Iowa college sports fans who back their teams no matter what can now put their money where their mouths are.
One of the top collegiate fan bases in America has welcomed legal sports betting with open arms – and wallets – as the industry continues to carve a swath across the U.S. Iowa went through what is the quickest legislation process of any state to date, and has one of the more wide-open competitions in the country for sports betting dollars.
If you’re a big buffet aficionado, Iowa’s sportsbook landscape will make you smile.
You would be hard-pressed to find a wider selection of mobile sports betting operators, especially for a state with such a small population relative to spots like Pennsylvania and New York. And that vast array of options isn’t limited to mobile devices: A whopping 17 casinos have a retail sportsbook, a major appeal to those who like it old-school.
Here’s a look at our top-rated online sportsbooks in Iowa.
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Caesars is proving to be one of the most aggressively expanding brands in sports betting. Unfortunately, like all major U.S. sportsbooks, they are quick to limit you if you go on a tear and their odds boost promos offer low maximum bet limits.
BetMGM is one of the top-rated sportsbooks in the U.S. offering some of the best live betting odds in the industry. They’re also the largest iGaming operator across the U.S.
FanDuel reigns supreme right now as the No. 1 betting site in America. And it has largely earned that spot on the strength of superior brand recognition, an easy-to-use product, an overwhelming number of markets for North America’s most popular sports, and representation in every state in which it is permitted to offer legal sports betting.
DraftKings had a solid reputation as the leading DFS provider in the country, so the shift to legal sports betting felt natural. They offer one of the most voluminous collections of ongoing promos and odds boosts in the industry as they cater to the beginner crowd. However, their reputation has dwindled as outspoken CEO Jason Robins leads the charge of the anti-profitable bettor mentality that runs rampant amongst sportsbooks that are quick to limit winning players.
bet365 is one of the largest and most popular sportsbooks globally. With a well-received mobile app, popular same-game parlays, and a wide variety of sports leagues to bet on it’s no wonder 80 million sports bettors worldwide continue to use bet365.
Online since: 2015
PointsBet’s innovative nature shows that they don’t want to just be another book you place typical bets. Unfortunately, they are quick to limit bettors on a hot streak and limit the number of promos you’re able to take advantage of, making it necessary for you to shop at other books regularly.
With a large variety of ongoing promos and contests featuring Barstool personalities, Barstool Sportsbook is a solid option available for casual bettors.
While this book won’t wow you with its design, you won’t find many apps easier to navigate – or with the sheer volume of sports markets Betway offers. And although you'll find more generous signup offers elsewhere, Betway remains a strong global sports betting brand that deserves to be mentioned among the second-tier sportsbook options in the U.S.
Just about everyone loves free stuff, and Iowans are certainly no different. Iowa-based sportsbooks are clamoring to add new customers – and that’s great news for those of you looking to join the fray. Here are the top bonuses and signup offers available in Iowa:
PointsBet offers new players a $100 risk-free bet on each of their first five days as an account holder. Their deal is of the "if you don't use it, you lose it" type, so to get the most out of this, you must be super active in your first week as a player.
Make sure to use promo code 5X100RC to claim.
Caesars Sportsbook is now offering its "Go Full Caesar this Football Season" welcome bonus for new users. For prospective bettors, your first bet is on Caesars up to $1,250. If the bet loses, you get 100% of your stake back as a bet credit.
Note that $10 is the minimum wager amount accepted to qualify for this offer. All credits will be added to a user's account within 7 days. The bet credit is for one-time use within 14 days and cannot be divided across multiple wagers.
New users will also receive 1000 Caesars Rewards Tier Credits and 1000 Caesars Reward Credits®, win or lose. Tier Credits contribute to your Tier Status, which gives you more benefits and faster service.
