Best Iowa Online Sportsbooks And Apps
Iowa has been a betting state since May 2019, when it launched both online and retail sports betting. The Hawkeye State has since come a long way and is currently home to a dozen different online sportsbooks, each with its own mobile betting apps.
And while the betting market is thriving in the state, Iowa also has a few shortcomings in comparison to its neighbors Illinois and Indiana. Unlike the two, Iowa does not accept credit card deposits, nor can you bet on props on any in-state college games or on TV competitions such as Oscars.
While Iowa's laws that prohibit that might seem discouraging – which they are to some degree – it's also worth pointing out that those are the only weaknesses of Iowa's online sports betting. So unless you're a bettor that bets exclusively with prop bets on college games or TV shows, you should be fine.
Besides the aforementioned restrictions, the Iowa sports bettors are free to bet on any sport they wish, and they hardly find themselves limited by the selection of betting markets. That is largely thanks to the betting options available in the state and all the different sportsbooks you can choose from.
And when we talk about sportsbooks, you won't find a state with a list more stacked with big players in the betting world than Iowa. Some of the most notable sportsbooks that operate in Iowa include FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, and DraftKings. But those are by no means the only available betting providers.
Here we will take a deeper look at Iowa's sports betting market, how the sports betting legalization process looked like, how the market has evolved, and much more. But before all that, we have to look at some of the best Iowa online sportsbooks.
Top IA Sportsbooks
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Best Online Iowa Sportsbooks
As of 2021, Iowa is the home of over ten online sportsbooks, which gives you plenty of options to choose from. And while picking out the right sportsbook for you might sound tricky, the large selection of the industry's top brands make it, so you will never find yourself struggling to find a top-notch betting experience.
While there are no poor sportsbooks in Iowa, a few stand out as the best and are consequently some of the most popular brands amongst Iowa sports bettors. Here are five of the most popular Iowa sportsbooks. Why not take a look at the Doc Sports NFL Picks for some indepth pick recommendations.
With over 50 years of experience in the sports betting market, BetFred is one of the world's largest and most well-known online sportsbooks. Even though it was a bit late to the party in Iowa, launching in September 2020 via a deal with Grand Falls Casino, BetFred quickly attracted new bettors to its platform.
As one of the top sportsbooks in the world, any bettors who use BetFred as their go-to sportsbook are ensured a high-quality betting experience, with competitive odds and large market depth. BetFred has also gained recognition for its mobile betting app, which is known for three things – speed, reliability, and stability – and quite frankly, that is all a sports betting app needs to have.
Whether you are a fan of the BetFred app is a completely subjective thing, and it's easy to understand why some might not like how it looks. Still, if you can look past the visuals, BetFred mobile betting app can be an excellent tool any sports bettor will be happy to have.
BetFred Iowa Partner: Grand Falls Casino Resort
If you thought FanDuel hadn't entered the Iowa betting market, you would be very wrong. As the most popular U.S. online sportsbook, FanDuel did not hesitate to spread into the Hawkeye State as soon as it was possible, and it didn't need long to emerge as the leader in the Iowa betting market.
FanDuel needs no special introduction for anyone who has placed a bet before. It's the leading sportsbook in the United States in accepted bets and is widely known for offering exceptional sports betting experience.
When betting on FanDuel, you will get to take full advantage of vast betting markets and very competitive betting odds. Besides that, FanDuel has one of the cleanest mobile betting apps in the industry, making it the go-to sportsbook for most mobile bettors across the country.
And if that is not enough to make you interested in FanDuel, it also has some of the most generous bonuses and promotions out of all sportsbooks. That includes excellent welcome bonuses and additional promotions such as daily odds boosts and more.
FanDuel Iowa Partner: Diamond Jo Worth
BetMGM sportsbook entered the Iowa sports betting market as one of the most popular gambling apps in the United States, tag it has gained because it's backed by the MGM brand name. Admittedly, MGM had a rough start of its journey into the betting world, but its popularity skyrocketed once it rebuilt its betting app into the currently available BetMGM.
And while the brand value has played its role in transforming BetMGM into one of the market leaders, it is by no means its main selling point. Instead, it's the app's reliability, features, and competitive odds that led BetMGM to its current status.
The BetMGM mobile betting app is available for iOS and Android, making it easily accessible to all bettors no matter which device they use. The app is also very highly rated on both App Store and Google Play, further proving that BetMGM knows what it's doing with its product.
