The gambling outlook in Iowa

Iowa supports both land-based casinos and online gambling. However, gambling laws governing casino activities in the state are regulated according to specific rules in the state. So, federal regulations have a limited impact on gambling than state laws.

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πŸ“– Published on: June 15th, 2023

✍️ Updated: 1 month ago

⏳ 19 mins read

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Gambling in Iowa image
Iowa coat of arms image

You can bet on various events online and offline in Iowa, including excursion boats, dog racing, and horse racing. Some local regions offering gambling in Iowa also offer slot machines to their customers. The only land-based casinos operating in Iowa are those on the Native American reservations. They also offer several games for entertainment.

Iowa gambling laws and regulations

Lovers of land-based casinos are welcome to have fun in Iowa since the state legalizes it. Unfortunately, while land-based gambling in the state is legalized, the same cannot be said of online casinos, which are not legalized. However, you can play sports betting online in Iowa. The state also has its fair share of online sports betting, each adequately regulated by the relevant authorities.

As of today, gamblers interested in another game aside from sports betting in Iowa will have to make do with land-based casinos, which offer several games for entertainment. There are more than 20 casinos for land-based gambling in Iowa today. Each is regulated, so customers need not fear security and other related issues.

While online casinos are not available in Iowa, except for sportsbooks, you can register on online casinos operating in neighboring states, like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Instead of registering on online casinos in neighboring states, you can go or sweepstakes casinos.

Sweepstake casinos are social casinos offering free games and do not demand an initial payment from customers. After signing up on sweepstake casinos, you will receive sweeps coins or tokens, which can be used to play any of the games the sites offer, including online table games and slots.


Gambling rules and regulations

Gambling in Iowa is regulated by specific gambling laws designed to protect gamblers and keep the casinos in line. The state has issued casino licenses to only 23 land-based casinos categorized into a racetrack, riverboat, and tribal.

The state also generates more than a billion dollars yearly from these land-based casinos. The Iowa Code frowns at illegal gambling in the state, classifying it as a Class C felony punishable by a fine ranging from $1000 to $10,000 and imprisonment for ten years. Considering the strict laws against online gambling, it is advisable to stay away from trouble.

You can get charged for illegal gaming in the 4th degree if the money involved is not up to $100. Repeating the offense will earn the offender a Class D felony, with subsequent misdemeanors accompanied by a Class C felon. The punishment gets heavier as the amount of money involved increases.

The prevailing laws guiding gambling in the state are:

  • Iowa Code 99 et seq., which regulates gambling houses' activities
  • Iowa Code 725.5, which regulates gambling and betting

You must be 21 years old or older to participate in sports betting online gambling in Iowa or any other form of online gambling. The laws also regulate the state's lottery and every other gambling activity.


Imminent Changes in The Gambling Regulation

The prevailing laws in Iowa permit the operation of land-based casinos but restrict online gambling in Iowa; only online sportsbooks are permitted to operate in the state. As a result, lovers of online casinos either make do with online sports betting or restrict themselves to land-based casinos.

This restriction may only linger for a short time as modalities are underway to allow online casinos to operate in the state. In addition, many of the land-based casinos in the state are adding new game options to entertain customers further. Even sportsbooks are considering adding new game strategies, giving customers more opportunities to make money.

More sportsbook operators are expected to open online and offline shops. This will bring more competition and improve the situation of online gambling in Iowa. An increased number of sportsbooks will make more bonuses and promo offers available to customers. The odds per game can also increase, and customers will be able to win big.

Many gamblers in Iowa are yearning for access to online casinos. The persistence in their demands may eventually compel the Iowan authorities to legalize online casinos, removing any restrictions on the entertainment accessible to customers and saving them the stress of leaving home for a land-based casino.

The Racing & Gaming Commission regulates gambling activities in the state. The organization is responsible for monitoring the activities of casinos and boosting customers' trust.

Real money casinos in Iowa

Riverboat gambling started in Iowa in 1991, and land-based casinos came on board in 1994. 2019 marked the advent of sports betting in the state, enabling gamblers to bet on sports from the comfort of their homes, using their desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and Smartphones to access sports events.

Several online sportsbooks are operating in Iowa today, comprising the only form of Iowa online casinos available to gamblers. You can choose any of the 17 online sportsbooks in the state, with each offering varying odds and sports events. These sportsbooks are legalized and regulated by the Racing and Gaming Commission.

