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Sports betting in Iowa

Iowa sports betting is regulated and licensed. If there is a state that is liberal about gambling, it would have to be the state of Iowa. The state has legalized sports betting and other forms of online gambling are in the pipeline. This is good news for gambling fans of Iowa as they can soon also gamble on online casino and poker too, in addition to sports betting. Incidentally, even though an initial sport betting Bill, was drafted and tabled in the state assembly in 2018, the same was never passed into law. The legislators were unable to reach a consensus regarding the Bill’s finer details.

Relentless, the lawmakers, who were alive to the promise that the gambling sector held for the locals, drafted and fine-tuned a new piece of legislation which was passed into law by Governor Kim Reynold. The law officially saw Iowa become the 11th state to legalize sports betting. The bill was sanctioned in May 2019, and Iowa sports betting went live on August 5 2019. The state has authorized both retail and mobile sports betting. As of January 1 2021 Iowa residents can register directly online without having to preregister at a land based casino facility.


Who can gamble in the state of Iowa?

Anyone over 21 years of age within the state borders can wager on sports online.

When did online sports betting become legal in Iowa?

On August 5 2019 online sports betting went live in Iowa. It was sanctioned in May 2019.

Which are the best sportsbooks in Iowa?

DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet are our favorite sportsbooks in Iowa.

What sports can I wager on online in Iowa?

Online sportsbooks in Iowa offer a complete range of sports to bet on. All the top sports and leagues together with smaller niche sports and leagues are available. The betting options are close to unlimited.

The History of Gambling and Iowa Sports Betting

The legalization of gambling in the Hawkeye state began way back in 1991 when the country developed laws to allow each of its counties to deliberate on whether or not to build land-based casinos. As a result, 18 land-based casinos were established, all sanctioned to operate. The democratic space created for matters gambling also resulted in the building of several tribal and riverboat casinos.

In the past, attempts to legalize gambling in Iowa failed to succeed, probably due to the proscriptive regional climate towards gambling at the time. For example, a bill drafted in 2013, for example, failed soon after landing at the state assembly for deliberation. Similar subsequent attempts too were unable to see the light of day. Undeterred, the Iowa legislators resolved to formulate a scheme that would enable their residents to benefit and enjoy gambling.

Experts speculated that the Hawkeye State would be among the states that would legalize Iowa online sports betting, right alongside states such as Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. True to predictions, the state passed a new Bill that saw Iowa mushroom into the centre of the US sports betting within just three months of legislation.

13th May 2019 – Great Happening for Iowa Sports Betting

Iowa was the 11th state to legalize sports betting. This legalization came through the Sports Wagering Act, which the State Assembly approved on 13th May 2019. The new law paves the way for punters to bet on fantasy sports as well as professional and college sports.

However, even though the law has sanctioned sports betting in Iowa, there was more work to be done before the law could fully take effect. The Iowa Gaming and Racing Commission had to pass the relevant Administrative Rules to govern sports betting. Luckily for punters, in July 2019, the Соmmіѕѕіоn promptly addressed the issue.

The Commission also approved the rules governing Iowa sports betting on a vote of 5-0. Soon after that, the Commission began processing license applications which had been presented by the state’s 18 casinos. In no time, sports wagering had officially taken off just in time for the state to reap from the NFL season.

For an establishment to operate as a legal gambling outfit, it must pay a $45,000 licensing fee to the state. After that, the establishment must pay a tax of 6.75% on all its sports gambling revenue. The state allows up to two sports book to operate under one license.

Presently, Iowa is one of the Middle Eastern states to watch, in so far as mobile gaming is concerned. Its residents can now freely game via their tablets and smartphones. However, punters had to personally register for the mobile app in person through the respective brand’s website up to January 1 2021.

Besides, the state boasts of 19 licensed casinos which have online betting and sports betting for their clientele. Some of the legal sportsbook of Iowa include:

The Legality of Gaming in Iowa

The legalized forms of gambling and gaming in the state of Iowa are as follows:

  • Tribal casinos
  • Lotteries
  • Charitable casinos (raffle and bingo-type games)
  • Commercial casinos
  • Sports betting (which is presently legal)
  • Pari-Mutuel (racetracks including betting on Horses, greyhounds as well as simulcast)
    • Prairie Meadows
    • Isle Bettendorf
    • Lakeside Casino
    • Isle Waterloo
    • Rhythm City
    • Riverside
    • Catfish Bend Casino

Regulation of casinos and sports betting in Iowa falls under two bodies- those directly governed by the state of Iowa itself and those falling under the Tribal Compact. The latter refers to casinos  and sports book regulated under an agreement between the state of Iowa and the respective tribe concerned

Iowa’s Gambling Statistics

No. of Commercial Gambling Facilities:Age RequirementsCasino Regulatory Body:Lottery National Rankings:Approx. Annual Gambling RevenueApprox. Annual Gambling Taxes:
Licensed Casinos: 2421 yearsIowa Racing and Gaming Commission34th$1.14 billion$726 million
Licensed Bingo: 3
Greyhound Tracks: 1
Greyhound Tracks: 1

Iowa Sports Betting Prospects

The state of Iowa has ­­­ made a concerted effort to legalize gambling. With such a promising start, the future can only be bright. It is more so, given the fact that Iowa residents can register for mobile betting. For residents of the Hawkeye state yet to register, there is no better time than the present.

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