under the purview of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) and authorizes wagers on professional, Olympic and college sports.
The IRGC later adopted the needed regulations to accompany SF 617 and approved 18 casinos to offer sports betting. Each authorized casino may operate a retail sportsbook and partner with third-party providers to operate up to two individual mobile betting apps each.
Iowa sportsbooks and betting apps accepted their first wagers on August 15th, 2019.
Retail and Mobile Sports Betting in Iowa
Iowa sports betting law is quite permissive compared to bills that have been introduced in other states. In Iowa, casinos may accept wagers in-person via retail sportsbooks and launch up to two mobile apps each in partnership with major providers such as FanDuel, DraftKings, PointsBet, William Hill and so on.
Pre-game wagers, in-game betting and wagers on college teams are all permitted. The minimum age to bet on sports in Iowa is 21.
Mobile Betting Info
Ten mobile sportsbooks are now open for business in Iowa:
- BetMGM Sportsbook
- William Hill Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- PointsBet Sportsbook
- Hard Rock Casino Sportsbook
- Q Sportsbook
The following operators have confirmed they too will be launching mobile IA sports betting soon:
- Bally’s Corporation
Mobile betting apps and websites are permitted under Iowa law. State law permits customers to register and bet online from anywhere inside state lines.
Iowa law originally called for customers to register mobile betting accounts in person at casinos, but lawmakers scheduled that provision to sunset on January 1st, 2021. Now, customers may download mobile betting applications or visit the official website of any licensed sportsbook to sign up and bet online.
18 casinos have been approved to offer sports betting and all are now live. Here’s when and where you can bet on sports at every Iowa sportsbook:
|William Hill Sports Book at Prairie Meadows||1 Prairie Meadows Dr|
Altoona, IA 50009
|William Hill Sports Book at Lakeside||777 Casino Dr|
Osceola, IA 50213
|William Hill Sports Book at Isle Casino Waterloo||777 Isle of Capri Blvd|
Waterloo, IA 50701
|William Hill Sports Book at Isle Casino Bettendorf||1777 Isle Pkwy|
Bettendorf, IA 52722
|Elite Sportsbook at Rhythm City Casino Resort||7077 Elmore Ave|
Davenport, IA 52807
|Opens daily at:
|Elite Sportsbook at Riverside Casino||3184 Hwy 22|
Riverside, IA 52327
|Sportsbook at Ameristar Council Bluffs||2200 River Rd|
Council Bluffs, IA 51501
|PointsBet Sportsbook at Catfish Bend Casino||3001 Winegard Dr|
Burlington, IA 52601
|FanDuel Sportsbook at Diamond Jo Dubuque||301 Bell Street|
Dubuque, IA 52001
|FanDuel Sportsbook at Diamond Jo Worth||777 Diamond Jo Lane|
Northwood, IA 50459
|Q Casino Sportsbook||1855 Greyhound Park Rd|
Dubuque, IA 52001
|William Hill Sports Book at Harrah’s Council Bluffs||One Harrahs Blvd|
Council Bluffs, IA 51501
|Betting windows open at: |
|Betfred Sportsbook at Grand Falls Casino||1415 Grand Falls Blvd|
Larchwood, IA 51241
|Hard Rock Sioux City Sportsbook||111 3rd Street|
Sioux City, IA 51101
|William Hill Sports Book at Horseshoe Council Bluffs||Betting windows open at: |
|Wild Rose Clinton Sportsbook||777 Wild Rose Drive|
Clinton, IA 5732
|Wild Rose Emmetsburg Sportsbook||777 Main Street|
Emmetsburg, IA 50536
|Wild Rose Jefferson Sportsbook||777 Wild Rose Drive|
Jefferson, IA 50129
How Iowa Legalized Sports Betting
Iowa was quick to move on sports betting after the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018. In fact, the Iowa Gaming Association had already began crafting legislative proposals to regular sports betting even before the Supreme Court delivered its landmark decision.
Lawmakers made several attempts to legalize sports betting after the Supreme Court decision but had little luck until the introduction of SF 617. In May 2019, Iowa became the latest state to legalize sports betting. The bill also finally removed Iowa from the shortlist of states that still prohibit fantasy sports.
