Best Online Sportsbooks in IowaGo Back to See All the States
Iowa Sports Betting: Officially Live & Fully Online 2021
Iowa Becomes a Fully Online Sports Betting StateJan. 1, 2021
For nearly two years, Iowans had to register for a sports betting account in person at a casino. As of the new year, however, that rule has been lifted, and anyone within state lines can sign up, deposit and bet online.
Remote Registration to Begin on Friday, Jan. 1Dec. 31, 2020
Iowa sports betting will start the new year with an easier online registration process and a brand-new sportsbook.
Record Sports Betting Handles in Iowa for NovemberDecember 11, 2020
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission on Monday reported a record-breaking $87.2 million in wagers accepted. Historically, around 70% of this has been driven by mobile sports betting.
Iowa sports betting is live--with some hurdlesAugust 15, 2019
Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved the final rules, and sports betting went live in Iowa on August 15, 2019. Sports bettors must register in person, then they can bet online and via mobile. Wes Ehrecke, president and CRO of the Iowa Gaming Association, said it was a necessary compromise to get the bill through: “This just gave that comfort level for legislators, as well that there’s going to be this time frame to get things established.” The Iowa Gaming Association plans to lift the registration condition after 18 months.
DraftKings Sportsbook is available to Iowa sports fans 21+ as of February 2020, after in-person registration at any of the three Wild Rose Casinos (located in Jefferson, Clinton, and Emmetsburg).
DraftKings has a fantastic selection of NFL player props. It is also the first book in most U.S. states to post college football lines for the following week and has one of the best mobile apps in the market.
Iowa sports fans can sign up for PointsBet at Catfish Bend Casino in Burlington, an upscale, state of the art sports bar and casino with an odds display wall, slot machines, and blackjack tables.
PointsBet's app and site stand out as one of the best in the U.S. with its sleek mobile design. They offer great promotions and daily boosters, including some of the best odds for the popular spread and over/under bets.
William Hill US is expanding its footprint in Iowa through its partnership with Caesars Entertainment--this makes William Hill connected online sportsbook in the state. Sports fans who visit any of the following locations can register today:
- Prairie Meadows Casino in Altoona
- Lakeside Casino in Osceola
- Isle Casino Bettendorf in Bettendorf
- Isle Casino Waterloo in Waterloo
Once registered, bettors can log into the mobile William Hill app and place bets from anywhere in the state via their mobile app.
William Hill has a strong live betting experience, They also offer interesting in-game markets in their app, which are becoming more and more popular in U.S. betting.
In partnership with Boyd Gaming, FanDuel Sportsbook has added Iowa as a newly available state. To activate an online FanDuel Sportsbook account, sports fans will need to visit a FanDuel Sportsbook location at Diamond Jo Casino in either Dubuque or Northwood, Iowa to complete their registration.
FanDuel offers one of the easiest start-to-finish registration and deposit experiences in the sportsbook market. Its biggest downsides are usability related--it can be difficult to find smaller markets like props because they're buried so far in each game.
Elite Sportsbook is powered by Bet.Works platform and has three land-based partners: Grand Falls, Rhythm City, and Riverside Casino, all owned by Elite Casino Resorts.
Q Sportsbook's Casino Partner is Q Casino in Dubuque--but it accepts wagers solely rough their mobile app.
Hard Rock Sportsbook has a land foothold in Iowa with Casino Hard Rock Sioux City. Hard Rock uses GiG (Gaming Innovation Group) platform, and offers a full range betting options in their mobile app.
Unibet Sportsbook's landbased partners in Iowa are Harrah’s Council Bluff and Horseshoe Council Bluff.
How Iowa Sports Betting Compares
In Iowa, sports betting is legal — with some extra in-person steps sports bettors must take to register at a new sportsbook. However, the Iowa betting landscape is rapidly changing as 2021 draws near. Here's what we know so far:
Mobile Betting Options: B+
Mobile betting is live in Iowa, and bettors no longer have to register in person at the retail casino partner. Top national betting brands such as DraftKings, PointsBet, FanDuel and William Hill are available mobile apps, meaning there are diverse options — always better for the sports bettors. Additionally, more locally-focused brands such as the Q Casino sportsbook and the Hard Rock Sioux City sportsbook are available.
All legal sportsbooks in Iowa have multiple deposit options (e.g., bank account, debit card, etc.), most of which are familiar to bettors in other states. Once the mobile registration mandate is lifted in 2021, customers can complete a first deposit and wager from the comforts of home.
