Iowa is home to more than a dozen casinos, but the state does not allow any online casino games despite a growing push to legalize all online gambling.
Iowa legalized live and mobile sports betting in 2019, after the Supreme Court lifted a decades-long ban on sports betting outside of Nevada, and the state’s existing casinos are expected to accept mobile wagers in time for the 2019-20 NFL season. The state’s lottery system is also expected to launch games online soon. However, the state’s 19 casinos remain barred from offering slots, table games, video poker, and other popular casino games online.
That could change soon. With nearby Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan all pushing toward online sports betting and online gambling, it’s likely only a matter of time until the tax revenues prove too lucrative to pass up adding online casino games to the fold. Iowa’s casinos scored a big win in the sports betting debate and were allowed to run new sportsbooks. With the success of online casinos in other states already evident, the most logical next step is to launch the first Iowa casino online.
Iowa Casino Online Sports Betting
Under the new Iowa law approved by Governor Kim Reynolds, the state’s existing 19 casinos are now allowed to take sports bets in person. The law requires all casinos to receive licenses from the commission overseeing sports wagers to ensure that only qualified operators can launch sportsbooks in the state.
The law allows the casinos to accept mobile sports wagers as well, though the apps are still in the works. New users will still have to register in person at the casino where you want to play in order to access mobile betting. Out-of-state gamblers can also register for an account at a casino, but the app will only work when the phone is located inside the state.
The law will allow operators to offer live in-game betting, which allows you to bet on countless events during the game based on odds that change in real-time, as well as prop bets. Along with sports wagers, Iowans can now legally play daily online sports at sites like FanDuel and DraftKings.
Can I Play Casino Online in Iowa?
Though Iowa is going all-in on sports betting and daily fantasy sports, the law still prohibits online casinos games and online poker. This is likely to change soon, as evidenced in states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, and New Jersey, where both online casino gaming and sports betting have been legalized.
There is one exception. There are “social casinos” available in Iowa. These casinos use a “sweepstakes” model to skirt state regulations and allow players to legally play online casino games for money. Social casinos allow you to buy fake money and “gift” you coins that can be redeemed for real money with each purchase. You can use the “gifted” coins to play online casino games and poker and then redeem the coins for their cash equivalent. Since you can’t technically buy these coins or bet real money, anyone over 21 can play and win real cash without running afoul of the law.