[IA] Iowa Casinos, Bingo and Sports Betting [2020]

Iowa Online Casinos | Slots | Live Dealers | Fastpay | US | Bitcoin | Best Bonuses

Online gambling remains unregulated and neither prohibited or permitted in State law. Accordingly there are offshore online casino and sports betting sites that accept players from Iowa. Land based, riverboat casinos, racinos are prominent in Iowa. In addition lottery and bingo gaming is also very popular.

Online Gambling

  • Online gambling is not regulated within the market. Offshore operators accept players from Iowa
  • Iowa Lottery holds a state monopoly license over lottery products
  • Land based, 15 riverboat and three racetrack casinos are commercially operated, as well as three Tribal casinos
  • Bingo operated on commercial basis
  • Retail and mobile sports betting is available to Iowa bettors.
  • Pari-mutuel wagering available on horse / dog races

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Online casino activity is currently available and offered through various sites that are based offshore. These sites are safe and secure to play at, with no risk posed to Iowa players, both regarding legality or to player data protection.

The best online casinos all use the latest SSL internet technology, and feature secure payment methods that are common, trusted and processed by reputable financial institutions. These include: VISA, MasterCard, Amex, Bitcoin (BTC), direct wire transfers and many other methods.

Casino Bonuses are extremely important in selecting an online casino. We have therefore displayed some of the best casino bonuses that can be found whilst balancing other important criteria such as safety and security as previously mentioned. However, for ease of reference, we have listed them according to the size of bonus.

Without doubt, at the time of writing, El Royale Casino offers the best casino bonus deal. It is also one of the safest. Coupled with excellent customer service, El Royale is our top recommended online casino for Iowa players.

Iowa Live Casinos and Dealers

Welcome to the new world of interactive gaming where you can be assured (if you had any doubts), that the odds are fair and not influenced by RNG algorithms. Online Live Casinos with Live Dealers is the new in thing, not just in the Iowa, but also in many other US States.

Live Casinos with Live Dealers come through your playing device via HD video streaming, state of the art graphics plus multi angle views so you that can experience all the action. It’s even better than playing at a Vegas casino, because you also get the benefits of online casino bonuses, and features that can only be provided online, such as unlimited back behind betting – logistically impossible at a land based casino.

On top of all that, you can play at your convenience, any time anywhere without risk of going out into the public, wearing a mask and keeping safe during these Covid 19 times.

So if you want to avoid the hassles of wearing a mask, getting your temperature checked, be exposed to catching coronavirus but still want that interactive LIVE gaming action, then consider playing with Live Dealers online. READ MORE.

Sports Betting Sites

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Retail and mobile sports betting went live in the state on 15 August 2019. Of the state’s 19 casinos, eight (8) launched immediately with four (4) accepting bets via mobile:

  • Prairie Meadows (Retail and Mobile)
  • Isle Waterloo (Retail and Mobile)
  • Lakeside (Retail and Mobile)
  • Isle Bettendorf (Retail and Mobile)
  • Ameristar (Retail)
  • Riverside (Retail)
  • Rhythm City (Retail)
  • Catfish Bend (Retail)

The use of credit cards to place deposits has been banned in the State. This is in alignment with the prohibition of using credit cards for purchasing lottery products.

Iowa Online Bingo

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Iowa bingo laws are stipulated under Charitable gaming state legislation. These laws provide for the licensing of non profit organizations to operate bingo games. At present, these laws do not address nor permit online bingo by onshore operators. Accordingly, online bingo sites that do accept Iowa players are based offshore (which is the same as online casinos and sports betting sites).

The recommended online bingo sites all accept players from Iowa. They offer advanced features that include instant messaging, fun bingo games and protocols that ensures bingo participants play together in a civil enjoyable manner. Due to the social aspect of bingo, there is a cultural aspect to bingo which cannot be found with casino or sports betting. As an example, A LOT of acronyms form part of instant chat messaging. If you are not familiar with online bingo lingo, do not be afraid, learning it is one of the most fun parts!

Gambling Laws

  • Land-based, riverboat and racetrack casinos are permitted to offer slots and table games
  • Pari-mutuel wagering, and pari-mutuel gaming machines and charitable gaming are permitted under State law
  • Commercially operated lotteries are prohibited under State law
  • Sports betting is regulated within the market
  • Subject to age restrictions, online gambling is neither prohibited nor expressly regulated under State law

Legal Minimum Gambling Age

The legal minimum gambling age in Iowa is 21

Gambling Taxes

  • There is a graduated tax rate from 5% up to 22% gross gaming revenue for riverboat casinos and up to 24% at racetracks with slots and table games and gaming revenue over $100m per annum;
  • Surplus generated from State lottery is circulated to support for veterans, general funds and the Vision Iowa program.

