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Sports betting in Iowa

Legal sports betting in Iowa came to be in May 2019. Online sports betting in Iowa and retail sports betting launched on the same day on August 15, 2019. The Hawkeye State has seen great growth in the sports betting industry since launching and the online books have to be partnered with a land-based casino. Each casino in the state can have three skins, (licenses), which means bettors in Iowa have a lot of choices and as of May 2022, there are 18 online sportsbooks in the state. 

This in-depth article will give you all the key information in terms of Iowa online sports betting. You can learn about the legal issues, tax issues, what you can and cannot bet on, a timeline of events and where you can legally place sports wagers. You can also get started wagering on Iowa online sports betting, as you will see how to open an account at a state-licensed sportsbook and get started for legal sports betting in Iowa. 

All legal sports betting options in Iowa

The legal situation on Iowa sports betting

There was a lot of talk in the Iowa legislature about legalizing sports betting in 2018 but nothing came to fruition. However, it did not take long for that to change, as in May 2019 Governor Kim Reynolds signed bill SF 617 into law legalizing retail and online sports wagering. Both launched on August 15, 2019, as the state wanted to get going for the upcoming college and pro football seasons. 

In bill SF 617 each of the land-based casinos in the Hawkeye State could be granted three skins, which means each could have three online sportsbooks. There are now 18 of them available in the state and there are plans for more in the near future. With 19 land-based casinos there are a whopping 57 skins available. 

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission regulates and oversees all of the sports betting in the state. In the beginning Iowa bettors had to sign up for an online sportsbook in person at a land-based casino but that expired on January 1, 2021. 

There is a very low 6.75 tax on revenue from online and retail sports betting. Since launch Iowa has taken in nearly $16.3 million in taxes from sports betting. 

🛑 What you can’t bet on from online sportsbooks in Iowa

Iowa is one of the states that allows for betting on in-state college teams, which is good for fans of the major programs of Iowa and Iowa State. However, one of the restrictions in the state is that you cannot bet on college proposition bets for players. 

Here are the restrictions on what you cannot bet on in the Hawkeye State:

  • Entertainment bets such as for the Emmys and Oscars 
  • Political bets such as the U.S. presidential election 
  • In-state college play proposition bets 

🟢 What you can bet on from online sportsbooks in Iowa 

  • NCAA Football, NCAA Basketball, NCAA Baseball 
  • Major Domestic Leagues, including NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS, MLB, MMA, UFC, etc. 
  • Major International Leagues, including England Premier League, Italy Serie A, Spain La Liga, etc. 
  • Major sports events, including NBA playoffs and finals, Stanley Cup, Super Bowl, World Series, World Cup, The Masters, Olympics, etc.
  • Most betting types, including spreads, moneylines, totals (over/under), parlays, futures, proposition bets (pro sports no college props), and live bets. 
  • eSports 

What is the tax situation in Iowa

Iowa has a very low sports betting tax of 13.75% on gross revenue. They also have a very low licensing fee for online sportsbooks at $45.000 each with an annual renewal fee of $10,000. You are required to report wins of over $600 for state taxes and all wins on federal taxes. The taxes from sports betting taxes have gone into the state’s general fund and the state is still in debate on how to use the money. However, Iowa allocated $1,75 million to the Department of Public Health’s Gambling Treatment Program in 2021, which was up significantly from the $300,000 allocated in 2020.

All the available sportsbooks in Iowa     

  • 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

Forecasts about the future of online gambling in Iowa     

The future is very bright for online and retail sports betting in the Hawkeye State. There are currently 18 online sportsbooks available and there are still many more skins that are available. Iowa is a very attractive state for the bookies, as the license and tax fees are very low. Right off the bat when online sports betting launched in August 2019 there were already five sportsbooks that were live. 

You can see the popularity in sports betting in Iowa, as in 2020 the state took $575 million in bets and only a year later took in $2 billion in 2021. In 2021 over 88% of the bets taken were done so online. 

Not only are there a lot of choices when it comes to Iowa online sportsbooks but there are also many retail sportsbooks at the land-based casinos of: 

  • 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
  • Wild Rose Jefferson

Timeline of main events in Iowa    

  • March 2022 – eSports betting in Iowa legalized with the passing of bill HF2497
  • January 2021 – End of requirement to register for an online sportsbook account at a land based casino 
  • December 2020 – Iowa eclipses over $100 million in sports betting handle for the first time taking in $104 million in bets 
  • August 2019 – online and retail sports betting launches 
  • May 2019 – sports betting is legalized in Iowa 
  • June 2018 – Serious talk in state legislature about legalizing sports betting after PASPA overturned but no action taken in the year. 
  • May 2018 – The Supreme Court overturns Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which made sports betting legal on a state-by-state basis. 

How do I start betting online in Iowa     

It is now much easier to start betting online in Iowa. After January 2021, bettors in the state could register for an account online while before that had to do so at a land-based casino. It is quick and simple to register for an account at an IA online sportsbook. The first step is to pick one of the sportsbooks available, there are 18 as of May 2022, and sign up. Then you will have to go through the identification process where you will have to supply the sportsbook with such information as: 

  • Full name
  • Birthday 
  • Social Security Number 
  • Personal verification information 

Once the sportsbook has successfully verified your identification you will get a confirmation email saying that. Then you can head to the online sportsbook you registered with and start to wager on your favorite sports.


Who regulates the legal online sports betting in Iowa?

The  Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission regulates all online, as well as retail, gambling activities in the state.

Are the odds the same while betting in Iowa as in any other state?

Yes. The odds will be exactly the same for the same brand of sportsbooks available in Iowa and other states. For example, if you check out BetMGM Iowa and BetMGM Michigan the odds will be the same. If they are from different books, such as BetMGM Iowa and DraftKings Iowa the odds may not be exactly the same but they will be very similar.

What are the differences between sports betting in Iowa compared to any other state?

One difference is that in Iowa there are more choices for sportsbooks (18) than in other states. In the Hawkeye State you can bet on in-state college teams and college games held in the state while that is not the case in other states. However, there is no betting available for college football player props. In Iowa you can also wager on eSports, as that is not the case in other states.

Is sports betting legal in Iowa?

Yes. Sports betting was legalized in Iowa in May 2019 when Governor Kim Reynolds signed bill SF 617 into law. Both online and retail sports betting went live in Iowa on August 15, 2019.

How old do you need to be for online sports betting in Iowa?

You must be 21 years old to gamble on sports in Iowa.

Where can you bet online in Iowa?

If you are at least 21 years old you can bet on sports online at any of the 18 state-licensed online sportsbooks.

Do I need to be a resident of Iowa to bet at Iowa sportsbooks?

No. While you do not have to be a resident of Iowa to bet at Iowa sportsbooks you must be physically located in the state to do so.

Can I access my Iowa sportsbook account in other states?

Yes. You are able to access your IA online sportsbook out of the state but, again, you must be located in it to make wagers. Still, out of state you can do such things as register for an account, check odds, make deposits and withdrawals, and contact customer service.