Iowa Casinos

Written by: Cliff Spiller, Online Casino and Game Expert
Iowa Casinos & Gambling
  • Horseracing (1983), Lottery (1985), Casinos (1989), Bingo (2000)
  • $375 million
  • $1.8 billion
  • 21 for all forms of gambling
  • Iowa exempts casinos from its statewide smoking ban
  • Horseracing is the only version of online gambling legal in Iowa.

Iowa casino locations: Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Onawa, Burlington, Dubuque, Northwood, Larchwood, Bettendorf, Marquette, Davenport, Waterloo, Tama, Altoona, Riverside, Osceola, Clinton, Emmettsburg, Jefferson, and Sloan. You can find all specific Iowa casinos using our interactive map and find the directions and websites.

Iowa gambling has a long history. Like many Midwestern states, Iowa casinos on riverboats were common during the 1800s. Some carried over through the early 20th Century. Iowa casino gambling was brought back and regulated in 1989. It was the first state to legalize riverboat casinos in the country. Iowa casinos were the fourth to be legalized after Nevada, New Jersey, and South Dakota.

Iowa also has a state lottery, charitable gambling, and horse racing, which includes simulcast betting. Casino gambling was later expanded to the racetracks. Greyhound racing is legal in Iowa but it is in a sunset phase through a gaming deal.

Paying Gambling Taxes in Iowa

Do you have to pay taxes on your gambling winnings? OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos has gathered everything you need to know about paying gambling taxes straight from a Certified Public Accountant. For more information please visit our exclusive Gambling Taxes article.

Types of Iowa Online Gambling Allowed

Horseracing iconThe only form of legal Iowa online gambling is off-track betting. Wagers may be made over the Internet and on mobile devices. Horses and greyhounds are eligible.

Daily fantasy sports sites are illegal under state law. Iowa does not offer a skill gaming law to use like the industry does in other states. No legitimate daily fantasy sports sites operate in the state. All online poker, casino, and sports betting sites are located offshore and are unlicensed in Iowa.

Types of Live Iowa Gambling

Popular games iconPopular Games
  • Slots: Yes
  • Blackjack: Yes
  • Poker: Yes
  • Craps/Roulette: Yes
  • Horses: Yes
  • Lottery: Yes

Legal Iowa gambling comes in several forms. Racing was the first to become legal in the state. Horse and greyhound tracks were both legal. The state is phasing out greyhound racing amid the push-back among animal rights activists.

The Iowa Lottery was the next form of gambling to existing. Tickets are sold at convenience stores but not over the Internet. Charities may also offer games of chance. These are available at lodges, religious organizations, and fraternal orders. All must register with the state to offer bingo and raffles. Social gaming is also permitted in taverns with proper licensing.

There is a total of 22 casinos in Iowa, as a combination of regular Iowa casinos and Native American casinos. From taking a look at our Iowa casinos map we can tell they are spread throughout the state, making it easy for any resident to find and play at any location. All of the popular casino games are offered, including blackjack, craps, roulette, and hundreds of slot machines.

Iowa gambling lawsDaily fantasy sports players know that Iowa gambling laws do not permit the activity. Iowa gambling law forbids people to,

“participate in a game for any sum of money or other property of any value.”

Players may also not pay a fee to enter a contest, regardless of the amount of skill or chance. There are some exceptions to this. These include bingo, horseracing, licensed Iowa casinos, and social gaming. Out-of-state websites do not enjoy this exemption.

A lottery may only be spread by the state. Horseracing and off-track betting require a license. All casinos must be on riverboats except those located at tracks and on tribal land. Iowa riverboats no longer have to leave the dock. There are no bet or game limits. The state taxes casinos at a rate of 22%, except racetracks, which pay 24%.

Taverns and other gathering places may operate social games. This includes card games and sports pools that do not take a portion of the prize pool as a fee or operate in any other commercial manner. A social gaming license costs $100 for an establishment that does not serve alcohol. This goes up to $150 for a tavern. Social gaming licenses are valid for two years.

Raffles and bingo halls must pay a licensing fee that ranges from $40 to $100. These are also two-year licenses. The minimum gambling age in Iowa is 21 years for all forms of gambling.

List of Iowa Casinos

Lottery tickets are sold at virtually any gas station. Bingo is available at many lodges and other charitable organizations. Social gambling is legal throughout the state at restaurants and taverns. Commercial gambling in Iowa is limited to racetracks and casinos.

Below you will find a detailed list of all Iowa casinos that currently operate within the state borders. Locate casinos in Iowa easier using the address or website, or by checking out our Iowa casinos map at the top of this page.

