Both online and live sports betting are now legal in Iowa, and your options for placing wagers on your favorite sporting events are plentiful. In this guide, we break down everything you need to know about the legal sports betting industry in the Hawkeye State, including where you can play at both online and retail sportsbooks.
List of Iowa online/mobile sportsbooks
You can bet on sports in Iowa at more than two dozen brick-and-mortar casinos and mobile/online sites combined, with more operators expected to join the market soon.
Before we run down all of your options, it’s important to note that until January 1, 2021, those looking to bet sports online in the state will need to physically travel to an online sportsbook retail partner to register their account make a deposit. After they do that, they can play via any internet-connected devices, like smartphones, laptops and tablets. In the new year, players will be able to register from home via the online site or app.
|Online Sportsbooks||Casino Partner(s)||Launch|
|William Hill||Isle Bettendorf|
|Aug. 15, 2019|
|Elite Sportsbook||Grand Falls|
|Aug. 27, 2019|
|Q Sportsbook||Q Casino||Nov. 12, 2019|
|PointsBet||Catfish Bend||Nov. 26, 2019|
|Hard Rock Sportsbook||Hard Rock Sioux City||Dec. 16, 2019|
|DraftKings||Wild Rose: Clinton|
Wild Rose: Jefferson
Wild Rose: Emmetsburg
|Feb. 19, 2020|
|Penn National / Kambi||Ameristar||Mid-2020|
|Caesars / Unibet||Harrah's Council Bluff|
Diamond Jo - Worth
|TBD||Casino Queen Marquette||TBD|
Iowa online sportsbook details
- Isle of Capris-Bettendorf
- Isle of Capris-Waterloo
- Prairie Meadows
William Hill, one of the largest sports betting operators in the world with roots that go back to 1934, was the first online casino to launch in Iowa on August 21, 2019. The operation began in the UK before expanding throughout Europe and eventually to the US. William Hill made its entrance into the U.S. sports betting market in 2012. William Hill operates four land-based sportsbooks and a mobile sports betting app in Iowa.
- Grand Falls
- Rhythm City
Elite, powered by Bet.Works, launched retail sports betting on August 15, 2019, with online and mobile betting following on August 27, 2019. It was the second online sportsbook to launch in the Hawkeye State. The sportsbook is owned by Elite Casino Resorts, which operates the three Iowa casinos to which the online sportsbook is tethered.
- Q Casino
The third operator to go live with legal mobile sports betting in Iowa was Q Sportsbook, on November 12, 2019. The sportsbook offers only a mobile app for sports betting and no desktop website to access. The app is available for iOS and Android devices. Q Sportsbook uses IGT as its software partner for its operations.
- Catfish Bend
PointsBet launched its unique online sports betting operation in Iowa on November 26, 2019. The Australian-based company is a relative newcomer on the sports betting scene, having launched in 2017, but that hasn’t stopped them from gaining a lot of notoriety and expanding throughout the US.
One key differentiator for PointsBet is its PointsBetting product first introduced in the U.S. in New Jersey, in which every score in a contest can end up counting more for or against a bettor’s wins or losses.
Hard Rock Sportsbook
- Hard Rock Sioux City
Using the Gaming Innovation Group’s software platform that has been used extensively in Europe, the Hard Rock Sportsbook went online on December 16, 2019. It followed the same online sports betting partnership between the two companies that has existed in New Jersey with Hard Rock’s Atlantic City casino. Hard Rock Sportsbook uses GiG as its software partner for its operations.
- Wild Rose-Clinton
- Wild Rose-Emmetsburg
- Wild Rose-Jefferson
DraftKings Sportsbook, initially a national leader in daily fantasy sports and now increasingly a market leader in the sports betting world, launched its online sportsbook in Iowa on February 19, 2020. Although later than many others, DraftKings Sportsbook was the first legal Iowa sportsbook to launch in 2020. In addition to its online/mobile platform, DraftKings operates land-based sportsbooks at Wild Rose-Clinton, Wild Rose-Emmetsburg, and Wild Rose-Jefferson.
Through its acquisition of sports betting provider SBTech on April 24, DraftKings is shifting its odds making and risk services to that company from Kambi.
With each casino in Iowa allowed two skins for sports betting, plenty of opportunities remain for online operators to enter the state’s market.
While the impact of the COVID-19 virus on sports events around the world has slowed the industry’s growth in the state, at some point by January 2021 the state could see additional online/mobile sports betting launches.
Among those are a still-under-development Penn National Sportsbook (possibly Barstool Sportsbook) that would be connected to Ameristar II, FanDuel Sportsbook in partnership with the two Diamond Jo properties, Caesars and Unibet Sportsbooks licensed through Caesars’ two Council Bluffs casinos, and Rush Street Interactive’s BetRivers site, which, like DraftKings, would make use of skins available from the three Wild Rose casinos.
