Iowa makes the list for being one of the more relaxed states in the country when it comes to gambling.
It appears that the only form of gambling not permitted in Iowa is online casinos, however, sports betting online is legal.
Due to the recent legalization of online sportsbooks, the government could decide to allow online casinos to operate in the state, depending on how well online gambling does now.
Besides online sports betting, residents of IA also have over 20 land-based casino venues, and horse racing tracks.
Learn about every form of gambling in IA and what’s to come in the future, in our guide below.
Online Casinos in Iowa
Although Iowa has a long tradition with some great landbased casinos and a long history with gambling, it has not legalized online casinos.
Online sportsbooks, however, went live in IA in 2019.
There have been discussions of legalizing online casinos, but it has been continuously thrown out before coming to a vote for approval.
The nearest state with online casinos happens to be Nevada, which offers some great poker through the World Series of Poker (WSOP) website and downloadable app.
But, you can still register with a legal online casino while you’re in Iowa. That means you can get the casino’s bonus offers or deposit, and then play whenever you’re in states where it’s legal.
For now, it doesn’t seem like online casinos will be coming to IA too soon.
Land-Based Casinos in Iowa
There are many casinos in Iowa with hotels. Eleven of the 16 riverboat casinos in Iowa have a hotel, all three racetrack casinos have a hotel, and two out of the three Indian casinos have a hotel.
Anyone looking for casinos in Iowa on I-35 will find three close to that major highway:
- Diamond Jo Casino Worth in northern Iowa
- Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino near Des Moines
- Lakeside Casino & Hotel at the southern end of the state
All Iowa casinos offer: blackjack, roulette, craps, pai gow poker, Mississippi stud, ultimate Texas hold em, slots, and video poker.
Some casinos in Iowa also offer mini-baccarat, poker, pai gow poker, Caribbean stud poker, let it ride, big 6, bingo, keno, Mississippi stud, three card poker, four card poker, Spanish 21 and off-track betting.
Important Note: If you happen to win a jackpot of $1,200 or more at any Iowa casino, they will withhold 5% of your winnings for the Iowa Department of Revenue.
If you want to try and get that money refunded, you will be required to file a state income tax return and, depending on the details of your return, you may get some of the money returned to you.
The $1,200 threshold would also apply to any cash prizes won in casino drawings or tournaments.
Types of Casinos in Iowa
There are multiple types of casinos in Iowa, besides brick and mortars:
- Riverboat Casinos
- Pari-Mutuel (racetrack) Casinos
- Indian Casinos
Riverboat Casinos in Iowa
Iowa was the first state to legalize riverboat casino gambling. The riverboats began operating on April Fools Day in 1991 and passengers were originally limited to $5 per bet with a maximum loss of $200 per person, per cruise.
In early 1994 the Iowa legislature voted to eliminate those gambling restrictions. That same year the state also legalized casinos on moored barges that float in man-made basins of water and no longer required the casinos to be on boats.
This allowed riverboat casinos to resemble land-based buildings.
As of mid-2018, there were 16 riverboat casinos in Iowa.
Pari-Mutuel (racetrack) Casinos in Iowa
Electronic gaming machines, such as slots and video poker, were legalized at three of the state’s pari-mutuel racetracks in 1994 and, in mid-2004, a provision was added to allow table games at those three tracks.
There are no casinos in Des Moines, Iowa. However, there is one racetrack casino that is close to that city. Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Altoona is just 11 miles northeast of Des Moines.
The payback percentages on electronic gaming machines at all Iowa casinos (riverboats and pari-mutuels) are released as a matter of public record. Just click here to see a list of slot machine payback statistics for all Iowa casinos.
There are three Indian casinos in Iowa and all of them offer electronic gaming machines, as well as table games.
- Blackbird Bend Casino
- Meskwaki Casino
- Prairie Flower Casino
No public information is available concerning the payback percentages on gaming machines at Indian casinos in Iowa.
List of Land-based Casinos In Iowa
Click on any of the casinos listed below to learn more about the venue.
Blackbird Bend Casino
Blackbird Bend Casino, located only a few miles off I-29 in Onawa, Iowa, has roughly 6,800 square feet of gaming space, including 342 of the hottest slots.
- Address: 17214 210th St, Onawa, IA 51040, United States
- Phone: +1 712-423-9646
- Website: http://www.blackbirdbend.com/
Casino Queen Marquette
Take a whirl on the newest or most popular slot games. We have over 400 slot and video poker machines in values ranging from one cent to five dollars.
- Address: 100 Anti Monopoly, Marquette, IA 52158, United States
- Phone: +1 563-873-3531
- Website: http://www.casinoqueenmarquette.com/
Catfish Bend Casino- Burlington
With 25 gaming tables, electronic slot machines, poker, and on-site restaurants, this casino is a must-see.
- Address: 3001 Winegard Dr, Burlington, IA 52601, United States
- Phone: +1 319-753-2946
- Website: https://www.thepzazz.com/
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City
They’re ready to offer you with off-the-charts entertainment and gaming activity. They provide a wide range of tasty eating alternatives that are sure to delight.
