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Daily Fantasy Sports in Iowa

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) successfully was passed into legislation in Iowa in May 2019, as major operators such as FanDuel and DraftKings were quick to enter the new market. With DFS sites now up and running in the Hawkeye State, the competition has brought lucrative promotions and a wealth of action across the state.

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Today at IABetting.com, we take a look at the Daily Fantasy Sports in Iowa scene, giving you a comprehensive view of the market today.

Best DFS sites in Iowa

Prior to the launch of legal sports betting in August 2019, Daily Fantasy Sports in Iowa was the only show in town when it came to sports gambling. Even since IA sportsbooks have begun to pop up in person and online in Iowa, Daily Fantasy Sports has remained popular.

Let’s take a closer look at the best DFS sites in Iowa today.

DraftKings Iowa


Around since 2009, DraftKings has been one of the leading DFS platforms across the country with contests in a variety of sports leagues like the NBA, NHL, NBA, UFC, MLB, and more. Customers can participate in both daily and weekly games, drafting their lineups from the DraftKings desktop site and intuitive mobile app. Known for their user-friendly layout and best-in-class options, new customers at DraftKings can take advantage of their lucrative welcome offer.

FanDuel Iowa


Right there with DraftKings for more than 15 years, FanDuel has been a leader in the DFS space across the country and was one of the first operators available in Iowa. Like its counterpart, FanDuel offers daily and weekly contests, with multiple styles including 50/50, head-to-head, large tournaments, and more. FanDuel is home to competitive prize pools and an unparalleled customer experience, with stats and analytics to help their players make decisions.

Yahoo Fantasy

Yahoo DFS

Initially a season-long fantasy website back in the early 2000s, Yahoo DFS ventured into the DFS space shortly after FanDuel and DraftKings and has quickly become a major player. Offering an easy-to-use user interface, Yahoo DFS partnered up with sports betting giant BetMGM to provide integrated odds into their app. Like their competition, new users are eligible for bonus bets with their initial deposit.

StatHero Logo


StatHero is one of the newest players to the Daily Fantasy Sports in Iowa scene, offering survivor pools, head-to-head, and pick-em competitions where players face each other, instead of the larger pool. With more formats than your average DFS site, StatHero is a great DFS in Iowa product. New customers are eligible for a 100% deposit match on their first deposit.

OwernsBox Logo


If you are looking to go off the beaten path for your Daily Fantasy Sports in Iowa experience, OwnersBox is another great option. Offering a unique style contest called Superflex Salary Cap, Ownersbox is a niche DFS site that is just now starting to gain traction. In order to attract new customers, they offer one of the best welcome promotions in the DFS in Iowa space today, matching 100% of players’ initial deposits all the way up to $500.

Yes, DFS is completely legal in Iowa, as defined and regulated in Senate File 617 which passed in May 2019. After years and back and forth from lawmakers, the bill was officially signed into law, along with sports betting, on May 13, 2019, by Governor Kim Reynolds.

The comprehensive legislation, for the first time in the state’s history, allowed for legal DFS in Iowa, bringing DFS contests to the states later that year. In order to operate legally in Iowa, operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel had to obtain licenses from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC).

From the start, the IRGC was tasked with not just approving licenses to DFS and sports betting operators but also providing regulation and oversight of the new industry to ensure they fell within the law. After a summer of 2019 hashing out the details, the first DFS sites in Iowa, FanDuel and DraftKings, came to market launching their services across the Hawkeye state. 

The regulatory framework says that participants in DFS contests must be 21 years of age or older and that operators must promote responsible gambling habits via deposit limits, self-exclusion lists, and more. More than three years after its launch, the DFS industry in Iowa continues to thrive today, with 17 online sportsbooks and four Daily Fantasy Sports companies operating in Iowa today.

How do I get started with Daily Fantasy Sports in Iowa?

With two primary operators of Daily Fantasy Sports in Iowa, DraftKings and FanDuel, you have a couple of different ways to get in on the action. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at how you can get started with Daily Fantasy Sports in Iowa today.