Ameristar Casino – Council Bluffs1,400 Slot Machines2200 River
Blackbird Bend Casino – Onawa400 Slot Machines1 Blackbird Bend
Catfish Bend Casino – Burlington700 Slot Machines3001 Winegard
Diamond Jo Casino – Dubuque900 Slot Machines301 Bell
Diamond Jo Casino – Northwood900 Slot Machines777 Diamond Jo
Great Falls Casino – Larchwood900 Slot Machines1415 Grand Falls Blvd.
Hard Rock Casino – Sioux City800 Slot Machines401 Douglas
Harrah’s – Council Bluffs1,000 Slot Machines1 Harrah’s
Horseshoe Casino – Council Bluffs1,900 Slot Machines2701 23rd
Isle of Capri – Bettendorf1,000 Slot Machines1777 Isle
Isle of Capri – Waterloo1,000 Slot Machines777 Isle of Capri
Lady Luck – Marquette540 Slot Machines100 Anti
Lakeside Casino – Osceola1,000 Slot Machines777 Casino
Meskwaki Casino – Tama1,300 Slot Machines349 Meskwaki
Mystique Casino – Dubuque1,000 Slot Machines1855 Greyhound Park
Prairie Meadows – AltoonaSlot Machines1 Prairie Meadows
Rhythm City Casino – Davenport800 Slot Machines101 W River
Riverside Casino – Riverside1,181 Slot Machines3184 Highway
Wild Rose Casino – Clinton600 Slot Machines777 Wild Rose
Wild Rose Casino – Emmettsburg550 Slot Machines777 Main
Wild Rose Casino – Jefferson536 Slot Machines777 Wild Rose
WinnaVegas Casino – Sloan850 Slot Machines1500 330th

Iowa Racetracks

  • Prairie Meadows – Altoona
  • Dubuque Greyhound Park – Dubuque

History of Iowa Gambling

Iowa casinos historyThe first form of gambling legalized in Iowa was pari-mutuel. Horseracing was legalized in 1983. Greyhound racing followed two years later. There were once two horse tracks and two greyhound tracks in Iowa. Today, there is only one of each. Greyhound racing is being phased out. The Dubuque Greyhound Park will cease its racing operations later this decade.

The Iowa Lottery was created through legislation in April 1985. The first ticket was sold on August 22, 1985. It sells scratch-offs, pull tabs, and lotto tickets. There were once TouchPlay machines under the control of the Iowa Lottery. These were video lottery machines that spread casino-style games that resembled slots. They were rolled out in 2004. The Iowa Legislature banned the games in 2006 after a mountain of complaints from residents that were angry that the devices infiltrated every facet of their lives.

Iowa became the first state to legalize riverboat casinos in 1989. This was done as an answer to South Dakota’s video lottery and reservation gaming. Bet limits were restricted to $5 with a $200 loss limit per cruise. All players had to use a rewards card that tracked the amount lost per excursion. Iowa gamblers were required to leave the boat every two hours.

Boats left the docks during the days of riverboat gambling. All of these laws were repealed in 1994 as the state felt that its gaming industry was at a competitive disadvantage after neighboring states legalized casinos. This opened the door for the expansion of Iowa casinos, and thanks to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission there are now 22 legal casinos spread throughout the state that are regulated.

Iowa Casinos & Gambling FAQ

What is the minimum gambling age in Iowa?

The minimum Iowa gambling age is 21 years for all forms of gambling.

Are casinos legal in Iowa?

Yes. There are casinos on boats, at racetracks, and on tribal land in Iowa.

What games are legal in Iowa casinos?

Slots, video poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, live poker, and virtually all table games are legal in Iowa.

Do Iowa casinos have a loss limit?

Iowa casinos once had a $5 minimum bet and $200 loss limit. Both were repealed in 1994. There is no bet limit today.

Is greyhound racing legal in Iowa?

Yes, but it is being phased out at the Dubuque Greyhound Park, the last one in Iowa.

Is horse racing legal in Iowa?

Yes. Prairie Meadows in Altoona is the only horse track.

Is off-track betting legal in Iowa?

Yes. It is spread at Prairie Meadows and Dubuque Greyhound Park.

Are daily fantasy sports sites legal in Iowa?

No. Fantasy sports contests are illegal in Iowa.

Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller Online Casino and Game Expert

Cliff Spiller is a global casino industry specialist who writes relatable content for beginners and experts. He's written gambling articles and online casino reviews at OUSC for over 15 years.

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