Grand Falls Casino Resort
There are eight tables in their live poker area, as well as weekly poker tournaments and flat-screen screens to watch your favourite team on. There are 750 different games to choose from, including slots, video poker, and live table games.
Lakeside Hotel & Casino
All of your favourite slots, video poker, and Keno machines, as well as a large selection of fast-paced table games including blackjack and craps, can be found here.
Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel
The loosest slot machines in Iowa may be found here, including penny slots, $100 machines, and everything in between. Every day of the week, there are nine different table games, a 10-table poker area, and bingo.
Rhythm City Casino
This is a place where you may play socially or quietly while exploring the 32,000 square feet of slot machines and table games (electronic and traditional).
Wild Rose Casino – Emmetsburg
Table games provide excitement as well as the finest odds in the casino. Take a seat and grab a drink. It’s time to put on your poker face and get your hands dirty.
Wild Rose Casino – Jefferson
Check out their popular selection of vintage reel-style and contemporary video slots. We’ll have a chair ready for you, whether you’re a novice eager to learn or a seasoned veteran.
- Address: 777 Wild Rose Rd, Jefferson, IA 50129, United States
- Website: http://jefferson.wildroseresorts.com/
Do you have a lucky feeling? Come on down to the gaming floor. Play a hand of poker or try your luck at bingo. Our dealers are pleasant, and the stakes are big, no matter which option you select.
Diamond Jo Casino Dubuque
Prairie Meadows boasts every game you’ll want to play this side of Vegas, with over 85,000 square feet of constant casino activity featuring all your favourite table games, slots, and thrilling promos.
Diamond Jo Casino Worth
Diamond Jo Worth is a high-energy casino and entertainment attraction located just off I-35 in northern Iowa’s Worth County. They have over 1,000 slots available.
Iowa Casinos Map
You can easily see all casino locations by using our Iowa casinos map. To zoom in, just click the + (plus) sign in the lower right corner of the map, or to zoom out, just click the – (minus) sign in the same area.
To move the map of casinos in Iowa, click and hold down either of your mouse buttons. Then use the hand icon to drag the map in whichever direction you desire.
Each of the red icons on the map is a casino location. Just click on any red icon to see the name of the casino at that location. If you want more information on that casino, simply click again on the casino’s name and it will direct you to another page with detailed information on that particular casino, including address, phone number, toll-free phone number, room rates, casino size, dining information, games offered, availability of discounts for seniors, any special features, and a direct link to that casino’s website.
History Of Gambling In Iowa
In order to understand how gambling came to be what it is in Iowa, we’ve created a small timeline with some important dates.
1983: The first form of gambling is legalized in Iowa; pari-mutuel betting. The Racing Commission is announced and applications for pari-mutuel betting licenses start.
1985: The lottery is legalized and the first dog race track opens.
1989: Riverboat casinos are legalized.
1991: Multiple riverboat casinos begin to operate.
1992: Tribal gambling is negotiated in Iowa and becomes legal, with three tribes opening casino venues.
2004: New laws are put in place that regulates gambling in the state further. Casinos were no longer allowed to have ATMs in the venues and underage gambling now resulted in a hefty fine. River casino boats were not required to have to leave the dock, which meant operators could build over lakes.
2007: Land-based casinos are permitted in Iowa.
2019: Retail and online sports betting are legalized in the state, as well as Daily Fantasy Sports.
Iowa Gambling Laws and Regulatory Organizations
All Iowa casinos are open 24 hours and the minimum gambling age is 21, but 18 for pari-mutuel wagering or bingo.
Online casinos are strictly not allowed to operate in Iowa, however, online sports betting just became legal in 2019.
This could see the laws around online casinos changing if sports betting brings in a lot of revenue for the state.
Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) was first appointed in 1983 by the Pari-Mutuel Wagering Act.
The IRGC sees over all forms of gambling in the state, including:
- Sports betting (on/offline)
- Pari-mutuel betting
- Casino gambling (land-based and riverboats)
- Daily Fantasy Sports
You can find out more about the IRGC and the different gambling bills in Iowa, here.
Gambling in Iowa Today
A few things have changed from when gambling first started in Iowa in the ’80s.
There’s only one riverboat casino that still operates, as the rest have all obtained land-based licenses.
Horse and greyhound racing are still live in the state, with Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack, & Hotel as the sole racino.
Sports betting is the most exciting thing to happen in Iowa for gamblers, with multiple operators getting ready to launch in the state.
Did you know?
The Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino is the largest casino in all of Iowa! It features 44 table games and 2000 gaming machines.
- First year of Iowa sports betting gains yards, but not touchdown – The Gazette
- Iowa lawmakers ban credit cards for sports wagering – RadioIowa
- Iowa Exploring Possibility of Adding Online Casino Gaming
Try an online casino for FREE. We have over 15 No Deposit Bonus Codes. No credit card needed, just sign up and start playing!
For more information on visiting Iowa call the state’s tourism department at (800) 345-4692 or visit their website at www.traveliowa.com.