Iowa online gambling: a full guide
The Iowa online gambling landscape is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, the Hawkeye State legalized online sports betting in 2019; on the other, legal online casinos remain unavailable.
On this page, our experts tackle the issue head-on, pointing you toward the best legal options available in the state.
Use the below cards to zoom right to your area of interest, or continue scrolling for in-depth information.
Best IA online gambling sites
Let’s get right up close and personal to your top options in terms of gambling in Iowa. Our Time2play experts have tested and scored the best Iowa online gambling sites so you don’t need to waste your time wondering what’s legit and what’s not.
Below, you will find our top selection of sites that offer online sports betting as well as social betting to players in Iowa. As soon as the first online casino is granted a license in the Hawkeye State, rest assured we’ll be ready to rate and score that, too.
|Sportsbook Logo||Odds rating||Bonus||Go to sportsbook Button||Show more||T&C|
|1 Caesars sportsbook review||90/100 Expert rating by Ian Z. 94% Playscore based on||
Up to $1,250 Stakeback + 2,000 loyalty credits
|2 BetMGM sportsbook review||85/100 Expert rating by Anna M. 91% Playscore based on||
Up to $1,000 back in Bonus Bets
|3 BetRivers sportsbook review||83/100 Expert rating by Ian Z. 86% Playscore based on||
Second Chance Bet of up to $500
|4 Fliff social sportsbook review||80/100 Expert rating by Ramona D. 83% Playscore based on||
100% up to $100 FC
|5 ClutchBet sportsbook review||79/100 Expert rating by Paul P. 80% Playscore based on||
100% up to $1,000 in Free Bets
|6 DraftKings sportsbook review||76/100 Expert rating by Anna M. 92% Playscore based on||
Bet $5 Get $150 in Bonus Bets + a daily No Sweat SGP
Iowa online gambling sites by type — what’s legal?
Iowa gambling laws fall within the remit of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC). To make life simpler, think of sports betting, fantasy sports, landbased casinos and social casinos as completely separate when trying to understand Iowa online gambling.
Although regulated by the same entity, they all come with different licensing requirements and regulations.
The gambling age in Iowa also differs according to sector. We will be taking a deep dive into each area to help you choose the best Iowa online gambling sites for you.
|Gambling vertical||Offline legal age||Online legal age||Online since|
|Daily Fantasy Sports||n/a||21||2019|
Online sports betting — legal since 2019
The Hawkeye State is one of the newest arrivals to the world of online wagering, but it’s taken a surprisingly short time for Iowa online gambling to take flight, especially when it comes to sports betting.
Currently, there are 18 sportsbooks licensed by the IRGC, as well as two of the most well-known Daily Fantasy Sports operators. Here, we bring you our experts’ choice of those Iowa online gambling sites that ranked highest across the board. Our list of best sports betting sites in Iowa offers players ample sports and markets to bet on at good odds, together with fair and regular promotions.
- Reputable sportsbooks
- Social casinos accessible
- No real-money online casinos
Social casinos — the alternative to online casinos in Iowa
We dive right into the question on every player’s mind. When will Iowa online gambling welcome online casinos? While no one can predict the future, we’ll say it to you as it is: as things stand right now, much like the case with Nevada gambling, there doesn’t seem to be any movement in the Hawkeye State to legalize online casino games. This is also the situation with Maryland online gambling and Mississippi online gambling.
Where does this leave players who don’t want to visit a physical casino to have a go on the slots or on any other casino game? Social casinos like Pulsz and sweepstakes casinos like Fortune Coins offer a thrilling alternative, and are perfectly legal to enjoy in Iowa. This is mostly because they don’t require players to gamble real money to enjoy the games, which means that they are not considered online gambling sites in the eyes of the law.
While Iowa online casinos aren’t legal yet, check out our list of the top sweeps and social casinos in the state. They’ve all been rated the best for gameplay, interface, variety and overall experience.
- Good variety of social casinos
- Most popular slots available
- Can’t play casino for real money
|Casino Logo||Odds rating||Bonus||Go to casino Button||Show more||T&C|
|1 WOW Vegas casino review||94/100 Expert rating by Anna M. 92% Playscore based on||
1.5 million WOW Coins + 30 free Sweepstakes Coins
|2 Stake.us casino review||88/100 Expert rating by Claire S. 96% Playscore based on||
250,000 Gold Coins and $25 Stake Cash
|3 Pulsz casino review||87/100 Expert rating by Claire S. 84% Playscore based on||
Up to 367,000 Gold Coins + 32.3 free Sweepstakes Coins
|4 Sweeptastic casino review||84/100 Expert rating by Paul P. 89% Playscore based on||
27,777 Lucky Coins + 2 Sweeps Coins
|5 BetRivers Casino4fun review||80/100 Expert rating by Claire S. 86% Playscore based on||
Daily Free Spins and Credit Bonus
|6 Fortune Coins casino review||79/100 Expert rating by Claire S. 92% Playscore based on||
Up to 380,000 Gold Coins and 1,400 Fortune Coins
|7 Gambino Slots casino review||79/100 Expert rating by Claire S. 85% Playscore based on||
200 free spins + 25,000 free credits
|8 High 5 Casino review||79/100 Expert rating by Paul P. 79% Playscore based on||
250 Gold Coins + 5 Sweeps Coins and 600 Diamonds
|9 NoLimitCoins casino review||78/100 Expert rating by Charlie S. 86% Playscore based on||
1,050,000 Gold Coins + 3,999 Sweeps Coins
|10 Funrize casino review||77/100 Expert rating by Claire S. 79% Playscore based on||
Up to 775,000 free coins and 700 promotional entries
|11 Tao Fortune casino review||76/100 Expert rating by Charlie S. 87% Playscore based on||
88,000 Tao Coins
Online poker — available at social casinos
Poker is another area that sadly lags behind on the Iowa online gambling scene. Those who are familiar with the game are aware of the level of skill required to excel, which is why many Iowa players have protested the fact that poker is lumped together with online casino games that depend purely on chance. While poker can be enjoyed physically at any one of the 23 physical casinos present in the state, Iowa gambling laws have not green-lit the online version of the game.
