Iowa Online Casinos and Gambling Sites

Written by: Jeremy Olson , Online Casino and Games Expert
Iowa Gambling Laws State Flag Icon

Iowa offers no shortage of betting opportunities for its 3.2m residents, including 23 casinos, 17 retail sportsbooks, and over a dozen betting apps.

Regarding the latter, the Hawkeye State legalized online sports betting in 2019, thus providing one type of legal online gambling in Iowa. 

Internet casinos remain in a grey area here, though you can easily find them.

This situation leads to an obvious question: are Iowa online casinos and poker sites legal and safe?

We will discuss this matter below while also covering legalities on IA casinos, sports betting, lottery games, horse racing, and poker rooms.

Iowa Gambling Highlights

Want to gamble in Iowa? The following table provides a snapshot of what forms of gambling are legal in the state.

From online to land-based casinos and other forms of gambling such as state lottery.

Is Gambling Legal?

Yes

Legal Gambling Age

18 – 21

Land-Based Casinos

Yes

Online Casinos

Grey Area

Land-Based Sports Betting

Yes

Online Sportsbooks

Yes

Legal State Lottery

Yes

Charitable Gambling

Yes

Online Gambling in Iowa

Everything You Need to Start Playing at Online Casinos

Is Online Gambling Legal in Iowa?

Key Takeaways

  • Iowa online sports betting is legal through SF 617.
  • Iowans can play at online casinos and poker sites licensed outside of the state.
  • State authorities have never prosecuted anybody for playing at offshore gambling sites.
Online Gambling at Poker Rooms Cards Chips and Dealer Icon

Online sports betting is legal in Iowa through Senate File 617. You can legally place bets at licensed and regulated Iowa betting sites.

However, The Hawkeye State law doesn’t mention anything regarding online casinos and poker rooms, leaving them in a grey area.

Many offshore casino and poker sites accept Iowans and have not dealt with legal difficulties in doing so.

Likewise, nobody has ever faced prosecution for playing at these sites in Iowa. Therefore, you are likely safe to play at online casinos in this state.

Best Iowa Online Casinos in 2024

You can find our picks for the best real money online casinos in Iowa below. The table shows how these casino sites compare regarding games, slots, licensing, payout speed, and bonuses.

We base these choices on extensive reviews and hands-on experience with many IA gaming sites.

RANK CASINO BONUS PAYOUT SPEED LICENSED TOTAL GAMES SLOTS OUR RATING CLICK TO PLAY
1 DuckyLuck Casino Logo DuckyLuck Casino BONUS 500% up to $7,500 PAYOUT SPEED 1-5 Days LICENSED Yes TOTAL GAMES 699 SLOTS 600 OUR RATING 4.8 / 5 Play Now
2 Bovada Casino Logo Bovada Casino BONUS 125% up to $3,750 PAYOUT SPEED 1-3 Days LICENSED Yes TOTAL GAMES 549 SLOTS 435 OUR RATING 4.7 / 5 Play Now
3 SlotsandCasino Logo SlotsandCasino BONUS 500% up to $7,500 PAYOUT SPEED 1-2 Days LICENSED Yes TOTAL GAMES 691 SLOTS 594 OUR RATING 4.8 / 5 Play Now
4 BetUS Logo BetUS BONUS 150% up to $3,000 PAYOUT SPEED 1-7 days LICENSED Yes TOTAL GAMES 491 SLOTS 367 OUR RATING 4.5 / 5 Play Now
5 Cafe Casino Logo Cafe Casino BONUS 350% up to $2,500 PAYOUT SPEED 1-3 Days LICENSED Yes TOTAL GAMES 273 SLOTS 176 OUR RATING 4.4 / 5 Play Now

*Last Updated: May, 2024

Top IA Online Casinos by Category

There are plenty of worthwhile gaming sites in the Hawkeye State, but these two are especially notable.

We will discuss what makes these sites stand out below.

The Best Iowa Online Casino for Slots & Other Games

DuckyLuck Casino Logo Featured Image

DuckyLuck Casino stands out for multiple reasons, including its slot selection, game variety, and rewards program.

It offers over 500 online slots from multiple casino software providers, including Betsoft, Dragon Gaming, Rival Gaming, and Saucify.

Its variety extends beyond slots, with table games, video poker, bingo, live dealer tables, and scratchcards available. You will accumulate rewards while playing these games through DuckyBucks—a 4-tier loyalty program with cashback, reload bonuses, free spins, and more.

Top Features

  • Huge online slot selection with 500+ titles
  • Several game categories beyond slots
  • Loaded rewards program with cashback, free spins, and deposit bonuses

Top Iowa Gambling Site for Sports Betting

Bovada Casino Logo

You may be looking for an online casino that also features sports betting.