Consequently, customers can access casino entertainment without fear of security risk or losing money. The sportsbooks also offer different categories of bonuses. However, customers must check the wagering requirements attached to each bonus before accepting it; some wagering requirements are not worth the effort.

No one can say precisely when, but gambling regulations can slack a little bit, permitting Iowa online casinos to operate legally.

Revenues generated from the land-based casinos fund several entertainment initiatives and public programs within the state. Some of the games accessible to gamblers online and offline in Iowa are:


Gamble activities:

  • Sports betting
  • Horse racing
  • Off-track betting
  • Lottery
  • Social gambling


Events to wager on:

  • Football
  • Rugby
  • Lawn tennis
  • Table tennis
  • Basketball

Iowa gambling

Many sportsbooks also offer sports events from different countries, including the United States of America and the EU. Consequently, their customers can have it all on the same platform, ensuring they do not search for sports betting opportunities elsewhere.

Typically, the odds on the available games differ across casinos in the state. The odds also depend on the betting option available for each sports event. Usually, odds increase as the event's unlikeliness increases. However, Iowa's unique laws enacted by the state government protect the interest of online casino customers and compel the casinos to play by the rules.

The lottery offers customers an opportunity to make money quickly, and many winners have emerged over the years.

Nearest land based casinos

We've compiled a list of the most trusted land-based casinos if you're searching for "Iowa casinos near me":

Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs
Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs offers something for everyone in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Guests can stay in any of their 152 rooms or 8 suites ranging from $129 - $429 and enjoy amazing restaurants, a 35,126 square foot casino and an exciting range of games including slots, video poker,blackjack, craps, roulette, Spanish 21, Pai Gow Poker, Three Card Poker, Mississippi Stud and Ultimate Texas Hold 'em. Guests can even enjoy the unique experience of taking a cruise in a 2,700-passenger sidewheeler replica on the Missouri River.
2200 River Road, Council Bluffs, IA 51501
Phone Number:
(712) 328-8888
Riverside Casino & Golf Resort
Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, located in Riverside, Iowa, is a 56,400 square foot land-based casino featuring 180 rooms ranging from $99 to $139 along with 20 suites ranging from $179 to $219. It also offers three restaurants, slots, video poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, poker, pai gow poker, Mississippi stud and Ultimate Texas Hold'em. There is also a 1,200-seat showroom and a 18-hole golf course. RV parking is free, and the poker room is closed on Mondays.
3184 Highway 22, Riverside, IA 52327
Phone Number:
(319) 648-1234
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sioux City is the place to be in Iowa! Spread across 20,000 square feet, you can find slots, video poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, Pai Gow poker, Mississippi Stud, three card poker, Ultimate Texas Hold 'em, and sportsbook. Plus, there are 50 rooms for $139-$179 and 4 suites for $219-$279, as well as 2 restaurants to grub. Intended for a day of fun or for an overnight stay? No problem - RV parking is available. It's the perfect destination to provide a true Iowa gaming experience.
111 3rd Street, Sioux City, IA 51101
Phone Number:
Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino
Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino is the place for Iowans to go for live thoroughbred and quarter-horse racing, as well as daily simulcasting of dog and horse racing. Located in Altoona, this 85,680 square foot casino features 148 rooms ranging from $149 to $219, as well as 20 suites ranging from $189 to $349. Diners can choose from 3 restaurants, and players can enjoy Slots, Video Poker, Poker, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Mini-Baccarat, Poker, Pai Gow Poker, Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold 'em, Mississippi Stud, Sports Book, and Race Book. With their casino club card, customers can receive discounts on dining, and overnight RV parking is available. Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino has it all!
1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona, IA 50009
Phone Number:
(515) 967-1000
Wild Rose Casino – Emmetsburg
Wild Rose Casino – Emmetsburg is an Iowa landmark, located in the cozy town of Emmetsburg. Offering 63 rooms ranging from $69 to $119, as well as 7 luxury suites from $179 to $209, the Wild Rose offers a variety of lodging options. Not to mention you can enjoy a night of fun with a range of games from slots to roulette, from 8am-12am, and 2am on Fridays and Saturdays. With a 16,357-square-foot gaming area, visitors can also enjoy the two restaurants and 68-space RV park ($25 per night). Plus, seniors can take advantage of various Tuesdays discounts if they're 50 or over. From its classic casino atmosphere to its flagship amenities, Wild Rose Casino – Emmetsburg is truly a great pit stop for those looking to get their gambling fix.
777 Main Street, Emmetsburg, IA 50536
Phone Number:
(712) 852-3400
Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel
Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel is a luxurious escape in the heart of Iowa! Located in Tama, Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike offering 390 rooms starting from $99-$129 and 14 suites from $149-$309. The casino has a great selection of games, including slots, video poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, mini-baccarat, poker, pai gow poker, keno, bingo, off-track betting, Mississippi Stud, and Ultimate Texas Hold 'em. Enjoy the convenience of three restaurants and don't forget to chill out at their luxe spa. With liquor available and plenty for RV owners to do, Meskwaki is the perfect spot for a relaxing getaway!
1504 305th Street, Tama, IA 52339
Phone Number:
(641) 484-2108
Isle Casino – Waterloo
The Isle Casino in Waterloo, Iowa is the ultimate place for gaming and entertainment. Boasting 170 rooms and 27 suites, come ready to relax in luxury. Play your way with slots, video poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, poker, mini-baccarat, and a sports book. The 43,142 square foot gaming floor also offers three restaurants leading to a never-ending good time. Plus, take advantage of the special features and free RV parking with a nearby RV dump.
777 Isle of Capri Boulevard, Waterloo, IA 50701
Phone Number:
(800) 843-4753
Diamond Jo Casino Dubuque
Diamond Jo Casino Dubuque, located in Dubuque, Iowa, provides a full entertainment experience featuring 43,508 square feet of gaming including Slots, Video Poker, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Let it Ride, Three Card Poker, Pai Gow Poker and Mississippi Stud. Guests can also enjoy four on-site restaurants, as well as a 30-lane bowling alley. Additionally, guests can take advantage of free RV parking and dump station facilities. Diamond Jo Casino Dubuque offers something to please everyone, no matter the age or game of preference. With its unique combination of games and amenities, this land-based casino is sure to make any visit memorable.
