Last Updated on 09/23/2022
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
Welcome to our in-depth guide to Iowa sports betting, in which we’ll tell you all about the legality of wagering on sports in the Hawkeye State.
No matter which sporting events and fixtures top your list of favorites, we’ve got a ton of information to help you pick out the best sportsbook sites to suit your needs and your circumstances. So if you’re keen to discover a world of Iowa online sports betting opportunities, you’ve come to the right place!
It makes absolutely no difference to us whether you’re an experienced sports betting fan with years of experience under your belt, or you’re about to make your very first sporting bet. If you spend time in Iowa, we’ve got a ton of information you need to explore, as we’re on a mission to help you make the most of every wagering experience.
You’ll need to be aged 21 or over to sign up and place bets at an Iowa sportsbook, but you don’t have to be a full-time resident of the state. The main criteria is that you must physically be present within state lines when placing a bet – and sophisticated geo-location software enforces that rule. But if you spend time working or holidaying in the Hawkeye State, our information will be equally valuable to you, so keep reading to find out what’s permitted.
Iowa has long been more permissive than most other midwestern states when it comes to gambling, having been amongst the first states to legalise bricks-and-mortar casino gaming. Along with New Jersey, Nevada, and South Dakota, Iowa took a lenient view of casino gambling from the outset, and was one of the first to permit riverboat casinos to operate within the state, doubtless due to its proximity to the Mississippi River.
In 1983 the state passed its Pari-Mutuel Gaming Act, thereby permitting horse racing and dog racing events to take place within Iowa. A state lottery was introduced two years later, proving to be so popular with players that interstate games, such as Powerball, were soon added.
The start of the 1990s saw riverboat casino licenses issued to several operators, under the jurisdiction of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. It wasn’t long before land-based casinos were springing up across the Hawkeye State, drawing in plenty of enthusiastic Iowa bettors. But things really came to a head in 2019, with the legalisation of sports betting in the state. Every casino was permitted to have up to two sportsbook ‘skins’, giving sports bettors access to a whole new world of wagering opportunities.
Although Iowa was one of the first midwestern states to embrace the idea of online sports wagering, it wasn’t an easy ride to begin with. For the first year and a half following legalised online sports betting, new members had to physically visit a licensed bricks-and-mortar casino to verify their identity and create an account.
Once the state’s financial controllers had seen the positive results generated by Iowa sports betting revenue, they decided to relax the laws concerning in-person sign-ups at land-based casinos. This means account verification can now be completed online, making it more accessible than ever to sign up to an Iowa online sports betting operator and start placing bets.
It’s never easy picking out one single operator who might appeal to every type of sports wagering fan, particularly when there are so many available options in Iowa. Your perfect sportsbook operator will be very much a matter of personal choice, but if we had to pick just one operator to recommend, we’d have to go with Unibet.
As one of the top U.S. betting sites, Unibet has a huge fanbase of followers who praise its diverse range of sports betting options. In addition to golf, tennis, soccer, MMA, motorsports, and hockey, you’ll be able to bet on basketball games, including WNBA, NBA and NCAAB, baseball, and football matches, including NFL and NCAAF games. Deposits and withdrawals are simple and fuss-free, and the site has an extremely useful help section, as well as a dedicated and helpful customer support team.
New sign-ups to the site receive a fantastic risk-free first bet worth up to $500 for signing up to Unibet Iowa, with plenty more offers once you get settled in. You can expect odds boosts, weekly free bets, and there’s even an infinite parlay boost offer to look forward to! Refer friends to sign up to Unibet and you could receive up to $125 in bonus credits on the site, making this a highly rewarding sportsbook option.
Right now, there aren’t any legal online casinos in the Hawkeye State, but the Unibet casino Iowa will be ready to launch its site as soon as the laws change, so you’ll be able to keep all your online betting activities in one convenient place.
We want all of our site visitors to have a fantastic online sports betting experience, so we’ve got some advice and tips to help you make the most of your gambling opportunities in Iowa. We can’t guarantee you a life-changing win from your betting activities, but we can certainly help you to improve your winning chances and to minimise potential losses too.
Every genuine Iowa sportsbook operator is issued with a license by one of the industry regulators. This ensures that the site is honest and fair, and that it adheres to some extremely strict codes of conduct. It’s worth checking out the licensing body too, as not all of them are created equal, and some regulators aren’t too fussy about who they issue licenses to, so long as they can pay the associated fee!
