Iowa Sports Betting
Sports betting in Iowa officially launched in August 2019 after Governor Kim Reynolds signed an expanded gambling bill into law. Both retail and online sports betting is available in the state. That said, Iowa online sports betting has been most popular thus far.
Previously, sports bettors had to complete in-person registration before they could sign up for a mobile account. Fortunately, that rule ended at the beginning of 2021. Sportsbooks are able to offer a wide range of betting markets, including collegiate teams from the state of Iowa.
The Midwest portion of the United States has seen tremendous growth in the industry since 2019. That will likely continue for years to come. Iowa has been able to attract some of the biggest names in the sports betting industry. This is a huge win for sports bettors in the 'Hawkeye State.'
Best Iowa Sports Betting Sites
There are just six online sports betting sites in Iowa right now. This number is expected to increase, as both FanDuel and Unibet have been approved but have yet to launch in the state.
Several of these sports betting sites represent a handful of different casinos. That has enabled 13 of the 19 casino properties in the state to have an online sports betting presence. These six online Iowa sports betting sites have established themselves as industry leaders. However, more competition is coming, so it will interesting to see how things develop in the future.
DraftKings Sportsbook was the sixth sports betting site to launch in Iowa, but it was already an industry leader. This Boston-based operator has had very little trouble going from the daily fantasy sports industry to sports betting.
DraftKings offers a welcome bonus worth up to $1,025, which is the largest in the Iowa market. New customers will receive $25 just for signing up and a deposit bonus that is worth up to $1,000.
PointsBet is an Australian-based company, but it has also found success in the United States market. This sportsbook launched in Iowa in November 2019 and it made a big splash upon entry.
PointsBet offers a unique twist on sports betting. The points betting option gives players a chance to win or lose extra money when taking advantage of this feature. If that sounds interesting, new customers at PointsBet will receive $250 in free bets to be used at the site.
Hard Rock Sioux City Sportsbook
Hard Rock Sioux City Sportsbook launched in December 2019, and the Hard Rock name is popular in the gaming industry. Gaming Innovation Group operates the sportsbook for this casino, and there is a nice welcome bonus available.
New customers will receive $100 in free bets when signing up at Hard Rock Sioux City Sportsbook. Those bets can be used on all of the available betting markets.
Q Casino Sportsbook
The Q Casino Sportsbook officially launched in November 2019 through the IGT platform. It is associated with the Q Casino in Dubuque.
There is currently no welcome bonus offered at Q Casino Sportsbook. This site does not have any weekly promotions on offer, either.
Elite Sportsbook might not be a huge name in the US overall, but it is in the state of Iowa. This was the second sports betting site available in the state, and has partnerships with a number of retail casinos.
Elite Sportsbook offers a 100% risk-free bet up to $500. Since launch, Elite Sportsbook has brought in the second-highest amount of sports betting handle in the state.
The first sports betting app available in Iowa came from William Hill, and the operator has partnered with four casinos. William Hill is known as 'America’s number one sportsbook' and it is certainly number one in Iowa.
At William Hill, new customers are eligible for a risk-free bet up to $300. The amount of the bonus is dependent on the amount of money that is deposited when signing up.
Iowa Online Sports Betting Opportunities
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission wanted to give sportsbooks plenty of freedom when it came to available betting markets. For that reason, it didn's set many limitations. Prop betting on in-state college sporting events is the only notable exception that was made in the rules.
Each sportsbook features different betting markets, but all of the top sporting events in the United States are offered. Sportsbooks can also offer international betting markets, and soccer remains a popular betting option.
The NBA, MLB, NHL, and NFL are the most popular betting markets in the US sports betting industry. However, college football and basketball are also popular. The list of available betting markets continues to grow, and you can even find obscure options available in Iowa.
Iowa Online Sportsbooks
Right now, there are just six online sportsbooks up and running in Iowa. Two other operators have been approved for a sports betting license, but they have yet to launch operators.
Here is a list of the Iowa online sportsbook available:
- William Hill
- Elite Sportsbook
- Q Casino Sportsbook
- Hard Rock Sioux City Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
Land-Based Iowa Sportsbooks
There are 19 retail casinos in the state of Iowa. 18 of them currently offer a retail sportsbook of some kind. The 19th location is expected to offer retail sports betting in 2021, giving sports bettors yet another option.
Here is the current list of land-based sportsbooks in the state of Iowa:
- Ameristar Casino Hotel – Council Bluffs
- Blackbird Bend Casino
- Catfish Bend Casino
- Diamond Jo Casino – Dubuque
- Diamond Jo Casino – Worth
- Grand Falls Casino Resort
- Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sioux City
- Harrah’s Council Bluffs Casino & Hotel
- Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs
- Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo
- Isle of Capri- Bettendorf
- Lakeside Hotel & Casino
- Meskwaki Bingo & Casino
- Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino
- Rhythm City Casino Resort
- Q Casino
- Riverside Casino & Golf Resort
- (Clinton) Wild Rose Casino & Resort
- (Emmetsburg) Wild Rose Casino & Resort
- (Jefferson) Wild Rose Casino & Resort
- WinnaVegas Casino Resort
Iowa Gambling Law
In-person and online sports betting are both legal in the state of Iowa. This has been the case since the industry officially launched in August 2019. Casino gambling is also available throughout the state, but all of this type of betting must be done in-person.
Daily Fantasy Sports was also included in the sports betting bill approved in May 2019. That industry, like all gambling in the state, is regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
All casinos in the state of Iowa are eligible to apply for a sports betting license, and all have already done so. There are other sports betting skins available as well, and many casino properties have partnered with several operators.
