What You Need to Know About Iowa Online Casinos in 2024

Serhii Bielyi Publication byS. Bielyi

Iowa is known for its sprawling corn fields, friendly Midwest charm, and wide open spaces. But there’s more to the Hawkeye State than meets the eye – Iowa is also home to a thriving casino industry that continues to grow year after year.

While you can find several land-based casinos in the state, with some even open 24 hours, Iowa online casinos are, unfortunately, nowhere to be found. While you can’t place wagers and earn real money at online casinos in Iowa today, you can still play your favorite online casino games thanks to social and sweepstakes casinos!

These types of sites allow you to enjoy the thrills of online gambling and games like roulette, poker, and slots with a chance to win real cash prizes. Sports betting is also regulated and legal, so you can find a form of online gambling that fits your niche.

The Best Online Casino Offers in Iowa

United States
Iowa, United States
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Iowa Online Casinos and Gambling Laws

Currently, there are only a handful of options for online gambling in Iowa. These options include gambling through social casinos and sports betting platforms. However, it’s important to brush up on the types of games you can bet on through these platforms. The games allowed under social gambling include poker, pinochle, pitch, gin rummy, bridge, euchre, hearts, cribbage, dominoes, checkers, chess, backgammon, pool, and darts.

According to Iowa online gambling laws, a bettor can’t win or lose more than $50 in cash during a 24-hour period with these social casino sites.

There are also offshore gambling sites that accept Iowa residents, but note that these sites may not be regulated and can potentially put players at risk. That’s because they are operating legally in their country, but the same protections aren’t given to residents of the U.S. who place wagers on the site. As such, it’s recommended to stick with legal and regulated options when participating in online gambling in Iowa.

How Does Iowa Regulate Gambling?

Iowa has a separate governmental body that regulates its sports betting pari-mutuel wagering. This regulatory state agency is known as The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) within the Department of Inspections and Appeals. It’s important to know that, although racing is a big component of Iowa gambling, these races can only take place on certain days. The Commission decides the type, number, and location of all these licensed racetracks and the number of days they will race.

The IRGC also makes sure that all the casinos in Iowa comply with all of the gaming laws. It oversees the licenses, audits, casino games, house edges, and complaints to ensure fair play for all players. Additionally, this commission also regulates Fantasy Sports contests and charitable gambling within the state. From sports betting to Fantasy Sports to casinos, the IRGC has a say in it all.

This commission was created by the Pari-Mutuel Wagering Act in May of 1983. All five members of their board are chosen by the Iowa Governor and are then approved by the Iowa Senate. No members can serve more than three years on the board.

Online Casino Gambling in Iowa

Social casinos often combine sportsbooks with various other online, table, and even live dealer games. While these online gambling sites call themselves “casinos,” the difference is they don’t involve any actual money or prizes. Unlike real money offshore Iowa online casinos, they allow players to enjoy traditional casino games and potentially win virtual games and currency or rewards.

Players can sign up to sites like BetRivers, where they can earn free spins daily and use a welcome bonus to gain gold coins. These gold coins are free, but you can always buy more or ask for some in writing. Along with these gold or other types of online currency, players can win other rewards through sweepstakes coins.

These coins can earn you prizes like gift cards, bonus spins, or even real money! While it’s a bit more complicated than simply betting with real money, social casinos in Iowa can be a fun and risk-free way to enjoy gambling.

Iowa Online Casino Poker

Social casino sites will be your best bet for online poker, video poker, and table games in Iowa as they offer both real cash and virtual prizes for casino games. While these sites may not have the same level of competition or variety as traditional online poker rooms, they can still provide a fun and exciting experience for players! Unfortunately, online casinos are not legal, nor are online poker rooms and real money casinos.

Iowa Daily Fantasy Sports

There is a big selection of legal Daily Fantasy Sports sites in Iowa, including big names like DraftKings and FanDuel. These websites offer players the chance to build dream teams of their favorite athletes and potentially win real money or prizes. Daily fantasy sports are different from traditional online sports betting as they involve creating a team for a specific game or tournament rather than placing bets on individual games.