Every sportsbook operator has different options for accepting deposits and actioning withdrawal requests, so it’s worth examining them before committing to anything. You’ll be looking out for speedy and convenient deposit options, so you can get straight down to wagering as soon as your account has been verified. But check to see how long withdrawals take too, so you’re not kept waiting for money that’s rightfully yours.
Our sportsbook reviewers go to great lengths to bring you all the essential facts you need to know about every reputable sportsbook operator across Iowa. We check out each site’s licenses and security features, ensuring that customer funds are kept safely in a separate account. Once you’ve read our reviews, you’ll be much better placed to decide which ones might be suitable for you to sign up to.
Deposit match bonuses, risk-free bets, and no-deposit bonuses can all help your gambling funds go that bit further, but only if you adhere to the offer’s terms and conditions. Make sure you know what’s expected of you by way of time limits and wagering requirements, and clarify anything you’re not sure about with the operator’s customer support team.
As keen bettors ourselves, we know how easy it can be to get swept up in the moment, particularly when there are bonus credits involved! But our most important piece of advice is to set your gambling budget before commencing any wagering – and then stick to it. Try to avoid getting too caught up in the moment too – a cool and composed mind is important when you’re wagering!
Our expert reviewers have a strict checklist of points to go through when assessing any online sportsbooks in Iowa. We aim to bring you all the relevant information, clearly set out so you can see at a glance what the pros and cons of each operator might be, helping you to decide which ones are most suitable for your needs. These are some of the features we analyze when conducting our operator reviews:
We’ve already touched on the fact that no single sportsbook site will be suitable for every type of sports betting fan. Everyone has different tastes when it comes to sporting events, and no two gaming budgets are exactly the same either. So consider these points before coming to a decision.
It goes without saying that you should ensure your favorite sports, events, and fixtures are covered by a sportsbook that you’re considering signing up to.
High rollers and low-risk bettors have very different needs when it comes to finding a sportsbook operator, so make sure you pick one with a suitable range of betting options.
Daytime bettors can pick from most operators, but if you’re more of a night-time bettor it’s important to choose an operator offering round-the-clock customer support. After all, you need to know that someone will be on hand with help and advice whenever you’re likely to need it most.
If you’re a seasoned sports bettor you’ll already know all about prop bets, spread bets, and parlays, so you can dive straight in and start wagering. But if you’re more of a newbie you should look for a site with a helpful glossary of terms, tutorials, and help guides about different types of sports bets, so you can learn while you wager.
Most sportsbook sites are optimised for desktops and mobile devices, so you can place bets from home or when you’re out and about. But if you exclusively bet on your smartphone or tablet, it’s worth looking out for the best Iowa mobile sports betting opportunities, with apps available for Android and iOS devices.
Now you’ve read our article on sports betting in the Hawkeye State, you should be in a good position to choose your perfect online operator. It makes no difference whether it’s sports betting Iowa, sports betting New Jersey, or sports betting Pennsylvania that you’re interested in, the very best place to start is by reading our operator reviews and bonus comparisons.
We want you to have all the information you need and all the facts at your fingertips. This way you can narrow down your options and then use our operator comparisons to find your perfect match. And remember to keep checking back regularly to find out what’s new for sports betting fans in Iowa!
More and more states are reconsidering their position on online sports betting, including Iowa. Read our full article to find out what’s legal, what sports are covered, and which are the best sportsbook operators to sign up to. We’ve got a ton of helpful advice just waiting to be discovered, so come and check it out!
With more and more sports betting fans deciding to switch to their smartphones to indulge their passion, we’re ready and waiting to fill you in on your mobile betting options in the Hawkeye State. Come and find out what’s legal when it comes to online Iowa sportsbooks, as well as a wealth of advice to help you get started. Everything you need to know about sports betting in Iowa is waiting for you, right here!
Betting on the outcomes of your favorite sporting events can be highly rewarding, and great fun too. If you’re keen to get started, but you’re not sure how to begin, come and take a look at our breakdown of the Iowa sports betting rules. From operator reviews and bonus comparisons to how-to guides and wagering strategies, we’ve got absolutely everything you need to start wagering like a pro. Come and take a look!