Fair Pricing: B+
The competitive market helps ensure Iowa's customers will have industry-standard lines. Reasonable taxes and fees also allow legal sportsbooks to offer lines without having to juice certain teams one way or another. With a low tax rate and diverse sportsbook options, so far so good in Iowa.
Sport Offerings: A-
Iowa bettors have a full array of mobile betting options, excluding individual prop bets on college games. This is a minor part of sportsbooks' total offerings and hasn't stopped top Iowa books from offering bets on hundreds of leagues and literally thousands of games. There are also plenty of parlays, teasers and other options. The only limits are on certain college player prop bets, so overall the offerings are among the best in the country.
Iowa's Sportsbetting Finance Breakdown
Some states, like Tennessee, make the bar quite high to offer sports betting. Iowa is much simpler. Under Iowa law, licensed casinos:
- Must pay a $45,000 license fee with an annual $10,000 renewal fee
- A 6.75% tax will be imposed on the casinos' hold
From what we've seen so far, sports betting is healthily contributing to Iowa's gaming market growth. In their annual casino industry report, the American Gaming Association found:
"In 2019, total statewide commercial casino gaming revenue was $1.49 billion, up 1.3 percent. The year-over-year increase came after the launch of sports betting in August."
- American Gaming Association, 2020 State of the States
- Mobile sports betting is available now without in-person registration
- Taxes are low to operate - this results in a more competitive offering for sports bettors
- The state boasts a wide selection of sportsbooks with physical locations near major cities in bordering states
- Early In-person registration commitment meant some books now offer full-service lounges and kiosks
- Iowa steered clear of the controversial league "integrity fees"
- No wagering on individual players from Iowa’s in-state college teams or on players playing against an in-state team for that game -- known as "prop bets."
- Sportsbooks are tied to physical casinos, and only 15 Iowa counties have state-sanctioned casinos. Many gamblers come from the other 84 counties, but there are concerns about having less financial benefit for their home counties. This is perceived as unfair in many Iowan circles.
Iowa Sports Betting FAQ
Are there taxes on sports betting winnings in Iowa?
Gambling winnings are taxable in Iowa, even if the winner is not an Iowa resident. The gross receipts are subject to state sales tax and local option sales taxes. It's important to get the details right when it comes to taxes--you can check directly with the Iowa authority here.
When did sports betting become legal in Iowa?
On May 20, Iowa officially legalized sports betting. This is when Govenor Kim Reynolds signed SF 617 , a bill regulating sports wagering within the state.
Can you bet on college sports in Iowa?
Yes! You can bet on college sports in Iowa, including the state’s popular teams like Iowa and Iowa State. However, individual player prop bets during games involving in-state schools are not allowed.
What types of bets can I place in Iowa?
After an in-person sign-up, these popular bet types are available in Iowa:
- Moneylines: A moneyline in American odds is centered around winning or wagering $100 on a given bet. Here's a guide on how to place moneyline bets.
- Parlays: A parlay is a wager type in which several bets are linked together with a greater potential payout. Here's a 101 on parlay betting and a calculator.
- Props: A prop bet is a wager that is not directly tied to the final score or final outcome of a game. It’s short for “proposition bet.” Check out our guide on prop betting. Note: in-state prop betting on college games are restricted.
- Point Spreads: A point spread is a bet on the margin of victory in a given game, favoring the stronger team. Here are the details on spread betting.
- Totals: A total, also referred to as an over/under, is a bet on the number of points both teams will combine to score in a game. Learn more about totals.
- Futures: A futures bet is a bet on an event that will be decided in the future. Check out our educational guide to learn more.
Can I bet on sporting events with my mobile phone in Iowa?
Yes, using your sportsbook mobile app of choice, you can use your mobile phone to make online sports bets in Iowa.
Who is in charge of sports betting in Iowa?
The regulator is the existing Iowa Regulatory Gaming Commission (IRGC).
How old do you have to be to bet in Iowa?
You need to be 21 years old to bet.
What sports can you bet on in Iowa?
Iowa sports bettors can enjoy placing bets on:
- Baseball: MLB, D1 College Baseball, Minor League Baseball
- Basketball: NBA, WNBA, D1 College Basketball, Euro League &Euro Cup & International Basketball Federation
- Football: NFL, D1 College Football, Canadian Football League, Arena Football League
- Golf: The PGA, PGA Tour Champions, LPGA, Champion’s Tour, European Tour & Senior European Tour, International Events (e.g., The Presidents Cup), World Golf Championships, and the Koran Ferry Tour
- Hockey: National Hockey League, D1 College Hockey, International Ice Hockey Federation, World Championships
- Soccer: FIFA Events, Major League Soccer, UEFA – Champions League, EUROPA and Super Cup, English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, French Ligue 1, Mexican Liga Bancomer, D1 College Soccer.
