Iowa has gradually begun to legalize gambling since the 1983 Pari-mutuel Wagering Act. After almost a decade of legal horse racing, the Hawkeye state opened its first three riverboat casinos in 1991.
More riverboats and land-based casinos were set up in the ensuing years, laying the groundwork for fully legalized sportsbooks in 2019. We’ll discuss the Iowa sports betting scene in more detail later, revealing everything you need to know about laws, bonuses and wagering opportunities.
We’ll also discuss the top online sports betting operators. We’ve reviewed the most popular websites to discover the safest sportsbooks with the best betting odds. Our top Iowa sports betting sites deliver first-rate customer service and secure payment methods, ensuring excellent gambling experiences.
Best Online Sports Betting Sites in Iowa
We’ll go into more detail on Iowa sports betting in a moment, but we’ll start with our list of recommended sportsbooks in Iowa.
People have enjoyed placing bets for thousands of years. Betting on chariot races and gladiatorial games was common in ancient Rome, and has greatly expanded over time. Baseball, football and soccer joined the list of popular sports, and professional sportsbooks responded to growing customer demand.
In the 1990’s, state lotteries and casinos started offering online bets, making wagers even easier and more exciting. While early internet operations were mostly just odds lists connected to telephone services, they’ve grown into sophisticated sites with real-time information.
Over the past 30 years, our world has become ever more connected. Smartphones with 5G technology offer wagering opportunities to people wherever and whenever they have a free moment. Just open an Iowa sports betting app or browser window to place a bet while relaxing on the sofa or during your morning commute. It couldn’t be any easier or more convenient.
Although Iowa sportsbetting used to be a slow affair, today, you can deposit money, cashout and place wagers almost instantaneously. In-play sportsbooks allow bettors to respond to game conditions, opening even more profit opportunities. The future will be even better, with esports, virtual leagues and other gaming opportunities set to excite a new generation of gamblers.
Iowa Sports Betting Options
In this section, we’ll discuss sportsbook wagering options. Shopping around for the best deals offers a huge variety of prices and sporting events. But all Iowa sports betting sites will offer a combination of the following bet types at a minimum.
These bets are the most common and easiest to understand. Simply decide which team you think will win and place your bet. Naturally, most people will choose the favoured team, so sports betting sites tend to offer greater odds for the underdogs.
A winning bet will pay based on the difficulty of the bet and the perceived imbalance between the favorite and underdog.
This is a bet on whether the game will be a high-scoring offensive affair or a grinding, defensive game. The bookmakers will select a total representing the potential average score, and you can either bet over or under the line. Look for factors like injuries and weather to swing the balance one way or the other.
These bets give an extra point boost to the underdogs. Essentially, the stronger team starts with a point deficit that must be made up in addition to scoring the win. A +6 spread on the Buckeyes means they need to beat Kansas by 7 points, or a full touchdown, in order to cover the spread.
A parlay bet combines several bets into one larger and more difficult wager. This could be moneyline, total and spread for a single game, or money lines for several events. The possible bets are nearly limitless, including prop bet combinations like first team to kick a field goal or game MVP.
Iowa sports betting sites may suggest parlay combinations or allow you to build custom bets. Select several bets from other categories and indicate that you want to bundle them. The difficulty is much greater, but so are the rewards!
Since parlays are very difficult to land, there are special teasers that allow you to adjust the odds in your favor. A common teaser will grant 6 points on the spread, making one of the parlay legs much easier. Because teasers are less difficult to hit, the potential payout is also lower than with regular parlays.
If you have good information about a future event, why not monetize your insight? Example bets include next year’s Super Bowl winner or whether horse racing will have a triple crown winner this year. These markets very accurately predict future events, so the odds are widely reported in the news.
Why is Sports Betting So Popular in Iowa?
Iowans love the Buckeyes and are huge sports fans in general. Increasingly, more and more are taking that passion farther by making a few small wagers on their favorite teams. Whether it’s a friendly rivalry or a desire to spice up a game, many people in Iowa love sports betting.
There are as many reasons to love betting as there are for loving the sports themselves. In this section, we’ll go into some of the reasons why sports gambling is so popular in the state.
1. Online Sportsbook Convenience
It’s never been easier to put a few dollars on the big game. Unlike the old days, there’s no need to run to the store or drive to a casino. Thanks to modern smartphones, placing a wager is a quick and simple process that takes just a few swipes on your phone.
Thanks to improvements in technology and data analysis, you’ll also have a wealth of information available at all times. Today’s sports gamblers enjoy free resources that used to cost a small fortune to access. Online sportsbooks are a great resource for in-depth statistics that can dramatically increase your profits.