But even here there is a happy loophole for poker players in terms of online gambling in Iowa. Plenty of social casinos, such as Global Poker and Gambino Slots, offer a range of poker games. In fact, this is exactly the same as the same situation on the Illinois online gambling scene. Our experts have checked out the most reputable social casino and sweepstakes sites and scored them according to the Time2play rating criteria.
Our experts take into account everything from game variety to ease of payouts, software options and more. To the right, you’ll find our overall winner for social poker games.
- Good variety of poker games
- No real money poker
Other forms of gambling in Iowa
Residents in the Hawkeye State have always enjoyed wagering and gambling, even though up till recently they had to visit physical parlors to do this. Lotteries, bingo and charity-based raffles are three of the most popular forms of gambling Iowa, and remain a very strong industry to date. Moreover, the 2019 Iowa gambling laws that legalized sports betting also opened the door to other forms of online gambling, such as Daily Fantasy Sports.
Offline gambling: casinos in Iowa
Gambling in Iowa is not limited to IA gambling sites – the offline casino site is thriving, with a total of 23 casino resorts and a riverboat casino available for those who enjoy IRL gambling.
Of these, three tribal casinos are licensed by the National Indian Gaming Commission, while the IRGC has granted licenses to 20 state casinos. This number includes the Ameristar 2, a riverboat casino. Waterside gambling was legalized in Iowa in 1991.
|Retail casino||Launch date||Location||Poker rooms||Retail sportsbook||Online sportsbook||Social casino|
|Ameristar 2||May 27, 1994||River Road, Council Bluffs||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Casino Queen Marquette||February 2000||Anti-Monopoly Street Marquette||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Catfish Bend Casino||November 1994||Winegard Dr. Burlington||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Diamond Jo Casino||December 2008||Bell Street Dubuque||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Diamond Jo Worth||April 2006||Diamond Jo Lane Northwood||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Grand Falls Casino Resort||June 2011||Grand Falls Blvd. Larchwood||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Hard Rock Hotel & Casino||August 2014||3rd St. Sioux City||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Harrah’s||January 1995||Harrah’s Boulevard Council Bluffs||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Horseshoe Casino||February 1986||23rd Avenue Council Bluffs||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Iowa Greyhound Park||July 1985||Greyhound Park Road Dubuque||No||No||No||No|
|Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo||April 1995||Isle of Capri Blvd Waterloo||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Isle of Capri – Bettendorf||July 2007||Isle Parkway Bettendorf||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Lakeside Hotel Casino||August 2019||Casino Drive Osceola||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Prairie Meadows||March 1989||Prairie Meadows Drive Altoona||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Q Casino||June 1985||Greyhound Park Rd Dubuque||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Rythm City Casino||June 2016||Elmore Avenue Davenport||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Riverside Casino & Golf Resort||August 1966||Highway 22 Riverside||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Wild Rose Casino & Resorts – Clinton||July 2008||Wild Rose Drive Clinton||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Wild Rose Casino & Resorts – Emmetsburg||August 2006||Main St. Emmetsburg||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Wild Rose Casino & Resorts – Jefferson||July 2015||Wild Rose Drive Jefferson||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Blackbird Bend Casino||July 1992||210th St | Onaw||No||No||No||No|
|Meskwaki Bingo Casino||August 1992||305th Street Tama||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Prairie Flower Casino||November 2018||Avenue H, Carter Lake||No||No||No||No|
|Winnavegas Casino Hotel||April 1992||330th St, Sloan||Yes||No||No||No|
How we rate online gambling sites in Iowa
At Time2play we have created a set of objective criteria that allow our experts to offer honest and informed ratings, using their expertise to score gambling sites IA on the basis of overall experience offered to players.
Each criteria carries a score out of 100, and is based on measurable data to guarantee consistency. For example, the games score would be based on elements like the number of games available, number of software providers and so forth.
These criteria never change and every section score is clearly visible on the review. This means that when a gambling platform scores higher than others you can trace the reason for this by comparing the individual scores. You will find more detailed information on our methodology page.