Tier Statuses are as follows:
Gold: 0 – 4,999 Tier CreditsPlatinum: 5,000 – 14,999 Tier CreditsDiamond: 15,000 – 24,999 Tier CreditsDiamond Plus: 25,000 – 74,999 Tier CreditsDiamond Elite: 75,000+ Tier CreditsSeven Stars®: 150,000+ Tier Credits (exclusive invitation only)
Sports bettors can earn 1 Tier Credit for every $5 of potential profit on sports bets placed *Up to 10 times the original amount staked* Users can redeem these points when playing, dining, shopping, or staying at Caesars resorts and casinos.
New users of FanDuel Sportsbook that bet $5 get $150 in bonus bets guaranteed. All they have to do is make a first-time deposit of $10 on the platform, then place their first real-money wager on any FanDuel market. What makes the FanDuel promo code bonus stand out from its competitors’ offers is the fact that it's guaranteed if the bet wins or loses.
New users will receive their $150 in bonus bets within 72 hours.
Barstool Sportsbook has an average sign-up bonus offering a $1,000 risk-free bet for new users. They word it differently by calling it a “2-for-1,” but Iowa residents know better: it’s a standard welcome bonus.
With the risk-free bet, you only get money back if your first bet loses, and they match your first bet up to $1,000. While that’s commendable insurance, it rewards you with nothing if your first bet hits. For that reason, deposit matches are generally slightly more appealing.
For Iowans, new customers to BetMGM are eligible for up to $1,000 back in bonus bets when they sign up for an account.
For this bonus bet, you only get money back if your first bet loses, and they match your first bet up to $1,000. There are no minimum or maximum odds restrictions on your first bet, which is nice since sign-up promos usually feature those.
At DraftKings Iowa, you will receive a $50 free bet with a minimum deposit of $5. If you don’t have the bankroll to make a more extensive first deposit, this is a humble offer. Still, this is far from generous, considering that DK is a multi-billion dollar industry giant.
The more significant offer DraftKings features is a 20% first deposit match up to $1,000. In this case, you must deposit $5,000 to be eligible to receive the maximum possible bonus amount of $1,000. This is not a reasonable offer for the casual bettor.
Bally Bet Iowa has a pretty poor sign-up bonus compared to the industry standard. They offer two different bonuses. New users get a free $100 bet for signing up plus a $550 risk-free first bet. The risk-free bet can be used to wager on any event that doesn’t exceed +300 in odds.
You only get a bonus with the risk-free bet if your first bet is graded a loser, giving you some insurance. However, Bally’s limits the odds available for you to take advantage of, and the monetary value of $550 is severely below industry leaders.
Like most U.S. online sportsbooks, Elite Sportsbook Iowa offers new users a risk-free bet on your first wager. These work as first bet insurance. If your first bet loses, Elite Sportsbook will give you a free play of the same value as your initial wager up to $500.
Elite is falling a little short of the industry here by setting the odds limit to +300, making it necessary to bet on heavy underdogs only with your free play. This gives you just a 33.3% implied probability of winning.
BetRivers Iowa offers a deposit match up to $250, which is nice as it gives you free money to play with instead of risk-free bets that only award you if your first bet is graded a loser.
The deposit match at BetRivers IN isn’t automatically given to you either. You have to opt in to activate it. To do that, go to the Cashier / Deposit menu and make your first deposit. Enter the code SPORTS within the promo field. Your bonus funds will be applied to your account within 48 hours, and you’ll receive an email once the funds are ready to be activated.
The silver lining of the WynnBET promo is that you only need to deposit $10 to get the maximum amount of the $200 bonus whether your qualifying bet wins, loses, or is a push. Most sportsbooks require a 100% deposit match to trigger a complete bonus, meaning you would have to deposit $1,000 to get $1,000 back, and in the case of a risk-free bet, you would only get a free bet or credit if your qualifying bet loses.
Unfortunately, WynnBET Iowa does complicate how you receive your free bets. The $200 is divided into four $50 bets. The first free bet will be released within 72 hours after the settlement of your first qualifying bet. The remaining three free bets will be released in a single installment every seven days until all free bets have been released.