Additionally, the following are available to bet on: Auto Racing, Bowling, Boxing, Cricket, Darts, Lacrosse, MMA, The Olympics, Rugby, Sailing, Softball, Tennis, Track and Field. The major exception to keep in mind in Iowa are the limitations on in-state prop betting on college sports.
Sports Betting for Iowa Beginners
If you’re new to sports betting in Iowa, you likely have questions. Our 11 sports betting tips for beginners can help you make savvier decisions come game time. Ready to really get in on the action in the Hawkeye state? Check out our comprehensive educational hub for all a new Iowan sports bettor needs to know.
Sports Betting Glossary
Sports betting comes with its own language and terminology. It can all be a bit overwhelming and intimidating for newer betting enthusiasts, so be sure to consult our sports betting glossary for detailed definitions of all the main terms.
Sports Betting Mistakes to Avoid in Iowa
Sports betting isn't easy. It’s important to stay disciplined and not overextend yourself, even if you are betting on favorite teams like the Cyclones.
There will always be ups and downs, but if you stay true to our nine mistakes to avoid, your sports betting experience will be a much more enjoyable one.
Iowa Sports Betting Timeline
January 1, 2021
Iowa Teams to Bet on
Pro Sports Teams
NFL Betting in Iowa
In the same 2019 study mapping football fans across the United States, SeatGeek says that NFL fandom in Iowa is pretty evenly split between the Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs. There are a few counties that favor nearby Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, as well.
In the 2021 conference championships, the Iowa Hawkeyes actually sported the most players on active NFL rosters between the four teams competing with nine. There were at least two athletes on each of the Chiefs, Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills.
Recommended Resource: How to Bet on Football Guide
NBA Betting in Iowa
NBA fans in Iowa are diverse when it comes to favorite teams, but the majority of fans are split between the three major nearby franchises: Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls. While there aren't any professional NBA franchises in the state, the Iowa Wolves, G-League affiliate of the Minnesota Timberwolves play their home games in Des Moines.
The Wolves won the 2011 championship and have four division titles since its founding in 2007. They were known as the Iowa Energy until the Timberwolves purchased the team and rebranded in 2017.
Recommended Resource: How to Bet On Basketball Guide
MLB Betting in Iowa
While there are no MLB teams based in Iowa, there are plenty of franchises located in bordering states. Among those include the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals. A 2019 study conducted by SeatGeek found that the Royals have the largest fanbase in Iowa followed by the Cubs.
There will be a professional baseball game played in the state of Iowa in 2021! MLB announced that on August 12, the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees will play one another in the Field of Dreams game. The stadium is on the same Dyersville, Iowa farm where the movie was shot.
Recommended Resource: Tips to Bet on Baseball
NHL Betting in Iowa
Like all other professional sports, hockey fans in Iowa favor teams in nearby cities. The two closest teams from the state are the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks.
Similar to the NBA, while there are no professional hockey franchises in Iowa, the state does have a minor league affiliate. The Iowa Wild's inaugural season as part of the American Hockey League came in 2013. They are owned by the Minnesota Wild and play home games at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
College Sports Teams
Iowa has proud sports traditions and longstanding rivalries inside and outside the state. We expect big bets to be placed on these Iowa college games in the future.
College Football Betting in Iowa
Iowa Hawkeyes Football
Hawkeyes football is the most storied athletics program and most followed in-state sports team in Iowa. Claiming five National Championships and 13 conference titles, Iowa has experienced its fair share of success since its inaugural season in 1889. The Hawkeyes are a perennial bowl contender, having not qualified just twice since their 2001 Alamo Bowl win. Their 2021 matchup was canceled due to COVID-19.
Iowa is coached by Kirk Ferentz who will begin his 23rd season at the helm in 2021 and currently has an all-time win percentage of .613. He is currently the longest-tenured head coach in college football. The Hawkeyes compete in the West Division of the Big Ten Conference and play home games at Kinnick Stadium, which has a current capacity of 69,250.
