Iowa Sports Betting Regulation


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Betting in Iowa has taken off since governor Kim Reynolds appended her signature to the historic SE617 and officially legalized online sports betting in Iowa. By August 15, 2019, legal sports betting became live as four mobile applications and nine retail brick-and-mortar locations launched on the opening day. It was the first state within the United States to do both simultaneously.

Anyone who wants to learn sports betting in Iowa can do so. However, there are several restrictions in place that disallow specific wagers. A few of them are highlighted in the following paragraphs.

Bettors must be at least 21 years of age

One of the sports betting regulations in Iowa stipulates that punters must be at least 21 years of age to bet legally. No federally dictated minimum age for sports betting exists in the United States. This decision is the responsibility of individual states and varies depending on your location or where you live.

Players must live within Iowa state lines to access their winnings

Another regulation in Iowa states that players must not stray beyond Iowa state lines if they want to withdraw their winnings. Iowa utilizes geofencing, which requires online betting players to switch on the location of their devices.

Any bettor that falls out of range of the stipulated Iowa sports betting location map will not be able to withdraw their earnings or even place bets.

NFL Draft betting is disallowed

Iowa forbids NFL Draft betting, college prop bets, and eSports betting. The state does not also permit betting on events like the Oscars, politics, etc. If you do any of these, you have automatically contravened Iowa sports betting regulations.

Iowa horse racing and off-track betting

Placing bets on horse racing is legal in Iowa. But you must be at least 21 years or older to stake your money on horses.

Trackside pari-mutuel betting can only be done in Prairie Meadows in Dubuque; the only location permitted. Prairie Meadows, Dubuque also happens to be the location of Iowa’s only racetrack.

Moreover, punters can place off-track bets through licensed sports betting websites in Iowa. Again, you must be within Iowa’s state lines to place such wagers.

But you can only use an offshore sportsbook if you’re outside the state’s lines.

Iowa online casinos are not legal

Bettors in Iowa can heartily engage in sports betting online. However, online casinos remain illegal in Iowa. This sounds surprising, but it is what it is.

Bettors who desire to place bets online must visit Iowa’s authorized sportsbooks, utilize any of Iowa’s sports betting applications, or use offshore betting websites.


Sports betting was formally legalized in 2019 by governor Kim Reynolds. Since then, this industry has taken off, with revenue from sports betting growing annually and continuously.

Despite this development, some Iowa sports betting regulations are still in place. Players must take note of these regulations so that they don’t go against the state’s stipulations.