Iowa Sports Betting Review: Tips For The Best Bets

Iowa, known for its vibrant sports culture, offers an exciting landscape for sports betting enthusiasts. In this blog, we will explore the history of Iowa sports betting, delve into the rules and regulations that govern it, highlight popular sports for betting, discuss the limitations on betting options, and provide a step-by-step guide on how to get started with sports betting in Iowa.




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Iowa Sports Betting History

2018: Progress Towards Legalization : Efforts to legalize sports betting gained traction after a May 2018 US Supreme Court ruling. Despite no action taken at the state level, the wheels were set in motion.

2019: Legalization and Launch : Gov. Kim Reynolds signs sports betting into law in May. Retail and online betting launch in August, just in time for major sports seasons.

2020: Milestones and Growth : December sees monthly sports betting handle exceed $100 million for the first time. Iowa ends the year with over $500 million in total bets.

2021: Record-breaking Year : In-person registration requirement expires, leading to a surge in sports betting activity. Iowa sports betting set a new handle record of $287 million in November, totaling $2 billion bets for the year.

2022: Expansion and Changes : House passes legislation to legalize esports betting. TheScore Bet ceases US operations, including Iowa, in July. Expanded sports betting options, including drafts and league awards, become effective.

2023: Tribal Casino Sports Betting : Blackbird Bend Casino became the first tribal casino to offer in-person sports betting in Iowa.


Iowa Sports Betting Rules and Regulations

To ensure fair and responsible sports betting practices, Iowa has established certain rules and regulations. Let’s get dive into the following points:

  • Age Restriction: Bettors must be at least 21 years old to engage in sports betting activities in Iowa.

  • Licensed Operators: Iowa sports betting is only permitted through licensed casinos and online platforms that have obtained official approval from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

  • In-Person Registration: Initially, bettors were required to register in person at a licensed casino before engaging in online sports betting. However, this requirement was lifted in January 2021, allowing individuals to register online from anywhere within the state.

  • Geolocation: To participate in Iowa online sports betting, bettors must be physically located within Iowa’s borders. Geolocation technology is employed to ensure compliance with this requirement.

  • Responsible Gaming: Iowa emphasizes responsible gambling practices, offering resources and support for individuals who may experience gambling-related issues. Bettors can set deposit limits, take self-exclusion measures, and seek assistance from various responsible gaming organizations.

Here are some additional key details about Iowa’s sports betting legislation:

  • Operators in Iowa must pay a license fee of $45,000 in order to operate a sportsbook.

  • The state imposes a tax of 6.75% on the revenue generated from sports betting activities.

  • The registration process for Iowa sportsbooks has been made convenient, allowing individuals to complete it entirely online.

  • Each casino establishment in Iowa is permitted to have a maximum of three online skins, which enables them to operate a total of 57 different sports betting websites.

Popular Sports for Betting in Iowa

Sports betting Iowa offers a wide range of sports that attract bettors’ attention. Here are some of the most popular sports for betting in the state:

  • Football: With the Iowa Hawkeyes and Iowa State Cyclones being the top college football teams in the state, football holds a special place in the hearts of Iowa sports fans.

  • Basketball: The Iowa Hawkeyes and the Iowa State Cyclones also excel in college basketball, making it another highly popular sport for betting.

  • Baseball: Iowa is home to minor league baseball teams, and many sports bettors enjoy wagering on local games as well as Major League Baseball (MLB) matchups.

  • Mixed Martial Arts (MMA): MMA has gained a significant following in Iowa, and bettors eagerly place wagers on popular events such as UFC fights.









Top Sportsbooks in Iowa Sports Betting


DraftKings Sportsbook

  • DraftKings Iowa Sportsbook offers a feature-rich app with options like Flash Bet and betting pools. While the signup bonus is good, there is room for improvement in terms of regular promotions.

BetMGM Sportsbook logo

BetMGM Sportsbook

  • BetMGM offers a variety of sports, including niche options like snooker. The website layout could be better, but the app experience is generally satisfactory.
BetRivers Sportsbook logo

BetRivers Sportsbook

  • BetRivers has gained a significant market share in Iowa. Although its online sportsbook could be more organized, it provides a good range of sports and a strong rewards program.
Betfred Sports

Betfred Sports

  • Betfred is a newer sportsbook in the US but has a wealth of experience in Europe. It offers competitive odds and an attractive display. However, its banking options are still limited compared to other US sportsbooks.

