The midwestern states in the U.S. have a certain allure to them. There is a mystique around states like Iowa that we think is likely coming from the fact that many people haven’t traveled to the state. Known more for its cornfields than anything else, Iowa is actually a hotbed of gambling activity, and given its proximity to gambling-man Illinois, this is no real surprise. We are using this page to take a look at the gambling laws currently in place in the state as well as what laws could be coming down the pike.
Sports Betting in Iowa
We start our journey with the part of gambling that currently doesn’t exist in Iowa. There are no legal sports betting allowed in Iowa, but this was true of every state besides Nevada until May of 2018. At that time, when the Supreme Court decided to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, the doors were flung open for states to allow regulated sports betting. The Iowa legislature was not able to pass a low regulating sports betting in 2018 but they are still working at it and therefore we should see a law pass some time in 2019. the legislation currently under review in Iowa would likely authorize sportsbetting in casinos and online as well. This is a very sports-friendly state, and the popularity of the college teams residing in Iowa surely means that people will be finding legal places to make bets on their favorite teams soon.
Online Sports Betting
One option for Iowans who want to gamble on sports is to choose from one of the many unregulated online sportsbooks that are open for business. This is not a good idea as there is no guarantee of the winnings or player protection. It is better for Iowa residents to be patient and wait until licensed online sports betting options become available in the state.
The team at Betting News reviews all the online sportsbooks licensed in the USA, and from those reviews, we present only the ones that have received the highest marks. We only recommend licesed online gambling sites as these sites offer players protection and security. Of course, these online sportsbook give you the chance to bet on local and international sports, which means you are likely to find a game to bet on at all hours of the day or night even if it is licensed in your state. Online sportsbooks also give you the chance to bet freely from your laptop or mobile phones, meaning you can get in a bet at the last second from wherever you have a connection.
Online sportsbooks licensed in Iowa offer the most efficient methods of getting your money to and from the site. You cannot say the same for unregulated sportsbooks and that’s the main reason why you should not trust them with real money. You need the guarantee that your deposits will be processed instantly and that your winnings will be paid without a hassle. This is almost as important as the bets being offered by a site and only sportsbooks licensed in the United States can guarantee that.
Horse Betting in Iowa
There is only one race track in Iowa, but that doesn’t mean the state isn’t interested in the sport. Prairie Meadows has been offering races since the late 1980s, but given that the state only has a few million residents and that population is spread around a large geographic area, the attendance at the raceway was pretty poor. Adding more incentives and products at the track has increased attendance, and also being able to simulcast races from around the United States breathed some new life into the business. Pari-mutuel betting is legal in the state and shows no signs of going anywhere at this stage.
Online Horse Betting
Despite running races and accepting bets at their facility, Prairie Meadows cannot offer online wagering to its players. This is left to companies like Twinspires, which is owned by Churchill Downs. The company doesn’t have a land-based presence or a license from the state of Iowa, but it is still able to accept deposits and wagers from its residents. This may change as each state starts to review its policies on intrastate gambling, but today if you want to bet on your favorite track online, you can do so from the handful of sites that offer these pari-mutuel betting pools.
Casino Gambling in Iowa
Like many states in the Midwest, casino gambling started in Iowa in the form of riverboat casinos. The first of these launched legally in the state in 1991, and since then there has been a huge growth in the market. What started as a handful of these riverboat casinos has morphed into a full land-based industry, with several properties across the state. It was casino games that saved the Prairie Meadows track, as they were given a chance to offer slots first and then a full set of table games, putting them on equal footing with the other casinos in the state.
Iowa is one of a handful of states that offer casinos operated by tribal communities as well as those run by casino conglomerates. This allows the tribes to be able to generate some much-needed revenue while not being shut out by the state on gaming opportunities.
Online Casinos in Iowa
While there have been some casinos that have added play for fun and social casino games to their repertoire, real money online casinos are still not legal in the state. That means that players who want to play table games or video poker have to visit a land-based casino. The good news is that there are many casinos open to residents of the state.
Online casinos will soon be available and we expect that these will be offering hundreds of different games. Also, there will be many that offer Live Dealer games which do a great job of combining the speed and convenience of online play with the interaction of being in a land-based casino.
Betting News will review all legal online casinos in Iowa to present our readers with the best. The list of recommended sites are the ones that we feel have the best combination of game selection and promotions. These go hand-in-hand, as there is no reason to have a great bonus if there are no games a player wants to play. We also look a the mobile compatibility of casinos, as most people use their smartphone to do most things online nowadays.
Lottery in Iowa
Iowa has had a vibrant lottery scene ever since the Lottery was established in 1985. The lottery is responsible for contributing to several causes in the state, so growing the revenues is a mandate from the governor’s office. The state participates in the pooled games like Powerball and Mega Millions which are generating jackpots into the billions and causing a frenzy across the country. Also, you have the option of playing any of the hundreds of scratch tickets that are available at retailers across the state.
Iowa Gambling FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Iowa?
Despite a love of sports, sports betting is not legal in Iowa at this time. However, if you check back on this page in a few months, you may find this answer to be different. Legislation was introduced in Iowa, and with neighboring states considering regulated sports betting, Iowa will not want to wait too long. 2019 should be the year where sports betting becomes legal in Iowa.
When will sports betting be legal in Iowa?
There is no definitive date for sports betting being legal in Iowa. Our best guess is that we will see legislation passed sometime in the 2019 calendar year, which would mean that licenses would be awarded to casinos for 2020. However, anything could happen between now and then that could delay the plans.
What is the best online sportsbook for residents of Iowa?
Currently there are no legal online sportsbooks licensed in Iowa. Residents will need to visit a casino in Nevada or another state to place bets. Once the law changes, Betting News will evaluate and recommend the best online sportsbooks in Iowa. Iowa residents love their college sports, so the first thing we will focus on is finding a site that offers the most action on U.S. college games.
From there, it is important to have a look at each site to make sure one can find the odds and games easily, especially from a mobile phone. The next thing to look for is the deposit bonuses that are available, and any promotions that are regional (these promotions tend to be easier to earn or in with fewer people being involved). While there will be many online sportsbooks out there, not all will warrant your time and Betting News will be the resource you need to find the best online gambling options in Iowa.