Iowa Online Casinos and Gambling Sites in 2024

Posted by Dave Consolazio . Last updated:

Gambling in Iowa

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Gambling in Iowa remained illegal from 1846 to 1972. Legalization began in 1973, followed by a surge in the 1980s.

Since then, Iowa has become one of the most progressive midwestern states for gambling, with various forms of live and online gaming being legal and regulated.

While online casino gambling remains in a legal gray area, Iowans can still access out-of-state online casinos.

Summary of IA Gambling Laws

Wondering what forms of gambling are legal in Iowa? You’ve come to the right place. Here’s a quick rundown of what is legal and illegal in Iowa.

Is Online Gambling Legal?Yes
Playing at Online CasinosYes
Legal Age Online21+
Land-Based CasinosYes
Legal Age Land-Based21+
Online Sports BettingYes
Charitable GamblingYes
State LotteryYes
Social GamingYes

In Iowa, many forms of gambling are legal and regulated. Here’s an overview of the legal status of different gaming activities in the state.

GamblingIowa Legal Status
Casino GamblingThere are 18 state-regulated casinos, four tribal casinos, and one racino in Iowa. Two of the state-regulated casinos are riverboats.
Online GamblingThe only forms of regulated online gambling in Iowa are sports betting, Daily Fantasy Sports, and Advance Deposit wagering.

Iowa law does not address other forms of online gambling, leaving them in a legal gray area.
PokerPoker is permitted in both state-regulated and tribal casinos. Home card games are also allowed under state law. Furthermore, free-play poker events, such as bar leagues, are considered legal.
Horse Race BettingHorse racing is legal. Prairie Meadows is the only horse racing track. Most pari-mutuel betting is done at off-track betting facilities. Advance deposit wagering is also permitted.
Dog Race BettingBetting on dog races is legal in Iowa, but there aren’t any operational tracks at the moment. The only way to bet on dog racing is via simulcast races at off-track betting facilities.
Bona Fide ContestIowa law specifically addresses bona fide contests, which include sporting events, racing tournaments, dog shows, baking contests, and chess tournaments. These events are considered legal and do not require a license.
LotteryThe Iowa Lottery offers retail games only. Players can choose from scratch cards, InstaPlay games, Pull tabs, and draw games like PowerBall, Mega Millions, and Lotto America.
Daily Fantasy SportsFantasy sports are legal in Iowa, but only through licensed operators.
Sports BettingRetail and online sportsbooks were legalized in 2019. There are currently 17 companies licensed to offer online sports betting in Iowa.
Charitable GamingBingo games and raffles are the only forms of charitable law available.
Social GamingIn Iowa, social gambling is allowed in two scenarios. Firstly, private games can be held, but players cannot win or lose more than $50 within a 24-hour period. Alternatively, private parties can obtain a license to host a single free-play casino night annually.

Best Iowa Online Casinos

Out-of-state Iowa online gambling sites provide a secure and safe environment, featuring top-rated games from leading providers.

Explore our list of the best online casinos to find one that suits your gambling preference better.

Where to Gamble in Iowa

Since the early 1970s, Iowa has embraced many forms of gaming. If you’re looking for legal gambling options in the Hawkeye State, you’re in the right place. Here’s a summary of what’s legal and where you can find it.

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Land-Based Casinos in Iowa

There are 23 casinos in Iowa. Most of them started as riverboat casinos, but they have moved operations to the mainland. 

Currently, there are 16 land-based commercial casinos, two riverboat casinos, four tribal casinos, and one racino. Prairie Meadows is classified as a racino as it offers horse racing and casino games.

Find every casino and betting venue in the following list:

– Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs
2200 River Road Council Bluffs, IA 51501

