Iowa Sports Betting

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Iowa Sports BettingIowa sports betting is still relatively new, but Iowa bettors continue to set records, making it quite successful within the Midwest betting market.

Through 2021 and beyond, Iowa sports bettors can join any legally-licensed online sportsbook from home. With no need to register in-person, you have full access to all the promotions without traveling. And you can easily compare the ten available apps to find the best odds before placing a bet.

Iowa Sports Betting Updates

  • Iowa Sets Third Consecutive Monthly Record- In November 2020, sports bettors in Iowa wagered $87 million, more than any month prior. It also beats October 2020’s $81.9 million as well as September 2020’s $72.4 million. Before that, the most wagered in one month was in September 2019, and it was under $60 million.
  • Iowa Sports Betting Exceeds $100 Million In One Month- Breaking the record for the fourth consecutive month, Iowa sportsbooks handled over $100 million in wagers in December 2020. This is reported as we enter the second week since the in-person registration requirement sunset on January 1, 2020.
  • Iowa Sports Betting No Longer Requires In-Person Registration- As of January 1, 2020, you can register at an online sportsbook from anywhere. To place a bet at an Iowa sportsbook, you only need to be physically located within state lines.
  • BetRivers Launches In Iowa: On January 1, 2021, the BetRivers Sportsbook Iowa is available in Iowa via Android, iOS, and desktop. They currently offer a 100% first-deposit match up to $250, and the wagering requirement is only 1x.
  • BetMGM Launches In Iowa: As of January 4, 2021, BetMGM Iowa Sportsbook is now available to anyone over 21 and located in Iowa. This is a top-rated online sports betting platform, and new members receive a risk-free bet up to $600.

Reviews Of Iowa’s 5 Best Sports Betting Apps & Sites

William Hill Iowa

Visit: William Hill Iowa and Claim a $500 Risk Free Bet

  • Welcome Offer: Risk-free bet up to $500
  • Available Platforms: iOS App, Android App, Web Browser
  • Retail Partner: Isle Bettendorf, Isle Waterloo, Lakeside, Prairie Meadows
  • Stable and accessible app
  • Strong live betting component
  • Accepts PayPal for deposits and withdrawals as well as credit/debit, online bank transfer, and more.

William Hill is one of the olds sports betting companies in the world, with an international footprint. It is also quickly expanding across the US. Part of this expansion involved the launch of William Hill Iowa in 2019. William Hill was the first online sportsbook to launch in Iowa.

William Hill brings its international expertise to its sportsbook app. It has one of the strongest apps on the market when it comes to stability and ease of use. It’s simple to sign, up, deposit, and get betting. William Hill also excels in its regular promotions and live betting options.

BetMGM Sportsbook Iowa (10/10)

VisitBetMGM Iowa and get up to $600 Risk Free Bet Bonus

  • New members receive a  risk free bet up to $600 with code SHARP
  • Available via iOS app, Android app, and Desktop
  • Partnered with Diamond Jo Dubuque
  • Highest rated app (tied with DraftKings Sportsbook)
  • Best futures market in the US
  • Best welcome bonus in Iowa
  • Range of promotions and odds boosters
  • Great rewards program
  • Online bank transfer is the best way to deposit at BetMGM Iowa.

BetMGM is also expanding rapidly across the US, launching sportsbook apps and its online casinos in several states. It’s one of the most popular gambling apps in the country, in part because it is backed by the MGM brand name.

The BetMGM Sportsbook iOS app also has a 4.8 out of 5.0 rating on the App Store, which is tied with DraftKings for the best score of any sports betting app.

BetMGM Iowa also offers great odds compared to the rest of the market, and they consistently boast the best win potential for futures betting.

FanDuel Sportsbook Iowa (9.75/10)

VisitFanDuel Iowa and Claim a $1,000 Risk Free Bet

  • New members receive a risk-free bet up to $1,000
  • Available via iOS app, Android app, and Desktop
  • Partnered with Diamond Jo Worth
  • Tons of daily promotions and tournaments
  • Great odds boosters on the hottest events
  • Hyper-competitive odds
  • Desktop version of sportsbook integrated with FanDuel DFS
  • App is stable, powerful, and intuitive
  • PayPal is the best way to deposit and withdraw at FanDuel.

FanDuel Sportsbook Iowa has a relatively unexciting welcome bonus. While a risk-free bet up to $1,000 is a good way to acquaint yourself with this high-quality platform, the same or similar is offered by others.