As of January 1, 2021 bettors can sign up with their chosen online sports betting site using a mobile device. Previously, in-person registration was required.
Choosing an Iowa Online Sportsbook
With so many great sports betting options in the state of Iowa, choosing an operator can be a little daunting. Fortunately, there are some specific things that you can look for when comparing each sportsbook. That can make things much easier.
Most of the sportsbooks will look extremely similar in a lot of areas, but differences can be found at times. When you are comparing sportsbooks, it is important to look at the different categories outlined below to find the best sports betting site.
New Player Bonuses
Sportsbooks offer new player bonuses as a way to attract new customers, especially in a competitive market such as Iowa. These new player bonuses can come in many forms, and you will find plenty of variation in what's being offered.
In Iowa, DraftKings and PointsBet are two operators that offer great new player bonuses. That said, every operator has some sort of welcome package. Be sure to shop around and find the package that works the best for you.
DraftKings has a welcome offer that is worth up to $1,025. This is easily the biggest welcome package in the industry. The operator offers a $25 bonus for signing up, along with a 20 percent deposit match up to $1,000.
Pointsbet gives customers $250 in free bets when depositing at the sportsbook. Those free betse can be used on any eligible betting market.
Promotions are another great way for sportsbooks to keep customers happy. Each sportsbook has different promotions that they run, and most of these change weekly or monthly.
Odds boosts are one of the most common promotions that you will find in Iowa, especially during the NFL season. Sportsbooks will offer boosted odds for a number of marquee matchups. These will give you a chance to win more with a correct bet.
Each sports betting site in Iowa is able to set its own betting lines. However, it is rare that you will find a major difference between the operators. All of the sites will compete to offer the best lines whilst also protecting themselves against losses.
It is important to shop around and find the best betting lines when looking for a sports betting site, but don't expect to find glaring differences.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission determines what betting markets area available in the state. All Iowa sportsbooks have to abide by these rules. Fortunately, bettors have a wide range of options and that includes being able to bet on collegiate teams.
Operators such as PointsBet and William Hill Sportsbook put more focus on international sporting events. DraftKings and FanDuel focus more on the most popular North American sporting events.
One thing is for sure, you won’t run out of available betting options at sports betting sites in Iowa.
The banking process at sports betting sites in Iowa is extremely simple, and all transactions are safe and secure. Sportsbooks want both your deposits and withdrawals to be easy and dealt with in a timely manner.
Credit card payments used to be the most common payment method accepted at an online sports betting site, but that has changed over the last few years. There are now a number of different methods, and most of these can be completed in a matter of minutes.
Each operator will offer different payment options, but there are some similarities throughout the industry. There will definitely be an option available that meets your needs and will allow you to stay in the game.
The following methods are commonly offered by sportsbooks for the purpose of making deposits:
- Play+ Prepaid Card
- Credit/Debit Card
- ACH Transfer
- Online Bank Transfer
- Cash at Casino Cage
How to Withdraw Money
Typically, sportsbooks don’t offer as many withdrawal methods as deposit methods, and this is common throughout the entire iGaming industry. That doesn’t mean that you won’t find great withdrawal options, because that is simply not the case.
Each withdrawal process will take a different amount of time, and sportsbooks will set their own minimum deposit limits. Here are some of the withdrawal options found at Iowa sports betting sites:
- Online Bank Transfer
- Check By Mail
- Cash at Casino Cage
The traditional method of calling a toll-free number to reach customer service is still available at a number of sportsbooks in Iowa. However, there are much easier ways of getting some answers. All of the top sportsbooks in Iowa will offer a live chat option that will connect you instantly with a customer service representative.
Email is another great way to get in touch with a customer service representative if you need some answers. Most sites also have a FAQ section on the sportsbook or mobile page that will give you some information before you need to take the next step.
The Benefits of Legal Online Sports Betting
Sports betting has been around for decades, but the industry didn’t really take off in the United States until 2018. The Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting early in 2018, and there were a number of reasons for doing so.
One of the biggest reasons was legality itself. Having legal sports betting options available made visiting illegal sites far less attractive. Lifting the ban gave bettors a way to enjoy their hobby without breaking the law.
Safety and security is another huge benefit of a regulated online sports betting industry. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission regulates and oversees online sports betting, and bettors are protected by that organization.
The banking process is also much easier at a legal online sports betting site, and there is no fear of a payment process being rejected. Banks understand that sportsbooks are now a legal entity in Iowa, and they will therefore allow you to transfer money back and forth.
Online sports betting is also extremely convenient for the sports bettor, as bets can literally be placed from anywhere in the state. There is no need to travel to a retail sportsbook, and bets can be made from a mobile device.
Iowa Legal Sports Betting Timeline
Iowa was one of the states that was actually looking to put together a sports betting bill before the landmark decision from the United States Supreme Court. Lawmakers anticipated a favorable decision, and they were hoping that the state could be one of the first to launch.
Representative Jake Highfill introduced a sports betting bill in 2018 that was gaining plenty of traction before the lawmakers adjourned just prior to the decision from the Supreme Court. Highfill doesn’t get credit for the bill becoming a law, but he laid the groundwork for what would take place just a year later.
In May 2018, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, effectively lifting the federal ban on sports betting in the United States. This gave each state the power to legalize sports betting and regulate the industry.
SF 617 was introduced in 2019 and it would eventually become the sports betting bill that was signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds. This bill had plenty of discussion centered around it, and there were some amendments made before it was finally passed.
After the law was signed by Reynolds, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission quickly went to work to approve sports betting operators. Retail and mobile sports betting officially launched on August 15, just in time for the 2019 NFL season.