301 Bell St, Dubuque, IA 52001
Phone Number:
(563) 690-4800
Grand Falls Casino Resort
Grand Falls Casino Resort, located in Larchwood, Iowa, offers all the features of a classic land-based casino in the Midwest. With 88 rooms and 10 suites, there is something to fit every budget, ranging from $119 to $479. Guests can also enjoy a variety of restaurants and the 37,810-square-foot casino with all the popular games, including Slots, Video Poker, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Poker, Four Card Poker, Pai Gow Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold 'em, Mississippi Stud, and Sports Book. The resort also includes a 1,200-seat event center and a 27-space RV park ($25-$40 per night), as well as an 18-hole golf course.
1415 Grand Falls Blvd, Larchwood, IA 51241
Phone Number:
(712) 777-7777
Harrah’s Council Bluffs
Harrah's Council Bluffs is a land-based casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa. It features 240 standard rooms and 11 suites ranging from $119-$295 and $260-$325 respectively. Guests can enjoy three restaurants in the 33,406 square foot casino, where a variety of games are offered, such as slots, video poker, three card poker, Mississippi Stud, Pai Gow Poker, and Sports Book. RVers can take advantage of the free overnight parking and RV dump station. When visiting, you can't miss all the fun Harrah's Council Bluffs has to offer!
One Harrah's Boulevard, Council Bluffs, IA 51501
Phone Number:
(712) 329-6000
Casino Queen Marquette
Casino Queen Marquette, located in Marquette, Iowa, is a 17,925 Square Foot casino offering 3 restaurants, 1,200-passenger paddle wheeler on the Mississippi River, and a variety of gaming options including Slots, Video Poker, Blackjack, Craps, Poker, Three Card Poker, Mississippi Stud and Ultimate Texas Hold 'em. Open from 9am-2am throughout the week, the casino is open until 11pm on Friday and Saturday. For those looking to park an RV overnight, the casino offers free parking and has a no-dump policy.
100 Anti Monopoly Street, Marquette, IA 52158
Phone Number:
(563) 873-3531
WinnaVegas Casino
WinnaVegas Casino, located in Sloan, Iowa, offers modern amenities to travelers throughout the Midwest. With 52 guest rooms and 10 suites, priced $85 to $122 and $190 to $220 respectively, guests can stay in luxury. Gamblers can enjoy Slots, Video Poker, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Poker, Three Card Poker, Pai Gow Poker, Mississippi Stud, and Bingo. WinnaVegas Casino also has two restaurants and a full bar for visitors to enjoy. Although overnight RV parking is not available, the casino remains a great destination for anyone looking for a weekend getaway.
1500 330th Street, Sloan, IA 51055
Phone Number:
(712) 428-9466
Prairie Flower Casino
Prairie Flower Casino is located in Carter Lake, Iowa, and is a 9,500-square-foot casino that serves up a variety of gaming experiences. There is on-site liquor and electronic gaming machines, which offer a wide range of Class II games including bingo, along with spinning video reels for entertainment purposes. Bringing some Las Vegas-style gaming right to Iowa, Prairie Flower Casino is a great spot for casino-goers looking to experience the thrills of gambling in an entertaining atmosphere.
1031 Ave H, Carter Lake, IA 51510
Phone Number:
(888) 916-6673
Rhythm City Casino
Rhythm City Casino offers a full range of entertainment right in the heart of Davenport, Iowa. With 29,692 square feet of gaming space, guests can enjoy a variety of slots, video poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, Pai Gow poker, and poker. In addition to the table games, there are also three restaurants, a Sunday buffet for $24.99, and a Friday-Saturday buffet for $29.99. Sports book betting and the Ultimate Texas Hold 'em game are also available. No overnight RV parking is available, but there are various senior discounts for guests aged 50 and over. Come and experience the fun at Rhythm City Casino.
7077 Elmore Avenue, Davenport, IA 52807
Phone Number:
(563) 328-8000
Q Casino
Q Casino, located in Dubuque, Iowa, offers an exciting gaming experience for players of all skills. Visitors can choose from 112 rooms, with prices ranging from $89-$189, or 4 luxurious suites priced from $129-$349. With 47,000 sq. ft. of casino space, there’s something for everyone, including slots, video poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, poker, Pai Gow poker, Ultimate Texas Hold 'em, Mississippi Stud, sports book and a race book. And don't forget to check out the adjacent Hilton Garden Inn, for delicious restaurants and 24-hour service. RV parking and an RV dump station are available free of charge. So come on out to Q Casino and test your luck!
1855 Greyhound Park Road, Dubuque, IA 52001
Phone Number:
(563) 582-3647
Catfish Bend Casino
Catfish Bend Casino is a land-based casino located in Burlington, Iowa. With 24,353 square feet of gaming, guests can enjoy Slots, Video Poker, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Poker, Spanish 21, Pai Gow Poker, Three Card Poker, Four Card Poker, Mini-Baccarat, Ultimate Texas Hold 'em, and Sports Book. 10x odds on Craps. Rooms and suites to meet every price range, from $109-$159 for rooms and $169-$269 for Suites. Plus, four restaurants to choose from, open 10am-2am daily. RVers take note: Overnight RV Parking is free at Catfish Bend Casino.
