Iowa is one of only five states in the country where all six major types of betting are allowed in at least some capacity, including charitable, parimutuel, commercial, tribal, racetrack and lotteries. In addition, Iowa is one of just six states to allow riverboat gambling – and the first to do so – along with Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri and Mississippi.

Best Betting Sites for Iowa

  1. Bovada Sportsbook Review

    When it comes to sportsbooks geared to American bettors, Bovada offers everything you need to bet on the NFL, NBA, MLB and college sports. There’s also lines on hockey, UFC, e-sports and politics. From live betting to exclusive bonuses on certain deposit options, Bovada is the ultimate sports betting site for those looking for quick withdrawals, special promotions and different language options (English and Spanish).

    • Real-Time Lines, Props and Live Betting
    • 24-Hour Customer Service
    • Industry-Leading Promotions
    • Visa
    • MasterCard
    • bitcoin
    Signup Bonus
    50% Up To $250
    Play Now
  2. BetOnline Sportsbook Review

    Known for their killer welcome bonus and refer-a-friend program, is focused on the bettor. Choose from player props to $125 worth of risk-free bets when you use this sportsbook for your wagering needs. They also boast early lines and quick payouts, making them one of the most respected in the industry.

    Signup Bonus
    100% Up To $1000
    Play Now
  3. GTBets Sportsbook Review

    GTBets is the sportsbook of choice for football fans due to their NFL and college football betting lines and odds. Their easy-to-use interface makes betting a breeze. Plus, their ample sign-up bonus will match your first deposit 100% up to $500. Whether you're wagering on the NBA, baseball or horse racing, this is the online betting site you need.

    Signup Bonus
    100% Up To $500
    Play Now
*Terms and Conditions apply to all bonus offers on this website. Visit operator for details.

Gaming Laws in Iowa

Illegal gambling is defined as “participating in a game for anything of value or making any bet” in Chapter 725 of the Iowa Code with reference to Vices. Penalties vary but start with a serious misdemeanor for the first offense. Anything offered as a stake for a wager or bet shall be forfeited to the state and can be seized or disposed of, including gambling devices.

The Pari-mutuel Wagering Act became a law in 1983 to allow wagering on horse and dog racing in Iowa, and bills were later expanded to permit casino gambling on riverboats in 1989 with the first riverboat casino opening for business in 1991.

Tribal Casinos

Currently, there are 21 casinos operating in the state of Iowa, three of which are tribal-owned, including the Blackbird Bend Casino, Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel and WinnaVegas Casino. These tribal casinos offer slot machines, bingo and table games like blackjack, Pai Gow, poker, craps, baccarat and roulette.

Sports Betting in Iowa

Sports betting is not allowed in the state of Iowa.

Online Sportsbooks

Even though there are no sportsbooks available at physical locations or online in the state of Iowa, bettors still have the opportunity to choose from many offshore options. Online sports betting sites are widely considered to be a much safer option than local bookmakers. In addition to having the convenience of placing bets right from a personal computer or mobile device and a variety of options, online bettors can trust reputable and well-reviewed offshore books to always offer lines and pay out, which may not always be the case for local bookies.

Poker and Casino in Iowa

The other 18 casinos in the state of Iowa are mostly located either near or on water such as one of the many riverboats. They include the recently opened Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City, which offers more than 800 slot machines. The largest casino property in Iowa is the Horseshoe Council Bluffs, with the gaming area covering 68,000 square feet and featuring more than 1,600 slots, 70 table games plus a poker room with 18 tables.

Online Poker

For those who do not visit the tribal and other state-licensed casinos in Iowa, including riverboats, online games may appeal to interested players who can pursue online poker websites in order to participate.

Other Gaming Options in Iowa

Betting on horse racing and dog racing is legal. In addition, raffles not exceeding more than $200 in value are permitted along with bingo, and any adult with a license can hold a game night as long as there are no considerations involved besides goodwill.

Iowa Lottery

The Iowa Lottery began in 1985 with the goals of providing entertainment and prizes to players and raising billions of dollars for state programs in the process. Funds gained from the lottery have been used to promote tourism, benefit veterans, create new recreation areas, support research at the state’s public universities and develop new agricultural products. Lottery games include scratch tickets, pull tabs and popular drawings like Powerball and Mega Millions.