HomeCasinos in IowaCasinos in Council Bluffs

Casinos in Council Bluffs

Each of the three casinos in Council Bluffs, Iowa brings something different to the betting landscape in the area. Learn more about them here.

Table of contents

Located just across the border from Omaha, NE, Council Bluffs is home to three of Iowa’s 23 casinos. Ameristar, Harrah’s, and Horseshoe have all brought considerable tourism revenue to the state through the years, especially since Nebraska did not legalize casinos until 2020.

On this page, we’ll highlight the casinos in Council Bluffs, Iowa, including what types of games are available, when the casinos opened, and other information to know before you plan your next gambling destination.

Are there any land-based casinos in Council Bluffs?

Yes, there are land-based casinos in Council Bluffs. Harrah’s and Horseshoe both have brick-and-mortar facilities while Ameristar is a riverboat casino. Harrah’s was originally a riverboat casino but moved to land in 2015, while Horseshoe evolved out of the greyhound racing track in the area.

List of all casinos in Council Bluffs, Iowa


There are three casinos in Council Bluffs, Iowa; two of them are land-based while the other is a riverboat casino.

  • Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs
  • Harrah's Council Bluffs
  • Horseshoe Council Bluffs

Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs

Ameristar Casino partners with PENN Entertainment to provide casino and sports betting opportunities. The riverboat gambling space features loads of table games, video poker, and a high-limit gaming room.

We highly recommend players check out the PENN Play rewards program, where players can earn points for every dollar wagered at the casino or sportsbook. Rewards perks can include discounted gameplay, guaranteed best rates for hotel stays, VIP lounge access, cruise trips, and more!

  • Address: 2200 River Road Council Bluffs, IA 51501
  • Phone number: 711-328-8888

Harrah's Council Bluffs

Opening in 1996 as “Harvey’s” riverboat casino, Harrah’s took over ownership in 2001. The riverboat remained open for a few more years but moved ashore in 2007, citing high maintenance costs as a hindrance to casino success.

Harrah’s has since leased the casino space to Caesars, which means you can participate in the Caesars rewards program whether you’re hitting the slot machines, playing table games, or wagering through the sportsbook. Fine and casual dining options are available as well, and you can book a stay at the casino hotel.

  • Address: 1 Harrah's Blvd, Council Bluffs, IA 51501
  • Phone number: 712-329-6000

Horseshoe Council Bluffs

The oldest casino in the Council Bluffs area, Horseshoe opened in 1986 as a greyhound racing track. Since then, it has expanded to include slot machines, Caesars Sportsbook, a World Series of Poker room, and pari-mutuel horse race wagering via simulcast.

Horseshoe is one of the largest Iowa casinos with 68,000 sq ft of gaming space. You’ll also find frequent and lucrative promotions that will rotate throughout the year, so keep checking in to see what’s new!

  • Address: 2701 23rd Ave Council Bluffs, IA 51501
  • Phone number: 712-323-2500

Are any more casinos opening in Council Bluffs in the near future?

No, there aren’t more casinos opening in Council Bluffs in the near future. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) enacted a two-year moratorium on issuing new casino licenses in June 2022, so the soonest new operators could apply would be in 2024.

It’s unclear whether the moratorium will be extended, but if it’s not, it would take time for a casino to either build a new facility or move into an existing space.

What types of games can you play at Council Bluffs casinos?

Each of the casinos in the Council Bluffs area is designated as a Class III gambling facility, meaning it is able to offer a broad range of casino games. Here are some of the most popular ways to play.

  • Slot machines: Slot machines account for the bulk of casino revenue, with some studies indicating as much as 85% of revenue can be attributed to slots. These machines can be very affordable to play, with some games costing just a penny to play while others may have higher limits. The goal while playing is to line up various symbols when a number of spinning reels are stopped at the push of a button.
  • Poker: Poker rooms are permitted at all Class III facilities, and the poker room at Horseshoe is regularly featured in World Series of Poker events. You’ll find a balance of high-stakes and lower-limit games, including Texas Hold’em, Omaha, stud poker, draw poker, and more.
  • Blackjack: One of the most popular table games offered at Council Bluffs casinos, blackjack requires trying to put together a sequence of cards whose value is higher than the dealer’s hand without surpassing 21. It’s important to work together with others at the table to better your chances of winning, as players won’t play head-to-head. Using what is known as “basic strategy” or “the book” can help chip away at the house advantage.

FAQ

Do casinos in Council Bluffs allow pets?

Horseshoe Casino and Harrah’s Casino allow up to two pets per room, provided the pets weigh less than 50 pounds and are present at check-in. Ameristar does not allow pets.

Do Council Bluffs casinos have hotels or accommodations for guests?

Yes, the casinos in Council Bluffs either have hotels and accommodations for guests. The hotels are either adjacent to the casinos or are close nearby.

Are there designated smoking and non-smoking areas in Council Bluffs casinos?

Yes, there are designated smoking and non-smoking areas in Council Bluffs casinos. Iowa is one of four states where gambling is permitted that still allows you to smoke in certain areas of the casino floor. The closest smokefree casino to the Council Bluffs area is Prairie Flower casino in Carter Lake.

Are alcoholic beverages served on the casino floors in Council Bluffs?

No, alcoholic beverages are not served on the casino floors in Council Bluffs unless you are a VIP member at the casinos. However, the casinos will allow you to purchase a drink at the bar (or perhaps get a complimentary drink in some cases) and take it to the casino floor.

Are Council Bluffs casinos open 24 hours a day?

Yes, each of the three Council Bluffs casinos is open 24 hours a day.

Are there any live entertainment or shows scheduled at Council Bluffs casinos?

Yes, there are live entertainment options and shows scheduled at Council Bluffs casinos. Check in with the “Promotions and Events” tabs on the Ameristar, Harrah’s, and Horseshoe casino websites for more information.

How can I stay informed about upcoming promotions and events at Council Bluffs casinos?

You can stay informed about upcoming promotions and events at Council Bluffs casinos by checking out IA Betting, where we will update the site with the latest and greatest offerings. You can also browse the “Promos and Events” tab on the casino websites.