Iowa Betting Sites

The Hawkeye State boasts an abundance of online sportsbooks relative to its small population of 3.16 million. It currently features six internet bookmakers:

  • DraftKings Sportsbook
  • ELITE Sportsbook
  • Hard Rock Sioux City
  • Q Sportsbook
  • PointsBet
  • William Hill

DraftKings, PointsBet, and William Hill have emerged as early market leaders. However, the other three online sportsbooks also have potential.

DraftKings Sportsbook Iowa (partner: Wild Rose Casinos)

Launched in Feb. 2020, DraftKings was late to the game when compared to other IA betting sites. Nevertheless, it has already grabbed a large market share thanks to its big bonus and betting variety.

DraftKings bonus

  • $25 no-deposit bonus
  • 100% match-deposit bonus up to $500
  • Up to a $500 risk-free bet
  • No bonus code needed - use our link

PointsBet Iowa (partner: Catfish Bend Casino)

This Australian bookmaker has quickly spread into different US markets. PointsBet features a unique type of wagering that pays more based on how close you are to the result.

PointsBet bonus

  • Up to $250 in free bets
  • Use the code “BONUSNOW”

William Hill Iowa (partners: Lakeside Casino, Isle Casino Bettendorf, more)

Launched in Aug. 2019, William Hill became Iowa's first-ever online sportsbook. It features a solid number of markets and one of the most recognizable brands in the world.

William Hill bonus

  • Bet $50 to receive a $50 bonus

Elite Sportsbook (partners: Riverside Casino, Rhythm City Casino, more)

Elite launched in the same month as William Hill. Its early mover advantage has helped it become one of Iowa’s most successful betting sites.

Hard Rock Sioux City Sportsbook (partner: self)

Hard Rock’s online sportsbook runs on the Gaming Innovation platform. It’s still trying to carve out a place in Iowa’s internet market.

Q Casino Sportsbook (partner: self)

Q Casino’s betting site runs through IGT software. Like Hard Rock, it’s still finding its bearings in the state’s online betting scene.

Legalities of Iowa online sports betting

Iowa online sports gambling features the following provisions for operators:

  • Legal retail and mobile sportsbooks.
  • The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) oversees the market.
  • Each land-based casino can run two skins/branded apps.
  • Operators pay a $45,000 initial licensing fee, followed by a $10,000 annual renewal fee.
  • Bookmakers must also cover a 6.75% tax rate.
  • Pro and college sports betting are legal.
  • Prop betting on in-state college sports is banned (e.g., no prop bets on Iowa State sports).

Few states allow sportsbooks to get started as cheaply as Iowa does. Several bookmakers are already benefiting from the low $45k licensing fee and ultra-low 6.75% tax rate.

The Iowa betting market features the following rules for gamblers.

  • Bettors must be 21 years of age or older.
  • Gamblers must register in person at a betting app’s corresponding casino (e.g., Q Casino for the Q Casino app).
  • The in-person mandate lasts until Jan. 1, 2021.
  • Once 2021 begins, bettors can register online.

Iowa betting apps

This state lets you download Iowa sports betting apps virtually anywhere in the world. However, the Hawkeye State features an odd in-person registration rule.

You must travel to a casino associated with your preferred sports gambling app to register. This rule will remain in place until 2021 kicks off.

Other than the in-person requirement, you’ll find that IA betting apps are similar to other markets regarding downloads and registration.

Downloading Iowa Sports Betting Apps

When using an Android phone, you must visit an Iowa bookmaker’s website to download an app. Google Play doesn’t offer real-money gambling apps.

When using an iOS device, you should head directly to the App Store. From there, you search for the relevant app and download it.

Complete Registration

Again, you need to register at an Iowa land-based casino for mobile betting. After 2020, you’ll be able to sign up online just like in other markets.

Available Online Bets in Iowa

The Hawkeye State boasts several types of bets. You can look forward to placing the following wagers:

  • Moneyline: A straight-up bet on which team will win a game.
  • Spread: You bet on one team to cover its point spread (e.g., +5.5) in a match.
  • Totals: You wager on whether two teams will combine to score over or under a given point total (e.g., over/under 51.5 points)
  • Live to wager: These bets pop up in the middle of games.
  • Proposition bet: A proposition bet involves an outcome that’s not tied to the final score.
  • Parlay: A parlay rolls multiple outcomes into a single bet. You must win every outcome to win the wager.
  • Teaser: Teasers also include multiple outcomes in one bet. The difference, though, is that the point spreads “tease” in your favor (e.g., +4 becomes +10).
  • Round robin: A series of two-team parlays that involve every possible combination of the teams. You can lose one or more of the parlays and still win money.