(Note: Terms and conditions apply to all offers and bonuses.)
|🚀 Launch Date||August 2019|
|💰 # of Betting Sites||17|
|📱 Online Sports Betting||✅ Yes|
|🎰 Retail Sports Betting||✅ Yes|
|🖥️ Online Casino||✅ Yes|
|🃏 Retail Casino||✅ Yes|
|🏈 College Sports Betting||✅ Yes|
|🌎 2022 Population (est.)||3.19 million|
|💵 2021 Betting Handle||$2 billion|
|💸 Tax Rate||6.75 percent|
Not much separates the top sportsbooks in Iowa – but we like what PointsBet brings to the table slightly more than the rest. Its welcome bonus is superior, its ongoing contests and promotions appeal to casual and serious bettors alike, and its proprietary “PointsBet” betting offering shows serious creativity.
Check out our PointsBet sportsbook review.
BetMGM Sportsbook brings an industry standard risk-free bet to the table – but applies a nice twist to it by not placing odds restrictions on the wager. That’s just one example of how the iconic sport betting brand appeals to the masses, an approach that includes strong promos and a great live-betting experience.
Check out our BetMGM sportsbook review.
With sportsbooks at five different Iowa casinos, the Wolverine State is clearly Caesars country – and with good reason. Opting for the cleaner Caesars interface over the inferior William Hill design in the U.S. was a winning decision, and players will appreciate an inclusive loyalty program and strong selection of sports.
Check out our Caesars sportsbook review.
Based on its monthly share of Iowa’s sports betting handle, it’s clear that the people trust FanDuel. And they should: This sportsbook offers one of the best aesthetic experiences in the industry, along with regular free bets and promos that undoubtedly endear them to a large percentage of casual sports bettors.
Check out our FanDuel sportsbook review.
Sure, the Stoolies love this app – but will you? It really depends on what kind of sports betting experience you want. Barstool puts plenty of fun into its promotions and contests, but you’ll get below-average odds from time to time and there’s a low ceiling to the bet maxes on their offers.
Check out our Barstool sportsbook review.
DraftKings has carved out a spot atop the sports betting pecking order in just about every regulated state. And yet, there’s still room for improvement – starting with a somewhat prohibitive deposit match bonus that requires a 5x playthrough in 90 days in order for a player to receive the entire amount.
Check out our DraftKings sportsbook review.
Beginners might bristle at the lack of any kind of welcome offer, but frankly, dear bettors, Circa don’t give a damn. Its Las Vegas sportsbook is quite possibly the greatest sports betting venue on the planet, and it makes no secret of the fact that its app is primarily a destination for high rollers. If that’s you, then come on in!
Check out our Circa sportsbook review.
The allure of the Wynn brand is great, but strip this app of its Wynn-centered prizes and giveaways and you’re left with a product that’s merely ordinary. The live score betting tracker is a nice touch, and the bonus (while small) is easy to secure. But s-l-o-w withdrawal speeds knock this app down a peg.
Check out our WynnBET sportsbook review.
BetRivers is another online sportsbook that offers a bonus below the industry standard, but one that you can access more easily than most. Unfortunately, the Rush Street Interactive product suffers from a pair of fatal flaws: its customer service is not available 24/7, and its withdrawal methods are scant.
Check out our BetRivers sportsbook review.
Oh, Bally Bet. You do certain things so well, like your loyalty program and user-friendly interface. And yet, in the year 2022, your limited selection of live betting opportunities puts you well down the list. Your risk-free bet coming in at just over half of the industry standard doesn’t help, either.
Check out our Bally Bet sportsbook review.
Elite’s risk-free bet comes in well short of the books at the top of this list – and it gets worse. Players are forced to use their bet only on outcomes with odds of +300 or worse. Just call it a longshot bonus, Elite. And while you’re at it, perhaps offer more than two ways to withdraw funds (both of which are super-slow).
Check out our Elite sportsbook review.
Consult our top list above for the best sports betting options available to you in Iowa. Our interactive list allows you to sort sportsbooks based on a number of criteria, including banking options, bonuses and quality of customer service.
If you’re looking for more information before making your choice, be sure to check out our detailed, unbiased reviews for each of the top sportsbooks in Iowa. This is especially important if you want to understand how each book’s bonus offers work.
