State of Play in Iowa
Sports Betting in Iowa
Retail and online sports betting are legal in Iowa. Mobile sportsbook apps began to launch in the Hawkeye State in August 2019.
Iowa hosts a robust sports betting market, with more than a dozen different online sportsbooks available. Daily fantasy sports (DFS) sites are also legal and regulated in Iowa.
Sports betting and DFS are currently the only legal online gambling options in Iowa. Online casinos and poker aren’t yet approved in the state.
Sportsbooks in Iowa
- Can I bet on college sports in Iowa? Yes. Iowa is not home to any professional sports teams, so college football is a huge betting market in the state. Iowa allows for betting on the in-state college teams as well, but there are no live or in-play betting options for collegiate sporting events.
- Are there any mobile betting apps in Iowa? Yes. More than a dozen sports betting apps now live in the state of Iowa, where a majority of the betting takes place. These mobile apps are available for download on both Android and iOS devices.
- Is DraftKings offering sports betting apps in Iowa? Yes, DraftKings Sportsbook IA was one of the first online sports betting apps in the state. DraftKings continues to be one of the market leaders in terms of sports betting handle and revenue each month that a report is made.
- Can I bet anonymously at Iowa legal betting sites? No. You will have to create an account before making any wagers at any Iowa legal betting site. When you are creating an account, you will be required to submit personal information so that the site can verify your identity.
- How do I get paid when I win at Iowa legal betting sites? You will get paid through the site on which you do your online gambling. Each site will have its own specific set of withdrawal options available, and you make a withdrawal request to receive your winnings.
Iowa Online Betting
Iowa players enjoy access to two different forms of legal online gambling. The state was aggressive with gaming expansion when lawmakers overturned the federal ban on sports betting. The state quickly legalized both daily fantasy sports and traditional sports betting.
Iowa offers a sizable number of online sports betting options, but it is not a state that you will find on the list of biggest markets. Online casinos and poker sites are not yet legal in Iowa. Lawmakers in the state haven’t even attempted to legalize these industries, and it’s unclear if this will happen anytime soon.
Iowa Sports Betting Key Details
Below are the details of the Iowa sports betting market:
- Legalization Date: May 2019
- Retail Launch Date: August 2019
- Mobile Sports Betting Launch Date: August 2019
- Age Requirement: 21+
- Retail Sports Betting Tax Rate: 75%
- Mobile Sports Betting Tax Rate: 75%
- College Betting Restrictions: In-state player props
Legal Iowa Sports Betting Apps
Senate File 617 is the official name of the bill that legalized sports betting in Iowa. That bill was signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds on May 13, 2019, but it wasn’t an easy process to get sports betting legalized.
Iowa began looking into legalizing sports betting a year earlier, even before lawmakers lifted the federal ban. As a result, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission now regulates this new industry.
It didn’t take sportsbooks in the state long to get things to launch, and the first sportsbook went live in August 2019. The state has continued to see more sportsbooks launch since then.
There are 19 different commercial casinos in Iowa, and all of those properties are eligible to offer both retail and online betting. However, Iowa does not allow online-only operators to receive a license, and partnering with a commercial casino is required.
Under Iowa sports betting law, the state taxes sports betting revenue at 6.75%, one of the lowest in the United States. In addition, state operations must pay $45,000 for a sports betting license, another low number.
The Midwest portion of the United States has seen tremendous sports betting growth over the last two years, but Iowa was one of the early leaders in this part of the country.
Which Iowa Sports Betting Sites Are Live?
William Hill Sportsbook was the first operator to launch Iowa online sports betting, doing so back on August 15, 2019. Elite Sportsbook was the next online option in the Hawkeye State as it launched less than two weeks later.
There are now more than a dozen different online sportsbooks available to Iowa sports bettors.
William Hill is now operating under the Caesars Sportsbook name, and it continues to be one of the biggest online sportsbooks in the state. DraftKings and FanDuel are two of the other biggest operators in Iowa and are routinely among the leaders in handle and revenue.
One of the unique features of online sports betting in Iowa is how players can register for a new account. Iowa had an in-person registration requirement in place until January 1, 2021.
Before allowing remote registration, Iowa was one of just three states in the U.S. to require players to visit a retail sportsbook to create an account. Since the in-person registration requirement went away, the state has seen a sizable boost in online handle and revenue.
Signing up for an online sportsbook in Iowa is now easy. You will need to verify your identity before you can begin betting at Iowa’s mobile sportsbooks, but it’s not a complicated process.
Top Iowa Online Sportsbooks
Are Retail Sportsbooks Legal In Iowa?
Iowa also offers retail betting, and few states have as many retail sportsbooks as the Hawkeye State. In addition, nearly all of the 19 commercial casinos have a sportsbook on-site.
Ameristar Council Bluffs and the Diamond Jo Worth Casinos are the two leaders in retail sports betting in the state. Ameristar has partnered with Barstool Sports to offer retail betting, and Diamond Jo works with FanDuel.
Even though remote registration is now available throughout the state, visiting a retail sportsbook has some advantages. For one, bettors that win money while betting on sports can make a withdrawal and receive cash from these sportsbooks.
One unique thing about retail sports betting in Iowa is that casinos can partner with up to three different companies. Lawmakers gave each retail casino a third online skin earlier in 2021, which has allowed more companies into the state.
Retail sportsbooks are now hurt because remote registration is available as there is no requirement to visit these facilities. However, Iowa does see a higher percentage of retail betting than some of its neighboring states.
Iowa DFS Sites
Daily fantasy sports in Iowa officially became legal in 2019. The legalization of the DFS industry was attached to SF 617, the bill that made sports betting legal.