Additional operations we could see launch in Iowa include FOX Bet, bet365, BetAmerica, and 888 Sports.
Bettors looking to place wagers on sports in Iowa will need to be physically located in the state to do so. For brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, this requirement is obvious, as bettors will need to go to the physical locations to place bets. For online and mobile sports betting, bettors will still need to be located within state boundaries, as the operators use geolocation software to determine a person’s location.
Although you do need to be physically present in the state to place a wager, bettors do not need to be residents of Iowa to wager on sports.
Account management features, such as banking, can be handled from out of the state. There is currently an in-person registration requirement in place until January 2021. Once this requirement is lifted, individuals will be able to register for Iowa sports betting accounts from anywhere.
Iowa sports betting laws and regulations
- Retail, online, and mobile sports betting is legal
- Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission oversees state’s sports betting industry
- $45,000 license fee with an annual renewal fee of $10,000
- Each licensee allowed two skins
- 6.75% tax rate on sports betting revenue
- Bettors required to register n-person for mobile betting until January 2021
- Bettors must be a minimum of 21 years old and physically located in Iowa to wager
- No integrity fees
- Wagering on professional and college sports is allowed
- No in-play prop betting on contests involving Iowa colleges
Iowa sports betting: FAQ
Are legal sports betting options available in Iowa?
Yes, on August 15, 2019, Iowa became the 11th state in the nation and first in the upper Midwest to accept legal sports betting wagers.
Who is eligible to place sports bets in Iowa?
Anyone 21 years of age or older can place a sports betting wager at one of the state’s casinos with a sportsbook. The same age requirement applies for online/mobile betting, but online/mobile betting does come with the condition that a bettor must be physically present within Iowa borders when placing a wager. Also, until January 1, 2021, bettors must first register in person for online accounts and place initial deposits by visiting one of the casino partners of an online/mobile operator.
Is there legal online/mobile sports betting in Iowa?
Yes, legal online/mobile sports betting is available by smart phone, desktop, and other devices from a still-growing number of operators that have licenses in Iowa through partnerships with the state’s brick-and-mortar casinos.
Who is eligible for a sports betting license?
The state’s 19 casinos are all eligible and have obtained sports betting licenses. Online/mobile operators can partner with brick-and-mortar venues to gain regulated sports betting access.
How does an online/mobile sportsbook know that I’m in Iowa when I place a bet?
Online sportsbooks use sophisticated geolocation software to track a player’s location with pinpoint accuracy. The features necessary to enable geolocation are baked into Android and iOS devices and apps. Desktop users may have to install a browser extension (geolocation plug-in) which verifies that the player is located within state lines.
What types of sports betting does Iowa permit?
A slew of single-game wagering options and other variants are available across a wide range of professional and college sports, with the exception that no prop bets are allowed on Iowa’s college teams. Types of wagers include:
- Point spreads
- Over/under totals
- In-play bets
What is the tax rate on Iowa sports betting?
Sportsbooks must contribute 6.75% of their revenue from losing bettors to the state of Iowa, a tax rate that is among the lowest in the nation.
The story of Iowa sports betting
Sports betting in the U.S. was long restricted by a 1992 law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which prohibited full-scale sports betting outside of a handful of states that were grandfathered in – Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon – due to having sports-betting lotteries of sports-betting framework already in place.
Iowa had already liberalized its gambling laws by opening the first riverboat casinos in April 1991 and within a couple of years Iowa had 24-hour gambling. Iowa’s gambling industry continued to evolve over the years. Eventually, the key requirement that mandated casinos be tied to a water source was removed in the mid 2000s, enabling land-based casinos to open.
In May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a case brought by the state of New Jersey that the law violated the 10th Amendment governing states’ rights and declared PASPA unconstitutional. The decision gave the green light for states to opt to legalize sports betting.
Less than a year after the Supreme Court’s decision, on April 22, 2019, Iowa’s legislature approved Senate File 617, a measure supported by the state’s gaming industry with its modest 6.75% tax rate and a $45,000 licensing fee. Signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds on May 13, it allowed up to two online skins per licensed casino. The one detriment to the development of the online sports betting industry – different from what has been passed in many states – was an initial requirement that bettors must register online accounts in person at physical casinos until January 1, 2021.
The progress from legislative passage to the launch of sports betting was unusually swift in Iowa, however, with the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission moving quickly to draft and implement regulations by July 2019.
Just about three months after the measure became law, the first sports bets were taken on August 15, 2019, at multiple retail sportsbooks in Iowa. William Hill began taking the first online bets on August 21, 2019, and was soon followed that month by Elite Sportsbook with other operators not too far behind.