Regulation and Governance

Gambling Legislation

Iowa State Code


Iowa Gambling Market Developments

Background

  • Iowa was the first state to legalize and regulate riverboat casinos.
  • There have been attempts within the market to regulate online gambling, though this failed.
  • The State also undertook extensive research into market regulation, which has not yet been acted upon.
  • Current legislation excludes casinos from the State smoking ban, which was implemented in 2008.

July 2014

Iowa Gambling Commission announced an informal moratorium on the issuance of casino licenses for a term not exceeding three years. The Commission attributed this to market saturation.

November 2014

Mayor Ron Corbett announced that in December 2014, approval would be sought for landbased casino development. This followed previous attempts by Corbett, to open a casino within the market, which was rejected by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Under the casino plan, the first of a new casino license that prohibited smoking would be granted to Cedar Rapids. The plan also contained extensive provisions on generating revenue for good causes and taxation, as well as a ten-year moratorium on the issuance of any new casino licenses.

January 2015

Senator Jeff Danielson introduced SSB1068, which sought to classify fantasy sports contests as a game of skill, rather than a game of chance. Fantasy sports contests are prohibited under current Iowa legislation. This means Iowans cannot collect the cash or prizes they win from engaging in the activity. SSB1068 was the second of two bills introduced in this legislative session that aimed to legalize fantasy sports betting, (following on from HSB47).

March 2015

The Senate approved SF166 by a vote of 32-16, which classified fantasy sports as a game of skill and authorized payouts for both land-based and online fantasy sports winnings over $50 by a vote of 32-16;

The Senate Committee passed SSB1256 by a vote of 32-18, which obligated the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission to conduct a study into exchange wagering in consultation with Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino and the Horseman’s Benevolent and Protective Association. The study would primarily concern the financial and regulatory impact of authorizing exchange betting within Iowa. The findings of the study would be submitted to the General Assembly no later than 1 December 2015;

April 2015

The Racing and Gaming Commission unanimously approved the development plans for the Isle of Capri casino’s relocation to Bettendorf. The estimated investment would be $55-60m to build an 82k square-foot land-based casino with a 35k square-foot gaming floor between the Isle of Capri’s two existing hotel properties. The construction period would begin in May 2015 with an estimated completion time of between 12-14 months.

June 2015

Construction began on two land-based casinos in Scott County. The Isle of Capri casino resort, located in Bettendorf, will include 514 hotel rooms and 975 gaming machines. The Rhythm City casino in Davenport will have a 33,800 square foot gaming floor with 800 gaming machines and 143 hotel rooms. Both casinos are planned to open in May 2016.

November 2015

Scientific Games secured a four-year contract renewal with the State Lottery to continue supplying and operating its online system and providing customers facing services.

December 2015

The Racing and Gaming Commission published the results of their investigation into exchange wagering. The report details how exchange wagering works and how it could be of benefit to the state’s horseracing industry, along with a number of specific recommendations regarding its implementation and operation. A number of necessary changes to the existing betting legislation are included to ensure the state would be able
to receive tax revenues from the activity.

March 2016

The Committee on State Government introduced a bill to authorize daily fantasy sports contests. SF166 proposes several changes to the state code which would define the activity as a game of skill and a bona fide contest. SF166, however, does not include any proposals detailing how the industry would be regulated;

The Committee on State Government introduced a bill to authorize self-service lottery kiosks in locations where tickets are already sold over the counter. HF2146 would give the lottery authority the power to situate ticket dispensers in all licensed retail locations for the sale of online lotto, instant, pull-tab and other printed lottery tickets.

April 2016

Senator Joe Bolkcom introduced a bill to establish licensing, regulation and tax provisions for daily fantasy sports contests. SSB3181 sets out the necessary regulatory framework in detail, remedying the lack of specific information in SF166 which only includes language to authorize the activity.

September 2016

Pollard Banknote subsidiary, Pollard Games, secured a three (3)-year contract extension with the state lottery to continue supplying and maintaining the state’s pull tab vending machines. The new contract includes 337 new machines and expires on 1 October 2019.

January 2017

House Representative Vander Linden introduced HSB52 to authorize and regulate daily fantasy sports contests. The bill would entrust the Racing and Gaming Commission with the licensure and oversight of the industry and impose a 7.5% gross win tax on operators as well as an annual $500 license fee. Operators would not be permitted to offer contests on intercollegiate sports fixtures or allow persons under 21 from entering paid contests.

February 2018

House Representative Ken Rizer introduced HSB592 to authorize sports betting across the state on collegiate and professional sporting events should PASPA be repealed. The bill would impose a 5% tax on the first $1m of gross win and a further 10% on the next $2m.

HSB592 was approved by the House Committee omitting the additional 1% integrity fee, which would be directed to the governing bodies of the sports leagues. The bill proceeded to the Ways and Means Committee for consideration.

July 2018

The State’s lottery renewed IGT’s (International Game Technology) contract to provide instant ticket services until December 2020.