– Blackbird Bend Casino
17214 210th St, Onawa, IA 51040

– Casino Queen Marquette
100 Anti Monopoly, Marquette, IA 52158

– Catfish Bend Casino
3001 Winegard Dr, Burlington, IA 52601

– Diamond Jo Casino
301 Bell St, Dubuque, IA 52001

– Diamond Jo Casino – Worth
777 Diamond Jo Ln, Northwood, IA 50459
North Central

– Grand Falls Casino
1415 Grand Falls Blvd, Larchwood, IA 51241

– Hard Rock Sioux City
111 3rd St, Sioux City, IA 51101

– Harrah’s Council Bluffs
One Harrah’s Blvd, Council Bluffs, IA 51501

– Horseshoe Council Bluffs
2701 23rd Ave, Council Bluffs, IA 51501

– Isle Casino Bettendorf
1777 Isle Pkwy, Bettendorf, IA 52722

– Isle Casino Waterloo
777 Isle of Capri Blvd, Waterloo, IA 50701

– Lakeside Hotel & Casino
777 Casino Dr, Osceola, IA 50213
South Central

– Meskwaki Casino
1504 305th St, Tama, IA 52339

– Prairie Flower Casino
1031 Avenue H, Carter Lake, IA 51510

– Prairie Meadows
1 Prairie Meadows Dr, Altoona, IA 50009
Des Moines Metro

– Q Casino
1855 Greyhound Park Rd, Dubuque, IA 52001

– Rhythm City Casino Resort
7077 Elmore Avenue, Davenport, IA 52807

– Riverside Casino & Golf Resort
3184 IA-22, Riverside, IA 52327

– Wild Rose Casino and Resort – Jefferson
777 Wild Rose Dr, Jefferson, IA 50129

– Wild Rose Casino and Resort – Clinton
777 Wild Rose Dr, Clinton, IA 52732

– Wild Rose Casino and Resort – Emmetsburg
777 Main St, Emmetsburg, IA 50536

– WinnaVegas Casino Resort
1500 330th St, Sloan, IA 51055

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Horse & Dog Tracks

Prairie Meadows is the only horse racing track available in Iowa. Dog races are no longer held in Iowa, but betting on dog racing is still legal. 

Over a dozen off-track betting locations throughout the state accept bets on horse racing and simulcast dog racing. 

Advance Deposit Wagering (ADR) is legal in Iowa, but only through licensed operators.

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Online Sports Betting

In 2019, Iowa legalized retail and sports betting, with the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission granting 19 licenses for sports betting.

The state also permits fantasy sports through licensed operators, allowing betting on college and professional sports.

However, wagering on high school sports or entertainment events is prohibited.

Some legal sportsbooks in Iowa include Caesars Sportsbook, FanDuel, BetMGM, DraftKings, bet365, and Hard Rock Sportsbook.

Currently, FanDuel and DraftKings are the only licensed fantasy sports operators.

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Bingo Halls and Charitable Gambling

Charitable gambling is one of the oldest forms of gambling in the state. Legalized in 1973, Iowa allows fairs and qualified organizations to hold raffles and bingo games.

Both activities require a license, and there are restrictions on how often an organization can hold games per month.

Iowa permits charitable organizations to serve alcohol during bingo and raffle events.

Additionally, political parties and their affiliated organizations can host charitable casino games, whereas Political Action Committees (PACs) are not authorized to do so.

three poker cards

Social Gaming at Home

According to Iowa social gambling laws, private home games are restricted to the following ones: poker, dominoes, checkers, chess, backgammon, pool, and darts.

However, participants cannot win or lose more than $50 within a 24-hour period for the game to remain lawful.

Activities commonly found in casinos, such as blackjack, roulette, and slot machines, are prohibited forms of social gambling.

Iowa law permits one free casino night yearly, requiring a license and prohibiting operators from profiting. Sports pools are allowed at venues serving alcohol, with $5 maximum bets and $500 winnings limit.

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Poker Rooms and Clubs

Iowa’s casinos host six poker rooms featuring cash games and tournaments.

They mainly offer Texas Hold’em, with some venues also providing Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo games. Additionally, Texas Hold’em tournaments are held at these locations.

The largest poker room is at Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs. They offer cash games, tournaments, and poker events like the World Series of Poker Circuit.

Online poker is not regulated in Iowa, but players can still access out-of-state online poker rooms.

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Eight-liners are similar to slot machines and would be classified as a casino gambling device under Iowa law.

The only place where slot machines or similar devices are legal is inside state and tribal casinos.

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Casino Cruises

Iowa does not offer any form of casino cruises as it is a landlocked state.

Iowa Online Casino Games for Real Money

Since online gambling is a gray area in Iowa, you can play real-money games at offshore sites. Here are some of the most popular games you can find at the best Iowa online casinos.

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Online Slots

You’ll find hundreds of online slots from popular providers such as BetSoft, Rival, Tom Horn, and more. These casinos offer everything from classic to video slots with popular mechanics like scatter pays.

Many gambling sites feature jackpot slots with either fixed or progressive jackpots. Progressive jackpots can reach six figures or more, offering players a chance to win life-changing amounts.

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Online Poker

Online poker rooms offer cash games and tournaments, with popular options like Texas Hold’em and Omaha. You may also find other variants like Seven Card Stud and Short Deck Hold’em.

Online poker tournaments, available in single-table and multi-table formats, offer generous guarantees and attract players of all skill levels.

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If you’re a fan of blackjack, you might want to try your luck playing online blackjack.

Iowa online casinos feature many popular blackjack variants, such as Perfect Pairs, Single Deck, Multi-Deck, and Rolling Stack.