Iowa Hawkeyes Rivalry: vs. Iowa State Cyclones. This in-state rivalry dates back to 1894 and has been held annually since 1977. Each season, the two programs compete for the Cy-Hawk Trophy, named after the teams' mascots. The home site alternates each year with Iowa hosting even years and Iowa State odd. The Hawkeyes have won five straight Cy-Hawk Trophies, edging out the Cyclones 18-17 in their most recent 2019 matchup. Last year's rivalry game was canceled due to COVID-19.
Iowa State Cyclones Football
The only other FBS program in the state of Iowa, the Cyclones have not found as much success as its in-state counterpart. Iowa State has a sub-.500 win percentage and has just two conference titles — in 1911 and 1912 — prior to their move to the Big 12. The Cyclones have made 16 bowl games and did win a division title back in 2004.
Iowa State is currently coached by Matt Campbell who has turned things around over the last five years. Since taking over in 2016, Campbell has slowly made the Cyclones a perennial Top 25 team. They have made four bowl games and after a 9-3 season capped off with a 34-17 Fiesta Bowl win over Oregon in 2020, finished the year ranked ninth in the country. Iowa State plays its home games at Jack Trice Stadium with a current capacity of 61,500.
Iowa State Cyclones Rivalry: vs. Iowa Hawkeyes. Despite competing in different conferences, this rivalry has become an annual staple for both squads. Iowa State took home the first meeting in 1894 but has been largely unsuccessful all-time. In 67 total meetings, the Hawkeyes lead, 45-22.
College Basketball Betting in Iowa
Iowa Hawkeyes Men's Basketball
Though not as successful as its football program, the Iowa Hawkeyes has eight Big 10 regular season conference championships and 27 NCAA Tournament appearances. The Hawkeyes have made the championship just once — a 1956 loss to the San Francisco Dons — but have made three Final Fours. Since 2000, Iowa has made eight postseason appearances but has yet to make it past the Round of 32.
The Hawkeyes are led by 11-year head coach Fran McCaffrey, the second-winningest coach in program history. Iowa is coming off its most successful season since 2005, finishing 22-9 with a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Hawkeyes play home games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena with a capacity of 15,400
Iowa Hawkeyes Rivalry: vs. Illinois Fighting Illini. These two Big Ten Conference rivals not only play twice a season but compete against one another while recruiting. There have been plenty of heated moments between the programs as well, most recently coming in 2020. Iowa's Joe Wieskamp elected not to run the clock out and dunked with 12 seconds left to extend the Hawkeyes' lead to double digits. After words were exchanged between Illini assistant coach Ron Coleman and Iowa head coach Fran McCaffrey, the latter pulled his players from the handshake line and into the locker room. Illinois swept the 2021 series and are currently on a three-game win streak. They lead all-time, 88-76.
Iowa State Men's Basketball
Iowa State's mens' basketball program has experienced its fair share of success despite never winning a National Championship. The Cyclones have made 20 NCAA Tournaments and five Sweet Sixteen appearances, its best postseason coming in a 1944 Final Four run.
The Cyclones have won six regular season Big 12 championships and have six conference tournament wins — four coming since 2014 — under its belt as well. Iowa State named T.J. Otzelberger the program’s new head coach ahead of the 2021 season. He had been an assistant within the program a decade ago before leaving to coach South Dakota State and most recently, UNLV. The Cyclones play its home games on campus at Hilton Coliseum.
Iowa State Cyclones Rivalry: vs. Iowa Hawkeyes. Like in football, the in-state rivalry between Iowa State and Iowa occurs annually in nonconference play. This has been fueled by proximity above all else, with the two programs first meeting in 1909. Iowa has dominated the all-time series, 47-27, but its Iowa State with a one-game edge since 2010.
Drake Bulldogs Men's Basketball
Since Darian DeVries took over Drake's men's basketball program in 2018, the Bulldogs have quickly risen to mid-major stardom. They won the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title in DeVries' first season and would make the 2021 NCAA Tournament as the last four in. They began the season a flawless 18-0. The No. 11-seeded Bulldogs would beat Wichita State before falling to USC in the Round of 64.
Drake's rise back to relevance comes nearly 50 years since their stretch of dominance where the program made three straight Elite Eights from 1969-71. The Bulldogs made just one Final Four in five NCAA Tournament appearances. Drake plays home games at the Knapp Center on campus in Des Moines.
Drake Bulldogs Rivalry: vs. Northern Iowa Panthers. The only two mid-major programs in the state of Iowa, Drake and Northern Iowa both compete in the Missouri Valley Conference. Fueled by proximity, this rivalry has taken a step up since Drake's recent string of success. The Bulldogs and Panthers host one another in a home-and-home series each season. Drake swept the 2021 series and is on a current three-game win streak.
