Iowa Online Casinos – Gambling in Iowa

If you want to learn more about gambling and online gambling in Iowa, you’re on the right page. Right now, online casinos aren’t available in the state. Online sports betting is regulated right now in IA, but we’ll explore other possible options and briefly discuss the history and future of gambling legislation in Iowa. Read on.

Which kinds of online gambling are legal in Iowa today?

Let’s explore only the available online gambling options in IA at the moment.

Online Horse Racing in IA

Anyone in Iowa 18 years or older can legally place bets on horses using one of the online platforms that offer this type of wagering. Moreover, you might find some of the betting options on horses on one of the online sportsbook platforms. Either way, if you enjoy this sport, there are plenty of options for you.

Online Sports Betting in IA

The residents of Iowa love sports, and sports betting quickly took off and became popular. There are several online sports betting sites operating in IA, and all of them are affiliated with some of the land-based gambling properties. You can bet on all popular sports, including football, basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey, and more.


Daily Fantasy Sports is legal and regulated in Iowa. Interestingly, Iowa was one of the last states to deny access to DraftKings and FanDuel. However, all of that changed in October 2019, and Iowans can now enjoy participating in fantasy sports competitions.

Are any forms of land-based gambling legal in Iowa in 2021?

Yes, there are all forms of land-based gambling available in Iowa, so let’s check where you can find these options if you live or visit the Hawkeye State.

Casino Gambling in IA

Casino gambling is popular in Iowa, and there are plenty of options you can choose from. Apart from many commercial casinos, there is also a couple of riverboats and tribal options. Some of the online casinos also offer a sportsbook and feature a poker room.

Poker in IA

Land-based poker is legal in the state of Iowa, and you can find plenty of options inside casinos that feature poker rooms, with Texas Hold’em being the most popular option. You’ll find many cash games, as well as tournaments. 

Horse Racing in IA

You’ll find many options for horse racing lovers who enjoy placing bets on horses as plenty of land-based casinos let you wager on the popular sport. On top of that, there’s even a racetrack that’s part of the Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack, and Hotel, which is essentially a racino. 

Sports Betting in IA

As mentioned above, sports betting is very popular in Iowa, so many land-based casinos also feature a sportsbook. The last time we checked, there were 16 active land-based sportsbooks available in the state, and you can access some of them on the web.

Bingo in IA

Charitable games, including bingo, raffles, social gambling, amusement devices, and more, are legal but need a license to be operated. According to Iowa Code Chapter 99B, even poker cash games can be listed under charitable gaming. There are several places where you can play bingo in Iowa.

What Are the Largest Brick-and-Mortar Casinos in Iowa?

Let’s take a look at some of the largest land-based gambling properties in Hawkeye State.

Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino

Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino are widely regarded as the largest casino in the state, as it includes more than 82,000 square feet of gaming space, with more than 2,000 slot machines. In addition to that, the property features 44 table games and 11 poker tables offering all sorts of poker games. In addition to the casino, there’s a racetrack, a sportsbook, a hotel, and several other amenities. Simply put, Prairie Meadows is your go-to gambling property if you’re visiting Iowa for the first time. You’ll find Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino at the following address: 1 Prairie Meadows Dr, Altoona, IA 50009, United States.

Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs

Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs is a commercial casino that occupies 68,000 square feet and offers more than 1,600 slot machines and video poker machines. The property is near Omaha, Nebraska, and is owned by Vici Properties and operated by Caesars Entertainment. It has a bigger table game offer than Prairie Meadows — a total of 54 table games and 18 poker tables, making this property a major destination for poker lovers. In addition to casino and poker, you’ll also find a sportsbook and a hotel. Horseshoe Council Bluffs is located at 2701 23rd Ave, Council Bluffs, IA 51501, United States.  

Ameristar Casino Hotel Council Bluffs

Ameristar Casino Hotel Council Bluffs may not be as big as the other two properties, but it’s still quite big and has plenty of things to offer to visitors. The gambling room occupies 38,500 square feet and features around 1,500 slots. In addition to that, you’ll find 23 table games, but there aren’t any poker options available now. On the other hand, Ameristar Council Bluffs features a sportsbook, a hotel, and many other amenities for visitors. You’ll find the popular property at Ameristar Ave, Council Bluffs, IA 51501, United States. 

Where are the nearest states to Iowa that have legalized online casino gambling?

If you wish to enjoy online casinos legally, you’ll have to visit one of the states where this type of gambling is legal. 


Michigan is probably the nearest option to the residents of Iowa, and it’s also the youngest online casino market out of the four states listed here. It has a couple of high-quality online casinos regulated by the Michigan Gambling Control Board. Still, to get from Des Moines to Lansing, you’ll have to travel 534 miles or eight hours by car. 

West Virginia

West Virginia is another option for Iowan online casino lovers. The state legalized online casinos and sports betting and is currently home to a couple of great operators. Still, WV is the smallest of all online gambling markets at the moment. Charleston, WV, is approximately 783 miles away from Des Moines, which means you’ll need about 12 hours by car.


Pennsylvania has the potential to become the largest online gambling market. It has legalized online casinos, online poker, and online sports betting. Many operators currently offer their services in the state and are legalized by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Unfortunately, Philadelphia is 1,076 miles away from Des Moines, so you’ll have to travel 16 and a half hours by car to get there.

New Jersey

New Jersey is the oldest and the most developed online gambling market. The Garden State legalized online gambling before any other state. It’s also home to Atlantic City, the most popular gambling area after Las Vegas. There are plenty of great online casinos, sportsbooks, poker rooms, and more licensed by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. NJ is 1,128 miles away from Des Moines, Iowa. If you travel by car, you’ll have to drive for 17 and a half hours.  

History of Gambling Legislation in Iowa

Iowa is one of the late bloomers when it comes to gambling legislation. Here’s an overview of all important dates that shaped its present-day gambling landscape.

Future of Online Gambling in Iowa

Iowa has a bright future when it comes to online gambling. Right now, only sports betting is legalized, but by observing the legal changes in the past, we could notice that gambling was always moving towards the point of being fully legal. Even though only online sports betting (and related activities) are available right now, there’s still support for the legalization of online poker and online casinos. However, it remains unclear whether that will happen soon or not.


Is online gambling legal in Iowa?

Right now, only sports wagering is legal on the web in Iowa. Other forms of gambling are only legal in land-based properties.

Are there land-based casinos in Iowa?

Yes, there are dozens of casinos available in Iowa at the moment. Most of them are commercial casinos, but riverboat casinos, tribal casinos, and a racino.

Can I bet on sports in Iowa?

Yes, sports betting is legal both in online and land-based form, and several great sportsbooks are offering their services in the Hawkeye State.

What’s the largest IA casino at the moment?

Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino are currently regarded as the largest gambling facility in Iowa.

Where can I gamble online near IA?

Some of the states near Iowa and offer online casino gambling are Michigan, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.