HomeIowa Horse Race Betting

Online horse betting in Iowa

On this page, we provide a comprehensive look at online horse betting in Iowa, covering everything you need to know to place your bets on horse racing online.

Fact checked by: Gary Garry
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Yes, online horse race betting is legal in Iowa. In IA, you have the opportunity to place bets on horse races from across the globe, all from the convenience of your computer or mobile device.

Simply create an account on one of Iowa's authorized sports betting apps and make a deposit. Once you've completed these steps, you can easily navigate to the race you want to wager on, and you are ready to go.

Best Iowa horse race betting sites

There are several horse race betting sites for Iowa players to wager through. Here are some of the most notable.

TVG Iowa Logo


TVG welcomes new players to their website with an enticing offer – a 50 percent matching signup bonus on their initial deposit, up to a maximum of $200.

TwinSpires Iowa Logo


TwinSpires stands out as a highly competitive platform, offering an extensive selection of betting options and access to a vast number of tracks. With hundreds of tracks spanning the globe, you can count on always finding exciting betting opportunities whenever you log in.

123Bet Iowa Logo


123bet is a superb option for horse racing enthusiasts. The platform provides an extensive array of betting choices, along with enticing promotions that can enhance the value of your wagers.

Different kinds of horse race bets you can place

When placing wagers on horse races, there are plenty of options for IA users to get in on. Here’s a look at some of the most popular.

  • Win: The simplest horse bet involves wagering on the horse you believe will finish first in the race.
  • Place: Bettors can also place their bets on horses they think will secure either second or third place. Typically, the odds for collecting on these bets are more favorable compared to first-place wagers.
  • Show: A show bet covers horses that can finish in first, second, or third place. While the odds of winning are better than the previous two bet types, the payout is almost always lower.
  • Exacta: As the name suggests, an exacta bet demands predicting the precise order in which two horses will finish first and second. This bet type usually offers higher odds, leading to potentially greater payouts.
  • Quinella: Quinella bets resemble exacta bets but with a bit more flexibility. Bettors select two horses to finish first and second, in any order. A successful bet wins if both horses secure either first or second place.
  • Trifecta: This popular bet requires correctly predicting the first, second, and third-place horses in a race. It's a favorite among horse racing enthusiasts but poses a greater challenge to win.
  • Superfecta: Similar to the trifecta, a superfecta bet extends to the fourth-place horse as well, necessitating accurate predictions for the top four finishers.
  • Daily Double: To win a daily double bet, bettors must forecast the winners of two consecutive races, providing a unique challenge and potentially substantial rewards.
  • Super High-Five: The most challenging vertical bet, a super high-five or pentafecta, asks bettors to choose the horses that will finish in the top five positions – first, second, third, fourth, and fifth place. This bet type offers the greatest difficulty but can yield significant payouts when successful.

History of horse betting in IA

Iowa entered the horse racing scene relatively late, with the legalization of pari-mutuel racing occurring in 1983. Initially, all racing events took place at fair tracks, but this practice was halted in 1988.

Prairie Meadows Racetrack made its debut in 1989, originally hosting three distinct meets for thoroughbreds, standardbreds, and quarter horse racing. However, standardbred racing was phased out at the track in the mid-2010s. It's noteworthy that TVG serves as the official online betting partner for Prairie Meadows in Iowa.

You can bet on live races at the track during race meets, and there is simulcast wagering on races from all around the country all year long.

About Prairie Meadows in Iowa

Prairie Meadows commenced operations in 1989, a move that helped address the limited availability of live thoroughbred racing in Iowa after the official legalization of pari-mutuel racing in 1983.

The racing season at Prairie Meadows spans from May to October annually and encompasses both thoroughbred and quarter horse races. A notable event in this calendar is the Cornhusker Handicap, a Grade III stakes race held at the end of June.

In 1995, Prairie Meadows introduced slot machines, evolving into a comprehensive racino establishment. Today, it offers a diverse array of attractions, including table games, slot machines, and a dedicated poker room.

For the convenience of visitors, the on-site hotel boasts 168 rooms, providing a comfortable stay. Additionally, guests can explore a range of dining options and entertainment opportunities to enhance their overall experience.

For all the latest on horse betting and sports betting in Iowa, make sure you follow us here at IA Betting.


How old do you have to be to bet on horses in Iowa?

You must be at least 21 years old to bet on horse racing events in Iowa.

How many race tracks are there in Iowa?

There is only one horse racing track located in Iowa, Prairie Meadows Racetrack.

Can you bet on horses on normal gambling sites in Iowa?

No, you generally can’t bet on horses on normal gambling sites in Iowa. In the state of Iowa, there are specific horse wagering platforms that include TVG, DRF Bets, TwinSpires, 123bet, and 1/ST BET.

Fact checked by: Gary Garry