  1. Choose Iowa DFS Operator: First off, you will want to choose the DFS operator you want to use in IA, with DraftKings or FanDuel being your main two choices. While both are similar, and accounts at both are encouraged, choose the first one that makes the most sense for you.
  2. Create a New Account: Now that you have chosen your DFS in Iowa provider, start the signup process by downloading the mobile app or visiting their website and clicking “Sign Up Now.” To start, you’ll have to enter your basic information such as username, email, and password, heeded by more personal information such as first and last name, home address, phone number, date of birth, gender, and other basic information.
  3. Understand the Rules: Each of the DFS sites in Iowa has its own set of terms and conditions and privacy policies, noting the rules of the plethora of contests available. Make sure that you understand the different contests and their rules, how prizes are awarded, and the prize structure depending on where you finish in the contest.
  4. Deposit Funds: Thanks to the oversight and regulation provided by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC), you have a host of options when it comes to depositing funds. While you must deposit a minimum of $10 to start, there are contests as low as $1 that you can enter once funds are in your account. Just like their sportsbook counterparts, you can use payment methods such as Venmo, PayPal, Debit Card, Wire Transfer, and more to get funds into your account.
  5. Choose Your Contest: Now that you have completed the setup of your account and funds have been put into your new account, the time has come to enter your first contest. First, you will need to pick the sport and league for your contest, and then the type of contest you want to play. We’ll cover the different types of DFS leagues to bet on in Iowa below.

History of Daily Fantasy Sports Legislation in Iowa

Despite Daily Fantasy Sports legislation in Iowa not passing until May 2019, the history of DFS in IA isn’t straightforward. Let’s take a closer look at the history of DFS legislation in Iowa and how we got to where we are today.

  • 2018: Seeing the success of DFS in other states, regulations for DFS became a part of the legal gambling conversations Iowa lawmakers were having.
  • January 2019: Senate File 617 is introduced to Iowa legislators, which covered both DFS and sports betting legislation
  • May 2019: After passing the Iowa House and Senate, Governor Kim Reynolds signed Senate File 617 into law, legalizing DFS and Iowa sports betting in the process.
  • July 2019: The regulating body for all things gambling in Iowa, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) began accepting applications from DFS operators in the state
  • October 2019: National DFS operator DraftKings began approval from the IRGC and began operating in Iowa.
  • November 2019: DraftKings’ biggest national competition, FanDuel, won approval from the IRGC and began operating in Iowa.
  • January 2020: The IRGC announced detailed regulations for all current and future DFS operators, laying out the framework we see today for Daily Fantasy Sports in IA.
  • 2021: For the first time, DFS customers in Iowa could register remotely for DFS and sports betting, making the signup process (see above) as simple as a few easy clicks.

Different types of DFS leagues to bet on in Iowa

Whether you make the decision to go with FanDuel or DraftKings, there is no shortage of DFS contests and league types you can participate in. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of DFS leagues to bet on in Iowa.

  • Cash Games: The most common type of DFS league are cash games, which offer contests such as 50/50s where the prize pool is split evenly between players and the house. Other types of cash games are head-to-head matchups, competing against other players in the pool, and more. While they are less volatile and give players the best chance of winning, they often come with the lowest payout structures.
  • Leagues: Whether you are doing them with family and friends or the general public, DFS leagues are another type of DFS contest that operators run. They can be either daily or weekly, and payout structures are completely customizable.
  • Multipliers: With multiplier leagues, the more you increase the entry fee by (5x, 10x, etc.), the more you have the opportunity to win. Like cash games, the earnings become exponentially higher based on the number of entries in the contest.
  • Guaranteed Prize Pool (GPP) Tournaments: The largest types of DFS leagues you can play in Iowa, a significant portion of GPP tournament entry fees go back to the players. Since payouts tend to be top-heavy, only a select few at the top are eligible to win enormous prizes when all is said and done.

Helpful advice for playing Daily Fantasy Sports in Iowa

Having played Daily Fantasy Sports for years, there are a few expert tips we want to pass on. Below are a few pieces of helpful advice for playing Daily Fantasy Sports in Iowa

  • Play Free Contests: Both DraftKings and FanDuel have free contests, or those with micro-stakes, that allow you to play in different leagues without risking real funds. Before you start entering the bigger contests, play some free or small contests to get to know the DFS platform and learn how the entry fees and rules work.
  • Do Research: With DFS now a nationwide phenomenon, there is no shortage of sites giving out good information on contests held every day. Before you set your lineup, do your research on player matchups, historical trends, injuries, and more, to make sure you are making the most informed decisions.
  • Injury Reports: Most important in the NBA and NFL, monitoring injury reports can be the difference between winning and losing DFS contests. Follow beat reports on social media platforms such as X to get the latest information on injuries, even before the DFS operators can adjust their prices.


Can you win real money with Daily Fantasy Sports in Iowa?

Yes, you can win real money with Daily Fantasy Sports in Iowa, all thanks to Senate File 617 legislation passed by IA lawmakers in January 2019. With regulation and oversight provided by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC), there is also no shortage of banking methods to withdraw the real funds from your account.

Do I have to declare my DFS winnings in Iowa?

Yes, you have to declare your DFS winnings in Iowa, as they are considered taxable income by both the state and federal government. Primary operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel will send you a Form 1099-MISC if your winnings exceed a certain amount. Make sure you consult with an Iowa tax professional to understand your exact tax situation.