Registration requirements vary slightly by sportsbook, but most follow the same protocols. Be sure to have your personal information (name, address, phone number) and credit card details (number, expiry date, CVV) handy.
Once you’re comfortable with how your sportsbook’s new signup bonus works, it’s time to make your initial deposit and claim that sweet bonus. The majority of first-time offers for Iowans come in one of two forms:
Congratulations! You’re ready to place a wager. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the app interface before diving in. Most mobile operators make it easy for new sports bettors to navigate, but it’s still a good idea to know where everything is.
From there, you can place any type of wager you like; the most popular bet types are the moneyline, spread or total. You can also dive into team or player props, or even kick things off with a futures bet.
Once you have the desired wager(s) in your betting card, take one last look to ensure you’ve made the selections you want. If everything is good, simply click the “Bet” button – and you’re off!
Future states looking to get their sports betting operations up and running in short order should use Iowa as the ideal test case.
It took the Hawkeye State just 3 ½ months to go from having approved legislation to seeing both retail and online sports betting available within its borders. Give full credit to legislators for having a little foresight and doing a lot of pre-planning, enabling the state to quickly get regulations and licenses in place ahead of the 2019 NFL season.
Here’s a look at Iowa’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sports betting history:
Not long after the U.S. Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sport Protection Act in May, Iowa went to work on a bill that would bring legalized sports betting into the state. Yet, despite both sides making traction, nothing would come to pass before the end of the year.
Thanks to the legwork done by the state the previous year, it didn’t take long for a bi-partisan bill to make its way through the House and the Senate early in 2019. The bill passed in April, and was signed into law a few weeks after that by Gov. Kim Reynolds.
This is where most states see the process get bogged down by the need to secure a rules and regulations package, along with making sense of the regulation and licensing process. But not Iowa: It had already looked into rules processes from other legislated states and had its own regulation policy approved in July.
Less than a month later, thanks to a speedy licensing process, both land-based and online sportsbook operators were open for business on Aug. 15, in time for both the NFL and NCAA football seasons. The only minor quibble: Bettors were required to complete their registration in person before being allowed to bet online.
Aside from the COVID-19 pandemic that forced the shutdown of all Iowa casinos and racetracks, 2020 was a somewhat uneventful year in the sportsbook world. Despite seeing meager returns in the summer months, Iowa still brought in an impressive $575 million in handle for the year thanks to a lucrative football season.
The start of 2021 brought relief for Iowa bettors thanks to a law change. Bettors were no longer required to register for a new sportsbook in person – and that reversal played a major role in the state setting a new handle record in January and again in March. The following football season was even more impressive, with three new records set.
Coming off an incredible $2 billion showing the year before, Iowa continued to roll at the start of 2022. While operators WynnBET, MaximBet, DRF and ClutchBet all announce their intention to go live in Iowa early in the year, Iowa cracks the $300 mark in handle for the first time in January; it remains the state’s high-water mark.
Like most states, Iowa’s state gaming authority has put safeguards in place to ensure that bettors have a way out of any potential trouble spots.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission manages the state’s self-exclusion lists and problem gambling programs, while 15 of the 19 licensed casinos in the state provide self-exclusion. Players can also set deposit and bet limits of their choosing through the mobile apps.
Visit the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission site.
It will come as no surprise to see a rather extensive list of major professional and amateur sports available to Iowa bettors – a list that includes (but is not limited to):
That doesn’t leave much off the table, but there are four major markets in which wagering in Iowa is prohibited:
Some people prefer the experience of visiting a sportsbook lounge and holding that paper ticket in their hands over making a mobile bet – and Iowans have more physical sportsbook options than the majority of states.
All of Iowa’s top sportsbooks operate at least one brick-and-mortar sportsbook, with Caesars (five) and DraftKings (three) leading the way. And with a handful of casinos still without retail sportsbook offerings, there might be even more selection in the future.