IA Betting Markets

Iowa bookmakers feature a robust selection of sports to wager on. You’ll find the following markets in this state:

  • Australia rules football
  • Auto racing (NASCAR & Formula One)
  • Baseball
  • Basketball (NCAA & NBA)
  • Boxing
  • Cricket
  • Darts
  • Football (NCAA & NFL)
  • Hockey
  • Mixed martial arts (UFC)
  • Olympics
  • Soccer (MLS & Premier League)
  • Rugby
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

Iowans are big sports fans. They heavily follow college and professional teams—despite not housing any of the latter.

Below, you can see some of the local favorites that Iowa enjoys wagering on:

  • University of Iowa (football & basketball)
  • Iowa State University (football & basketball)
  • Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers & Minnesota Vikings (all NFL)
  • Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins & St. Louis Cardinals (all MLB)
  • Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves (both NBA)
  • Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild (both NHL)

No Oscars or eSports Betting in Iowa

This state is generally liberal regarding its markets. However, the IRGC doesn’t allow people to wager on the following:

  • Academy Awards (Oscars)
  • Esports
  • High school sports
  • Prop bets on in-state college teams

Depositing at IA Betting Sites

You can fund your betting account using several methods in Iowa. Available banking options include:

  • Bank transfer (e-check): Transfer funds from your bank to an Iowa betting site through e-checks. 
  • Cash: Visit a land-based casino associated with your preferred betting app and deposit.
  • Credit/debit card: Use Visa, Mastercard, or another credit/debit card brand to deposit.
  • E-wallet: PayPal and Skrill are both available deposit options in Iowa.
  • PayNearMe: Deposit with cash at an Iowa 7-Eleven.
  • Prepaid card: Many bookmakers create branded prepaid cards and issue them to bettors.

Iowa Sports Betting Bonuses

IA online sportsbooks offer various betting bonuses. You can look forward to the following deals in this market:

  • Risk-free bet: A betting site gives you the opportunity to earn back money if your first bet loses.
  • No-deposit bonus: You receive a small bonus (e.g., $10) after completing registration.
  • Deposit bonus: The online sportsbook matches your deposit amount up to a given amount (e.g., $500).
  • Odds boost: A betting site moves the odds on a bet to help you (e.g., +135 becomes +155).

History of Sports Betting in Iowa

The Iowa Gaming Association began encouraging sports betting legislation in 2017. Its members felt that Iowa should get ahead of a potential repeal of PASPA—a federal ban on sports gambling.

In May 2018, the Supreme Court abolished PASPA. This move opened the doorway for Iowa to legalize sports betting.

However, the state legislature chose not to pass a sports bill introduced in 2018. Lawmakers didn’t give up, though, and drafted another bill in 2019.

Senate File 617 sought to legalize mobile and land-based sports betting throughout Iowa. The State House and Senate both passed SF 617 a few months after its introduction.

William Hill became the first Iowa mobile sportsbook after launching in Aug. 2018. Elite Sportsbook quickly joined it as the second online bookmaker to go live.

FAQ on Iowa Sports Betting

Why does Iowa make mobile bettors register in person?

Some Iowa politicians were uncomfortable with passing the first sports gambling bill presented to them in 2018. They expressed concerns over underage betting. In-person registration, which appeared in the second attempt (SF 617), is a compromise for concerned lawmakers. It forces mobile bettors to register at land-based sportsbooks and reduces the chances of underage gambling. This in-person registration clause will disappear starting in 2021. At that point, bettors will be able to register online, like in most other states.

What’s the minimum sports betting age in Iowa?

You must be 21 years of age or older to place sports bets in the Hawkeye State.

Is FanDuel legal in Iowa?

FanDuel is legal and licensed in the Hawkeye State. It currently operates a retail sportsbook at Diamond Jo Casino. However, FanDuel has yet to launch a betting site in Iowa. We envision it doing so sometime soon.

Are IA betting sites safe?

Yes. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission regulates the sports gambling market. It interviews applicants and only grants licenses to quality bookmakers. The IRGC also works to protect problem bettors.

Can I bet on esports in Iowa?

The Iowa Gaming Commission asked that esports be added to the state’s betting menu. However, the IRGC refused this request.

The IRGC sought advice from IA Attorney General Tom Miller on the matter. It ultimately chose not to approve esports betting after Miller’s office advised against doing so.

That said, you can’t currently wager on esports in Iowa. However, the IRGC may revisit this issue and change its mind later.

Do I need to live in Iowa to bet on sports?

No. The Hawkeye State allows any adult aged 21 or older to place sports bets as long as they’re in Iowa.

Do I need to pay taxes on IA sports betting winnings?

Yes. Iowa levels a 5% state income tax on all gambling winnings. You’ll need to cover this tax even if you live out of state and win while visiting Iowa.