Iowa was another state to legalize sports betting pretty early on – first passing the Iowa sports betting bill in May 2019 and the first online sports betting sites and sportsbook apps being launched in August that year. Despite the fact that no major pro sports teams are based in the state, sports betting in the state is still popular and it is still home to plenty of online sports betting sites and mobile sports betting apps.
As such, Iowa sports bettors can access more than a dozen legal Iowa sports betting sites that offer all sorts of benefits to customers – all sorts of sports betting markets, free bets, risk-free bets – and fantastic sports betting experiences. Here we look at the best sports betting sites and exactly how Iowa sports betting works.
Best Iowa Sports Betting Sites
There are some excellent online sports betting sites available in Iowa. Here is our list of the best Iowa sports betting sites.
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- BetMGM Sportsbook
- Caesars Sportsbook
- BetRivers Sportsbook
- Betway Sportsbook
- Unibet Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- PointsBet Sportsbook
Iowa Sports Betting Currently:
- 10th January 2022: Iowa sports betting sites announced a drop in sports betting revenue and handle for December.
- 19th January 2022: Adam Greenblatt, the CEO of BetMGM announced that he could see IOWA online casino legalization happening this year, which could then be used as a cross-selling tool to attract more Iowa bettors.
- 25th January 2022: DFR Bets, from Affinity Interactive, was launched in the state.
- 4th February 2022: The online branch of Wynn Resorts, WynnBET announces that it will launch an online sportsbook in the state in the near future.
- 11th February 2022: After a disappointing December, Iowa sports betting sites announce a new handle record in January 2022 – with over $303 million in sports bets placed that month – the highest since it was first launched in August 2019.
The Best Mobile Sports Betting Apps in Iowa
Anyone interested in sports betting in Iowa has all sorts of options to choose from – which is great news for the bargain hunters. You can find all sorts of betting offers available, and lots of exciting and innovative sports betting features. Here are our favorite sports betting sites in Iowa that offer excellent mobile sports betting apps.
Best for Betting on Major Sports and Events
The two biggest giants in the industry – FanDuel and DraftKings are the ones we recommend here. These are excellent options for betting on major games and events as they offer all different markets and generous lines for the most popular games and sports tournaments.
Best Selection of Sports and Leagues
The sportsbook apps that come out on top here are BetRivers and BetMGM. These offer Iowa sports bettors plenty of options. Although all sportsbooks in the state have a very decent selection, these are the two we found to have the best overall selection.
The Most Competitive Odds
We found the best online sports betting sites for competitive odds to be PointsBet and Caesars, who usually either are able to match or beat their market competitors overall.
The Best Rewards Programs
If you are a regular sports bettor, then you will want a generous rewards program. In this area, we found BetRivers and Caesars to excel. These two sports betting sites go above and beyond, which isn’t always the case for sports betting sites. They both have a simple rewards program that allows customers to build up points as they place their sports bets.
Best Sports Betting Promotions
One of the benefits of online sports betting sites over a retail sportsbook is the availability of bonuses and promotions. We found the most generous to be Caesars and BetMGM, who cater for both new players and existing customers.
A Closer Look at Iowa Sports Betting Apps
Let’s take a closer look at the sites available for sports betting in Iowa…
1. DraftKings Sportsbook
This is one of the most popular in the state – for very good reason. This offers a smooth and seamless app that is packed full of betting features. Customers can enjoy Flash Bets for those live bets, as well as betting pools – to see how you compare to other bettors – with the chance to bag a prize. The sports betting site has a very decent welcome bonus and some existing player promotions.
2. BetMGM Sportsbook
We love the BetMGM sports betting app because it offers all sorts of sports – not just the usual, but also others such as snooker etc. You’ll likely find exactly what you are looking for here. The app has a decent layout and features such as Edit my Bet. Overall, you will enjoy a very solid sports betting experience.
3. Caesars Sportsbook
If you’re a bonus hunter, then Caesars does like to dish out a promotion or two. It also offers bettors some very competitive odds as well. We did find that the app did suffer from some lag, but overall, a pretty decent sports betting experience!
4. BetRivers Sportsbook
BetRivers is popular for sports betting in Iowa. When looking at the app, we thought that it wasn’t necessarily the best – or the most organized, but what it did offer was a very nice variety of features that you won’t find at other sports betting sites. It has a very impressive selection of sports and markets and a fantastic layout for props and alternate lines. The best feature was its iRush Rewards programs, by far one of the best in the industry!
5. Betway Sportsbook
Betways has a presence in the sports betting industry that dates all the way back to 2006, which shows. The company manages to offer its customers some highly competitive odds, with a very in-depth menu. It also offers an extremely smooth betting platform and a very successful odds boost selection – although a few more regular promotions for regular players wouldn’t go amiss!
6. Unibet Sportsbook
Another sports betting site that has had a long history in the industry is Unibet, which is a favorite with gamblers all across the world and is expanding its presence in the US sports betting market. The app doesn’t look all singing and dancing, but it is simplistic and does the job well. It offers a simple and no-frill approach to sports betting – and best of all, it offers excellent live betting and live streaming capabilities, which has to put it up there with the best.