Bovada offers the best of both worlds with a large gaming site and many sports markets. Its sportsbook features 25-30 markets—10-15 more than the average betting.

The live betting section is also impressive because it routinely provides hundreds of wagering opportunities. The Bovada Casino is worthwhile thanks to 300+ games and a Hot Drop Jackpot progressive network.  

Top Features

  • More sports markets than most betting sites
  • Impressive live betting section
  • Solid online casino with over 300 games and Hot Drop Jackpots

How We Choose the Best Online Casinos in Iowa

The following factors are crucial in our Iowa online casino reviews.

Before offering a recommendation, we closely examine each gaming site’s reputation, payouts, security, games, and bonuses.

  1. Reputation

    Any reputable online casino will have quality customer service, quick payouts, and fair gaming.
  2. Fast & Reliable Payments

    We prefer gaming sites that process payments within at least 48 hours, although within 24 hours is ideal
  3. Security & Safety

    A secure website is crucial for any casino on our recommended list.
  4. Game Variety

    We highly value game selection because more games mean more entertainment.
  5. Quality Bonuses

    The best Iowa casino bonuses have a combination of size and reasonable terms and conditions.

*Last Updated: May, 2024

Top Online Casino Games for Real Money in Iowa

You can enjoy many online casino games in the Hawkeye State, but the following categories are especially popular.

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Online Slots

Online casinos use slots as the foundation of their operations, with most dedicating 75-80% of their game selection to them.

Therefore, you will have no trouble finding online real money slots at IA gambling sites.

Some available game types include progressive, cluster pays, paylines, and bonus buys.

Stack of Poker Chips Icon

Online Poker

IA online casinos with real money poker offer many variations of the game, including Texas hold’em and Omaha.

They generally offer limits ranging from $0.02/$0.05 to $10/$20, with most players gravitating towards low-stakes tables.

Online poker tournaments in Iowa are available throughout the week.

big icon blackjack

Online Blackjack

Real money blackjack is the second most popular game at online casinos besides slots.

Therefore, most gaming sites offer multiple blackjack variations, such as Classic, Perfect Pairs, Super Fun 21, Switch, Vegas Strip, and Zappit. 

You can enjoy online blackjack for $1 per hand.

Live Dealer Casino Icon

Live Dealer Games

Live casinos are great when you don’t want to go to an Iowa land-based casino.

Depending on the site, you will find live baccarat, blackjack, roulette, and other games.

They offer an authentic brick-and-mortar experience with real dealers, tables, cards, and roulette wheels. You can play live games at $1-$5 minimum stakes.

Other Online Casino Games in Iowa

Offshore casinos collectively offer other types of games to Iowans. You can learn more about the alternatives below.

Iowa Online Casino Bonuses

Here are the types of offers you’ll see online and how each category works.

Welcome Bonuses

Large introductory offers that nearly every online gambling site provides to new players.

Free Spin Offers

Promotional deals that give you a set number of free rounds on specific games.

Reload Deals

Get additional bonus cash when you deposit additional funds or top off your account.

Our Favorite Casino Bonuses at Iowa Sites

These are some of the bonuses we consider are the best and most valuable to Iowa players.

We will discuss the details of these offers below.

DuckyLuck Welcome Bonus Banner 500 Percent Up to 2500 Dollars

500% Up to $7,500 + 150 Free Spins Bonus

DuckyLuck bonus matches your first three deposits by 500% up to $2,500, giving you a total of up to $7,500 in bonus money.

It also provides 150 free spins in your first bonus round.

The minimum qualifying deposit is $25, and you must meet 30x wagering requirements before withdrawing your winnings.

Progressives, live dealer casino games, and craps do not contribute towards rollover.

Bovada Crypto Welcome Bonus Banner

125% up to $3,750 Sign-Up Bonus

Bovada provides a 125% up to $3,750 welcome bonus over three deposits. You’ll get 125% up to $1,250 on each.

To claim it, use the code BTCCWB1250 on your first deposit. It will come with a 25x rollover.

For the remaining two, use the code BTC2NDCWB. Just keep in mind that these come with a 50x rollover.

The minimum deposit is $20 in any accepted crypto.

Iowa Casino Apps

Real Money Mobile Video Poker on Phone and Tablet

No Iowa casino apps exist in this unregulated online gaming market.

After all, the App Store and Google Play Store only host regulated casino apps. 

Nevertheless, you can still play real money mobile casino games in this state. You just have to visit IA online casinos through iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.

Offshore casinos let you sign up, deposit, and play games through your mobile browser.

These sites’ in-browser mobile gaming experience is as smooth and enjoyable as regulated apps.