FanDuel Sportsbook

  • FanDuel provides a user-friendly web and mobile experience, regularly making improvements. While it lacks some regular promotions, it offers a range of great features.

Betway Sportsbook

  • Already established overseas, Betway is gaining popularity in North America. It offers an easy-to-use app, competitive odds, live-betting options, and even live streaming. Some users have concerns about low withdrawal limits and session expirations.

Caesars Sportsbook logo

Caesars Sportsbook

  • Caesars offers frequent promotions and competitive odds. However, its sportsbook app may experience occasional lag, and customer service wait times have been a source of frustration for some users.


Iowa Sportsbooks Bonuses and Offers

Many Iowa sportsbooks offer competitive welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions, so it’s wise to explore the incentives that suit your preferences before signing up. Here are the current top five welcome bonuses available:

  • DraftKings Promo Code: Receive a $50 bonus bet and a 20% bonus up to $1,000 with your initial deposit.

  • BetMGM Bonus Code: Enjoy up to $1,000 in bonus bets paid back to you.

  • BetRivers Bonus Code: Take advantage of a second chance bet worth up to $500.

  • Betfred Promo Code: Gain access to up to $1,111 in Fred bets.

  • FanDuel Promo Code: Bet $5 and receive $150 in bonus bets.

  • Betway Promo Code: Get $250 as a sign-up bonus on a risk-free bet.

  • Caesars Bonus Code: Get up to $1,250 using promo code COVERSBONUSFULL.

What You Can't Bet on in Iowa?

While Iowa offers a broad range of sports for betting, there are certain limitations and restrictions on what can be wagered upon. Currently, Iowa law prohibits betting on high school sports and any contests involving participants who are minors. Additionally, bets on individual player performance in collegiate sporting events are not allowed.

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How to Get Started in Iowa Sports Betting?

To begin your sports betting journey in Iowa, follow these steps:

  • Research Licensed Operators: Explore the licensed casinos and online platforms approved by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Look for reputable operators that offer competitive odds and a user-friendly betting experience.

  • Create an Account: Once you have selected a preferred platform, create an account by providing the necessary personal information. Ensure that you meet the age requirement and complete any verification procedures as required.

  • Fund Your Account: Make a deposit into your Iowa sports betting account using one of the accepted methods of payment. Credit/debit cards, bank transfers, and e-wallets are all common payment options.

  • Place Your Bets: Navigate through the platform to find the sports and events you wish to bet on. Explore the available betting markets and select your preferred odds.

  • Set Limits: It’s important to establish responsible gambling habits. Set betting limits and stick to a budget to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

  • Enjoy Live Betting: Many platforms offer live betting, allowing you to place bets during the course of a game or event. Take advantage of this exciting feature to enhance your sports betting experience.

  • Withdraw Your Winnings: If your bets are successful, you can withdraw your winnings from your betting account. Follow the platform’s instructions to initiate a withdrawal, choosing your preferred payment method.


Iowa sports betting presents an exciting opportunity for sports enthusiasts and bettors. With a regulated environment, a wide range of popular sports to wager on, and a user-friendly online platform, Iowa offers a thrilling and responsible sports betting experience. It’s important to adhere to the rules, choose licensed operators, and gamble responsibly. Whether you’re a fan of the Hawkeyes or Cyclones, Iowa sports betting adds an immersive and exhilarating element to your favorite sports. Enjoy the journey and best of luck!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Yes, retail and online sports betting is legal in Iowa. The state has implemented regulations that allow residents and visitors to engage in online sports wagering through licensed operators.

Yes, college sports betting is legal in Iowa. However, there are restrictions on in-game prop bets for individual college athletes and some limitations on certain college events.

You can register for an online sportsbook in Iowa by completing the registration process on the operator’s website or mobile app. In-person registration is no longer required, and you can sign up remotely.

Sports betting winnings in Iowa are subject to regular income tax rates. The winnings should be reported as taxable income when filing your state and federal tax returns.

Yes, you can bet on sports using your mobile device in Iowa. Online sportsbooks offer mobile apps that allow you to place bets, access account information, and enjoy the full range of features conveniently from your smartphone or tablet.