7. FanDuel Sportsbook
If you’re looking for a smooth and well-executed internet and mobile sports betting experience, then FanDuel might be what you are looking for. It has laid everything out clearly and concisely and is constantly finding ways to improve its service – having recently made its prop bets even more user-friendly. It offers plenty of great features, excellent same game parlays and offers a very intuitive experience. Maybe a few more promotions for existing players would be nice, but other than that, tops!
8. PointsBet Sportsbook
What attracts the sports bettors in Iowa to PointeBet sportsbook is that it offers a new and innovative way of sports betting in the US. It offers its customers the increased potential for rewards along with increased risks. It also has an app that is excellent for just regular sports wagers and some very decent odds. However, its PointsBetting feature is its biggest selling point – the more your bet wins by, the more you win. It does have questionable navigation in some areas, but overall, a very nice sports betting revenue option.
New Sports Betting Apps in Iowa
There are already some great sports betting apps in Iowa, but recently DFR became the 18th sports betting app in the state, having been launched in January 2022. This was straight after a very busy and crowded latter part of 2021, which saw Barstool, Circa and Betway make their Iowa sports betting debuts.
All of the 19 casinos located in Iowa are allowed to have up to three different online partners. Currently, all of the biggest names in the sports betting industry already are present in the state – however, there are some smaller ones out there that are still available to fill some spots – such as Tipico sportsbook, who are possibly looking to launch in the Hawkeye state this coming year.
The Best Iowa Sports Betting Bonuses
Because it is so competitive, pretty much all of the state’s sportsbooks offer some very decent sign-up bonuses and welcome offers. So, before you sign up for a new sportsbook, look to see which bonuses are the best for you. Here are our favorite first deposit offers available right now:
- DraftKings Welcome Bonus: $50 free bet plus 20% up to $1,000 with your first deposit.
- Caesars Welcome Bonus: 100% up to $1,500 free bet on deposit.
- BetRivers Welcome Bonus: 100% up to $250 on deposit.
- BetMGM Welcome Bonus: Risk-free first bet up to $1,000.
- Betway Welcome Bonus: Risk-free first bet up to $250.
Obviously, the bonuses need to look generous, but before you decide which one to take, you need to understand exactly what that type of bonus is and what the terms and conditions are. Here are some of the different types of bonuses available when you first open a new sports betting account.
Match Deposit Bonus
When you open your sports betting account and make your first deposit, the sportsbook will match the deposit up to a certain amount – usually a percentage of your deposit. In order to withdraw the bonus funds and winnings, you will need to meet the wagering requirements as stipulated in the terms and conditions.
When you sign up and make your first deposit, the first bet you make will be risk-free, this means that if the bet loses, the betting site will refund your bet amount as either a free bet or bonus money, which you can use to make another wager.
An odds boost is popular, because the sports betting site takes the initial line and increases it, which makes the potential win even better. This type of promotion is usually available for game outcomes, player props and parlay bets.
When you have chosen your preferred bonus, signing up is easy. All you need to do is follow the instructions as given by the site, entering all of your necessary information. The betting site will then check and verify your ID, which may require you to submit documentation. However, you should be ready to start those bets in just a minute or two.
Facts About Iowa Sports Betting
Here are some of the most interesting facts about sports betting in Iowa…
- The Iowa sports betting bill was passed in May 2019
- Online and retail sports betting were both launched at the same time – in August 2019.
- When it was first launched, bettors were required to register in-person. However, this expired at the beginning of 2021.
- In the entire year of 2021, the state received more than $2 billion in bets and sports betting revenue.
- The state is one of the only to have legalized sports betting that doesn’t have a state professional sports team.
- In Iowa, it is legal to bet on both professional and collegiate sports.
- It isn’t legal to bet on high school sports or entertainment in Iowa.
- You need to be aged 12 years or older to wager in sports in Iowa.
- You need to be within state lines to place a bet on Iowa sports betting sites – but don’t need to be a resident of the state.
- You cannot wager on any sport in Iowa if you have a close affiliation with a team or league in that sport.
What to Expect From Legal Iowa Sportsbooks
The state of Iowa’s sports betting is regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. They cover sportsbook licensing and regulations – making sure that Iowa sports bettors are treated fairly and have a safe and secure betting experience. As such, every mobile sports betting app that is authorized for use in the state has to undergo rigorous testing and is reviewed for security and fairness before it is allowed to operate in Iowa.
That means that Iowa sports bettors can now rest assured that they are placing their wagers in a safe and secure environment. Moreover, because in-person registration is no longer necessary, it’s also super convenient to sign up at one of the online sports betting sites and make a place from anywhere within state lines.
Sports Betting Law in Iowa
The journey to legalize sports betting in the state of Iowa first started in 2018 after the cancellation of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), but that year didn’t see much progress. However, the following year it moved quickly and in May 2019, Governor Kim Reynolds signed sports betting into law.
This was aided by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission as such, both retail and online sports betting officially launched in August that same year. At that time, a potential bettor would be required to register in person before betting online. However, this rule was invalidated on 1st January 2021.
