Iowa Online Gambling Sites In 2024
The state of Iowa has had casino gambling since 1989, but Iowa gambling sites are a more recent innovation. Iowa also became one of the first states in the country to regulate sports betting in 2019. Our experts on online gambling in the USA will cover a variety of topics regarding legal gambling in Iowa, including the state’s retail and online gambling laws, the best Iowa online gambling sites to play on, gambling taxes in the state, and the outlook of Iowa gambling. While no page can cover everything there is to know about something as nebulous as online gambling in an entire state, this page aims to act as an information repository to help Iowa gamblers make intelligent, informed decisions.
Online gambling in Iowa is limited in some respects, but open in others. Online sports betting is allowed, but online casino gambling is restricted under Iowa law. As a result, gamblers instead bet with online casinos based in other countries, meaning that Iowa is losing out on money unnecessarily. Iowa’s loss is the smart bettor’s gain, as these Iowa online gambling sites offer great features, impressive bonuses, and enticing payouts.
Largest Gambling CitiesDavenport, Des Moines
Number Of Land Based Casinos22
Gambling Revenue$614 Million
State Licensed DFSYes
State Licensed Sports BettingYes
Land Based Poker Rooms10
Mobile Betting OptionsSports Betting, Daily Fantasy
Best Iowa Gambling Sites
There are dozens of different gambling sites available to Iowa players, all of which claim to be the undisputed best. Obviously, it isn’t possible that all these sites can actually be the best. Our gambling site review guide rates all these different sites and grade them on a variety of different criteria. Through this process, we eliminate those sites that are so far below baseline quality standards that they don’t even merit consideration from players.
After these mediocre gambling sites have been removed from the pool, players are left with a selection of great options, and subjectivity comes into play. Every gambler has their own priorities and preferences, so it isn’t possible to make universal recommendations for gambling sites. Instead, we provide information on key differentiating factors for sites—gaming types offered, deposit bonuses, user interface, deposit and withdrawal options, etc.—and allow our readers to use that information to come to their own conclusions.
How We Pick The Best Iowa Gambling Sites
Different Types Of Online Gambling In Iowa
While there are no state legal online casinos in Iowa, the prevalence of global gambling sites means that players in Iowa can access every conceivable form of gambling from their phone or tablet. Different types of online gambling include poker, sports betting, table games, slots, bingo, daily fantasy, pari-mutuel wagering, and many more. Many of these types of gambling feature both state-licensed and internationally licensed websites for players to choose between, so it can pay dividends to do some research on your gambling type of choice before committing to playing with a specific website.
Iowa Online Casinos
Iowa does not authorize its in-state casinos to offer online gambling platforms to their users, although interestingly there are also no laws specifically prohibiting online casino gambling. Every available US casino site that takes Iowans operates out of a different country, which allows them to sidestep state and federal anti-gambling laws. These international online casinos feature a wide-range of betting types, great payout rates, easy banking, ironclad data security, and a wide host of other benefits.
Iowa Online Sportsbooks
A total of 13 different casinos in Iowa operate a state authorized online sportsbook. These 13 books are an addition to the dozens of available international online sportsbooks. Betting on sports online is great because it offers unmatched convenience and a better selection of events and bet types. In-state online sportsbooks are great for variety’s sake, but the international online sportsbooks for US players offer better odds because they have larger player bases and aren’t so heavily affected by regional bias. Still, it is recommended that you use multiple sportsbooks when placing bets, as understanding how the odds differ at each site will help you maximize your winnings.
Iowa Online Poker Sites
Online poker sites in Iowa offer players the chance to play a large number of different live dealer variations against other players all around the world. Major poker websites in the US offer downloadable poker software that is intuitive and easy to pick up while still maintaining the requisite depth and quality to keep experienced players engaged. Managing account funds is easy with cryptocurrency, and most major sites offer the best online casino bonuses and promotions to help boost player bankrolls and give them more opportunities to win.
Iowa Online DFS
Daily fantasy sports (DFS) in Iowa are available but somewhat limited because DFS companies have been reluctant to turn over proprietary technology to Iowa regulators for approval. Both FanDuel and DraftKings are now available though. DFS games have emerged as one of the most popular forms of sports betting in the country. DFS games offer a fantasy experience that is more flexible and engaging because lineups reset after each game. US DFS sites maintain parity between players by implementing a salary cap system, and players compete to create lineups of real-life players to put up the best possible statistical performances.
Iowa Online Bingo
Online bingo is legal in Iowa, but only through licensed international gambling websites. Bingo is one of the more popular and accessible forms of gambling in the country, but the popularity of online bingo has been steadily declining thanks to the fact that bingo demographics skew older than other forms of gambling. Online bingo sites for US players, like other forms of casino gaming, are only available through international gambling sites in Iowa. These sites offer a few distinct advantages over traditional casinos, like instant deposits and the ability to join a game with players all over the world at any time.
