Online Gambling in Iowa - All You Need to Know -

Online Gambling in Iowa

In Iowa, residents have 24 land-based casinos to choose from. Even as a small market, gambling has become a big part of the state’s income. Howeve, Iowa online gambling is a mixed bag, and online casinos have yet to be made legal.

Sports betting has been legal in Iowa since 2019. There are several online sportsbooks to choose from in the state, including some of the top operators in the industry. To sign up for these operators, you must do so in person with its physical casino partner.

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Iowa Online Gambling: The Facts

  • Legal Iowa online gambling options: Sports
  • Legal gambling age: 21
  • Who regulates Iowa gambling? Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission
  • Legal mobile gambling? Yes, for sports. Not yet for casinos.
  • Do I need to be physically located in Iowa to gamble? Yes
  • Do I need to be a resident of Iowa to gamble? No
  • What can't I bet on? High school and esports

Gambling in Iowa

Iowa online gambling looks very much to be on its way, and not before time. Gambling has legally occurred in Iowa since the 1990s, and there are a large number of land-based casinos. You can visit these locations and play casino games, as well as bet on sports.

Sports betting was legalized in 2019, and now there are physical sportsbooks, but you can also bet online or on a mobile app. There are no professional teams in the state to bet on, but you can still place bets on college teams such as the Iowa Hawkeyes and Iowa State Cyclones.

College football is king in Iowa, so this is a big advantage to be able to bet on local college teams. The one restriction is in-play and prop betting on in-state college teams. But many other states have restrictions on college betting altogether, especially on games that happen in the state.

Iowa has a Racing and Gaming Commission, as there are horse racetracks in the state. As some of these are also casinos, you are able to go there to bet on horses, including using some racebook apps.

There is also a lottery in Iowa, but it cannot be played online. Physical tickets must be bought in stores.

The one aspect in which Iowa is lacking is in online casino gambling. As quick as sports betting happened, those in the state are still unable to play at legal online casinos.

Iowa has a rich gambling history and is currently a trailblazer in online sports betting, so it is safe to say that it will eventually enter the online casino market. It is another aspect of revenue that the state is missing, so it will be up to legislators to get this done down the road. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.

Legal Online Sportsbooks 

In terms of online gambling in Iowa, the state-regulated online sportsbooks as of July 2020 are: 

DraftKings became the first DFS operator to enter Iowa. The sports betting law also allowed for people to play DFS games in the state. At first, only professional teams were allowed, but that changed in 2020 when college fantasy contests became allowed.

PointsBet is another big name in the industry. It has a special 'PointsBetting' feature that cannot be found anywhere else. Instead of placing a fixed wager, you can win more or lose more by how many points the team is away from the spread.

These sportsbooks have a 6.75% tax on revenue and a $45,000 licensing fee to operate in the Hawkeye State. Two different sportsbook apps may operate under the same license.

Sports Betting on Your Local Team 

Online gambling in Iowa allows you to bet on your favorite team, as there is no ban on betting on college games in Iowa. That is pretty big when it comes to online gambling in Iowa considering the major college programs such as Iowa and Iowa State football and basketball. 

There are no major professional sports teams in Iowa, but there are several from minor leagues such as the Iowa Wolves from the NBA G League and the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League. With the minor leagues having all of the pro and semi-pro teams, there are not many local betting options for them. 

Some of the most popular sports bets in Iowa are on the NFL. Since there are no pro teams in the state, residents must pick a neighboring team to cheer for. The Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, and Chicago Bears are among the most bet-on NFL teams in Iowa.

Favorite MLB teams are also a bit territorial in Iowa. The favorite teams to bet on include the Kansas City Royals, Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Twins, and St. Louis Cardinals.

Popular Sports Betting Markets 

The state-regulated sportsbooks have many betting markets available. Here are the most popular ones: 

Live betting is one of the most popular features as you can bet on the action as it occurs. Some sportsbooks even offer live streaming so you can watch the game on its website or app.

This feature is not allowed for betting on college games, but it is for professional sports.

Each of these sportsbooks will have different betting features and offers, so be sure to make sure it has what you want before signing up.

