Online Gambling Iowa 2020 - A Guide to Gambling in Iowa

Iowa online casinos are not regulated or legislated for in the state, meaning that it is not allowed for Iowa-based players to play online casino games like roulette, blackjack, poker, baccarat and the likes. Even so, Iowa has some very progressive laws when it comes to land-based gambling and things are slowly but surely changing for online gambling, too.


Our Online Casino Iowa Reviews

Online gambling Iowa

Iowa, which became the 29th state to join the United States of America in 1846, is also known as the Hawkeye State – a reference to the Red Delicious apple which was first grown in the state back in 1856. As a state in the Midwest, Iowa has one of the best gambling-related laws in the area when it comes to land-based gambling, which has resulted in over 20 casinos that allow those aged 21 and over to play slots and a variety of table games.

When it comes to online gambling Iowa, however, Iowa law is much stricter – at the time of writing, the only types of online gambling which are considered legal are sports betting and daily fantasy sports, the ban on which was lifted in 2019. Everything else can be deemed to be banned or illegal.

CasinoTop10’s Best Online Casinos in Iowa need to:

Iowa gambling laws firstly need to legalize online casinos and offer the following.

The Legality Of Land-Based Casinos & Online Casinos In Iowa

The state of Iowa has some very different views on land-based and online gambling – something which is made very clear by the over 20 land-based casinos and the fact that playing at Iowa online casino is illegal.

At the time of writing, while gambling in real life is perfectly legal for those aged 21 and over (given they are within the premises of one of the state-approved casinos or the ones on tribal land), playing online is banned.

The state’s stance on online gambling Iowa seems to be slowly shifting, though, as in 2019 it legalized sports betting and daily fantasy sport. Even so, it will take time for the other forms of online gambling Iowa to be legalized and there is no definite date in sight of when the ban of playing at Iowa online casino will be lifted (if ever).

Below we look at the laws and regulations governing land-based and online gambling Iowa in more detail.

Iowa Online Casinos

Land-Based Gambling In Iowa Today

While online gambling Iowa is almost entirely banned, the state actually has one of the most progressive laws for land-based gambling in the whole Midwest! And it’s no accident, either, as the citizens are often asked to make their voice heard through referenda.

Today, the Hawkeye State is home to over 20 brick-and-mortar casinos that are operational and which accept players aged 21 and over. These are distributed fairly evenly across the state, meaning you’re never too far away from a poker room or roulette wheel. Be aware, though, that not all casinos offer all the casino games you may expect: there are currently just nine places that offer the service of live poker rooms, the list for which includes the Grand Falls Casino in Larchwood and the Prarie Meadows in Altoona.

Iowa is also home to a number of casinos based on tribal land, which are perfectly legal thanks to The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, a law that gave tribes the right to operate casinos on their land. There is also the 17,514-square-foot riverboat casino, the Casino Queen Marquette, which comes complete with 566 slot machines and eight table games.

Since 1983, the state of Iowa also has also allowed pari-mutuel wagering on dog and horse racing to take place. While, in 1989, it was made legal for citizens to practice simulcast wagering on horse races taking place outside of the state. All this is complimented by a State Lottery that is affiliated with Mega Millions and Powerball, charitable gambling, and bingo.

So, all in all, things are looking up for the Hawkeye State and citizens have a myriad of options when it comes to play real money in Iowa.

Top Land-Based Casinos in Iowa


Riverside Casino & Golf Resort


Craps, Roulette, Face Up Pai Gow Poker, Tri Lux Blackjack, Blackjack, Ultimate Taxes Hold’em, Free Bet Blackjack with Pot of Gold, Mississippi Stud, EZ Baccarat, Poker, Electronic Craps, Electronic Roulette, Slots, Video Poker.

Prarie Meadows Casino and Hotel


Slots, 21 3 Extreme Blackjack, Blackjack, Craps, DJ Wild Poker, Face Up Pai Gow Poker, Free Bet Blackjack, High Card Flush, Mississippi Stud, Roulette, Siamese Baccarat, Progressive Pai Gow, Three-Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em.

Rhythm City Casino Resort


Slots, Video Poker, Craps, Roulette, Pai Gow Poker Face Up, Three-Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Mississippi Stud, Tri Lux Blackjack, Blackjack, High Card Flush, Electronic Roulette, Electronic Blackjack, Criss Cross Poker, Six Wheel, Interblock’s Universal Cabinets featuring Electronic Craps, Electronic Roulette and Electronic Blackjack.

