Top Iowa Sports Betting Sites 2020

Iowa residents will be delighted that there is now legal sports betting available for them to avail of in their state. This has not been the case for very long, so it will still be a fresh experience for all concerned. They will be hoping to make the most of their vast knowledge of sports to make a bit of cash and to enjoy the experience.

Is Online Sports Betting in Iowa Legal? Yes! 

While there were numerous attempts to try and legalize sports betting following the ending of the federal ban in May 2018, it took numerous attempts and pieces of legislation to finally get it over the line.

It was in May 2019, a year after the end of the federal ban, that Iowa officially legalized sports betting. This came after the state Governor Kim Reynolds signed the piece of legislation into law. It did not take long for the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission to open the application process for licenses and to start approving operators. This is how sportsbooks were able to start opening as early as August, in what was a very quick turnaround. Iowa Sports Betting

As part of the bill, each casino in the state could open up to two online sports betting sites, as well as having retail sportsbooks. In total, there are 18 casinos that have applied for sports betting licenses in Iowa, showcasing just how popular the activity is in the state.

Laydown of Iowa sports betting

One of the downsides of the new online sports betting operations in Iowa is that you need to visit a casino in-person when registering for an online sports betting account. Thankfully, this rule will be eliminated from 2021 onwards. For the casino to obtain a sports betting license, it cost them $45,000 and there is an annual renewal fee in place of $10,000. The sports betting operators will then have to pay a 6.75% tax rate on the gross gaming revenues. Online sports betting in the state has been a success to date.

As there are more online sportsbooks opening as time goes on in Iowa, it is a good idea to stay up to date on the latest developments. This guide looks at the leading offerings in the state at the moment, giving you an insight into how they operate, what they do well and what can be improved.

Note: Iowa officials made a smart move by legalizing mobile sports betting at the same time as retail sports betting. This makes it a lot more convenient for the people of Iowa to place sports bets, as well as allowing them to receive all different types of bonus offers and promotions.

How are Iowa Online Sportsbooks Ranked?

As there are a lot of different options to choose from in the Iowa online sports betting market, it is nice having a bit of guidance about which options you should be considering. This will save you time and effort, not having to trawl through each of the offering and reading the fine print.

This guide looks at the respective strengths and weaknesses of the offerings. A base number of key criteria are always assessed to make sure that the reviews are objective and easily comparable with each other.

Here are some of the key variables that are looked at:

  • What sports can be bet on
  • Different types of markets on offer
  • Competitiveness of prices
  • Welcome bonuses and regular promos
  • How easy the platform is to use
  • Quality of the mobile offering
  • The reputation and security of the platform
  • Payment methods on offer

The Best Iowa Online Sportsbooks Legal in 2019:

1. William Hill - Ticks all of the standard boxes

William Hill is a European bookmaker with more than 80 years experience in the sector. It is partnered with four different casinos in Iowa for their retail sportsbooks, as well as having an online sports betting platform in the state.

The platform has a very quaint style to it, the design being very eye-catching. It is a mix between a modern and classic look. You are not inundated with vast menus and different options, what you see is what you get with this site.

William Hill Iowa sports betting

You have over 15 different sports to bet on, with standard types of markets as well as more complex options being available for you to use. Its live betting interface has improved since the initial launch, with a dedicated section showcasing in real-time all of the events that are currently in motion. The live markets are a tad limited, but the interface is well laid out and you can make informed decisions on the spot.

The main focus for the William Hill online sportsbook in Iowa is its two mobile apps.  You can download the app for iOS and Android devices directly from the William Hill Iowa website. This process only takes less than two minutes to complete. Everything is nicely condensed through the mobile offering, with the speed and responsiveness being a major positive.

William Hill betting in Iowa

In terms of promotions, there is always a great variety of bonus offers. They are mostly tailored to major sporting events that are happening that given day or week. New signups will also be able to kick start their new account with a welcome bonus offer. This sees you get your first stake matched 100% in bonus funds, up to a max bonus of $50.

The customer support team at the site is very experienced and you can get in touch with them no matter what time or day of the week it may be.

Overall, the William Hill online sportsbook in Iowa ticks all of the boxes. It covers the bases in terms of selection of sports and markets, as well as regularly rewarding its players.

Pros

  • Diverse selection of markets
  • Regular quality promotions
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Strong live betting interface

Cons

  • Could be more live betting markets

2. Elite Sportsbook - A basic offering

The Elite Sportsbook opened up its operations in the Iowa market in August 2019. While a lot of the casinos in the state partnered up with tried and tested online sportsbook operators such as William Hill, Elite Sportsbook is a new creation is being run by Elite Casino Resorts in the state. This group runs three casinos in the region, each of which has its own retail sportsbook offering.