December 2018

Lottery Vice President Neubauer outlined plans to regulate online lottery games and mobile app payments ahead of the 2019 legislative session. Draft legislation from state officials would seek to authorize the sale of electronic lottery tickets by the state lottery, providing that players do not purchase tickets using credit cards.

January 2019

The Iowa Lottery awarded a two-year contract (to 31 December 2020) to IGT for the supply of instant tickets. The contract includes the provision for the four one-year extension options.

February 2019

IGT announced that its subsidiary IGT Global Solutions Corporation signed a two-year contract with the Iowa Lottery to provide instant tickets and related services through December 31, 2020. The contract includes four one-year extension options;

Senate Study Bill 1168 was introduced to regulate land based and online sports betting and fantasy sports. SB 1168 would authorize sports betting on professional and collegiate sporting events at Iowa’s 19 casinos, racetracks and other gambling facilities. Players must first register in person at a licensed venue. SB 1168 did not contain any provisions related to taxes and license costs.

April 2019

Legislation to regulate land based and online sports betting and fantasy sports was passed by the Senate and sent to the House for consideration. The bill, SF617, was originally introduced in February as Senate Study Bill 1168 and proposed a tax of 6.75% of gross win plus an additional 0.75% for charitable causes. The bill would prohibit prop betting on in-state collegiate teams.

The Iowa House approved SF617, the bill was passed on to Governor Kim Reynolds for sign off before the end of the state’s legislative session on May 3.

May 2019

Iowa became the third state to legalize sports betting in 2019 when Governor Kim Reynolds signed SF617 into law. Operators will be regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission and subject to a 6.75% tax rate on revenues, US$45,000 license fee and US$10,000 renewal fee. According to press reports, mobile betting will be permitted intrastate and licensees will be allowed up to two skins.

July 2019

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) said it planned to have regulated sports betting in the state live by August 15, in time for the start of college and NFL football seasons. According to press reports, the Commission will issue licences to 18 of the state’s 19 casinos.

August 2019

Retail and mobile sports betting went live in the state on 15 August 2019. Of the state’s 19 casinos, eight (8) launched immediately with four (4) accepting bets via mobile:

  • Prairie Meadows (Retail and Mobile)
  • Isle Waterloo (Retail and Mobile)
  • Lakeside (Retail and Mobile)
  • Isle Bettendorf (Retail and Mobile)
  • Riverside (Retail)
  • Ameristar (Retail)
  • Rhythm City (Retail)
  • Catfish Bend (Retail)

Several other casinos were in the latter stages of preparations and were expected to launch in the coming weeks.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved a partnership between DraftKings and Wild Rose Entertainment on 22 August to launch retail and mobile sports betting in Wild Rose Entertainment’s three casinos in the state – The sport books will be located at properties in Clinton, Emmetsburg and Jefferson, and are expected to go live shortly.

Harrah’s and Horseshoe Council Bluffs both launched their new The Book sportsbooks on 22 August, powered by Scientific Games’ OpenSports product.

October 2019

Wild Rose Entertainment launched retail sportsbooks at its three (3) casino facilities (Jefferson, Emmetsburg and Clinton) in partnership with DraftKings.

December 2019

Gaming Innovation Group launched Hard Rock Casino’s online and mobile betting offering in Iowa. The new product will support the existing retail solution already on offer at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City.

January 2020

Betfred USA Sports is to launch a full sportsbook at Iowa’s Grand Falls Casino and Gold Resort at the end of the month, along with a mobile and internet offering.

February 2020

Draft Kings launched its mobile sports betting platform on 20 February 2020 in partnership with Wild Rose Casinos.

April 2020

The State Lottery Authority Board awarded Scientific Games a 10-year contract to renew the state’s lottery gaming systems. Scientific Games has worked with the Iowa Lottery for the past 18-years and also provides its instant ticket operations.

June 2020

The Legislature voted to ban the use of credit cards for sports betting. The move is in line with regulations in the state which prohibit the use of credit cards for lottery purchases.


FAQ

Is it legal to gamble for real money online in Iowa?

Gambling laws vary for each type of game. Online games are not permitted to be offered by onshore gaming operators. As a result, online operators are based offshore at regulated and licensed jurisdictions. Iowa players are accepted by the offshore operators. In regards, to player legality, the laws neither explicitly declare online gambling as illegal or legal. As a result Iowa players can continue to enjoy playing online games.


What is the legal minimum age to play at real money online casinos?

Legal minimum ages vary from online casino to online casino, however their requirement is that the higher of the player’s jurisdiction the the online casino’s own legal minimum is taken to be the determine age limit. Therefore, for Iowa players the legal minimum age is 21.


Is Sports Betting legal in Iowa?

Sports betting is legal in Iowa, both retail and mobile. Unfortunately, you will not be allowed to make deposits via credit cards and this contravenes State gambling laws.