Diamond Jo Casino

Worth, Northwood

Slots, Poker, Craps, Blackjack, more Table Games.

Lakeside Hotel & Casino


Slots, Video Poker, Blackjack, Poker, Craps, Three-Card Poker, Keno.


Online Gambling Iowa Laws

Iowa Laws for online gambling – including gambling at Iowa online casinos – are much more stringent than they are for land-based gambling. In fact, playing casino games online, such as poker, slots, blackjack and roulette, is banned.

The current law is all-encompassing and does not really make a distinction between the operators or the players. As things stand, Iowa law states that (Section 725.1(1)):

A person shall not do any of the following:

  • Participate in a game for any sum of money or other property of any value.
  • Make any bet.
  • For a fee, directly or indirectly, give or accept anything of value to be wagered or to be transmitted or delivered for a wager to be placed within or without the state of Iowa.

Moreover, citizens of the state cannot even allow others to play for money from their home, either (Section 725.5):

Any person who keeps a house, shop, or place resorted to for the purpose of gambling, or permits any person in any house, shop, or other place under the person’s control or care to conduct bookmaking or to play at cards, dice, faro, roulette, equality, punchboard, slot machine or other game for money or other thing, commits a serious misdemeanor.

As such, our advice is to remain well within the law and not to hedge your bets on playing online in the state of Iowa thinking that you may not be caught.

Having said all this, it’s not all doom and gloom in the Hawkeye State when it comes to gambling online as things have slowly started to shift since 2019.

Today, citizens of Iowa looking to gamble online can play at one of the six retail sportsbooks that operate within the state. Nevertheless, players should be aware that according to Iowa law, they must download a specific app and head to a land-based affiliate of the site in order to finalise their registration and make their first deposit. From then on, however, those who are approved can play online with not much to worry about apart from what they should bet on and not exceeding their budgets.

The 2019 sports betting bill that legalized sportsbooks mentioned above also allows daily fantasy sports, with the sites looking to offer Iowa citizens the service now being approved and regulated by the state. This is a huge deal, particularly as until last year, two of the USA’s biggest daily fantasy sports sites – DraftKings and FanDuel – didn’t even accept players from the Hawkeye State.

Slowly but surely, things seem to be changing when it comes to online gambling in Iowa. At the time of writing, however, gambling at Iowa online casino is illegal… But who knows what may happen in the months and years to come?

What should I know about Online Casinos in Iowa?

  • Iowa has one of the most progressive laws related to land-based gambling in the Midwest. This has meant that there are over 20 land-based casinos, racinos, tribal casinos and riverside casinos available to Iowa-based players.
  • Casino gambling is open to those aged 21 and over.
  • These laws do not extend to online casino gambling, however, and all online casino games, like poker, blackjack, roulette and the rest, are banned in Iowa
  • In 2019, Iowa passed a bill to allow online sports betting and daily fantasy sports. These can be played legally and safely within the state, but do read our section on online gambling Iowa laws for the full information on this as there are some initial steps you need to follow.
  • Gambling winnings in Iowa are taxed by the state whether you are a resident or not. These need to be declared.

Gambling Laws Governing Offshore Casinos & What It Means For Iowa Players

Due to the strict online gambling Iowa laws, some players may choose to bypass the law and play at offshore online casinos – i.e. online casinos that are registered in offshore jurisdictions. Indeed, some websites may also say that this is not illegal in the Hawkeye State.

Nevertheless, the law related to gambling in the state of Iowa clearly expresses that gambling is not permitted unless you’re over 21 years of age and at one of the state-approved casinos, or in a handful of other situations, such as sports betting or daily fantasy sports online or simulcast wagering on horse races, among others.

Online poker and other casino games are, so far, deemed as ‘banned’ and therefore even playing these at online offshore casinos while in Iowa can be considered illegal. But there is more Iowa players should remember when thinking of taking the extra risk.

On top of potentially getting yourself in trouble with the law, playing at online offshore casinos means that you get absolutely no protection from the state. You, your money, and your data may not necessarily be safe, your rights could be breached, and there would be very little you could do to seek justice or compensation.