However, FanDuel Iowa offers a remarkable number of promotions on a daily basis that goes far beyond the welcome offer. These are some of the most inventive and enticing offers in sports betting, including odds boosters, cashback offers, free tournaments, and countless more.

That’s on top of some of the best odds in Iowa, consistently beating out its biggest competitors like DraftKings and BetMGM.

DraftKings Sportsbook Iowa (9.75/10)

VisitDraftKings Iowa and get up to $1,000 Deposit Match Bonus

  • New members receive a 20% first-deposit bonus up to $1,000
  • Available via iOS app, Android app, and Desktop
  • Partnered with Wild Rose Casino locations
  • Highest deposit-bonus in Iowa
  • Best rated app in the app store
  • Huge number of promotions and contests
  • Excellent odds and special offers
  • PayPal makes depositing and cashing out easy at DraftKings Iowa. 

DraftKings Sportsbook Iowa is one of the best options for sports bettors in the state. Few other brands can compete with the sheer number of lines offered here on a daily basis, and the odds are some of the most competitive on the planet.

Alongside FanDuel and BetMGM, DraftKings makes the Iowa sports betting market one of the best in the US.

New members at DraftKings Iowa can receive a 20% welcome bonus up to $1,000. If you opt in, you’ll receive $1 in bonus cash for every $5 in real-money bets placed. You must deposit $5,000 to receive the maximum, but a deposit of just $5 qualifies for the promotion.

PointsBet Sportsbook Iowa (9/10)

VisitPointsBet Iowa and get $2,000 in Risk-Free Bets

  • New members receive 2 risk-free bets up to $2,000 with code BIGBONUS
  • Available via iOS app, Android app, and Desktop
  • Partnered with Catfish Bend Casino
  • “No Juice” events with +100 odds on select spread bets
  • Great daily odds boosters
  • Huge selection of international events
  • Sports coverage partnership with NBC Sports
  • The easiest way to deposit

PointsBet is a new sports betting brand in the US, but it’s already becoming a highly regarded choice where it’s licensed. For sports bettors in Iowa, it’s one of the best choices for its great odds, including the “no juice” promo on select points spread events, such as the NFL playoffs.

PointsBet also offers PointsBetting, where you place an over/under totals bet, and the amount you win or lose is determined by the exact score. The more correct you were, the higher your win. The more incorrect, the higher your losses.

The PointsBet Iowa welcome bonus is a risk-free bet up to $500 on fixed-odds events, and a $1,500 risk-free bet on a PointsBetting wager. Make sure to use the code BIGBONUS.

BetRivers Sportsbook Iowa (8/10)

  • New members receive a 100% deposit bonus up to $250.
  • Available via iOS app, Android app, and Desktop
  • Partnered with Wild Rose casino locations.
  • Best deposit bonus terms in the US (1x wagering requirement)
  • Daily bonus offers and odds boosters
  • Competitive odds that sometimes beat out competitors
  • The easiest way to deposit is with a debit card, but PayPal is also available.

BetRivers Sportsbook Iowa works great via desktop. However, it has the worst app in the state, so if you exclusively wager via mobile app, bet somewhere else.

But if you’re willing to play using your web browser, then you should join BetRivers Iowa for the welcome bonus alone. They offer new members a 100% deposit bonus up to $250. That essentially doubles your first deposit up to a total of $500.

The wagering requirement is also only 1x. That means you just need to bet the full amount a single time to withdraw any winnings. You can also use it for any combination of bets with odds of -200 or longer.

For a betting app in so many states across the US, you’d think they’d have a better app. But if it’s any consolation, BetRivers Indiana doesn’t even offer an iOS app at all.

All Iowa Sportsbook Sites

SportsbookBonus OfferRetail Partner(s)Launch Date
William HillRisk-free bet up to $500Isle Bettendorf, Isle Waterloo, Lakeside, Prairie MeadowsAug. 15, 2019
Elite SportsbookRisk-free bet up to $500Grand Falls, Rhythm City, RiversideAug. 27, 2019
Q SportsbookN/AQ CasinoNov. 12, 2019
PointsBetTwo risk-free bets up to $2,000 with code BIGBONUSCatfish BendNov. 26, 2019
Hard Rock SportsbookRisk-free bet up to $100Hard Rock Sioux CityDec. 16, 2019
DraftKings20% deposit match up to $1,000Wild RoseFeb. 19, 2020
FanDuelRisk-free bet up to $1,000Diamond Jo WorthSept. 9, 2020
Betfred100% wager match up to $1,000Grand FallsSept. 11, 2020
BetRivers100% deposit match up to $250Wild RoseJan. 1, 2021
BetMGMRisk Free Bet up to $600Diamond Jo DubuqueJan. 4, 2021

How To Place A Bet In Iowa

Step 1: Find The Right Online Sportsbook

You can safely join and bet at any legally-licensed online sportsbook in the state. You can find a complete list of available sites and apps in the list table, including the welcome bonus offer for each option.

