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Casinos in Des Moines

In this guide, you’ll learn all the key information surrounding casinos in Des Moines, Iowa. We’ll cover the lone casino currently in operation in the city, along with any future plans for casino construction in the Des Moines area.

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Though Des Moines itself only has one casino in the Greater Des Moines area, several are located in close proximity, offering easy access for residents and visitors. These establishments range from large, full-service casinos with a variety of slot machines and table games to smaller, more intimate venues.

They not only cater to gamers but also provide various other amenities like live entertainment, restaurants, and sometimes hotel accommodations, making them popular destinations for both locals and tourists in the Iowa region.

No, there are no legal casinos within the city limits of Des Moines. However, there are legal casinos in proximity to Des Moines. For example, Prairie Meadows, located in the Greater Des Moines area, is a racino (a combined race track and casino).

The legalization of gambling in Iowa has evolved over time. Indian casinos were permitted following the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, which allowed Native American tribes to operate such establishments. Iowa then legalized commercial casinos in 1991, but initially, they were only allowed on riverboats.

This law was later changed in 2004, allowing casinos to be located in moored barges in man made areas of water. Today, there are a variety of commercial, Indian, and racino-type casinos throughout Iowa, but none within Des Moines itself.

List of all casinos in Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines does not have any casinos within its city limits. The nearest and most notable gambling establishment is Prairie Meadows, located in Altoona, just outside of Des Moines. Prairie Meadows offers a combination of horse racing and casino gaming, making it a unique entertainment destination in the region. It's the primary option for those looking to enjoy casino gaming in the Greater Des Moines area.

Prairie Meadows

Prairie Meadows is a renowned racino offering a combination of horse racing and casino gaming. The facility opened its doors in 1989 and has since become a popular entertainment destination.

The casino at Prairie Meadows features a diverse range of slot machines, table games, and a poker room. In addition to the casino and racetrack, Prairie Meadows boasts a sportsbook operated by William Hill, which launched on August 15, 2019.

This followed the legalization of sports betting in Iowa, allowing the casino to offer both land-based and online sports betting options. The sportsbook provides a comprehensive betting experience, including live betting, with various wager types like spread bets, money line bets, totals, futures, and parlays.

  • Address: 1 Prairie Meadows Dr, Altoona, IA 50009
  • Phone number: (515) 967-1000

Are any more land-based casinos opening in Des Moines soon?

As of now, there are no plans for new land-based casinos to open in Des Moines in the near future. This is primarily due to a two-year moratorium on new casino licenses that was enacted by Iowa lawmakers. This legislation, which was part of a larger gaming bill including Iowa online casinos, caps the number of state-issued casino licenses at the current count of 19 and is effective until June 30, 2024.

Casino games you can play at casinos in Des Moines

At Prairie Meadows, the only casino near Des Moines, you can enjoy a wide variety of casino games, offering something for everyone from beginners to seasoned gamblers. Here's a look at some of the popular games you can play:

  • Slot Machines: Prairie Meadows boasts a large selection of slot machines, featuring both classic and the latest games. Slot machines are easy to play and are available in various denominations, making them suitable for all budgets. From traditional reel slots to modern video slots with exciting themes and bonus rounds, there's a wide variety to choose from.
  • Table Games: The casino offers a variety of table games, including classics like Blackjack, Roulette, and Craps. Each game has its own set of rules and strategies. Blackjack, for example, involves trying to get a hand value of 21 or as close to it as possible without going over, while Roulette is a game of chance where you bet on where a ball will land on a spinning wheel.
  • Poker: Poker enthusiasts can enjoy a dedicated poker room offering different variations of the game, including Texas Hold'em and Omaha. Poker is a game of skill and strategy, where players bet based on the strength of their hand and attempt to outwit their opponents.
  • Sports Betting: The William Hill Sportsbook at Prairie Meadows allows bettors to place wagers on various sports. This includes betting on football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and more. The sportsbook offers different types of bets, including spread bets, moneyline bets, and parlays.
  • Racing Bets: As a racino, Prairie Meadows also offers betting on live horse racing and simulcast racing. This involves placing bets on the outcomes of horse races, which can range from simple win, place, and show bets to more complex exotic wagers.


Can you smoke in land-based casinos in Des Moines, Iowa?

At Prairie Meadows Casino, smoking is permitted only in a designated area on level 2 of the casino. Guests must be seated while smoking in this area.

What are the policies regarding responsible gambling at these nearby casinos?

Prairie Meadows Casino promotes responsible gambling by offering various resources and programs. These include self-exclusion programs, where individuals can voluntarily choose to be excluded from specific gambling activities. Additionally, the casino provides information and access to support services for those who may be experiencing gambling-related problems.

Are there any dining options or restaurants at these casinos?

Prairie Meadows Casino offers a variety of dining options catering to different tastes and preferences. The casino features several restaurants and eateries, including AJ's Steakhouse for fine dining, The Paddock Grill for casual meals, and Café at the Meadows for quick bites.

Are alcoholic beverages served on the gaming floors of these casinos?

At Prairie Meadows Casino, alcoholic beverages are served, allowing guests to enjoy a drink while they partake in gaming activities. The casino's policy includes bars and beverage service areas on the gaming floors, providing a convenient way for patrons to access a range of alcoholic drinks.

Do the nearby casinos have live entertainment or shows?

Prairie Meadows Casino offers a variety of live entertainment and shows. The venue regularly hosts concerts, live music performances, and other special events to enhance the entertainment experience for its guests.