Iowa sports betting sites include all of the big players and a lot of smaller niche sites. You have many options, not only for wager types and events, but sportsbook selection as well. If you’re having trouble choosing, just look for the best bonus on our list of top Iowa sports betting websites.
2. Spice Up The Fan Experience
Iowa sports betting fans love winning real cash, of course. We shouldn’t forget the emotional investment that putting a few dollars on the game brings, though. Making a small wager puts skin in the game.
Every touchdown or big pass will make your heart race, giving some real entertainment value for your money. Look for parlay insurance, free bets, and other promotions to help take sting out of defeats.
3. Winning Real Money Is Fun
Nothing makes winning more exhilarating than earning real money. We all want to see our hometown team win, but money in your pocket is the ultimate prize. Your heart beats faster and you feel it right in your stomach when looking at your account balance after a big score.
Cashing out a big win is a fantastic experience, and so is the shopping trip that follows. Landing some windfall cash because of your sports knowledge can certainly help pay off bills. WInning a big bet is an experience worth remembering for a long time.
4. A Wealth of Options
Major sportsbooks offer 30 or more sports and hundreds of different leagues and competitions. All of your favorites like NFL and college football will be there, along with more niche games like cycling, snooker and darts.
Don’t forget that you can place live bets and propositions too. Keep the app open during the game to wager on whether the place kicker will make this field goal, for example. These little side bets can really add up to some big profits if you know your stuff.
5. Monetize your Insights
You may know a lot about your favorite sport. One of the best parts about sports betting is that it can actually be profitable if you’re smart enough. Put your money where your mouth is by placing a small wager on your insights.
Nothing makes you learn more or faster than when you’re winning and losing money, either. As you learn more, you’ll typically earn more, so don’t give up after a setback or two. You’ll likely pick up plenty of wins too, so don’t worry!
Is Online Sports Betting Legal and Safe in Iowa?
Regulated and safe sports betting sites in Iowa have been legal since 2019. At first, bettors needed to register in person at a local establishment, but all registration has been done online since 2021.
Reputable offshore casinos and sportsbooks also accept bets from American gamblers. While the US government discourages these sites, they’ve mostly left the international industry alone. Sites registered in the European Union and the UK deliver safe, dependable service to USA customers everyday.
Choosing a local Iowa sports betting site does have some advantages, however. Sites operating in Iowa make use of payment processors which are more common in the region, for instance. You can also take disputes to local regulators. In addition, Iowa sportsbooks promote bets on sporting events that Iowans love.
Growth of Sports Betting in IA
Sports are a big deal in Iowa, especially college teams like the Hawkeyes and Cyclones. As a strong farming state, Iowans are notoriously athletic and usually rank in the top tier of NCAA teams.
While Iowa sports betting has only been legal since 2019, it’s grown quickly. Over the first few years, monthly growth was typically about 6%, building up to more than 300 million dollars a month by 2022.
Major players have seen the growth and are eager to get in on the action. Today Iowans enjoy a wealth of options, including top websites like those on our list of recommended sports betting sites.
Types of Online Sports Betting Bonus
You’ll find a wide variety of bonuses at Iowa sports betting websites. These promotions go by a variety of names, but they all equal money in your pocket! In this section, we’ll give a quick rundown of common bonus types you should know about.
New Player Deposit Bonus
Online gambling websites are extremely competitive, offering many discounts and bonuses to attract new players. Promotions are often 100% deposit match bonuses which pair each dollar you deposit with an equal amount of free credits. These bonus funds will have playthrough requirements which give you plenty of opportunities to land a jackpot.
Naturally, you’ll want to shop around for the best deals possible, so check out our list of top Iowa sports betting websites for the inside scoop.
The fun doesn’t stop for experienced players. Iowa sports betting websites often supply reload bonuses which match your deposits with up to 75% of your deposit. Keep in mind that these reload bonuses are often time limited and less generous than new player bonuses. Keep an eye on the promotions tab at your favorite sportsbook for upcoming offers.
These promotions improve your odds of winning your sports bet or increase their payout. Obviously this is good news, so you should jump on these promotions as soon as they pop up. Sometimes the casino will let you select your own wagers, but typically sportsbooks use this to stir up interest in a particular game.
Iowa sports betting websites often offer parlay insurance to reduce the sting of a losing wager. This comes in the form of free bets so that you can try again. Parlays are extremely difficult to land because you have to predict the correct outcome of multiple events. They tend to pay well, though, which is why they’re extremely popular.
You can’t cash these out directly, but you collect any winnings as usual. Free bets are a great profit source since you’re not risking anything and have great odds of collecting a payout.
Like Parlay insurance, you’ll receive free bets if your first bet doesn’t work out. If you have a risk free bet, you might as well throw it at a high-returns bet and hope for the best. If it doesn’t work, you’ll receive another chance to land a safer wager next time.