Step 2: Register Remotely

As of January 1, 2021, you can register at any of Iowa’s online sportsbooks from anywhere. That includes outside of the state, but you must be physically inside the State of Iowa to wager.

Registration is similar to opening a bank account in terms of the information you need to provide. This includes your name, DOB, address, and phone number as well as a unique password for your account.

Step 3: Make A Deposit

You may need to provide a promo code during the signup process or while you make a deposit, so make sure you have SHARP copied for the BetMGM Iowa deposit bonus or BIGBONUS for the exclusive risk-free bet up to $1,500 from PointsBet Iowa.

In accordance with state law, Iowa sportsbooks cannot accept credit cards as a deposit method. That means a more limited number of options in the state, but most accept PayPal for deposits and withdrawals as well as online banking. BetRivers also accepts debit cards, while BetMGM does not accept PayPal or debit cards, making online bank transfer the best option.

Step 4: Place A Bet

Once you have money in your account, you can place any bet offered by the sportsbook. You can find a diverse selection of odds for the same event across the different sportsbooks, so it’s a good idea to compare beforehand.

IMPORTANT: Risk-free bets usually apply to the first wager only. It’s also important to read all terms and conditions before participating in any promotion.

Iowa Legal Sportsbooks

Betting at illegal sportsbooks adds unnecessary risk to your personal information and finances. These sites routinely sell their users’ information, refuse to pay winnings, or disappear (with your money) altogether.

Thanks to oversight by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC), your personal information and finances are protected when you play at legally-licensed sportsbooks.

The Iowa.gov website also offers a great tax resource for bettors, including their policies on automatically withholding winnings of $600 or more (the same for a lottery win). All net winnings from gambling are subject to the 5% state income tax rate as well as the 24% federal income tax rate for a total of 29%.

Iowa Sports Betting Revenue

In October 2020, the IRGC reported that Iowa sportsbooks handled a record-breaking $81.9 million in wagering. The month before, the previous record of $59.34 million placed in September 2019 was topped in September 2020, with $72.4 million in wagers placed at sportsbooks across the state.

Iowa’s sports wagering has continued to grow, with $100 million bet among a population of 3.2 million.

Iowa’s sports betting revenue is on par with Indiana and Illinois relative to its population. In October 2020, Illinois saw over $400 million wagered among a population of 12.7 million. In November 2020, Indiana saw over $250 million wagered among a population of 6.7 million.

Bottom line: the Midwest is becoming an online sports betting haven in its own right.

How Iowa Compares To Other States

Compared to its Midwest neighbors Illinois and Indiana, Iowa offers a great sports betting market with a few shortcomings:

  • You can’t use a credit card to make a deposit
  • You can’t place prop bets on in-state college teams
  • You can’t bet on TV competitions like the Oscars

Iowa Versus Indiana

Indiana has the most liberal sports betting laws in the country, even more so than New Jersey or Nevada. For example, Indiana sportsbooks can offer prop bets on in-state college schools. It’s also one of only two states (along with New Jersey) that allows bets on the Oscars and other TV competitions.

However, Indiana expressly prohibits esports betting. Iowa does not, but it is not currently an approved category for betting in the state.

Illinois Versus Iowa

Illinois still technically requires in-person registration for online sportsbooks, but the Governor suspended that requirement via executive order going into 2021.

That means Iowa beats Illinois in two key categories: the ability to bet on in-state college schools, and the pure number of options. While Iowa sports bettors can join at least ten sports betting apps, Illinois only had five at the time of writing this guide.

In Illinois, you can’t bet on in-state college teams, but you can use a credit card to deposit at a sportsbook.

Iowa Betting Successes And Failures

Iowa Sports Betting Success

When the in-person registration requirement expired on January 1, 2021, The Des Moines Register quoted Johnny Avello, the director of sportsbook operations at DraftKings, as saying, “I’d actually call it a first launch, because this is the correct way to do it. This gets everybody who wants to be involved to be involved.”

