However, online casinos are currently illegal in Iowa. Players who wish to play classic casino table games such as blackjack and roulette for real money cannot do so. Iowa residents had very few online gambling options until 2019, so there is some encouragement online casinos may soon be regulated and legal in the state.
Until that happens, Iowa residents can enjoy online gambling options such as daily fantasy sports, horse racing, dog racing, and social casinos. Casino gambling is available in the numerous land-based properties located throughout the state of Iowa.
Is It Legal In Iowa?
Although the legislation passed last year, which allowed legal sports betting and daily fantasy sports in Iowa, online casinos remain forbidden in the state. Real money table games such as blackjack and roulette remain unregulated and illegal. The recent relaxation of online sports betting laws does offer hope that online gambling options will expand in the Hawkeye State.
Online gaming fans can take some hope from the rich gambling history that Iowa has. The state was the main force behind the Midwestern casino riverboat race in 1991 and has continued to push the boundaries of new gaming developments ever since. Online sports betting is the latest example of this.
Online casinos still have some way to go to become legal in the state as lawmakers haven’t considered an online casino bill. However, it is clear gambling laws across the United States are expanding, with new gambling sites appearing all the time. This could prompt Iowa lawmakers to consider legalizing online casinos sooner rather than later. There is no specific time frame given when this may happen, but as Iowa has relatively liberal gambling laws compared to other states, it could be soon.
Social Casinos in Iowa
One form of online gambling that is entirely legal in Iowa is social casinos. Players can access social casino sites through their web browser or as a mobile app, and they feature popular table games and slot machines. Social casinos are also known as ‘sweepstakes sites.’ For them to be legal to play, they must be offered for free. A sweepstakes casino site cannot charge any money to play, including advanced fees to collect winnings. They are also required by law to publish their odds of winning.
Numerous social casinos are offering great entertainment value in most states. Some of these sites include Chumba casino, Global Poker, Luckyland slots, and Fendoff Sports. Residents of Iowa have several social casino options if they wish to enjoy playing some poker or table games.
Social casinos adopt a unique dual-currency model to ensure they are complying with the law. Although you cannot win money playing games at social casinos, you can win prizes that include real cash jackpots. Social casino sites are far safer than playing at an offshore casino, and you can still enjoy playing classic table games and slots from the comfort of your own home.
Iowa Land-based Casinos
Iowa has several casino locations throughout the state. These consist of land-based casinos, tribal casinos, a riverboat casino, and a racino. In total, there are 23 brick and mortar Iowa casinos of some form. The current active casinos in Iowa are:
- Ameristar Council Bluffs, Council Bluffs
- Blackbird Bend Casino (tribal), Onawa
- Casino Queen Marquette (riverboat), Marquette
- Catfish Bend Casino, Burlington
- Diamond Jo Casino, Dubuque
- Diamond Jo Casino – Worth, Northwood
- Grand Falls Casino, Larchwood
- Hard Rock Sioux City, Sioux City
- Harrah’s Council Bluffs, Council Bluffs
- Horseshoe Council Bluffs, Council Bluffs
- Isle Casino Bettendorf, Bettendorf
- Isle Casino Waterloo, Waterloo
- Lakeside Hotel & Casino, Osceola
- Meskwaki Casino (Class II tribal), Tama
- Prairie Flower Casino (tribal), Carter Lake
- Prairie Meadows (racino), Altoona
- Q Casino, Dubuque
- Rhythm City Casino Resort, Davenport
- Riverside Casino & Golf Resort, Riverside
- Wild Rose Casino, Clinton
- Wild Rose Casino, Emmetsburg
- Wild Rose Casino, Jefferson
- WinnaVegas Casino Resort, Sloan
Iowa casinos are spread out evenly across the state, which is not common in other states in the US. This is beneficial to residents as it means they are close to at least one brick and mortar casino. Most land-based casinos can be found in Council Bluffs.
All of the above locations offer slot machines, Video Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, Pai Gow Poker, Texas Hold’em, and Baccarat. Some also host live poker rooms.
Iowa Online Poker
Online poker is not legal in the state of Iowa; it is currently not being considered and is in the same position as online casinos. Despite in-person gaming growing in popularity, online gambling is not a priority for lawmakers. However, that doesn’t mean online poker won’t eventually become legal. Iowa could introduce a bill that would legalize real money online poker and increase the state’s online gambling options.
With online poker currently not an option, residents in Iowa can opt to visit a live poker room in one of the nine land-based casinos that offer them. The largest is the poker room at the Horseshoe Council Bluffs, while the Caesars property is home to 18 rooms.
Iowa Online Horse Betting
Residents in the state of Iowa can enjoy placing wagers on horse races online. This is appealing as there is no need to drive to a specific location to place a bet, you can do so remotely. Well established sites such as TVG will allow players to place wagers and provide essential information such as the latest racing news and stats before you bet. TVG accepts bets 24/7 and is one of the most well-regarded online gambling sites available.
Along with lots of states, Iowa offers a state lottery. The Iowa Lottery is state-run and is a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association. There is a lottery app for both iOS and Android devices to make playing easy. However, please bear in mind that the app does not allow you to purchase tickets online; this is only possible in retail locations.
The revenue from the lottery goes towards state programs such as the Vision Iowa tourism initiative and programs aimed at veterans and families of law enforcement officials.
Bonuses & Promotions at Iowa Casinos
Most gambling in Iowa is restricted to physical locations; however, if and when Iowa online casinos are made legal, it is useful to know how to get your bankroll off to a great start. An online casino will compete in a crowded market and compete for players by offering several bonuses and promotions for new sign-ups. Iowa residents will be the beneficiaries and should take advantage of bonus offers when signing up for a casino.
Most online casino sites will offer a welcome bonus that could come in different forms. Some may opt for a matched deposit offer. For example, if you make an initial deposit of $200, the casino will add $200 to your account, so you have instantly doubled your money. It is vital to read the associated wagering requirements before claiming the bonus. These requirements mean you will need to bet a specific amount before you can access the bonus funds.
One of the most attractive bonuses at online casinos are no deposit offers. Although these will be smaller than a matched deposit offer, you don’t have to deposit any money to claim these offers. As with any casino bonus, always read the terms and conditions before playing.
Online casinos offer players numerous payment methods that make depositing and withdrawing your funds a straightforward process. If you would feel safer using your debit/credit card, please be aware that your bank may reject the payment due to it being a gambling transaction. If and when online gambling in Iowa becomes more prevalent, more payment methods might emerge.
The most common payment methods at online casinos include:
- Online Bank transfer
- PayNearMe at 7-Eleven
E-wallets such as PayPal are becoming increasingly popular as they offer instant deposits. Withdrawal processing times will vary depending on which payment option you choose. All of the above payment methods should be available once Iowa online casino sites become regulated.
Iowa Gambling News
This page will update with all of the latest Iowa state gambling news. From new casino legislation changes to the latest casino games and more, you will find everything Iowa gambling-related right here.