The only other mobile betting app that can rival BetMGM based on the ratings is DraftKings' which is only testament to its quality.
But beyond its excellent betting app, BetMGM also offers great promotions and bonuses, the most popular being the parlay bonus, which boosts payouts to up to 40%. So if you're a parlay bettor, there is no better sportsbook for you than BetMGM.
BetMGM Iowa Partner: Diamond Jo Dubuque
Purely by joining a sportsbook that carries the name Caesars should give you confidence in your choice, and you can feel safe knowing that you made the right pick. Caesars Sportsbook lives up to those expectations as one of the leading online sportsbooks in the country, and you don't get to that point by providing mediocre betting service.
While Caesars has been doing well from the start, the acquisition of William Hill catapulted the sportsbook to new heights and is now the go-to option for millions of online bettors.
Besides offering exceptional bonuses and rewards via its loyalty program, Caesars Sportsbook has gained its reputation with exceptional market depth and highly competitive odds. Caesars has everything you would expect in a reputable sportsbook and more, making it one of the easiest picks for our list of the top Iowa online sportsbooks.
Caesars Sportsbook Iowa Partner: Isle Bettendorf
While its long-time rival in the DFS industry, FanDuel, took over the tag as the most popular online sportsbook in the U.S., DraftKings isn't that far behind. In fact, you wouldn't need to look far to find bettors who would be ready to argue that DraftKings is better than FanDuel.
The reason behind that is simple – DraftKings' online betting app is the highest-rated betting app on Google Play and App Store. Hence, DraftKings more than deservingly holds the tag as one of the best options for a sports bettor in Iowa.
There isn't much to dislike about DraftKings and its offer. The betting experience feels professional, the market depth is there, and so are competitive odds. Beyond that, DraftKings is known for great sign-up bonuses, and daily odds boost, which add even more value to the already great experience on the site.
There isn't much to say about DraftKings that wasn't already said. You can't go wrong by signing up for DraftKings.
DraftKings Iowa Partner: Wild Rose
Popular Sports In Iowa
Iowa does not have any major league teams; however, betting on major league sports is still highly popular, particularly on teams located in the nearby states, of which there are plenty.
The most popular sport to bet on in Iowa is football, particularly the NFL. That is because Iowa is bordering states which are home to some of the best NFL teams, including the Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears, and the Minnesota Vikings.
However, football is not the only popular sport for Iowa sports bettors. While most of the bets from the state are placed on NFL, Iowans also like to bet on basketball and baseball, as are two other major sports in the state.
In fact, in 2019, it was revealed that baseball is the most popular sport in the state. While that might still be the case, the numbers were calculated based on ticket sales, and that doesn't necessarily mean baseball is also the most popular sport amongst bettors.
Still, Iowans don't shy away from betting on MLB teams such as Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, St. Louis Cardinals, and Chicago Cubs.
Lastly is basketball, which, outside of the NCAAB March Madness tournament, doesn't inspire as many bets as baseball or football. However, basketball is still the third-most-popular sport in Iowa, while the most popular teams are Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Chicago Bulls.
College betting is not as big in Iowa as it should be, but that is because Iowa does not allow for prop bets on any college games. On a more positive note, you can still bet on any college games with spreads, moneyline, and other bet types.
Betting Options In Iowa Sportsbooks
Iowa does not allow prop bets on any in-state college games, nor can you bet on TV shows such as the Oscars. However, outside of those two limitations, Iowans are free to bet on whatever they like – as long as they do so via one of the legalized and licensed sportsbooks.
In Iowa, you can also bet in-person at casinos or any retail sportsbooks, and while there is an option, the bettors from the state seem to prefer online betting. In October 2021, the IRGC reported that Iowa sportsbooks handled over $210 million the previous month, with over $186 coming from online bets, which only goes to show how big online betting is in the state.
And that isn't very surprising, knowing how many excellent online sportsbooks are available in Iowa, each with its own mobile betting app. With names such as DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, and FanDuel all operating in Iowa, you can rest assured that quality is guaranteed, no matter which sportsbook you end up choosing.
If you're wondering which betting options you have when betting in Iowa, the selection heavily relies on the sportsbook you pick. Iowa does not prohibit betting on any sport, so besides football, hockey, baseball, and basketball, you can also bet on motorsports, tennis, rugby, and beyond.
Some sportsbooks, such as BetMGM, have an even wider selection of markets, offering odds on some more exotic sports such as table tennis, darts, pool, snooker, and cycling. All in all, betting options in Iowa are plenty and largely unrestricted.