Quick Facts About Gambling in Iowa 

  • In 1983, Iowa legislators signed the Pari-mutuel Wagering Act into law. 
  • In 1991, the first Iowa riverboat casino opened. 
  • There are 24 land-based casinos in Iowa as of July 2020.
  • Sports betting became legal in Iowa in 2019 with the passing of SF617.
  • Horse and dog racing is legal in Iowa. 
  • There are six state-regulated online sportsbooks in Iowa.
  • In 1985, the Iowa State Lottery was introduced. 

Setting Up an Iowa Online Gambling Account

Setting up an online gaming account is easy to do. Since there are no online casinos yet, this is only for sportsbooks. However, once live casinos are legalized, the sign-up process will be exactly the same.

First, head to the website and take a look at the online gambling or sportsbook site. Many of them allow you to look at the features and betting options before you sign up. 

Before signing up, be sure to explore the various Iowa welcome bonus offers. These can come in the form of risk-free bets, deposit matches, and more. Some sign-up offers require an opt-in or promo code, so don’t sign up for an online gambling website before you check out the welcome bonus.

There will often be wagering requirements attached to the offer. For example, for a $500 deposit bonus, you might have a playthrough requirement before you can withdraw the money from your account.

These requirements also have to be met in a certain amount of days. Check the terms and conditions associated with the welcome offer to be sure of these details.

Once you have found the online gambling site of your choice, you will be ready to sign up. You must complete this process at the land-based casino partner of the sportsbook.

The information provided is similar to any online business, but it will have to verify your identity. Be ready to provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Email
  • Cell Phone
  • Last 4-digits of your Social Security Number

After that, you need to create a username and password for the website. Ensure that this is kept only to yourself, as you don’t want others to be able to log in to your account and gamble with your money.

Iowa Online Gambling Deposits and Withdrawals

For online gambling in Iowa, there is a wide array of payment methods available. There will usually be more payment methods available than is the case at land-based venues. 

Online venues will typically accept the payment methods of:

  • Credit Cards – MasterCard and Visa are the most widely accepted
  • Debit Cards 
  • eWallets – Neteller, Skrill, PaySafeCard, PayPal, etc.
  • Bank Transfer 
  • Cryptocurrencies

Be sure to check out what the site offers before creating an account. You want it to offer the method you have, and you will want to see if any fees are involved.

Note that just because a method is valid for deposits doesn’t mean it is also valid for withdrawals. Most of these online gambling websites have more deposit methods than withdrawal. Processing times will also be associated with withdrawals, sometimes not getting your payment for several business days.

Casino Gambling in Iowa

There are plenty of great options when it comes to going to a physical casino in Iowa. There are more than 20 casinos in the state, and many of them now include sportsbooks. 

For online sportsbooks, Iowa residents have six to choose from. All of them are strictly regulated and safe to use. 

Online casinos are still not legal in Iowa, but that may change soon. Since this is a state that has every other aspect of gambling, it is sure to be on the docket for state legislators in 2021.

The Future of Online Gambling in Iowa

The future of online gambling in Iowa is bright, as long as online casinos make an appearance soon. Many of the sportsbooks currently operating in Iowa also have online casinos, but this aspect of their business is currently unavailable to Iowa residents.

But this will make it that much easier when the state legalizes online casinos. Some of these operators will be up and running in the state, making it a simple transition to also start offering an online casino.

Iowa isn’t one of the bigger markets in sports betting, but some of the numbers are still promising. In October of 2020, a new sports betting handle record was set in the state. Over $80 million was bet on sports, and the sportsbooks had a revenue of over $9 million.

This was a record for the second straight month, but more records will be coming in 2021. The in-person registration requirements for sportsbooks apps will be discarded in January of 2021. As seen in other states, this has a big effect on the sports betting numbers.

If these are the numbers for sportsbooks now, what will they be when people can sign up in their own homes? Removing the in-person registration requirement creates a better future for sports betting in Iowa.

Now, one of the only things left to do is to get online casinos passed in the state.

Iowa Online Gambling FAQ

Is online gambling legal in Iowa?

Online sports betting is legal in Iowa. There is a list of regulated sportsbooks in the state. However, online casinos have yet to be legalized.

Who regulates onling gambling in Iowa?

All gambling in the state is regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

What is the legal age for online gambling in Iowa?

You must be at least 21 years old to gamble legally in Iowa. That age is also the minimum required for online gambling.

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