3001 Wine Gard Ave, Burlington, IA 52601
Phone Number:
(319) 753-2946
Blackbird Bend Casino
Blackbird Bend Casino is located in Onawa, Iowa and offers a variety of gaming options for gamblers of all levels from video poker and slots to blackjack and roulette. With 6,800 square feet of total gaming space and restaurants, the casino is open for 8 am-2am daily and 24 hours on weekends, making the perfect spot for a weekend getaway in the area. With various senior discounts available Tuesdays and no overnight RV parking, Blackbird Bend Casino is the ideal place to enjoy an entertaining night out.
17214 210th St, Onawa, IA 51040
Phone Number:
(712) 423-9646
Wild Rose Casino – Clinton
Wild Rose Casino – Clinton in Iowa boasts 60 affordable rooms, ranging from $79 to $119, plus 6 luxurious suites ranging from $149 to $199. The 19,681 square feet casino is open 8am-12am/3am on Fridays and Saturdays, and offers all your favorite Slots, Video Poker, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Let It Ride, Ultimate Texas Hold 'em, Off-Track Betting, Sports Book and more. Enjoy a delicious menu at one of the three on-site restaurants, or take advantage of complimentary RV parking for a fun weekend getaway. Wild Rose also offers Senior Discounts on various games on Tuesdays. Come and have a great time at Wild Rose Casino – Clinton!
777 Wild Rose Drive, Clinton, IA 52732
Phone Number:
(563) 243-9000
Diamond Jo Casino Worth
Diamond Jo Casino Worth is the premier casino in Northwood, Iowa, offering top-notch gaming, entertainment and dining. The 36,133-square-foot property offers slots, video poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, three card poker, poker, ultimate Texas hold 'em, Mississippi stud and sports betting. Visitors can also enjoy two on-site restaurants. Burger King and Subway to satisfy the appetite. Overnight RV parking is provided free of charge, with no RV dump available. Whether looking to play, eat, or be entertained, Diamond Jo Casino Worth has something for everyone.
777 Diamond Jo Lane, Northwood, IA 50459
Phone Number:
(641) 323-7777
Isle Casino – Bettendorf
Isle Casino – Bettendorf is located in Bettendorf, Iowa and is one of the largest casinos in the state. With 220 rooms and 36 suites, ranging from $119-$260 and $189-$525 respectively, it is a great choice for travelers. The casino also houses 3 restaurants and offers a range of popular games like Slots, Video Poker, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Pai Gow Poker, Three Card Poker, Mississippi Stud, and a Sports Book. It boasts an impressive 28,976 sq ft of gaming space, and even a 53-slip marina. With plenty of fun and entertainment, Isle Casino – Bettendorf is the perfect destination for a trip to Iowa.
1777 Isle parkway, Bettendorf, IA 52722
Phone Number:
(563) 441-7000
Horseshoe Casino – Council Bluffs
Horseshoe Casino – Council Bluffs, in the heart of the Iowa plains, offers excitement and relaxation in equal parts. Located in Council Bluffs, the casino is full of 158 luxurious rooms with prices ranging from $149-$300. With 78,810 square feet, the casino offers a selection of slot machines, video poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, poker, pai gow poker, mini-baccarat, Spanish 21, three card poker, four card poker, Mississippi stud, sports book, and race book. Tie all this in with a free RV parking, a free shuttle service from local hotels, and the Hilton Garden Inn, plus the Harrah's affiliation, and it's a one-stop-shop for a complete night out!
2701 23rd Avenue, Council Bluffs, IA 51501
Phone Number:
(712) 323-2500
Lakeside Hotel & Casino
Lakeside Hotel and Casino is located in Osceola, Iowa and boasts 63 luxurious suites ranging from $99 to $169. This casino has a lot to offer with two restaurants, 36,200 square feet of casino floor, and an expansive selection of casino games. Guests can enjoy an array of slots and video poker, plus all the classic table games - including blackjack, craps, roulette, Pai Gow Poker and Three Card Poker. There's even a sports book where you can place bets on your favorite teams. For those looking to spend the night, Lakeside Hotel and Casino offers a free RV parking with a players club card and a 47-space RV park for $30 per night. Those who like to go fishing or boating will find a dock right on the lake. It's the perfect spot for an Iowa getaway. And, because the casino is on a barge, you can be sure you'll get a unique gaming experience.
777 Casino Drive, Osceola, IA 50213
Phone Number:
(641) 342-9511
Wild Rose Casino – Jefferson
Wild Rose Casino – Jefferson is the perfect destination for gaming and entertainment located in Jefferson, Iowa. Open 7 days a week, guests can enjoy Slots, Video Poker, Blackjack,Craps, Pai Gow Poker, Mississippi Stud, and Ultimate Texas Hold 'em. There is a Sports Book, as well as an on-site restaurant to enjoy delicious meals. The casino is open from 10am-12am Monday-Thursday and 24 hours on Friday and Saturday. Overnight RV parking is offered for free, but there is no RV dump station. With plenty of gaming options and a warm, welcoming atmosphere, Wild Rose Casino – Jefferson is the perfect place for a night out on the town.
777 Wild Rose Drive, Jefferson, IA 50129
Phone Number:
(515) 386-7777
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Sports betting