Licensing and trust
At the very minimum, Iowa online gambling sites recommended by our experts will have the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission seal of approval, together with other seals of trust to indicate overall fairness and security.
Platforms like BetRivers sportsbook, which won the EGR Awards, the American Gambling Awards and the Global Gaming Awards, will naturally score higher as they have earned the trust of these independent bodies.
With Iowa online gambling law focusing on sportsbooks, our experts put great stock on the quality of sports betting offered by the sites we rate. Our top votes go to those platforms that offer a big variety of sports and markets to wager on, like SugarHouse sportsbook, with 1000+markets even in Iowa.
With respect to social casinos, we take into account game variety, especially the availability of table games, live games, poker and tournaments. Bonus points go to those that partner up with more than one reputable software provider, like BetRivers social casino.
Does the operator offer the full gaming experience on your mobile device, or do they have only a smaller percentage of the games that are on desktop? Is there an app for both iOS and Android? If yes, how smooth and user-friendly is it? Having the full spectrum of games is not much use if your app keeps crashing or freezing, so these are all considerations that our experts give a lot of importance to when deciding which Iowa sportsbook or social casino can make our top list.
In states like New Jersey we expect nine payment methods or more, but in Iowa the trend is for operators to offer an average of five to six. Thus, BetMGM sportsbook, which offers eight, will receive a high score from us.
Our experts also tend to favor those operators that don’t impose annoying minimum withdrawals or withdrawal limits on players. Put it this way, if we’re free to withdraw anything under $10, we’re definitely smiling your way.
Our experts like to see an operator with a very well-rounded offering because it tells us that these people know their stuff and are to be trusted to deliver their A-game to players. If a sportsbook also offers online casino games in other states, we know that this brand has taken time to build itself and won’t risk any shenanigans that endanger its reputation.
The same applies to social casinos that are licensed to offer real money games in other states. Our top-rated Iowa gambling sites, like SugarHouse and FanDuel, fulfil all criteria.
Iowa online gambling and safety
The Hawkeye State may not be the state with the most generous gambling laws for US online casinos, but Iowa online gambling laws nonetheless provide for a very sound licensing system that is the responsibility of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
The IRGC ensures all operators that are given the green light to operate have satisfied a number of rigorous requirements. Online gambling laws in Iowa require the commission to operate on the basis of transparency, with every single gambling entity that makes the cut for a license listed on the IRGC website. This includes physical gambling facilities, online sportsbooks, daily fantasy sports and horse-racing. If it’s not online, it’s not legit.
Iowa gambling laws: a brief history
Since the very first horse racing license was granted in 1984, Iowa gambling laws have seen massive changes. Sporting events are ingrained in the culture of the state, and since the 2019 green lighting of both physical and online sports betting, the industry has taken a massive leap forward. Here we take a look at some key events that helped shaped Iowa law for online gambling.
First IRGC board set up
The setting up of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission paves the way for more structured Iowa gambling laws.
Pari-Mutuel Wagering Act passes
The act allowed licensed organizations to allow patrons to lay down wagers against other patrons on horse and dog racing.
Simulcast wagering approved
Bettors can now take bets on races taking place in other states
Riverboat gambling kicks off
Iowa is the first US state to legalize riverboat gambling. Originally, bets couldn’t be higher than $5 and players could not lose more than $200 during one session in a casino.
24-hour gambling introduced
The $5 per hand limit and $200 loss ceiling are also removed
Sports betting legalized
A law is approved allowing both mobile and in-person sports betting, with an onslaught of retail outlets and online sportsbooks applying for a license.
Daily Fantasy Sports legalized
The door opens for daily fantasy sports betting, with FanDuel and DraftKings immediately throwing their hats in the ring.
Since Iowa legalized online sports betting in 2019, the biggest question in the Hawkeye State has been: is the next step likely to include the legalization of online casino games? But the biggest bone of contention here, even more than online slots and table games, is the green-lighting of online poker, which is a very big deal for players in the state.
The main issue appears to be that the IRGC puts poker in the same basket as casino games that are purely based on chance, which means that all efforts to legalize the online version have, so far, met with resistance. Below, you will find the latest official developments.
- 2019 — Harveys BR Management Company, Inc. replacsd William Hill at Horseshoe Casino
- 2020 — Physical casinos start re-opening post-COVID
- 2021 — Sports betting handle grows by 94% from previous year
- 2022 — No movement seen with respect to online casinos and poker
Can you gamble online in Iowa?
Where can I gamble in Iowa?
There are 23 licensed offline casinos in Iowa. Nineteen of these are licensed by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, while the rest are tribal casinos licensed by the Iowa Indian Gaming Casinos.
What is the legal age to gamble in Iowa?
When did Iowa legalize gambling?
Gambling was first legalized in Iowa in 1983, when the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission was set up and the first Pari-Mutuel Wagering Act passed. In 1989, simulcast wagering was approved and since then great strides have been made both for in-person and online gambling. You will find more detailed information in our Iowa gambling laws overview.