Sara Slane, former VP of Public Affairs for the American Gaming Association, responded to the passage of the bill with a succinct statement praising the bill:
“Congrats to Iowa for nailing it! The state of Iowa has set its legal sports betting market up for success with a reasonable tax rate, mobile wagering, strong consumer protections and provisions that put responsible gaming at the forefront.”
Horse and Greyhound Racing in Iowa
Racing betting was the first form of gambling to gain a legal foothold in Iowa with the passage of the Pari-Mutuel Wagering Act in 1983. The state is now home to one thoroughbred horse racing track and one greyhound track:
Online and Mobile Horse Racing
Online racing betting is legal in Iowa when conducted through licensed providers. The country’s three largest racing betting sites all offer online and mobile wagering in Iowa:
All three are licensed in Iowa and any wagers placed with these sites are pooled with money taken by each track in person. This means every dollar you bet into any race supports that racetrack and that state’s racing industry.
Daily Fantasy Sports in Iowa
Iowa was one of just a few holdout states to prohibit daily fantasy sports until recently. Previously, longstanding state laws outlawing all unauthorized gambling combined with a wide-open legal definition of the word “gambling” that requires nothing more than “a price and a chance for a prize.”
That all changed for fantasy sports in 2019 with the passage of SF 617. Although SF 617 is primarily known as the law that finally authorized sports betting in Iowa, a lengthy portion of the law deals with the regulation of fantasy sports contests.
Under the law, fantasy sports providers such as FanDuel and DraftKings must register with the state Racing and Gaming Commission and pay a $5,000 licensing fee before offering their services in Iowa.
Licensed fantasy sites in Iowa also pay a 6.75% privilege tax to the state and must meet certain minimum standards on ensuring the safety of players’ funds, hosting fair games and preventing minors from playing.
Social Gambling in Iowa
One way to get your poker fix in Iowa is through a local home game. Most states allow for friendly wagers or weekly poker games and Iowa is one of those states. Although Iowa has carefully crafted their social and charitable gambling laws, which can be found here.
Some of the Iowa’s regulations on social gaming are quite colorful compared to other states. For example, “A social relationship must exist beyond that apparent in the gambling situation” or, “In any game requiring a dealer or operator, the participant must have the option to…deal or operate the game.” Iowa also limits the amount on which one can win or lose during social gaming to $200 dollars or less in a 24-hour period.
If you do decide to participate or host a local home game or charity event, make sure to review Iowa’s social gambling regulations to ensure compliance.
Social Gaming History
Interestingly enough, Iowa voters took the initial turn toward legalization of gambling in response to a high profile bust of a church charity gambling event back in 1971. The event was held by the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in North Buena Vista, Iowa and had been an annual event for over 40 years. All put towards a good cause, the event featured bingo, dice and card games, and beer.
When North Buena Vista’s population swelled from 150 residents to 8,000 visitors in 1971, the states AG had something to say about it. That year, state agents busted up the event by confiscating the gambling paraphernalia and throwing the Reverend in the slammer for running an illegal gambling house.
Iowans were outraged at the idea of the state going after a church picnic so vigorously and they let their congressmen hear about it. So much so, that the Legislature repealed the state ban on betting in 1972. All legalized forms of gambling in Iowa today exist due to this legislative action.
Betting on Elections in Iowa
It comes as no surprise that Iowans are into their politics. So, it makes sense that the only legitimate political gambling operation in the nation is based out of Iowa and has been operating since 1988. Federal laws prevents from betting on elections although there is one narrow exception to these laws by way of the Iowa Electronic Market.
The University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business operates these markets as a “teaching and research tool”. According to the school’s website, “These markets are small-scale, real-money futures markets where contract payoffs depend on economic and political events such as elections.” Here is how it works:
Contracts are made for either side of an outcome such as the Presidential election. Users can then buy or sell these contracts at a price that is set by using the, “wisdom of crowds.” If an election is looking like it will be a land slide, then the contract price will go up for the winning candidate. If it is a close election than the odds will even up bringing the price of the contracts down. If your candidate wins, you get paid on your contract. If your candidate loses than your contract becomes worthless.
As a research prediction tool, the IEM is a fairly accurate tool. But if you are looking to bet high stakes, IEM is not the place as the markets cap buy-in’s at value and amount. Participants from all over the world are allowed to play. For more information on the IEM or to place a bet visit IEM’s website here.