While online sports betting officially launched in Iowa in August 2019, the in-person registration requirement made the state an unviable market for many operators. With that requirement gone and each land-based casino able to open three online sportsbooks each, the Iowa market can finally grow to its true potential.

In the last few months of 2020, sportsbooks handled over $80 million in wagers, and that’s only expected to increase throughout 2021 due to the more viable market.

Where Could Iowa Improve Online Gambling

It’s highly unlikely that Iowa will change the law and allow prop bets on in-state college sports or credit card deposits. And the in-person registration requirement is behind us.

However, Iowa could improve its online gambling position by allowing esports bets and TV competitions like the Academy Awards, which could attract bettors from Illinois and elsewhere where those wagers aren’t offered.

Legalization Effort In Iowa

Less than one year after the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018, Iowa was one of the first states with legal sports betting.

In April 2019, the Iowa Senate voted in favor of legalized sports betting by wide margins. Support also came from both sides of the aisle, with the majority of democrat and republican lawmakers agreeing to the legality.

Just a few days later, the bill passed the Iowa House, and it received Governor Kim Reynolds’s signature on May 13, 2019. It was officially legal to bet on sports in Iowa.

However, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) had to formulate all the rules and regulations, receive applications, and approve licenses. In other states, such as Michigan, that process took a year or more.

Amazingly, the IRGC had everything in place in time for William Hill to launch on August 15, 2019, the state’s first legal online sportsbook.

That means sports betting went from passing the Iowa Senate to a legal online sportsbook in about four months.

The biggest downside was the requirement to register at online sportsbooks in-person at their partnering land-based casino. Thankfully, that requirement sunset on January 1, 2021.

Timeline For Iowa Sports Betting

  • May 13, 2018: The US Supreme Court strikes down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which opened the doors to sports betting across the country.
  • May 14, 2018: The day after the overturn of PASPA, The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa lawmakers will consider legalizing sports betting in the state.
  • February 7, 2019: Iowa lawmakers reject four sports betting bills in favor of planning a new one from scratch.
  • March 21, 2019: Iowa sports betting bill will restrict prop bets on in-state college sports.
  • April 17, 2019: Senate File 617, an Act legalizing sports betting, passes the Iowa Senate by a margin of 31 to 18.
  • May 6, 2019: Senate File 617 is finalized and sent to the Governor.
  • May 13, 2019: Governor Kim Reynolds approves Senate File 617, effectively legalizing sports betting in Iowa with the stroke of her pen.
  • August 15, 2019: William Hill opens the first four retail sportsbooks in the state at Prairie Meadows, Lakeside Casino, Isle Casino Bettendorf, and Isle Casino Waterloo. William Hill also becomes the first online sportsbook available in the state.
  • January 1, 2021: Iowa’s in-person registration requirement expires, allowing remote registration on any legally-licensed online sportsbook in the state.

Iowa Teams

Iowa Professional Sports Teams

Iowa does not have any major league sports teams. But betting on major league sports—particularly on teams located in nearby states—is highly popular in Iowa, particularly betting on the Super Bowl.

Iowa’s Favorite NFL Teams

It’s safe to say that these are the four most popular NFL teams in Iowa:

  • Green Bay Packers
  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Chicago Bears
  • Minnesota Vikings

All four of these teams inspire tons of wagers from Iowans, and the variety of fans makes for an interesting layout of odds, which are dramatically affected by how many bets are placed.

Iowa’s Favorite MLB Teams

In 2019, SeatGeek released a map that showed the most popular sports teams by county in Iowa. The calculations were based on ticket sales, so they don’t perfectly represent the state’s fandom. But it’s a good indicator nonetheless.

The most popular team was the Kansas City Royals, followed by the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Twins, and St. Louis Cardinals, respectively. 

Iowa sportsbooks will have plenty of action, including tons of prop bets, on every MLB game, especially the ones that feature these teams.

Iowa’s Favorite NBA Teams

Outside of NCAAB D1’s March Madness tournament, basketball doesn’t inspire as many bets as football or baseball. However, it remains the third most popular sport in the country, and Iowa’s favorite teams include:

  • Chicago Bulls
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Milwaukee Bucks

Iowa College Sports Teams

Iowa boasts four college teams that play at the D1 level in football and basketball, the two most popular college sports by far.

