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iowa sports betting

Iowa Sports Betting



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When Iowa sports betting launched in 2019, Iowa became the first state in the Midwest to launch sports betting, and it started a trend that has yet to slow down.

However, even though Hawkeye State was the first to launch, Iowa sports betting has not grown as quickly as expected.

Both retail and online sports betting is available in Iowa, but there was one major restriction that kept the online side of things from taking off. There are a number of great sports betting options in the state as some major sportsbooks have already launched.

Sports betting is expected to grow in 2022 and beyond, especially when it comes to Iowa sports betting. The Midwest is now loaded with sports betting options, and Iowa is trying to become a leader in that part of the country again. 

Iowa Sports Betting

Iowa Sportsbooks

There are 19 commercial Iowa casinos, and all of these properties were eligible to apply for a sports betting license. As of January 2021, nearly all of them were already offering retail sports betting.

Most of the casinos have partnered with a sports betting operator to offer both retail and Iowa online sports betting. Some operators in the state have partnered with several casinos to build up an even bigger presence in the state.

Iowa sports betting is also available, and there are seven online sports betting apps as of January 2020. Big names such as DraftKings and William Hill offer online sports betting, but there are also smaller operations such as Q Casion Sportsbook and Elite Sportsbook. 

Creating a sports betting account in Iowa was a bit of a hassle for the first 16 months of the industry being live. There was an in-person registration requirement in place, meaning that a trip to a retail sportsbook was required before your account could be set up.

As of January 1, 2021, the in-person registration requirement has been lifted, and remote registration is now offered. Signing up for an account just became much easier, and it is going to provide a huge lift to Iowa sports betting. 

Iowa Sports Betting Rules

When Iowa was first looking to launch sports betting in 2019, the target date was set prior to the start of the college football season. Iowa sports betting does allow for betting on collegiate sporting events, including bets on the popular in-state teams. 

The only major restriction when it comes to betting on college sports is that in-play betting options cannot be offered by the sportsbook. 

Of course, professional sporting events are also offered in the state of Iowa, and international betting options are available as well. Each sportsbook gets to choose the available betting markets based on a long list provided to them from the state.

Iowa is not home to any major professional sports teams, and that is one reason that collegiate betting was allowed. Football is the most popular sport to bet on in the state, but that’s a common trend throughout the United States. 

Betting on esports is allowed in the state of Iowa, but it can’t be done at any of the casinos or retail sportsbooks. Online sportsbooks can take bets on esports events as long as they are part of a contest ran by the operator.

Iowa sports bettors will have plenty of betting options available to them, especially at the top sportsbook operators in the state. 

Iowa Sports Betting Regulations

Lawmakers in Iowa were keeping a close eye on the battle to lift the federal ban on sports betting, even attempting to pass legislation before the decision from the US Supreme Court in 2018. Ultimately, lawmakers had to wait until 2019 to get enough support to pass a bill to legalize IA sports betting.

Senate File 617 was the bill that was finally passed to legalize sports betting, but it created plenty of debate along the way. On May 13, 2019, Governor Kim Reynolds officially signed the bill, making IA sports betting legal.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission was put in charge of the new industry, and that group worked quickly in getting things up and running. Both retail and IA online sports betting was available later that Fall. 

The in-person registration requirement was included with SF 617, and it set the date of January 1, 2021, before it would allow remote registration. Each casino that applied for a sports betting license could operate two different online sportsbooks. 

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission collects a $45,000 licensing fee, and there is a tax of 6.75% on all sports betting revenue. 


The in-person registration requirement was really holding back the Iowa sports betting industry, but that will no longer be the case in 2021 and beyond. Now that remote registration is in place, the state should see tremendous growth, especially in the IA online sports betting market.

Iowa has been able to attract some of the biggest and best operators in the world, and there are plenty of options for sports bettors. Retail betting has done extremely well in the state, but mobile is expected to lead the way from here on out.

There are plenty of available betting markets available in Iowa, which is another list that continues to grow. Iowa offers plenty of competition in the Midwest, and they have started to fall behind some other states.

The Hawkeye State has things in place to have a big year in 2021, and that should carry them into the future of sports betting.