The platform runs through proprietary software that has been developed just for this purpose. The site actually turned out pretty well considering this is the group’s first foray into running an online sportsbook. It has a clean look to it, with the black and gray background contrasting with the white text to make the words really pop out.

Elite Sportsbook sports betting in Iowa

In total, there are 14 main sports to bet on through the Elite Sportsbook. The presentation of the markets for each respective sports is a bit different. Instead of selecting individual games and then seeing what markets are on offer, you will select the market first and see which games can be bet on using this specific market. There is a live betting interface, which is pretty standard.

Unfortunately, for now, there is no welcome bonus offer for new signups, which is a bit disappointing. The promotion for existing players is a bit limited, but there is an early cash-out option available. Currently, there are no dedicated iOS or Android apps on offers, you if you are trying to place bets through your mobile device, you will do so using your mobile’s web browser.

The customer support team is very helpful and can be reached via email, live chat and by telephone. Your deposit options are also limited for now, with only depositing via the cashier at one of the three partner casinos or by using an Elite Pay+ Prepaid Card being allowed for now.

Overall, the offering of sots and markets ticks the most basic needs. As time goes on, the depth of the offering will grow and sideline factors such as mobile app development and regular promotions will also become more and more popular.

Pros

  • Solid offering of sports
  • Proprietary software used
  • Quality customer support
  • Cash-out option available

Cons

  • Limited deposit methods
  • No mobile apps
  • No welcome bonus offer

Bottom Line

For now, some of the online sportsbooks in Iowa are a bit limited in what they bring to the market. As time goes on, they will overcome some teething problems and continually improve their offering. There will also be more online sportsbooks entering the space, which will improve competition and force the other existing operations to up their games or risk getting left behind.

As this happens, you will have more choice as an Iowa resident as to which platforms you should sign up for. One of the best principles to help guide your decision-making process is ensuring you know what matters the most to you with regards to online sports betting. You could have a preference for certain sports or deposit methods. Whatever the case may be, make sure that you find the operator that best suits these individualized needs.

As the sector is so new, all online sportsbooks are fighting to try and gain attention and new customers. Therefore, a lot will try to entice you via a flashy welcome offer. While these are a nice way to start a new account, you still need to be careful about only considering these offers and not digging deeper into the offering.

Key Aspects of Online Sportsbooks in Iowa

As you have seen, Iowa is really embracing sports betting with an expansive set of regulations.

The main downside currently as part of the Iowa sports betting framework is that you have to register for an online sports betting account in person at one of the respective casinos. This is an inconvenience, but this rule is only in place for 2020.

Just like in most states with legal sports betting, you do have to be 21 years old to open a sports betting account in Iowa and to make your bets. This will be verified upon signing up for an account as you need to showcase some form of government-issued ID which will have your date of birth.

Where Else is Online Gambling Legal in the US?

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC

FAQ

Do you need to go to a casino to register for an online sports betting account?

Yes, you will need to go to one of the casinos that has an online sports betting platform in person initially when you want to sign up for an online betting account. His rule is in place until January 1, 2021.

How do the online sportsbooks in Iowa know your location?

When you are on the platform, the geolocation feature will be able to determine your location when you try to make a bet. If it cannot verify this location, then you cannot place a bet. The likes of VPNs will not work if you are outside of state lines. Those people who live near the border areas may also have to submit numerous location verification checks when placing bets.

Are there any sports banned from betting on in Iowa?

Naturally, there is no betting allowable on high school events. You also are not able to place bets on games involving college teams that are from the state of Iowa.

What other forms of gambling are legal in Iowa?

As well as retail and online sports betting, there is also a state lottery in operation in Iowa. Retail and online horse racing betting is also allowable in addition to fantasy sports and land-based casinos. For now, there are no online casinos and online poker has not yet become a reality despite numerous attempts in recent years.

Who can use online sports betting sites in Iowa?

Anyone who is at least 21 years old and who signs up in person at a partner casino in the state can begin betting online. This is the case once you are not banned at the given casino facility. You also need to be within state lines when you are placing your sports bets.

Alex Brown

About Alex Brown

Alex has been writing about the gambling industry for more than five years, covering everything from sports betting to casinos and poker. With the sector constantly evolving, he loves nothing better than staying up to date with the latest movers and shakers in the space.