Iowa legalized sports betting in 2019, making it the eleventh state in the nation. The state is also the first one among upper Midwest states to legalize sports betting. As the months turned to years, the number of sportsbooks in the state increased, offering several sports events and betting options to customers across the state.

Before now, you would have to travel to a land-based sportsbook before registering for mobile sports betting; that has changed since you can do that easily online in the comfort of your home. In addition, the hopes are high that other categories of Iowan online casinos will be legalized soon.

Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission regulates sports betting and other casino activities in the state. The strict regulation has transformed sports betting in the state into one of the strongest in the United States.

Some offline and online sportsbooks offer retail sports betting, and the online wagering process is hassle-free. Bonuses are also available to customers in different forms, with some other online sportsbooks offering free bets. All the 19 licensed casinos in Iowa offer sports betting, with 18 offering online sports betting.

The income you generate from sports betting is subjected to a 6.75% tax rate.

Daily fantasy sports

The gambling laws in Iowa are very strict, with many presuming daily fantasy sports as illegal. Because of this, the major casino operators in the country steer clear of Iowa gamblers looking for where to play daily fantasy sports.

Online gambling is not explicitly banned in Iowa. Still, the residents are prohibited from gambling outside approved venues, compelling many to consider daily fantasy sports legal. The governor signed a bill in May 2019 legalizing this game in the state. The bill legalized both daily fantasy sports and sports betting in the state.

None of the casino operators in the state is offering the game yet, but there is assurance that the bill will take root in time, enabling gamblers to access the game from home and via their mobile devices.

Before the game can be available to significant casino operators, several legal issues need to be cleared first. For example, the regulatory body must license the operators for daily fantasy sports. However, as the year goes by, there are high expectations that Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission will do its bit so the game can get off the ground.

NFL fantasy is among the daily fantasy sports expected to rule the gambling Iowa industry once major casino operators start offering daily fantasy sports. NHL games will also be included for MLS, MLB, and even college fantasy sports.


Bingo is a form of charitable casino game in Iowa, where the rewards from the game are spent on charitable activities. The game is regulated under the Social and Charitable Gambling Unit, which administers the Iowa Code Chapter 99B. This chapter also regulates other games like amusement devices, social gambling, raffles, and skill or chance.

Gambling sites offering bingo in Iowa must obtain an operating license from the regulatory body. The specific license required for them is the charitable or social gambling license. The proceeds generated from these games fund various purposes, including religious, patriotic, charitable, public, civil, and educational initiatives throughout the state.

The proceeds from bingo and other games in this category are subject to taxation according to the Iowa sales tax regulations. However, these proceeds are restricted from being submitted to the Iowa Department of Administrative Services (DIA).

The legal license given to sites offering bingo in Iowa is the Bingo/Electronic Raffle Manufacturer or Distributor license. Other notable license categories include amusement concessions, social gambling license, and charitable gambling license. It's important to note that the charitable gambling license only covers games such as skill and chance, raffles, and bingo. The license costs may vary depending on the period during which the organization plans to conduct gambling activities.


Twenty-two casinos are operating in Iowa today. The state also boasts a greyhound park, two horse racetracks, and a lottery run by the state. Iowa legalized online and mobile sports betting in 2019 but did not extend the legalization to online poker. So, the only way to access poker is through land-based casinos.

There are no Iowa online casinos to offer poker online. Still, you can access the game online under the protection of US sweepstakes laws. You can also register on any offshore gambling platform to access online poker. In addition, the Iowa Senate legalized online poker in 2012. But, unfortunately, the bill could not scale through the House.

Another bill for the same purpose died in 2013. In an attempt to determine how online poker will fare in Iowa, the state lawmakers understudied how online poker operates in Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey. They intended to pass the bill in favor of online poker in 2015, but it did not fly.

The bill is, however, still alive since there are indications that the stakeholders and legislators will work out a plan to bring online poker to life in the state. Legalizing online poker is expected to breathe new life into gambling in the state. The state government will also generate more revenue, and the people will be happier, making it a win-win situation for all parties.

Iowa poker


The state of Iowa runs and regulates the Iowa Lottery. It is a registered member of the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL). The organization is responsible for administering the games to the lottery members. Iowa lottery enables the residents to make a lot of money from gambling over a short period.

Some of the games you can find under Iowa Lottery include the following:

  • Pull-tab games
  • InstaPlay games
  • Numerous instant scratch tickets
  • Lotto America
  • Mega Millions
  • Powerball

The 2018 Iowa jackpot winner carted home a total of $343.9 million, making him the biggest winner since inception.

Iowa jackpot has quite a history, changing the games offered over the years. Some of the games not being offered again are:

  • Hot lotto
  • All or nothing

Iowa Lottery became a member of the MUSL in 1988 and started selling Powerball in 1992, costing $2 per play. Mega Millions was introduced in 2009, with its sale beginning in 2010. It also costs $2 per play. On the other hand, Lot America was introduced in 2017 and cost $1 per play. Lucky for life, too, costs $2 per play.