Facts About Online Casinos for Iowa Players

The following facts offer important info on Iowa online casinos and their legalities:

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  • Online sports betting is legal in the Hawkeye State.
  • You must be within state lines to use Iowa betting apps.
  • Online casinos and poker rooms are unregulated in this state.
  • Offshore casinos are widely available here and are licensed in jurisdictions like Curaçao and Panama.
  • Iowa online sportsbooks take mainstream payment methods like bank transfer, credit cards, and PayPal.
  • Online casinos in Iowa primarily accept cryptocurrency deposits and credit cards.

Iowa is one of the friendliest states towards gambling, featuring several types of legal bets.

You will find land-based casinos, retail sportsbooks, online betting sites, and more. This section covers the legalities behind each form of Iowa gambling and any associated legislation.

Iowa GamblingWhat You Need to Know
Land-based casinos in IowaIowa became one of the earliest states to legalize gaming when it approved riverboat casinos in 1991.

Riverboat casinos originally had to cap bets at $5 and player losses at $200.

The state legislature amended laws over the years, including a 2007 amendment to allow land-based casinos.
Online GamblingOnline casinos and poker are unregulated in this state.

Nevertheless, offshore poker and casino sites have been accepting Iowa players without incident since the late 1990s.
Sports BettingThe Hawkeye State legalized retail and online sports betting in 2019 through SF 617.

You can legally place online sports bets in Iowa if you are 21+ years old and within state lines.
State LotteryThe IA legislature approved a lottery in 1985, with the Iowa Lottery going live the same year.

The Iowa Lottery offers a mixture of in-state drawings (e.g., Pick 3) and multi-jurisdictional games (e.g., Powerball).
Charitable GamblingCharity gaming is legal through Chapter 99B of the Iowa Code.

Qualified charities like churches, schools, and veterans groups can use bingo, game nights, and raffles as fundraisers.

The term game night refers to casino games and skill-based games like poker.
PokerPoker is legal in Iowa brick-and-mortar casinos.

Most IA land-based casinos offer a poker room, with Horseshoe Council Bluffs featuring the biggest venue at 18 tables.
Horse & Dog RacingIowa passed the Pari-Mutuel Wagering Act in 1983, allowing for betting on horse and dog races.

Horse betting is still available today, but dog racing ended in 2022.
Fantasy SportsThis state legalized daily fantasy sports when it approved sports betting in 2019.

Interested operators can apply to offer DFS through the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
Social GamblingIowa carves an exception for social gaming from its illegal gambling definition.

Home poker games are legal, provided the players have a bona fide social relationship. Additionally, nobody can act as the house by taking a cut of the action.
Taxes on Gambling WinningsYou must pay a flat 5% tax on gambling winnings in this state.

Disclaimer: The information on this page does not, nor does it intend to, constitute legal advice. This page is for learning purposes and may not have the most up-to-date information year-round. Readers should contact their attorney and/or accountant for advice concerning any particular legal matter. Do not take any action without first contacting a lawyer in your state.

Iowa Gambling Laws: A Deep Dive

The Hawkeye State has a surprisingly large gambling market considering its small population (3.2m).

It offers no shortage of casinos, retail sportsbooks, and betting sites. You will also have access to hundreds of offshore gambling sites in Iowa. We will cover each type of IA gambling in depth below.

Land-Based Casinos

Iowa features 23 brick-and-mortar casinos, including 19 commercial and four tribal gaming establishments.

Both commercial and tribal casinos can offer Class III gaming, such as blackjack, craps, and roulette.

Some states differ by only allowing tribal venues to offer Class II gaming (i.e., bingo, poker, pull tabs).

Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino is the biggest Iowa gaming venue.

It spreads 2,000 slot machines and 44 table games across an 81,650-square-foot floor. Horseshoe Council Bluffs is the next largest casino, with 1,700 slots and 54 tables on a 68,000-square-foot floor.

Horse & Dog Tracks

Launched in 1989, Prairie Meadows became the first and only Iowa racetrack.

It filed for bankruptcy in 1991 but survived after receiving approval for slot machines in 1994. This racino offers limited quarter horse and thoroughbred racing from April to October.

Iowa was one of the last states to offer dog racing. It finally stopped when the Iowa Greyhound Park (Dubuque) closed in 2022.

Bingo, Lottery and Charitable Gambling

Charitable gaming became the first legal form of Iowa gambling in 1973.

Approved charities can raise funds through bingo, raffles, and game nights (i.e., casino nights). The general cap on charity gambling prizes is $100, outside of bingo jackpots that fit specific conditions.

The Iowa Lottery has been offering games since it became legal in 1985.

It currently features pull tabs, scratchcards, Pick 3, Pick 4, InstaPlay, Lotto America, Lucky For Life, Mega Millions, and Powerball.

Social Gaming at Home

Iowa social gaming dates back to when riverboat gambling became popular in the 1840s.

