Most of the time, the association with “online gambling” is to default to thoughts of an e-casino, but online gambling in Iowa takes on a variety of forms.
The online gambling space is dominated by online sports betting, as well as wagering on horse and dog races, as online casinos and online lottery play are yet to become legal in the state.
Best Iowa gambling sites
After testing and reviews, we've pinpointed the best Iowa gambling sites for avid bettors. Our comprehensive evaluation ensures you're introduced to the top operators in the Hawkeye State, guaranteeing a premium gaming experience.
|🖥️ bet365 Iowa ||⭐ Best for live betting and live streaming |
|🖥️ DraftKings Iowa ||⭐ Prominent daily fantasy sports operator |
|🖥️ Caesars Iowa ||⭐ Excellent sportsbook platform with generous bonuses |
|🖥️ BetRivers Iowa ||⭐ Expanding sports offerings with iRush Rewards program |
|🖥️ Betfred Iowa ||⭐ Top U.K. operator with over 55 years of experience |
More Iowa gambling sites
Beyond the famous operators, Iowa boasts a variety of other gambling sites. Let's delve into these lesser-known gems that offer unique gaming experiences in the heart of the Midwest.
Is online gambling legal in Iowa?
Some forms of online gambling are legal in Iowa, but others are still prohibited under state law. Iowans are able to place online sports bets and horse racing wagers, but they are prohibited from using a real-money online casino.
State lottery games are also retail only, and internet poker is not allowed. Players looking for an online casino experience will need to play at social casinos only.
Internet gambling laws in Iowa explained
Iowa has passed a few laws covering online gambling. The most notable bill was SF 617, which legalized sports betting when Governor Kim Reynolds signed the act into law in May 2019. This bill also affirmed the legality of DFS operators.
Most recently, HSB227, a bill that would have legalized online casino betting, failed to make it to the 2023 legislative floor, further dampening the hopes that Iowa would allow the practice any time soon.
Types of online gambling available in Iowa
Iowa still faces a few legal hurdles that stand in the way of full-blown online gambling allowance. Online casino gambling, lottery play, and poker are all still prohibited, leaving the following types of online gambling as those that are legal and available in Iowa.
How to gamble online in Iowa
Depending on whether you’re placing a sports bet or wagering on a horse or dog race, there are a few similarities to the processes for both options. Here are the steps you’ll need to complete before gambling online in Iowa.
Banking methods for online gambling in IA
Banking methods for online gambling in IA will change depending on what platform you intend to use, but there are a few options that are a bit more commonly accepted. Here are some of the top options you’ll find.
The Iowa State Lottery
The Iowa State Lottery is part of the Multi-State Lottery Association (MSLA) and runs multiple lottery contests from members of the association, such as the Powerball, Pick 3, Pick 4, Lucky for Life, Mega Millions, and Lotto America.
Iowa legalized lottery gaming in April 1985 and began accepting ticket purchases at the State Fair in August of the same year. More than six million tickets were sold during the first week.
Since then, Iowa lottery players have claimed more than $4.5 billion in prizes. The lottery has also generated more than $2 billion in funding for the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund, the Iowa Public Safety Survivor Benefits Fund, the Vision Iowa program (which both builds and repairs schools and works to create tourism and community destinations), and the state’s general fund.
How to check if a gambling website in Iowa is legit
It’s always important to ensure the betting site you’re playing on is legal and licensed. Here are a few quick, easy ways to check if a gambling website in Iowa is legit.
Do I pay taxes when I win money gambling in Iowa?
Yes, you will need to pay taxes when you win money gambling in Iowa. Under state law, those who gamble in Iowa are subject to a 7.5% tax rate on sports gambling winnings and a 6.5% rate on daily fantasy sports winnings if you take in more than $600 in prizes. These winnings must be reported by filing form W-2G.
Legal vs. offshore gambling sites in IA
Offshore gambling sites should always be avoided by players in IA. These offshore sites intentionally set up their operations outside of state and federal jurisdictions because doing so allows them to engage in shady business practices and avoid compliance with fair play and consumer protection standards.
Playing on such sites not only puts your personal and financial information at risk but also offers you no legal protection if the offshore site refuses to pay you the winnings you’ve earned or honor any promotions it has offered. You should only play with sites that are legal, legitimate, and licensed by the IRGC.
History of online gambling in Iowa
Online gambling is still relatively new compared to Iowa’s full betting history, but there are still some key moments to keep in mind. Here is a timeline of several important moments in Iowa’s online gambling history.
Gambling responsibly in Iowa
Gambling responsibly in Iowa requires constant vigilance and attention to detail, as it can be easy to fall into poor betting habits without proper safeguards in place. The first step to responsible gambling is to ensure you’re only using legal, licensed operators who will provide resources to help combat problem gambling.
These operators will have a “Responsible Gambling” section available on their website and/or app which can be helpful if you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling addiction.
Next, we strongly recommend self-imposing limits on both how much time and money you can spend on betting sites. This will keep you from losing track of time while placing your wagers or betting more than you can afford to lose. You can control these limits in your account settings on the gambling platform.
Finally, we encourage you to avoid betting at emotional extremes, whether those emotions are positive or negative. Keeping your emotions in check will lead to betting with your head, not your heart, thus making smarter decisions on gambling platforms.
False confidence from positive emotions and aggressive betting from negative emotions can both lead to financial ruin.
If you or someone you know is at risk of developing or has already developed a gambling addiction, you can call 1-800-BETS-OFF (1-800-238-7633). You can also contact the IRGC to self-exclude from all Iowa betting platforms.