Iowa Online Lottery
There are six different lottery draw games in Iowa, but none offer players the option of purchasing tickets online. The same goes for Iowa’s several dozen scratch-off, InstaPlay, and pull-tab games. Additionally, there are no reliable international or USA online lotteries, and players should be immediately skeptical of any website claiming to offer such a lottery. Most such websites are only aiming to fleece players of their personal and financial data.
Iowa Online Horse Racing
The only licensed horse racing track in Iowa is at the Prairie Meadows Casino and Hotel. Bettors can wager on Prairie Meadows races either at the racebooks located at the track, and there are additionally 10 off-track betting parlors scattered throughout the state. Iowa bettors can also bet on races through the multi-state online pari-mutuel wagering platforms TVG and Twin Spires. International sportsbooks also include horse betting among their many options. These US horse racing sites don’t offer the same level of selection on local races, but they do offer more player-friendly odds on global online horse races and futures bets for everyone's favorites.
Iowa Online Slots
Slots are the most accessible and also the most popular form of gambling in the United States. Ranging in cost from one cent per play all the way up to a hundred dollars, there are options for all levels of comfort and financial means. Online slots function exactly like retail casino slots, except that online slots cost almost nothing to host, so online casinos can offer hundreds or thousands of different slot machines on one page. Websites like Slots.lv and Ignition do an excellent job taking advantage of this advanced technological capability. When you play at these highly rated USA online slot sites, you know that your favorite machines won’t just be replaced by a newer model one day to save space.
Is It Legal To Use Bovada In Iowa?
Bovada is one of the biggest online sportsbooks and casinos, and a lot of Iowa Hawkeyes bettors like to ask us questions about the legality of using it. Here’s how it breaks down, so that you don’t have to worry about placing a bet on the Hawkeyes. Basically, Bovada provides a service that would not be allowed if they were located inside of the state. Many states prohibit the establishment of gambling enterprises, but Bovada is not located inside their jurisdiction. On the opposite side of this coin, these same states tend not to prohibit the use of said enterprises, only their creation and operation. This is the basic idea behind Bovada - they are located outside of the range of punishment from the states, and the people that use them do not get punished at all.
Depositing Into Iowa Casinos
You can accomplish Iowa casino deposits via a large variety of methods in 2024. The most common is to use a credit or debit card, which can be either VISA, MasterCard, or American Express. Outside of that, you can use wire transfers and money orders to move money into and out of sportsbooks as well.
IA Casino Deposit Methods
|Max Per Week
|Up to 15 minutes
|Person to Person
|Next Business Day
Mobile Gambling In Iowa
Mobile gambling is legal in Iowa in 2024, although there aren’t necessarily apps available for download for all forms of gambling. Still, every form of gambling can be accessed via a smartphone or tablet in one manner or another, with international gambling sites even offering mobile access to online casino games that aren’t licensed in the state of Iowa. Although these international sites can’t offer downloadable apps, they do have optimized mobile gambling sites for US players that can be accessed from anywhere, meaning that as long as you have a strong data or wi-fi connection, you are only a few taps away from being able to bet real money.
Mobile Sports Betting Apps
There are five licensed sports betting apps in Iowa: DraftKings, PointsBet, and casino-specific apps for the Hard Rock Sioux City, Q, and Elite Casino sportsbooks. For players who want better odds and a wider variety of betting options, global sportsbooks are accessible via mobile devices as well. They are not allowed to offer downloadable apps in American app stores, but they all offer fully optimized mobile sites with access to their entire array of betting options. These sites are designed to emulate a specialized mobile app and function similarly to an app down to the interface designed specifically for touch screens.
Mobile Casinos Apps
There are no state-licensed Iowa gambling sites. Free play casino apps are available, but they lack the essential risk-reward element that makes online gambling so endlessly entertaining. Like with sports betting, international gambling sites offer mobile betting options through optimized mobile sites. Any game that you can imagine playing in a retail casino is available through one or more of these mobile-accessible online casinos. Using an international gambling site on a mobile device offers all the same advantages as it does on a desktop: top-notch betting options and payout rates, world-class security, and unparalleled freedom that can’t be matched by smaller brick-and-mortar casinos.
Real Money Online Gambling Sites In Iowa
If you are in Iowa, you can wager, win and lose at real money gambling sites. For the few in-state online gambling options available in Iowa, transactions work as you would expect any online transaction to debit/credit cards or e-wallet services with withdrawal options ranging from a mailed check to an e-wallet transfer. International online casinos are slightly more complicated. They still accept credit/debit cards for deposits but can’t do so for withdrawals because of federal banking laws. Instead, the easiest way to handle banking for online gambling is through cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, which offers big rewards, fast processing times, and expansive support from the websites themselves.
Free Online Gambling In Iowa
There are a handful of free online gambling options for Iowa players, although many are severely lacking in quality outside of the Iowa gambling sites. Free online poker apps like Zynga and Appeak have cultivated large, well-engaged communities of players, as have several free apps that simulate other casino games. Unfortunately, without anything at risk, the dynamics of these games are way off. The best free play online gambling site options are instead either DFS games, which involve a greater degree of strategy than most forms of gambling, or free versions of real money online casino games that allow players to familiarize themselves with a website’s systems and practice for when they use real money.