Legislation For Online Sports Betting on Iowa
Iowa was one of the first states to legalize sports betting, having entered the industry on May 13, 2019, less than a year after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).
However, even though sports betting became legal in May 2019, when Governor Kim Reynolds signed the bill, it took three more months before the first online sportsbooks opened for service. That might seem like a lot; however, it was a relatively fast process, considering some other states, such as Michigan, needed over a year to formulate all the rules and regulations, receive sportsbooks' applications and approve the betting licenses.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) had everything in place by August 15, when William Hill emerged as the first sportsbook to start offering its betting app. William Hill has since rebranded to Caesars Sportsbook, and many more brands have entered the market.
Since August, Iowa's betting market has grown exponentially, reaching new heights with each passing month. The offer of sportsbooks increased to 12 by, while Iowa reported total sports betting handle of over $210 million in September 2021.
All in all, sports betting in Iowa has proven to be a huge success, surpassing all the expectations. Most notably, IRGC reported $1.22 billion in handle in 2021, which translates to over $6 million in taxes and exceeds the initial expectation of total betting handle by over $100 million.
The success Iowa has achieved in 2021 can largely be attributed to the removal of the in-person registration requirement, which was abolished in January. By allowing bettors to register for Iowa sportsbook online made online betting far more accessible, consequently boosting the betting activity in the state – the rest is history.
Iowa Sports Betting Timeline:
May 2018 – The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), allowing sports betting to launch in the United States. February 2019 – Iowa lawmakers reject four proposed sports betting bills and instead structure a new bill from scratch.
March 2019 – Iowa lawmakers reveal that Iowa's new betting bill will restrict in-state college betting by not allowing prop bets.
April 2019 – Act 617, which legalized sports betting, passes the Iowa Senate with 31-18 in votes.
May 2019 – Iowa Senate File 617 is finalized and sent to Governor Kim Reynolds.
May 13, 2019 – Kim Reynolds approaches Senate File 617 and legalized sports betting in Iowa.
August 2019 – Iowa welcomed William Hill (now Caesars Sportsbook) as the first online sportsbook available in the state.
January 2021 – Iowa removes the in-person registration requirement, allowing remote registration on all legalized online sportsbooks.
What to Consider When Shopping For The Best Iowa Online Sportsbooks and Apps
As long as you pick one of the top brands, you really can't go wrong when deciding on which sportsbook you want to bet on. However, there are a few things to consider and look out for to make your sports betting experience as enjoyable as possible.
The first thing you should check on any sportsbooks is the market availability and the quality of the odds. Even though most top brands are fairly similar in those areas, there are some slight differences.
For example, BetMGM usually offers far more betting markets than some of its competitors, but it might have worse odds on football matches. So if you're planning to bet on table tennis, BetMGM will be the only right choice; however, if you're a football bettor, some other sportsbooks could serve you better.
Beyond that, it's important to check the sportsbook's mobile app. While that is primarily a factor to consider for mobile bettors, it's always nice to have access to a fast and reliable mobile betting app.
You should also consider the appearance of the site and the app and bonuses and promotions. Although those are secondary, bonuses can add some more value to your betting experience, while you should always bet on a site that you find aesthetically pleasing.
Banking options should always be checked, granted this has become one of the least important features since most top sportsbooks offer plenty of withdrawal and deposit methods.
As one of the first states to legalize sports betting, Iowa has done an excellent job in helping its industry grow. Admittedly, not being able to bet props on in-state college games and on TV shows is not great, but that's only a slight issue that likely won't affect the majority of sports bettors. Stay up to date with the latest betting picks with the NFLPickwatch.com News blog.
You can still bet on any sport you desire, without any restrictions, and with a dozen of excellent sportsbooks available in the state, you can be sure Iowa provides an excellent betting experience, no matter if you're an experienced or a casual bettor. The state also takes care of all mobile bettors, as all sportsbooks currently operating in the state offer a mobile betting app.
You can use the mobile betting app to place bets no matter where you are, as Iowa, like some other states, does not require you to bet via the phone while you're located within any of the retail sportsbooks or casinos. Instead, you can bet anywhere, as long as you're located within the state's borders.
All in all, Iowa is an excellent betting state that has everything you would ever wish for – mobile betting, unrestrictive betting laws, and a generous selection of the industry's finest online sportsbooks.