Iowa Sports Betting

Similar to Fantasy Sports, Iowa also offers legal online sports betting through sites like BetMGM. These websites should be regulated by the Iowa Casino Racing and Gaming Commission. Legalized platforms offer a variety of sports to bet on, from professional leagues like the NFL and NBA to college team sports sports!

Iowa Online Horse Betting

As we mentioned earlier, horse racing is legal in Iowa and the state offers online betting options through sites like TVG. These horse racing betting options are only available through pari-mutuel wagering, which means all bets are pooled together and divided among the winners. Horse racing fans can also enjoy betting in person at various race tracks across the state.

Iowa Lottery

There is a state lottery program already in place in Iowa. People can purchase tickets at existing stores and enter for a chance to win at the PowerBall, Mega Millions, Lotto America, and InstaPlay Progressive Jackpot games. However, online lottery sales are not yet legal in Iowa. While there is a website available, it only offers information on the various games and winning numbers.

Iowa Land Based Casinos

What Iowa lacks in online gambling options, it makes up for with its many land-based casinos. There are over 20 casinos in the state, offering a variety of games including slot machines, table games, and poker rooms. These casinos also often have restaurants, entertainment venues, and hotels attached to them, making them popular tourist destinations. Some of the most well-known casinos in Iowa include Harrah’s Council Bluffs Hotel and Casino, Ameristar Casino Hotel Council Bluffs, and Diamond Jo Worth Casino.

History of Gambling Legislation in Iowa

The state has a rich and fascinating history of gambling legislation. Iowa gambling laws have vastly changed, going from being deeply anti-gambling to now accepting several types of online betting and having different land-based casinos. Some key moments in the history of gambling in Iowa include the following:

Iowa Constitution Amended for State Lottery

The constitution of Iowa is amended to allow the state to create a lottery. However, it’s understood that the lottery also can be interpreted as gambling, meaning “any chance for a prize for a price.”

Bingo and Raffles Legalized for Charities in Iowa

Bingo games and raffles are made legal for special organizations and charities in the state.

Pari-Mutuel Wagering Allowed at Racetracks

Pari-mutuel wagering at horse and dog racetracks is now allowed.

Riverboat Casinos Authorized in Iowa

Riverboat casinos are authorized and they operate to this day with table games and more.

Slot Machines Approved at Racetrack

Slot machines were authorized at the pari-mutuel racetracks.

Iowa Embraces Legal Online Sports Betting

Online sports betting becomes legal in Iowa after a Supreme Court decision. Bets can be placed on pro and college sports teams.

Iowa Online Casinos FAQ

What is the Gambling Age in Iowa?

Currently, you must be 21 years old to gamble in Iowa. This applies to both land-based casinos and online gambling, as well as lottery tickets.

Who Regulates Gambling in Iowa?

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission oversees all gambling activities within the state. They license sports betting, land-based casinos, and pari-mutuel wagering facilities.

Are Online Casinos Legal in Iowa?

No, online casinos are not currently legal in Iowa. However, players can participate in online sports betting and Daily Fantasy sports. Sweepstake coins casinos are also available to play in Iowa.

Can I Win Real Money at Online Casinos in Iowa?

Unless you use offshore real money online Iowa casinos, you cannot win real money at online casinos in Iowa. Sweepstakes-based online platforms offer the opportunity to win cash prizes through the use of virtual currency. You can even use a welcome bonus to help earn more coins. But, unlike other casino websites, you cannot deposit real money or withdraw any winnings in cash.

Are Gambling Winnings Taxable in Iowa?

Yes, however, tax rates are somewhat lower, with casinos withholding 5% for winnings up to $1 million. For any revenues above $1 million and up to $3 million, the tax rate rises to 10%. Fortunately, losses from gambling can also be deducted from your Iowa state tax return.

When Will Online Casinos Be Legal in Iowa?

While sports betting has been legalized in Iowa, there are currently no plans to legalize Iowa online casinos. A bill to legalize online Iowa casinos was launched in 2023 but never made it past the House. However, this could change in the future as more states begin to regulate online gambling.

Serhii Bielyi Written by Serhii Bielyi

Serhii is an Data Scientist and SEO expert with over 11 years of experience. Since 2018, he has been the SEO Team Lead at an international marketing agency. He is also a professional poker player, specifically Texas No-Limit Hold’em, since 2019.

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