Is Online Gambling Legal In Iowa?
The only forms of online gambling that are state-regulated in Iowa are sports betting and daily fantasy. Sports betting was regulated in May 2019 with the passage of Senate File 617, which authorizes both retail and online sportsbooks. DFS games were also included as a component of SF 617. Each casino is licensed to host two online sportsbook skins. Gambling law is covered in Chapter 99F of the Iowa State Code. All other forms of online gambling remain unregulated in Iowa. Fortunately, online gambling can still be legally performed in Iowa by using an internationally-based online gambling site, since these sites are regulated by their home countries and fall outside of the jurisdiction of the US legal system.
In 2022, the Iowa House of Representatives introduced House Study Bill 604, which would have legalized online casinos in Iowa; however, despite passing through the House State Government Committee, the bill’s further consideration was pushed to 2023. Despite House Study Bill 604 being pushed to next year, another online gambling bill - House Study Bill 578 - has the potential to pass this year. The bill would allow betting on esports; expand sports betting to include futures bets on the Heisman Trophy and the NFL Draft; allow wagering on charitable sports events; and remove certain fines and regulations that are currently imposed against the gaming industry.
Online Gambling Laws In Iowa
Riverboat casino gambling began in Iowa in the 1800s, but was slowly phased out after the dawn of the 20th century as gambling was made illegal throughout the state. The 1980s brought the slow reintroduction of legal gambling, beginning with pari-mutuel wagering in 1983 and ending with making riverboat casinos functional again in 1989. After several years of disappointing returns from these riverboat casinos, Iowa regulated full casino operations in 1994. The first domino of legal online gambling fell in 2019 with the regulation of retail and online sports betting. So far, this industry has been extremely lucrative for the state of Iowa, and legislators could look to legal online gambling as a way of expanding the gambling industry and increase tax revenues in the coming years.
Legal Gambling Age In IowaThe minimum gambling age in Iowa is 21 years old. International gambling sites are available to anyone who is at least 18 years old, however. Anyone can register an account with one of these sites, but in order to cash out winnings, players must present the site with proof of residency or a valid government-issued ID that shows that they are above the legal gambling age. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of winnings.
- Lottery: 21
- Parimutuel: 21
- Casinos: 21
- Bingo: 21
- Online Poker: 18
- DFS: 21
- Sports Betting: 21
Where Are Iowa Gambling Sites Regulated?
Iowa’s in-state sportsbooks are regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, as well as state and federal law. International gambling sites are subject to much looser regulations because they are regulated by their country of origin rather than by the country their players are located in. That shouldn’t be taken to mean that online gambling sites exist in a state of anarchy. International regulatory bodies and industry standards ensure that payout rates remain player-friendly and that data security is heavily prioritized. This provides players with an optimal risk of security and freedom.
Who Can Play At Iowa Online Gambling Sites?
Iowa gambling websites are not restricted to players from Iowa, as many of the sites highlighted on this page are also used in other states with online gambling. Iowa’s casino-run sportsbooks are geo-locked to Iowa borders, but players from other states can access all the same international gambling sites as those in Iowa. The only restriction is that 18-year-old age requirement and the necessity of valid government-issued ID. With these websites, players from other states have access to all the same features as those in Iowa.
Taxes On Gambling Winnings In Iowa
Gambling tax in Iowa: 25% (federal) + 5% (state)
Gambling winnings in Iowa are taxed at a total rate of 30%, with 25% being a universal federal tax on gambling winnings and 5% being specifically withheld by the state. These taxes apply whether winnings were earned through an in-state or international gambling platform. Gambling losses are deductible up to the same value as a player’s winnings. Players are highly advised to accurately report gambling winnings on their taxes, as failure to do so constitutes felony tax evasion and is prosecutable under the law.
Gambling Revenue In Iowa
During the 2019 fiscal year, Iowa casinos totaled $516.3 million in casino gaming revenue, while Iowa sportsbooks have earned $23.3 million in revenue since launching in August 2019. Actual gambling handle from all Iowa bettors is likely much higher because of the popularity of international online gambling, but these hundreds of millions of dollars have still been massively beneficial to the state. Iowa’s casinos paid over $101 million in taxes during the 2019 fiscal year, most of which went toward the state’s general fund and endowment fund, while smaller portions went to cities and counties.
Future Of Iowa Online Gambling
Although full online casino gambling still appears to be far off on the horizon for Iowa, the fact that the state has so readily adopted online sports betting must be viewed as encouraging for the future. Only a few other states currently do offer online casino gambling, and many states haven’t even regulated sports betting yet, putting Iowa well ahead of the curve in terms of getting to Iowa gambling sites. In 2022, Iowa attempted to regulate esports betting with IA HF 2497, but the esports clause was removed from the bill after opposition from anti-gambling groups. The bill would have expanded online sports betting in Iowa but also put a moratorium on Iowa casino expansion, which makes online casinos less likely. All in all, 2022 was a mixed bag for Iowa gambling.