Each game has specific rules, but they are easy to understand, even for a beginner.

History of Iowa gambling

Iowa opened its first riverboat casino in 1991, and the state now boasts several such casinos. The state's gambling industry has evolved and grown tremendously over the years, consistently giving the residents something to cheer about. Several others appeared shortly after the first riverboat casino flung its doors open.

Today, up to 20 riverboat casinos operate in the state. Online gambling in Iowa can enjoy more recognition as the year passes. The riverboat casinos litter the surface of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers from Sioux City to Council Bluffs. Iowa's first land-based casino came on board in 1994, offering several games like the riverboat casinos.

The expensive games the land-based casinos offer rival what you can find in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. From inception, some games on these land-based casinos are blackjack, craps, roulette, poker, slot machines, etc. Since 1991, the state of Iowa has generated up to $6 billion as revenue from land-based and riverboat casinos.

Thus, the money has been directed to fund programs and projects that benefit the state residents. For example, the laws guiding the operations of the riverboat casinos were modified in 2004, allowing them to offer casino services on moored barges, removing the need to travel on the water while wagering is ongoing.

Also, the advent of the digital era compelled the authorities to permit sportsbooks to operate online. Since change is constant, gamblers can expect more laws to be passed in favor of online casinos in the nearest future.

Responsible gambling in Iowa

Gambling can be engaging because it blocks the mind from any other concern. You may play from dusk to dawn if care is not taken. When you find it difficult to tear away from gambling, that is a sign of addiction. Gambling addiction can lead to emotional stress, especially if the person loses repeatedly. Depression can also set in, prompting the individual to consider suicide.

Studies show that ten percent of Iowan gamblers are at risk of suffering from gambling addiction. About 45% of those at risk already have an addiction problem. Gambling can be costly, and many addicted individuals empty their pockets on gambling, preventing them from having adequate cash to meet their family needs.

An Iowan gambling treatment program is set up to help individuals suffering from gambling addiction. The purpose of the treatment program is to give individuals having a gambling problem power over gambling and also to ensure other people do not end up in the ditch of gambling addiction.

Participants in the program are given medications to help them overcome the problem. They are also taken through psychotherapy procedures to help cure their minds of the addiction and enable them to interact better with online gambling in Iowa. They also have access to support groups helping them until they overcome the problem entirely.


Gambling can positively impact your mood, especially if you win. In addition, it can improve your skills in certain areas, enabling you to learn new things quickly. Gambling also offers socialization opportunities since you will be pitched against other gamblers at the casinos, especially when you visit land-based casinos.

Many online casinos also offer socialization opportunities these days through technology. Iowans have their fair share of casino experience, but most of their casino activities are limited to land-based casinos. This is consequential to the authorities' restrictions on internet gambling in Iowa.

However, you can access sports betting online and offline. Efforts are also being made to enable Iowans to access online casinos from home.

Pending the time Iowans can access online casinos, it is advisable to stay put the land-based casinos or any other gambling options legalized in the state. Iowa is very strict regarding gambling laws, and anyone found violating the laws will have law enforcement agents to deal with.


What kinds of casino games can I play online?

You can play several casino games online, provided you are in a state that legalizes online casinos. However, your choice of online casino games is limited if you are located in Iowa. In Iowa, only sports betting is available online. Gamblers in the state interested in other games will have to visit a land-based casino or be patient until the lawmakers legalize Iowan online casinos.

How are Iowa online gambling sites regulated?

The regulation is enforced by the Iowan Racing & Gambling Commission. As expected, the body is highly effective. It has transformed the Iowan gambling industry into one of the most formidable in the country. This regulatory effort of the organization has boosted customers' confidence and prevented casino operators from fraudulent activities.

Who can play at the Iowan legal online gambling site?

Any individual can engage in online wagering in Iowa. However, you must be 21 years old to play at legal online gambling sites in Iowa. You must also limit your choice to a few online casino games like sports betting and lottery.

What are the online casinos available in Iowa?

Online casinos are prohibited from operating in Iowa, but the rules may change as time goes on. If we consider online sportsbooks as online casinos, 17 operate in the state. They are also growing in popularity by the day.

Katarina Oakshore
Editor | Casinos and Gambling

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