Iowa is a state that has some of the top college sports programs in the country, with a rich sports culture that does not need professional sports to thrive. And the sports betting culture in the Hawkeye State is also off to a flying start, as Iowans have a number of wagering options to choose from. In this guide to sports betting in Iowa, find out what sports wagering options are available in this state and what options may be coming soon.
Sports betting was signed into law in May of 2019, when Gov. Kim Reynolds signed bill SF617 into Iowa law. That law is responsible for legalizing sports gambling, with legal sports betting being regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC). The decision to allow bettors to place bets came on the heels of the United States Supreme Court overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018.
As a result of the decision to legalize sports betting and regulate it through the Iowa Gaming Association, bettors were finally able to place sports bets in a regulated market. While this has helped ensure the protection of bettors in the state, it also ensured that bettors were able to wager in a market tailored specifically to Iowans.
The sports betting law in Iowa includes allows for both in-person and online sports wagering. As far as retail sportsbooks are concerned, the IRGC has granted sports betting licenses to 19 Iowa casinos. The majority of those casinos have launched a sportsbook, while the rest are in the process of getting their sports betting products up and running.
It is worth noting that the state of Iowa has a massive number of physical sportsbook locations to choose from for a state of its size. Iowa is one of the smaller states in the country, but has nearly 20 physical locations where players can place their bets. This total even dwarfs nearby Indiana, which has over a dozen casinos statewide. There are several states with fewer casinos in a larger space, which is a big positive to betting in Iowa, as it is possible that only Nevada and New Jersey have as many sports betting options as this growing state in the sportsbook space.
Iowa law also allows for mobile sports betting to take place. As a result, bettors are able to place bets from anywhere in Iowa, so long as they are located within state lines. A bettor’s location is verified using the location services on a mobile device, which prevents bettors from having to jump through hoops to prove their location on a regular basis. With online casino and online poker not yet being legalized in Iowa, the fact that online sports betting is up and running with a series of legal options is a big step for Iowa bettors.
Betting at a land-based sportsbook is incredibly straightforward in Iowa, as bettors simply need to go to the casino of their choice. To perform their sports wagering, bettors can choose a sport, event and market and lock in their wagers at the betting window. Bettors receive a physical ticket for each wager they place, which they can use to redeem their winnings should their bets turn out to be successful.
Online betting is a little more complicated in Iowa, thanks in large part to a requirement that bettors have to register in-person for an online wagering account with the sports betting apps of their choosing. This requirement is going to be in effect until 2021, as bettors will be able to take the account information that they receive during their in-person registration and use it to access mobile sports wagering.
Once bettors have signed up for their preferred online sports betting options, they can select the sport that they want to wager on from within each app. At that point, they can select the events and markets that they want to wager on. And with many apps, bettors are able to easily track their selections and their wins and losses from the app.
Iowa is loaded with sportsbook options for bettors to take advantage of. This starts with a large selection of Iowa casinos that also serve as retail sportsbooks. Here is a list of the land-based sports betting options that are available in Iowa.
Those casino locations are joined by a number of online sportsbook options. As we mentioned earlier, bettors have to register in-person for accounts at these online sportsbooks in order to be eligible to use their respective apps. But that rule will only be in effect until 2021. Here is a list of the online sportsbooks that are currently able to be used in Iowa.
The various online sportsbooks in this state that are not standalone brands, like daily fantasy sports giant DraftKings, are licensed through other operators. For example, Elite sportsbook is licensed through BetFred, which is a popular sports betting brand in Europe. And there are likely to be additional sportsbook apps made available in Iowa. Here is a list of sites that have been linked to Iowa for future use.
Online sports betting in Illinois is incredibly important to the overall health of the sports betting industry in the state. Without any land-based sportsbooks in key cities like Des Moines, bettors would be unable to bet there without the presence of sports betting apps. And with the online wagering market in Iowa poised to grow, bettors will have more choices, which will mean more favorable circumstances for sports fans.
Sportsbooks such as the William Hill sports book coming in to compete with existing brands like DraftKings will force these sites to offer more betting markets to keep up with one another. They will also have to offer odds that are as favorable as possible for bettors in order to earn the business of as many players as possible. Finally, sportsbooks could offer a promo or bonus to entice bettors to choose them over their competition. All of these components could make the impending increase in sportsbook competition a massive positive for sports bettors throughout Iowa.
Sports betting in Iowa features a large number of options at each sportsbook. Whether bettors are using a land-based sportsbook or an online alternative, there are a ton of sports and betting markets that are up for grabs. Most notably, bettors are able to wager on college sports in Iowa, which are followed incredibly closely thanks to the presence of teams like the Iowa Hawkeyes and Iowa State Cyclones.
Bettors can take on college football and college basketball, with regular season games and postseason games being available for action. In college football, the College Football Playoff is the most important event on the calendar and is the most heavily bet portion of the season. And in college basketball, the NCAA Tournament is what attracts the most attention and betting.
Before placing bets in Iowa, bettors should be aware that they are not allowed to wager on prop bets involving in-state college teams. But there is still the ability to place prop bets on out of state college teams, meaning that there are plenty of prop bets to be made on college sports regardless.
Bettors can also take on professional sports in Iowa, with the NFL being the most popular of the bunch. They can wager on preseason, regular season and postseason games, all the way up to the Super Bowl. Bettors can even wager on the NFL Draft and on award winners in the most popular sport in the United States.
Elsewhere, bettors can wager on professional basketball in the NBA, along with NHL hockey, and Major League Baseball. They can also bet on fighting in the world of boxing and mixed martial arts, along with golf, tennis, soccer and other notable sporting events around the globe.
In terms of the betting markets that are available within these sports, bettors can take on everything from the conventional to the exotic. In addition to markets like spreads and moneylines, bettors can wager on exotic props that ask them to predict the performance of teams or individuals. And while these cannot be placed on college teams and players based in Iowa, they can be placed on teams and players around the rest of the world of sports.