Northern Iowa Panthers Men's Basketball
Northern Iowa quickly became one of the perennial contenders in the Missouri Valley after its 2004 conference championship. The Panthers would make seven of the next 13 NCAA Tournaments and pick up five MVC championships along the way. Their most successful postseason run came in 2010 as a No. 9 seed, where they would take down No. 1 Kansas in the Round of 32.
The Panthers are led by longtime head coach Ben Jacobson who is entering his 16th year at the helm. He is the winningest head coach in program history. Northern Iowa plays its home games at McLeod Center on campus in Cedar Falls.
Northern Iowa Panthers Rivalry: vs. Drake Bulldogs. This in-state rivalry takes place twice a season and is fueled by both proximity and Missouri Valley Conference ties. Northern Iowa has long dominated the series and even won 16 of 18 from 2010-18. These games have been competitive in recent years, however, with Drake even pulling off a huge upset in the 2020 MVC Conference Tournament before COVID-19 canceled the postseason. It put a bitter end to a 25-5 season out of the Panthers. Northern Iowa leads the all-time series, 48-26.
Division I Football & Basketball
Iowa doesn't have professional sports teams, but it has major pro sport fan bases! We've already seen engagement betting on pro teams in Iowa, and expect that to only grow.
MLB Betting in Iowa
The Des Moines Register found that the two most popular pro baseball teams in Iowa were the Royals, followed by the Cubs. However, as to baseball played in Iowa, there is a notable event to come. 'MLB at Field of Dreams' is a planned regular-season MLB game scheduled for August 2021 in Dyersville, held where the 1989 baseball movie was filmed. The game is to be between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees. It will be the first MLB game played in the state of Iowa, therefore the first to bet on in-state!
Kansas City Royals
The Chicago Cubs
NFL Betting in Iowa
At a 6-ish hour drive north, The Vikings are one of the closer pro football teams to Iowa. Therefore, they've grown a strong fan base and even contributed top Hawkeyes talent to the team like Defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson. The Vikings have a bittersweet reputation: they are (defensibly) the most successful NFL franchise to never win a Super Bowl.
Green Bay Packers
A few beloved Hawkeyes are now on the Packers, only furthering their indearment with Iowans: Cornerback Josh Jackson and Linebacker Christian Kirksey. The Packers are long-standing adversaries of the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, and Detroit Lions--expect major bets to be placed on these matchups now that sports betting is legal in Iowa.
Recommended Resource: How to Bet on Football Guide
NBA Betting in Iowa
With a drive from Des Moines to Milwaukee clocking in at under six hours, many local Iowans have grown up as passionate Bucks fans. However, to the disappointment of local fans, games at Fiserv Forum in Wisconsin for the 2020-21 season will be held without fans until further notice due to COVID-19 safety considerations. After signing up in person at a local book, Iowa Bucks fans can watch and bet in the comfort of their own homes.
Recommended Resource: How to Bet On Basketball Guide
Iowa has a range of 'other' sporting events that draw local and national interest:
- The Drake Relays. Drake Relays are a track and field event held annually in April. Many Olympic Gold medalists have competed in this relay.
- Iowa Shrine Bowl. The Iowa Shrine Bowl is an all-star football game featuring Iowa’s most talented high school/pre-college football players. It's held every July in Cedar Falls.
These are a few of many events held throughout Iowa annually (when COVID permits).
Check our resource links for local sports coverage to find more events of interest.
More Reading on Iowa
Iowa's Sports Betting Legalization Bill
Senate File 617 (SF617). Introduced to the state Senate in April of 2019, SF617 legalized sports betting in Iowa.
Sports Betting Legal Bill Review
A legal perspective on the sports betting bill from a local lawyer: "Sports Betting is Almost Here in Iowa – Here’s What We Know " from BrownWinick attorney, Matt McKinney.
Sports Bettor Protections in Iowa
Local IA Sports Coverage
Iowa Locals aren't All Fans of Sports Betting
52% of Iowans opposed legalizing betting on professional sporting events, and 69% opposed legalizing betting on college sporting events. Learn more about local opinions from the Des Moines Register's poll.
State-Led Sports Betting Fiscal Analysis
Christin Mechler, a Fiscal Legislative Analyst II at the State of Iowa, and Angel Banks-Adams, another fiscal Legislative Analyst, prepared an overview of sports betting legislation. The presentation emphasized the taxation and structures that have been proposed nationwide, including in the State of Iowa.