As such, we advise Iowa-based players not to play at any online offshore casinos and to always follow the law of the state of Iowa.

Online Casino Games For Iowa

Because the state of Iowa doesn’t allow for casino games to be played online – a ban that includes poker, roulette, blackjack, baccarat, slots and many other favorites – there are no games that can be played at Iowa online casino. Nevertheless, anyone looking to play these can head to one of the over 20 land-based casinos in the state.

The ban on online gambling Iowa is not a blanket one, however. In fact, since 2019, Iowa-based players can dabble in sports betting and daily fantasy sports. There are numerous websites that offer this service.

Payment Options At Iowa Online Casinos

Due to Iowa online casinos being considered illegal by the Hawkeye State, we have no data on the preferred methods of payment of Iowa-based players. Nevertheless, if you are out of the state and in a jurisdiction that allows you to play casino games online legally, then your best bet is to check the terms and conditions of the website of the online casino of your choice and on our casino reviews page to check what payment methods and currencies are accepted there.

Online Casinos Iowa FAQs

Is online gambling legal in Iowa?

No, gambling online at Iowa online casinos, or at other casinos registered in other states or offshore jurisdictions, is not legal in Iowa. Indeed, the majority of casino games cannot be played legally in Iowa, with these including poker, blackjack, roulette, slots, baccarat, craps and many others.

This doesn’t mean that you cannot gamble at all in Iowa, however. The state has over 20 land-based casinos at which you can play slots and table games. Also legal are pari-mutuel wagering on horse and dog races, simulcast wagering on horse races, the state lottery and charitable gambling. In 2019, the state of Iowa also legalized sports betting and daily fantasy sport, which can be played online (please read our section on Online Gambling Laws in Iowa above for more information on the steps you need to take before playing these).

Can I play at an online casino in Iowa via mobile or tablet?

Online casino games cannot be played on any device or from any premises in Iowa, which means that gambling through online casinos via mobile or tablet is illegal. The state, however, does allow certain betting to be placed via mobile given they are intrastate.

What casino games can I play at Iowa online casinos?

None, as playing casino games online is not permitted in the Hawkeye State. Nevertheless, Iowa-based players can practice sports betting and daily fantasy sport online with some very minor restrictions.

Is it possible to play online casino games with dollars?

Since online casino and online casino games are banned in the state of Iowa, there is no accepted currency. If you are out of the Hawkeye State and in a jurisdiction that regulates online casinos, then we advise you to check the terms and conditions on the website of your legal online casino of choice to check which currencies and payment methods are accepted.

Are the Iowa online casinos on this site regulated?

All online casinos mentioned on this website are legal, regulated and have all the measures in place to protect you, your money, your data and your rights. Of course, since playing real money at online casinos in Iowa is not deemed to be legal, we do not list any here.

Am I eligible to receive an online casino bonus at an Iowa Casino?

No, since Iowa online casinos are illegal, it is not legally possible to play casino games online and, therefore, you are not eligible to receive any form of bonuses.

How do I start playing for real money at an Iowa online casino?

The law of Iowa is very clear about gambling at Iowa online casinos and about betting money on games like poker, roulette, blackjack, baccarat and others: it is simply not permitted. Therefore, our advice to anyone living or visiting the state of Iowa is not to play for real money at any Iowa online casinos or any other online casinos registered in other or offshore jurisdictions.

Which online casino payment options are popular in Iowa?

Because online casinos are banned in the state of Iowa, we have no data or evidence on what kind of payment options are popular with Iowa-based players.

Do I need to pay taxes on my gambling winnings in Iowa?

Although playing online casino games for real money in Iowa is not legal, a number of other gambling practices are perfectly legal, namely land-based casinos, pari-mutuel on horse and dog races, sports betting and daily fantasy sport online, the state lottery and charitable gambling. According to the official website of Iowa Department of Revenue, ‘gambling winnings are fully taxable in Iowa even if the winner is not an Iowa resident.’ Upon winning, 5% state income tax and 24% federal income tax may be withheld.

Play At A Real Money Iowa Casino & Walk Away With A Large Sum!

We hope this has answered any questions you may have had regarding Iowa online casinos and general gambling in Iowa. As always, we urge you to always stay within the parameters of the law of the jurisdiction you are in, and to never wager any more money than you can afford to lose. Our US gambling guide can provide you with more information if you are from other US states.