Things You Should Know about Iowa Online Casino Sites

Written by Paul Parish
Updated May 20, 2024
Fact checked by Tegan Woodward

Iowa is one of the states in the US where gambling is very limited. In some states, online gambling in USA is legalized and highly regulated. In Iowa, on the other hand, the options extend to some land-based casinos and sportsbooks, poker rooms, and online sports betting. There is no such thing as a legal Iowa casino online at this moment.

Things have started to change in the last couple of years, so gamblers are very hopeful about this changing in the near future. It is very likely that in a few years, you will be able to find a good legal site and claim a hefty Iowa online casino bonus.

If you want to learn more about Iowa and the available gambling options in this state, keep reading this article.

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Table of content

    Laws and Regulations for Gambling at an Iowa Online Casino Site

    iowa online casinoIn Iowa, the law prohibits online gambling on slots, table games, as well as online poker. Gamblers in this state can only access online casinos from other states, or limit themselves to the options that are currently available in IA.

    It is very possible that things will change in the near future since the majority of the residents approved legalizing sports betting. In 2011, online poker was also discussed as a thing to become legal, but this didn’t happen at that point.

    What Gambling Activities are Legal in the State of Iowa

    iowa casino onlineEven though many of the gambling activities aren’t available in this state, there are some legal forms of gambling. For example, you can bet on sports online and in physical sportsbooks. You can also bet on horse races online, play the lottery online, and bet on daily fantasy sports. Lastly, you can play at sweeps cash casinos in Iowa to win some cash prizes.

    Real money gambling is prohibited at online casinos and poker online is also illegal in this state. Let’s take a closer look at the gambling activities that you can legally enjoy in Iowa

    Online Sports Betting

    Sports betting is very popular in IA, partly because players cannot gamble at casinos, and partly because of the good odds.

    Horse Betting

    Horse race betting is often linked to sports betting. In most states where one is available, the other one is available, too. While you cannot play at an online casino real money no deposit Iowa, you can go to a racing track and bet on your favorite horses legally and without problems.

    While you cannot do this online, you can go to the Iowa’s only track, Prarie Meadows Casino, Racetrack and Hotel.

    Online Lottery

    Online lottery tickets are not yet available on the site despite some pushes to offer them to players. Still, the Iowa Lottery website offers some features similar to casino play in their promotions section.

    Sweepstakes Casinos

    The closest thing to the best Iowa online casino site is a sweepstake casino site. While you cannot claim a legit Iowa online casino deposit bonus, you can win real prizes on such sites, including cash. This is the only option for playing casino games in this state, but you cannot bet real money or win real money.

    The most popular and best Iowa online casino sweepstakes are the ones that offer poker games. You can actually play poker online in this state, but only without real money wagers and with sweepstakes prizes.

    Social Online Casino Real Money Iowa Sites

    iowa online casino siteThere’s a nice list of land-based casinos, racetrack and riverboat casinos, but also some social casino venues in this state. While you can only play at a licensed USA online casino outside of Iowa, you can gamble at the four tribal casino venues while in this state.

    These are the:

    • Blackbird Bend
    • Meskwaki Bingo Hotel and Casino
    • Prarie Flower
    • WinnaVegas Resort and Casino

    Land-Based Casinos in the State of Iowa

    iowa casinoForget about mobile casino apps where you can access games from any location from your phone. But, you can play at land-based casinos in Iowa. Only online gambling is not legalized in this state. The state first legalized brick-and-mortar casinos in 1989, but it only allowed riverboat casinos at the time. It was in 1991 when the first riverboat casino opened. Land-based casinos became available in 2007.

    Nowadays, Iowa has 23 land-based casinos. You will need to go outside this state’s borders to gamble at the highest payout online casino legally, but you will be spoilt with choices when it comes to land-based, quality gambling establishments.

    The area with most land-based casinos is the Council Bluffs border city. This place is close to Omaha, which has more than twice the population of Des Moines, which attracts many gamblers in the city.

    Expected Games to Be Available on the Best Iowa Online Casino Sites

    iowa real money online casinoIf and when gambling online becomes legal in Iowa, we can anticipate that many games will become available to casino players. Here are the types of games that you will find at future licensed online casinos in IA:

    • Slot machines that range from 3 to 5 reels or more, with many bonus features, progressive jackpots, and more
    • Table games in many variants such as blackjack, baccarat, and roulette
    • Live dealer games for players who enjoy a more immersive experience
    • Video poker variants such as Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, or Deuces Wild
    • Bingo and Keno games
    • Novelty games such as virtual betting on horses, auto races, scratch cards, etc.


    👮 Can I gamble legally at an online casino Iowa?
    No. At this point, online gambling is not legal in Iowa. You can only bet on sports and in sweepstakes casinos in this state.
    ❓ What is the legal gambling age for Iowa online casino gambling?
    You have to be at least 21 years old to be gambling at legal casinos and websites in Iowa. Whether you do this online or in land-based casinos, you’ll be asked to provide an ID to show that you are of legal age.
    💎 Which casinos in Iowa are eligible for the first licenses?
    Regulated online casino markets differ but, since no licenses are made available at this point, Iowa will need to make an extension to the current laws. If online gambling becomes available here, it is most likely that the 23 land-based casinos will be the first to obtain the license from the regulatory body that offers them, followed by other brands that meet the conditions for a license.
    🤔 Do I have to live in the state when Iowa real money online casino gambling becomes legal?
    No. Gambling online is not legal while you are based in the state of Iowa. You don’t have to have a permanent residency there. That being said, when it becomes legal, you will be able to play online when you are within the borders of this state, not necessarily its resident.
    ✔️ Why do some Iowa online casino websites offer gambling in this state?
    Some websites offer some forms of gambling such as sports betting and betting on DFS. If you find some casino games on Iowa websites, you should be cautious because those sites cannot obtain a license and operate legally within IA’s borders.
    🔒 What body will regulate online gambling in Iowa?
    Right now, the organization that regulates all forms of gambling in Iowa is the Racing and Gaming Commission or IRGC. The only thing it doesn’t regulate is the lottery. Unless the laws change, this is the organization that will regulate online gambling once made legal. The lottery is regulated by the Iowa Lottery Authority.
    🏅 Will it be safe for me to gamble at a real money online casino Iowa once it becomes legal?
    Yes. It being legal will mean that the state will issue licenses to safe casinos that meet the conditions for offering fair and secure gameplay. As long as you join a locally-licensed casino, you can safely gamble there.
    💲 What taxes are applicable for gambling in Iowa?
    According to Federal and State laws, certain winnings in Iowa are subject to a 5% tax for State income tax purposes and a 25% rate for Federal income tax purposes.
    ⭐ Are there any casinos from Iowa, land-based or online?
    Yes. Iowa has many land-based casinos, 23 in total at this point. Four casinos are tribal, and there’s an operating racecourse in the state. In these casinos, you can play table games, card games, slots, and poker. Many of them have leisure facilities, too.
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