However, it did not become legal until voters repealed a gambling ban in 1972.

A legal social gambling function is one where all participants have a true social relationship, and no one banks the action.

By law, nobody can win or lose more than $50 in 24 hours. Of course, some players likely exceed these amounts in home games.

Poker Rooms and Clubs

The Hawkeye State has a remarkable poker scene relative to its size, featuring a dozen poker rooms.

Horseshoe Council Bluffs owns the largest venue with 18 tables and regularly hosts tournaments for the World Series of Poker Circuit. 

Riverside Casino and Golf Resort has a notable poker room with 14 tables. It stages the annual Iowa State Poker Championship, part of the Mid-States Poker Tour.

Sports Betting

Retail and online sportsbooks became legal in Iowa in 2019.

Most land-based casinos offer a retail sportsbook and betting app. Therefore, you can enjoy over a dozen land-based and mobile bookmakers in the Hawkeye State.

Casinos in Iowa

Iowa has 23 brick-and-mortar casinos spread evenly available across the state. You will never be more than 100 miles from a casino here.

You can see where these gaming establishments are on the following map.

Top Iowa Casinos

  • Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino
  • Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs
  • Ameristar Casino Hotel Council Bluffs

Iowa Casinos Summary

  • Total Casinos: 23
  • Total Race tracks: 1
  • Total Poker Rooms: 12

Iowa Gambling vs. Neighboring States

The Hawkeye State has seven neighbors—all of which offer gambling markets. You can see below how Iowa compares to its neighbors.

The Upper Midwest is very similar regarding gambling, with most states offering the same markets. The eight states above feature land-based casinos, lotteries, and charity gaming.

Minnesota and Missouri are the only jurisdictions that have not legalized sports betting, but the other six have.

The former stands out for its minimum gambling age of 18, while most other states in this region have an 18-21 range.

A Brief History of Iowa Gambling

Iowa prohibited gambling in 1946 and kept this ban in place for over a century.

Voters lifted the ban in 1972 and paved the way for several legal forms of gaming. You can see when these types of gambling came into being below.

  • 1840s – Riverboat gambling becomes popular on Iowa waterways.
  • 1846 – Iowa becomes a state and includes anti-gambling laws in its constitution. 
  • 1972 – 68% of voters approve of repealing the statewide gambling ban.
  • 1973 – Charity gambling becomes legal.
  • 1983 – Pari-mutuel betting becomes legal, and the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is created.
  • 1985 – The legislature approves lotteries, and the Iowa Lottery begins selling tickets. 
  • 1989 – Riverboat casinos become legal, albeit with severe restrictions like a $5 betting limit. 
  • 1992 – Federally recognized Iowa tribes begin negotiating casino gaming compacts with the state.
  • 1994 – The Prairie Meadow Racetrack gains approval to offer slot machines.
  • 2007 – Legislators allow riverboat casinos to move on land. 
  • 2019 – Iowa legalizes land-based and online sports betting. 

Iowa Responsible Gambling Initiatives

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission features a self-exclusion program. You can complete an online form at the IRGA to exclude yourself from casinos, poker, sports betting, and daily fantasy sports.

The Iowa Gaming Association dedicates a page to responsible gambling and resources. It works closely with the Iowa Gambling Problem Treatment program.

Summary: Iowa’s Gambling Journey

Iowa gambling laws

The Hawkeye State offers one of America’s largest gambling markets, with casinos, lottery games, poker rooms, and sports wagering.

It bolstered this market with the addition of legal online sports betting in 2019.

You can now enjoy a legal outlet to place mobile bets in Iowa.

Multiple pieces of legislation have sought to regulate online casinos, with the latest being in 2023. These bills have not passed, but more could come in 2024 and beyond.

We would not be surprised if Iowa online casinos become legal soon. Until then, offshore casinos are the best option for online gaming in this state.

Iowa Gambling FAQ

The following FAQs provide info on Iowa commercial casinos, tribal casinos, popular games, and no-deposit bonuses.

How do tribal casinos differ from commercial casinos in Iowa?

Tribal casinos can only operate on their respective Native American reservations. Meanwhile, commercial casinos can build their properties on public lands.

Otherwise, Iowa tribal casinos offer the same games (Class III gaming) as their commercial counterparts.

Is there any risk of playing at online casinos regulated outside of Iowa?

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission does not regulate offshore casinos and poker sites.

Therefore, you have no third party to intervene in the case of disputes. You can minimize this risk by choosing the most reputable and best Iowa online casinos.

Jeremy Olson

Jeremy Olson Online Casino and Games Expert

Jeremy Olson is a research writer in the gambling industry who has covered poker, casino games, and sports betting since 2004. He converted bad beats in blackjack and poker into a passion to learn and now specializes in several areas of the online casino market.

Learn More About Jeremy