These games are accessible around the clock, and some offer lower table limits compared to land-based venues.

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Live Dealer Games

Live dealer games offer a simulated casino experience with a real dealer and other players. While the dealers control the gameplay, the casino software handles all betting and payouts.

Iowa online casinos offer a diverse selection of live dealer games, including blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and Casino Hold’em. Some games allow you to interact with other players, making this a truly social experience.

A distinctive feature of live dealer blackjack games is ‘Bet Behind.’ This allows you to bet on the hands of other players. You can play your hands and earn money on other hands simultaneously.

Other Available Games at IA Online Casinos

Iowa online casinos offer a large spread of online casino games. These include casual games like bingo and keno and exciting games like roulette and baccarat.

Top Bonuses at Gambling Sites for Iowa Players

Offshore gambling sites offer new players generous casino bonuses. Here are a couple of the top offers for Haweyes looking to make their first deposit.

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500% Up to $7,500 Welcome Bonus

New players at DuckyLuck will get a 500% match bonus of up to $7,500 plus 150 free spins. Crypto depositors will get an extra 100%, up to $3,000. 

The bonuses don’t stop there. DuckyLuck offers daily cashback, free spins, and unlimited Easywin Bonuses with their DuckyBucks Rewards program.

  • $25 minimum deposit
  • Spins awarded in groups of 25 over three days
  • Free spins playable on Mythic Wolf, Golden Gorilla, and Five Times Wins
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125% up to $3,750 Welcome Bonus

Bovada has a generous welcome package with combined deposit bonuses of up to $3,750. You will get a 125% match on your first three deposits up to $1,250 each when depositing with crypto.

  • $20 minimum deposit
  • First deposit bonus code BTCCWB1250
  • Remaining deposits, use code BTC2NDCWB
  • 25x rollover for the first deposit, 50x for the remaining
  • Bonus is not playable for live dealer games.

Iowa Online Gambling Laws

Iowa gambling law appears restrictive, but it allows for many exemptions. It is generally illegal to bet or participate in a contest for money, with penalties that escalate based on the amount of money wagered. However, the law also allows for many alternatives, making it unnecessary to pursue illegal gambling actively.

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Is Online Gambling Legal in Iowa?

Online gambling is legal in several forms in Iowa. State law permits online sports betting, daily fantasy sports, and pari-mutuel betting through Advance Deposit Wagering

Online casino gambling and online poker are not mentioned in state law, leaving them in a gray area. This allows Iowans to play at offshore sites.

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Gambling Involves Money or Property of Any Value

Iowa gambling law makes it illegal to “participate in a game for any sum of money or other property of any value” or to “make any bet.” Illegal gaming also carries a penalty based on the amount of money wagered.  

Small-stakes gambling under $100 is a misdemeanor for the first two offenses and a felony for subsequent offenses. For bets of $100 to $500, it is a misdemeanor for the first offense and a felony for subsequent offenses.

Anything over $500 is a felony charge for the first and subsequent offense. (Section 725.7 of Iowa Code)

State law also allows for the forfeiture of money and property won in gambling games.

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Bona Fide Contest Legality

Iowa makes bona fide contests, such as sporting and chess tournaments or any contest that does not involve the use of gambling devices. The list of allowed events is extensive and includes everything from baking contests to dog shows

However, poker and other casino game tournaments are not considered bona fide contests. (Chapter 99B.61 of Iowa Code)

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Protection and Collection Services Can Be Prosecuted

Iowa law has a couple of interesting inclusions related to gambling operations. First, a police officer or any employee of the state who takes protection money to aid gamblers is guilty of an aggravated misdemeanor. (Chapter 725.17 of Iowa Code)

Next, collection services of any type are illegal in Iowa. This rule isn’t just for illegal gambling debts, but also for debts from legal gambling.

For example, if someone owes money to a casino, the casino can’t hire someone to go after them to pay up. (Chapter 725.18 of Iowa Code)

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Gambling Age Restricted to 21 and Older for All Types

Iowa gambling laws not only restrict the legal gambling age to anyone 21 or older but also criminalize the act of gambling.

It is a simple misdemeanor, which carries a fine of $105 up to $855. Alternatively, a jail sentence of up to 30 days can be imposed instead of a fine. (Chapter 725.19 of Iowa Code)

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Legal Forms of Gambling Under State Law

The following forms of gambling are exempt from Iowa gambling laws:

  • Charitable Gambling (Bingo and Raffles)
  • State Lottery
  • Pari-Mutuel Betting (Includes ADW)
  • State Lottery
  • Casino Gambling
  • Sports Betting (Retail and Online)
  • Fantasy Sports
  • Bona Fide Contests (Pool tournaments, motor racing, etc)

*Please be advised that the information provided on this page does not constitute legal advice. Our team strongly recommends you seek professional counsel from a qualified attorney regarding your specific questions or concerns on the topic.