However, you can only bet moneyline, points spread, or totals for in-state college sports. Prop bets are only allowed for out-of-state college teams and professional sports.

Iowa Hawkeyes

The University of Iowa has the most successful D1 athletic program in the state, and they’re often one of the better teams in the country.

In basketball, the Hawkeyes appeared in the NCAA Tournament 26 times, and they made it to the Final Four for the third time in 1980.

In football, the Hawkeyes consistently rank in the AP Top 25, and they sat at number 17 at the time of writing this guide.

Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State football currently sits at number 12 of the AP Top 25 College Football Teams. But even if they dropped since then, they’re almost always a team strong enough to beat any other D1 program. The Cyclones can also hoop it with the best of them, boasting 20 NCAA Tournament appearances, and making it to the Sweet 16 twice within the past decade.

Northern Iowa Panthers

While the Hawkeyes and the Cyclones reign supreme for most popular college teams, the Northern Iowa Panthers basketball program has been making a name for itself at the national level. Seven of eight total March Madness appearances have occurred since 2000, and they made it to the Sweet 16 in 2010.

Drake Bulldogs

Drake Bulldogs basketball team has only made it to the NCAA Tournament four times (most recently in 2008). But they’re a strong member of the Missouri Valley Conference, making for some exciting betting action, particularly for points spreads.

Other Sports To Bet On In Iowa

Iowa allows sportsbooks to list a range of sports. You can find bets on auto racing, golf, European soccer, Rugby, and beyond. In fact, you could attend a NASCAR race at Iowa Speedway while betting on the event with your mobile device.

However, some sportsbooks offer more sports than others. For example, BetMGM Iowa offers cycling and table tennis. William Hill Iowa does not. 

If you’re betting on sports beyond popular college teams or major leagues in the US and Europe, make sure to explore the options before joining a sportsbook. You don’t want to be an MMA-specific bettor only to find out the sportsbook doesn’t offer lines on the fights.

Also, sportsbooks will take bet requests. If you don’t see something listed at your app of choice, consider reaching out to see if they’ll offer the bet. At worst, it might put it on their radar to add in the future.


Iowa Sports Betting FAQs

What Is The Age Requirement For Online Sports Betting In Iowa?

21. You must be at least 21 years old to bet at an online sportsbook in Iowa. The gambling age for all casinos and sportsbooks in Iowa is 21 except for at Meskwaki Casino in Tama, where the gambling age is 18. However, they do not offer a sportsbook. 

What Are The Rules About Betting On College Sports In Iowa?

It is legal to bet on college sports in Iowa. However, you cannot place prop bets on in-state college teams. All other forms of betting on in-state schools are allowed, including moneyline, points spread, parlays, futures, and totals. You can also place prop bets on out-of-state college teams.

Is Online Sports Betting Safe In Iowa?

Yes. Online sports betting in Iowa is safe as long as you join legally-licensed online sportsbooks. You can find links to all Iowa sports betting apps and sites at Gaming Today as well as exclusive welcome bonuses and detailed reviews. You can also verify legal sportsbooks on the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission website.

Can I Bet On My iPhone In Iowa?

Yes. Most sportsbooks in Iowa offer an iOS app. However, some are better than others. DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, and PointsBet offer the best iOS apps in Iowa according to their App Store ratings. The odds at the specific sportsbook are the same whether you use the iOS app, Android app, or desktop version. 

Is It Legal To Bet At The DraftKings Sportsbook In Iowa?

Yes. DraftKings Sportsbook Iowa launched on February 19, 2020. This is a top-rated sportsbook app with competitive odds, daily promotions, and convenient banking methods, including PayPal. New members at DraftKings Sportsbook Iowa can receive a 20% first-deposit match up to $1,000. If you opt in, they’ll match every $5 wagered with $1 in bonus cash.

Is It Legal To Bet At The FanDuel Sportsbook In Iowa?

Yes. FanDuel Sportsbook Iowa is available for remote registration, which means you can join and wager from anywhere within state lines. This is among the best online sportsbooks in Iowa in terms of odds, promotions, banking options, and app quality. Right now, FanDuel Iowa offers new members a risk-free bet up to $1,000.

More Resources On Iowa Sports Betting

About the Author

Mike Epifani

Mike Epifani is an experienced online gambling writer who specializes in online casinos and sports betting sites. From the nuances of bonus offers to winning strategies, his insights have helped countless bettors keep more of their money while having fun and staying safe.

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