DraftKings and FanDuel were the first two operators to apply for a DFS license, and they were also the first two sites to go live. However, when the industry was first made legal, Iowa did not allow DFS sites to offer any games or contests featuring college athletes.
Most states in the U.S. have not made a clear distinction about the legality of DFS sites, but that isn’t the case in Iowa. Tying it to sports betting legislation helped get the industry legalized.
Legalizing the DFS industry is simple as it allows the state to regulate the sites and collect taxes on the revenue. Iowa hasn’t seen many DFS operators apply for a license at this time, but that could always change.
Salary Cap DFS
When it comes to the DFS industry in Iowa, it should come as no surprise that DraftKings and FanDuel are the two top options. These two companies have built up a huge following throughout the United States, and they control the industry in the Hawkeye State.
These two sites are known for offering salary cap DFS sites in which players build up a fantasy roster. Contests are won based on how many points a player can rack up.
Both DraftKings and FanDuel offer a mobile app in the state, and users can access that with an Android or Apple device. Registration can be done through the mobile app or accessing the online site.
One major advantage these sites have over other DFS operators is that they also offer traditional sports betting. Customers can then switch back and forth between the sportsbook and the DFS site to make this an easy process.
Other DFS sites have attempted to “copy” the salary cap DFS games from these two leaders, but DraftKings and FanDuel continue to lead the way.
Fantasy Player Prop Games
There are other types of games that bettors can play at DFS sites in Iowa, and there are other operators outside of the biggest companies. Monkey Knife Fight is one of these companies, and it offers player prop games in the Hawkeye State.
These player prop games are different from traditional DFS games because there is no salary cap. Instead, players can predict certain individual player performances in a certain game.
Signing up for a site such as Monkey Knife Fight is an extremely easy process that players can complete in minutes. However, registering for an account at this site must be done online, and the site will have to verify your identity and that you are in the state before you can play.
Player prop games in Iowa are similar to prob betting at online sportsbooks, and you can increase your potential payout by adding more predictions.
Best Ball Games In Iowa
Best Ball is another DFS that has started to become popular, and this is a way to make season-long DFS predictions. When it comes to playing Best Ball, Underdog Fantasy is one of the top options.
Underdog Fantasy is still not yet available in Iowa, but that could always change in the future. When this site goes live, it is unique enough to attract DFS players in the state.
Underdog is another site with a very simple registration process, and players can get in on the action right away. This DFS operator also has other games that bettors can play on the site, but its Best Ball option is getting the most attention.
Best Ball games are not only available for just the entire season, but players can make predictions for each game as well. Even though Underdog is not as well known as sites like DraftKings or FanDuel, it is a great option for players that want to play Daily fantasy sports.
Can I Play Legal Online Poker In Iowa?
The state of Iowa allows for live poker games to be played, as long as these games are played in person at a licensed gambling facility. Unfortunately, online poker is not currently an option in Iowa, and there hasn’t been any real discussion about making this a reality.
When lawmakers didn’t include online poker in the bill to legalize sports betting, it became clear that it would be years before this industry was ever available in the state. So while online poker has become more popular throughout the U.S., Iowa has not brought it up much.
Only a handful of companies offer online poker in the United States, but they have been popping up in every state that has legalized this industry. Since poker is already a legally played game in Iowa, it would be an attractive online betting option for residents.
Are Online Casino Sites Legal In Iowa?
Even though the in-person casino industry and online sports betting industry are both thriving in Iowa, there hasn’t been a major push to legalize online casino sites. The fact that lawmakers didn’t include it in the sports betting law shows that it isn’t on the mind of lawmakers in the state.
Iowa does have both commercial and tribal casinos, but it’s not known what these casinos would think about the prospect of online casino sites. Of course, this would take away some of their in-person revenue, but these sites could launch online casinos.
The fact that online sports betting has done so well in Iowa would give lawmakers some support when they attempt to explore this form of iGaming. Until Iowa introduces a bill, it is unclear how much support or lack thereof that expanded online gambling would receive.
Top Iowa Online Sportsbooks
Are Iowa Online Gambling Sites Fair?
Iowa online gambling sites (sportsbooks) are extremely fair or wouldn’t stay in business. There is an application process before these sites can offer online sports betting.
It might not seem like these sites are fair because the sportsbooks are winning more money than they are paying out. However, all of the online sportsbooks in Iowa are operating under fair business practices.
Who Regulates Iowa Online Sports Betting Sites?
When Iowa legalized sports betting, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission now had control of the news industry. The IRGC has several different roles, but its top job is issuing new online sports betting licenses.
There is an application process on the IRGC website, and only specific operators are even eligible to apply for a license. The IRGC is also in charge of ensuring that all online sportsbooks follow all sports betting rules and regulations.
Why Should I Trust Legal Online Sportsbooks?
Before legal sportsbooks started to pop up in Iowa, the only option was what is known as an offshore sportsbook. However, these offshore sportsbooks were not legal in Iowa, and they did not hold a legal sports betting license.
Offshore gambling sites don’t report to any government authority doesn’t protect customers. Legal online sportsbooks add additional layers of security and are more trustworthy.
All of the legal online sportsbooks in Iowa are companies that have a proven track record in this industry. State law protects customers and can get the IRGC involved if there is a major issue.
How Do I Get Paid if I Win?
Each online sportsbook in Iowa will have its banking department, and that is how you will collect any winnings. A handful of common withdrawal options are available at Iowa online sportsbooks, but each site can offer its own.
Since all online sportsbooks hold a license with the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, then bettors are protected when it comes to banking. If there is an issue, bettors can contact the IRGC but should always start by reaching out to the customer service department of each site.
Most online sportsbooks will also set a minimum amount that must be requested when making a withdrawal request.