Iowa Online Gambling vs. Neighboring States

Iowa has slightly more progressive gambling laws. Let’s compare the types of gambling that are legal in Iowa with those in its neighboring states.

US StatePlaying at Online CasinosState Regulated CasinosSocial CasinosOnline Sports BettingLotteryFantasy SportsCharitable Gaming
IowaGray AreaLegalLegalLegalLegalLegalLegal
South DakotaIllegalLegalLegalIllegalLegalGray AreaLegal
NebraskaGray AreaTribal OnlyLegalIllegalLegalGray AreaLegal
MissouriIllegalLegalLegalPending LegislationLegalLegalLegal
IllinoisGray AreaLegalLegalLegalLegalLegalLegal
WisconsinGray AreaTribal OnlyLegalIllegalLegalLegalLegal
MinnesotaIllegalTribal OnlyLegalPending LegislationLegalGray AreaLegal

Only Illinois has gambling laws similar to Iowa. Online casino gambling is illegal in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Missouri and is a legal gray area elsewhere. Iowa and Illinois are the only places to legally bet on sports online.

However, Missouri and Minnesota are working on legislation to legalize the activity.

All neighboring states have live casinos, a lottery, and charitable gambling. Fantasy sports are available, but some states have yet to regulate the activity.

Gaming laws may change in the next few years, particularly if more states start regulating sports betting.

Tips for Playing Safely at Iowa Online Casinos

Iowans can only access online casinos through offshore sites. Although several legitimate gambling sites, caution is essential when playing at unregulated websites. Here are some tips to ensure your safety when playing at online casinos in Iowa.

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Play at Licensed Casinos

When looking at online casinos, the first thing you should check is their licensing status. Licensed sites follow strict guidelines for player safety and fair gaming. If a website is not licensed, don’t play there.

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Check the Software Providers

The best Iowa online casinos will partner with top-rated software providers like BetSoft, Tom Horn, Rival, and others, which are licensed and offer the same types of player protections as licensed online casinos.

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Select Secure Payment Options

Only play at online casinos that offer secure deposit options like credit cards, e-wallets, and cryptocurrency. Avoid websites that require you to deposit through a third party, using gift cards, or non-monetary options like online skins.

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Look for Reviews From Other Iowans

We recommend researching and looking for player reviews, especially from other Iowans. Watch for feedback patterns, such as players complaining about payment issues. This can help you avoid problematic or rogue casinos.

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Use Responsible Gambling Tools

The best Iowa online casinos will offer responsible gambling tools to help you control your gameplay experience. You can set deposit, spending, and time limits for sessions. Play responsibly and keep gambling fun and entertaining.

Pros & Cons of Gambling in Iowa

Iowa is one of the more liberal gambling states in the upper Midwest region of the United States. Let’s look at the pros and cons of gambling in Iowa.


  • Gambling is legal at tribal casinos
  • Horse racing, dog racing, and charitable gambling are also legal
  • Online sports betting, DFS, and ADW are legal
  • Social gambling at home is possible in Iowa
  • Iowa players can access offshore online casinos


  • Home games have a strict $50 win / loss limit
  • Charitable gambling has strict limits
  • Limited live casino poker options

The Future of Online Gambling in Iowa: Our Prediction

The current outlook for regulating online casinos seems bleak. A pause on issuing new retail casino licenses extends until 2024, and lawmakers seem tired of expanding gambling, suggesting little progress in the upcoming year.

One reason why online casino expansion is stuck is the lack of support from state-regulated and tribal venues. Legislators don’t feel compelled to take action without significant demand from these groups.

However, we expect this situation to change. With sports betting proving profitable and other states benefiting from regulated online casinos, both the government and casino operators may reconsider.

We anticipate reevaluating the issue once its potential benefits become more apparent.

In the meantime, offshore online gambling sites remain an option. Explore our list of recommended Iowa online casinos to find your next gambling destination.

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IA Gambling FAQs

We regularly receive questions from our readers about Iowa gambling laws. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about gambling in Iowa.


As part of our commitment to transparency, it’s important to disclose that this website engages in affiliate marketing. This means that when you click on our links to online casinos and make a purchase or sign up, we may earn a commission.

These commissions contribute to the upkeep of our platform and the creation of valuable content. While we aim to provide accurate and unbiased information, it’s crucial to note that our reviews are not influenced by affiliate partnerships.

Additionally, we advocate for responsible gambling practices and encourage users to gamble responsibly. If you believe you may have a gambling problem, please seek assistance from relevant support services.