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What You Need to Know About Sports Betting in Iowa

This news story was published on July 15, 2020.
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Legal online sports betting has been available in Iowa for a little over a year. However, many patrons are left confused about the ins and outs of the market and don’t know which sportsbooks are legal to use in the country. In this article, we’ll answer those questions and explain exactly what state legislators had in mind when they legalized sports betting. 

Firstly, it’s worth noting that while online sports wagering is legal in Iowa, it is limited to a connection with the state’s land-based casinos. That means so far, the only venues providing sports betting are the popular Hard Rock casino which runs the Sioux City sportsbook, Q Casino, Elite, and several third-party books that have partnered with casinos. 

Legal Sports Betting in Iowa

Iowa was one of the first states to take advantage of the removal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018. PASPA has been in place since 1992 and prevented states from regulating sports betting individually. When PASPA was removed by the federal government in 2018, lawmakers in Iowa started working on a framework for legal online betting. 

By May 2019, the state had introduced its measures for legal online wagering, with regulations going live in August 2019. 

Iowa did not embrace an open-door policy to online sportsbooks. Instead, legislators mandated that all online sports betting must be operated by one of the 20 or so land-based casinos in the state. Individual customers can visit any online sportsbook they want, even those out-of-state, but only the following sportsbooks are fully legal in Iowa.

Which Sportsbooks are Legal in Iowa?

Tying sportsbooks to a physical casino means customers must register their online sports betting activity with the land-based venue before they can access the associated sports betting application. 

William Hill sportsbook

Legendary British bookmaker William Hill was the first to open a sportsbook in Iowa, back in August 2019. However, the company needed to partner with brick and mortar casinos. William Hill’s sports betting operations can be found at four casinos in Iowa: Lakeside Casino, Prairie Meadows Casino, Isle Casino Waterloo, and Isle Casino Bettendorf. 

Elite Casinos sportsbook

Elite Casinos were the second to bring their sportsbook to the state, also in August 2019. It is also one of the most popular books in Iowa and is available through three casino partners: Riverside Casino & Golf Resort, Rhythm City Casino in Davenport or Grand Falls Casino in Larchwood.

DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings runs a daily fantasy sports up in Iowa, which debuted in October 2019. Patrons interested in the app must visit a Wild Rose Casino to register and verify their identity. Those casinos can be found in Clinton, Emmetsburg, and Jefferson. 

PointsBet Sportsbook

PointsBet is an Australian betting brand that is starting to make a splash in the United States following its debut in New Jersey last year. By November 2019, the company had expanded to Iowa with its extensive sportsbook. Perhaps the most unique aspect of this company is its PointsBetting wagers. Customers in Iowa can use the PointsBet sportsbook after visiting Catfish Bend Casino in Burlington. 

Hard Rock Sioux City sportsbook

Hard Rock casino embraced the Sioux City sportsbook and is one of the most popular in the state. Operated by Gaming Innovation Group (GIG) the app has become widely used by iGamers. To complete registration, customers must head to the Hard Rock casino. 

FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel is the biggest provider of online sports betting in the United States. In Iowa, the company’s sportsbook is connected to the Diamond Jo Casino. However, at the time of writing in 2020, FanDuel has yet to release its sports betting app. At the moment, the company just has a physical location at the casino. 

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