Loyalty and VIP
Sportsbooks love to dish out free bets, prizes, and tokens of appreciation to their biggest fans to say thank you. With all of the money casinos lay out in new player bonuses and advertising, it really pays to keep loyal customers happy.
Signing up for a loyalty program allows you to accumulate points and rise through the tiers. You can eventually end up scoring some great perks like game tickets and exclusive promos.
Iowa doesn’t have any major sports teams, but make up for it with some of the best college outfits in the NCAA. Autumn Sundays are still a good day to catch the Vikings game. But whatever the season, you’re sure to find something to enjoy.
Iowans love a wide variety of spots but these are some of their favorites:
How to Sign Up for Online Sports Betting in Iowa
Signing up for an Iowa sports betting website is easily done and takes just a few minutes. You’ll just need to register your name, address and select your desired new player bonus. Here’s a short guide to help you out.
Select one of the safe and legal bookmakers from our list of top Iowa sports betting websites. They’re all excellent options, so you may simply choose the one with the best new player bonus.
Fill out the required new player information form. Remember that you’ll need to verify your identity before collecting winnings.
You might as well prove your identity and email address right away. This will speed up the checkout process when you land a big win.
Some websites may give you a small free bet with signup, but you’ll need to deposit some real money to score your deposit match. Navigate to the accounts page, choose your favorite processor, and deposit some funds.
Place your first wagers with an eye on your new player deposit match or risk-free bet requirements.
The process is simple and should be familiar to most people. Still, you’re bound to have a few questions, so feel free to contact customer support via live chat, telephone, or email. They’ll be happy to help you sort everything out.
Payment Methods for Iowa Sports Betting
Every sportsbook sets their own payment policies, but they all go out of their way to make deposits and withdrawals easy. Typically you’ll see all of the popular Iowan payment methods, and may even see options like cryptocurrency.
Expect payment to take a few moments for online processors like Paypal. If you’d prefer, they’ll usually have ways to pay locally using PayNearMe or by paying in cash at a local casino.
Most Iowa sportsbooks will accept the following funding methods.
Visa, Discover, and Mastercard
ACH & online banking
Cash at the Casino Cage
E-cheques and couriered cheques
Iowa celebrates individual freedom and responsibility. Still, occasionally someone may have difficulty setting appropriate gambling limits. Casinos and sportsbooks have a responsibility to the community and are happy to help.
Gamblers can request help and use a variety of tools to limit their wagering opportunities. These options include::
Deposit Limits. This is the maximum amount that you can deposit into your account during a certain time period.
Loss Limits. You can manually set a limit for your daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly losses.
Time Outs. If you feel like you need help taking a break, set a time out to temporarily exclude yourself from the sportsbook for a while.
Self Exclusion. This is the ultimate ban hammer. Once you self exclude, you will never be able to open an account at that sportsbook ever again.
If you and your family need help with a gambling problem, talk to Gambler’s Anonymous or call the Iowa Council on Problem Gambling. They are happy to provide support, alternate activities and methods for limiting your play.
”Is sports betting legal in Iowa?”
Yes. Iowa sports betting has been legal since 2019. You can sign up directly on any top sports betting websites on our list.
”What is the legal age to place a bet in Iowa?”
You must be at least 21 to place wagers or collect winnings in Iowa.
”Can I bet on college sports in IA?”
Yes. Iowans love college sports, so of course NCAA bets are a huge part of the local sportsbook landscape.
”Is it legal to bet with offshore sportsbooks in Iowa?”
Nobody is going to stop you. Some sites may geo-block American gamblers to avoid regulatory headaches, but many regulated, legal offshore sites exist. The best sites are often registered in the UK or European Union, with Malta Gaming Authority or UK Gambling Commission licenses.
”What are the best Iowa sports betting sites?”
The websites on our list of Iowa sports betting websites have been thoroughly vetted and are industry leaders. You can’t go wrong with any of them, so choose the most appealing bonus and have fun.
”Does the USA government restrict online gambling?”
In 2019, the US Supreme Court struck down the 1992 law forbidding sportsbooks. Since then, regulation has been left up to individual states. Naturally, Iowa and many other states promptly legalized the sports betting industry.
”Can you use Iowa sports betting sites in another state?”
Yes, you can. You can only collect your winnings while physically located in Iowa, though. Still, this may be useful for travelers who want to place a few wagers while they’re out on the road.
Online sports betting is a fast-growing phenomenon across the US. More and more states are legalizing online sports betting which makes mobile betting available to the broad public. With the rise of sports betting in mind we where curious what the best sports betting apps are in the US. Browse this guide to learn more ..