The Iowa betting law allowed online sports betting sites to open for business as long as they are partnered with one of Iowa’s land-based casinos. This same law also set a pretty low tax rate as well as very fair licensing fees for betting. The main points for the Iowa sports betting law are as follows;
- A sports betting site needs a license fee that costs $45,000
- The state has set taxes on sports betting revenue at 6.75%
- You can register for sportsbetting both online and in-person.
- Each of the 19 casinos can have three online partners – which leaves room for 57 sites.
The Current List of Legal Sports Betting Sites in Iowa
Since first being legalized in 2019, there have been many additions to the list of legal sports betting sites. Here are those that are available as of the start of 2022…
- Bally Bet Sportsbook
- Barstool Sportsbook
- Betfred Sportsbook
- BetMGM Sportsbook
- BetRivers Sportsbook
- Betway Sportsbook
- Caesars Sportsbook
- Circa Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- DRF Sportsbook
- Elite Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- Fubo Sportsbook
- Hard Rock Sportsbook
- PointsBet Sportsbook
- Q Sportsbook
- TheScore Sportsbook
- Unibet Sportsbook
Most Popular Iowa Sports Betting Sports
The Iowa sports betting market is full to the brim – and although there are no major professional sports teams located in Iowa, it has plenty of neighbors with popular midwestern teams. That means that there aren’t any major loyalties, but it also means that there are plenty of betting options that are of interest to residents of the Hawkeye state.
- For fans of NFL betting, the most popular teams are the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs and the Minnesota Vikings
- For fans of NBA betting, the most popular teams are the Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Milwaukee Bucks.
- For fans of MLB betting, the most popular teams are the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Whitesox, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Kansas City Royals.
- For fans of NHL betting, the most popular teams are the Chicago Blackhawks, St Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild.
These are the pro teams. However, college football and basketball are also popular in the state – with the homegrown teams – Iowa and Iowa State enjoying a hugely following. The Iowa sports betting law means you can also wager on college sports – but just not prop bets on college sports players.
Aside from major pro sports and college sports, other popular sports available at Iowa sportsbooks include soccer, tennis, golf, MMA and more. Other international sports are also becoming more popular such as rugby, table tennis and even darts.
However, the biggest excitement comes when it’s Super Bowl time – where you can find all sorts of bets, not just the main bets. Options can even include coin toss bets! However, it’s worth remembering that you can only bet on sports – not entertainment, so no bets on who will win an Academy Award!
History of Iowa Sports Betting
Iowa sports betting history started in 2018 when the federal laws changed. However, little action in the state happened that year.
Instead, the debate went on into 2019 – and it was in May that year that Governor Kim Reynolds finally signed off on legal sports betting, with the hope that it would be ready to go for the start of the NFL and College football seasons.
This process was helped along by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission – and with their help, both retail and online sports betting was launched in August that same year. Let’s take a look at the main events…
- In 2018: The US Supreme Court overruled PASPA and efforts to legalize sports betting in the state began, but with little progress.
- In 2019: The Governor of Iowa signed sports betting and online betting into law in May. This led to a quick turnaround with both online and retail betting being launched in August, in time for the start of the NFL, NBA and NHL season – and the MLB postseason.
- In 2020: Iowa’s monthly sports wagering reached nine figures for the first time in December. The year ended with more than $500 million worth of bets.
- In 2021: The need for in-person registration expired at the start of the year. In total, Iowa sports bettors placed over $2 billion in bets in the year.
Iowa Sports Betting FAQ
Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Iowa?
Yes, betting online in Iowa was legalized back in 2019. Both retail and online betting launched in August.
What Sportsbooks are Legal in Iowa?
Iowa has 18 legal and regulated online sportsbooks to choose from as of early 2022. These are Ameristar Casino, Catfish Bend Casino, Diamond Jo Casino, Diamond Jo Worth, Grand Falls Casino, Hard Rock Sioux City, Harrah’s Council Bluffs, Horseshoe Casino, Isle Casino Bettendorf, Isle Casino Waterloo, Lakeside Casino, Prairie Meadows, Q Casino, Rhythm City Casino, Riverside Casino, Wild Rose Clinton, Wild Rose Emmetsburg and Wild Rose Jefferson.
Is Bovada Regulated in Iowa?
No, currently Bovada hasn’t received a license from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. As such, we recommend you use one of the licensed sports betting sites in the state.
What is the Legal Age to Bet on Sports in Iowa?
You can legally wager on sports in Iowa when you reach the age of 21. You will be required to verify your age and ID when signing up for a sportsbook.
Is Horse Racing Betting Legal in Iowa?
Yes, along with other sports, betting on horse racing is legal in Iowa. You can find this at most online sportsbooks as well as sites such as TVG, which are also legal.
Is Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Iowa?
Yes, along with other sports betting, the state of Iowa also legalized Daily Fantasy sports betting in 2019. You can play DFS at sites such as FanDuel and DraftKings.
Can I Bet Online on College Sports in Iowa?
Yes, in Iowa, it is legal to make online sports bets on both college and professional sports in Iowa. You can bet on the in-state teams, Iowa and Iowa State, but you cannot make prop bets on the individual college sports players.