Here’s a list of the in-person sportsbooks available to those in Iowa:
Catfish Bend Casino (PointsBet Sportsbook, 3001 Winegard Dr., Burlington, IA, 52601)
Diamond Jo Dubuque (FanDuel Sportsbook, 301 Bell St, Dubuque, IA, 52001)
Diamond Jo Worth (FanDuel Sportsbook, 777 Diamond Jo Lane, Northwood, IA, 50459)
Grand Falls Casino (Betfred Sportsbook, 1415 Grand Falls Blvd., Larchwood, IA, 51241)
Hard Rock Sioux City (Hard Rock Sportsbook, 111 3rd Street, Sioux City, IA, 51101)
Harrah's Council Bluffs (Caesars Sportsbook, 1 Harrah's Blvd, Council Bluffs, IA, 51501)
Horseshoe Council Bluffs (Caesars Sportsbook, 2701 23rd Avenue Council Bluffs, IA, 51501)
Isle Casino Bettendorf (Caesars Sportsbook, 1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf, IA, 52722)
Isle Casino Waterloo (Caesars Sportsbook, 777 Isle of Capri Blvd, Waterloo, IA, 50701)
Lakeside Hotel & Casino (DRF Sportsbook, 777 Casino Drive, Osceola, IA, 50213)
Prairie Meadows Casino & Race Track (Caesars Sportsbook, 1 Prairie Meadows Dr, Altoona, IA, 50009)
Q Casino (Q Sportsbook, 1855 Greyhound Park Rd., Dubuque, IA, 52001)
Rhythm City Casino Resort (Elite Sportsbook, 7077 Elmore Avenue, Davenport, IA, 52807)
Riverside Casino (Elite Sportsbook, 3184 Hwy 22, Riverside, IA, 52327)
Wild Rose Casino & Hotel Clinton (DraftKings Sportsbook, 777 Wild Rose Dr, Clinton, IA, 52732)
Wild Rose Casino & Hotel Emmetsburg (DraftKings Sportsbook, 777 Main St, Emmetsburg, IA, 50536)
Wild Rose Casino & Hotel Jefferson (DraftKings Sportsbook, 777 Wild Rose Drive, Jefferson, IA, 50129)
It took well over a year for Iowa to really break out from a betting handle perspective – but when it did, the state generated enough momentum to far exceed expectations.
Following a respectable showing in the fall of 2019, Iowa hit a major wall with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic which shut down all physical casinos (and their sportsbooks along with it). Iowa began rebounding in August, and has been on a heater ever since – setting 11 new single-state records over the following 17 months.
Here’s a look at Iowa’s monthly sports betting handle beginning in 2019:
Iowa is producing great handles for a state its size, but it would probably like to see better hold percentages. The state’s 7 percent hold rate in April 2022 was its highest since July 2021; it opened the 2021 football season with hold percentages of 2.7 and 2.3, respectively, in September and October producing just $1.03 million in taxes.
Iowa sportsbook operators have it easy compared with most of the other legislated states, paying just a 6.75 percent tax rate on gross gaming revenue.
Yes! Retail sports wagering officially began in Iowa in August 2019.
You can create an account, deposit, make bets and withdraw using any regulated mobile sports betting app in Iowa, as long as you are within state borders. Be sure to complete all of your transactions before you leave, however; once you’re outside the state, you will no longer be able to access your account(s).
You certainly can! Any regulated mobile sports betting app should work in whatever Iowa-based sports venue you’re in at that time.
Check out our list of the top-rated Iowa sportsbooks above!
Esports betting is not yet legal in the Hawkeye state, though Representative Bobby Kaufmann has sponsored a bill that would see esports wagering become legal.
Iowa has one of the lowest populations of any state with legalized sports betting, ranked 33rd in the nation at 3.17 million people (2022 estimate).
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has jurisdiction over sports betting in the state. You’ll find plenty of information on the website, including directions for self-exclusion and rules and statutes pertaining to the state’s gaming industry.
There will be at least a few more mobile sportsbook providers entering the Hawkeye State in the coming months, including MaximBet and SBK.