Iowa Online Casinos 2024 – Which One to Pick?

Have you found the best Iowa online casino sites? We’ve created this page for you if you’ve yet to find them.

Traditional online casinos are illegal in the Hawkeye State, but you can access IA sweepstakes or social casinos. That’s why we’ve taken the time to rank the best social gambling sites in Iowa. You’d have free access to play slots, classic table games, and even live dealer offerings online on these platforms. 

If you’re adventurous, we’ve also included some land-based casinos in Iowa that you can visit in person. Let’s begin with a look at the current state of online gambling before exploring our top list and other key areas. 

🔑 Key Takeaways 

  • Learn whether real money online casino Iowa sites are available.
  • Discover the best sweepstakes gambling sites in Iowa.
  • Read about the most recent gambling legislation in the state.
  • Find out what real visitors have to say about the top brick-and-mortar casinos in Iowa. 

Are Real Money Online Casinos Legal in Iowa?

While sports betting online has been permitted since 2019, Iowa has not joined the list of states where online casinos are legal. In 2022, Rep. Kaufmann set the ball rolling for talks regarding legalizing online casino gaming.

While nothing tangible has come of it, there is a chance that the discussion will continue in 2024. Overall, the possibility that online gambling in Iowa will be authorized soon is uncertain.

For now, social gambling sites are a perfect alternative. Not only are they legal, but they also offer casino games for free and sometimes let you redeem real money prizes.

My Top 5 Sweepstakes Online Casinos in Iowa

The list of sweepstakes casinos USA continues to grow as new operators join the market. Consequently, you’d need to surf the web for hours and read user reviews to learn about the best ones.

These top 5 sweepstakes online casinos in Iowa will save you search time!

Vegas Gems in Iowa 

Dublin-based JSP Media Holding launched Vegas Gems in 2023. You can sign up and play games for free if you’re over 18 and reside in eligible states, including Iowa. New players get a welcome offer of 1000 Gems no-deposit + 50% bonus to explore the platform.

Vegas Gem’s portfolio of games is regularly updated, but there are 350 slot titles at the moment. About 100 games are from Pragmatic Play, so expect to find popular ones like Dog House Megaways and Sweet Bonanza. However, you’ll also find an impressive in-house game selection offering unique gameplay.

→ Try the casino crash games, where you must predict how high a multiplier reaches before it stops. 

WOW Vegas in Iowa 

Only a few of the best online casino Iowa sites with sweepstakes have become as famous as WOW Vegas. US players from over 40 states, including Indiana, can join the platform to access a range of casino-style games and features. Setting up an account and playing are free, while new players get 150,000 WOW Coins and 3 Sweepstakes Coins welcome offers.

You’ll find 900+ games, all of which are slots powered by 9 of the best software providers, including Rogue, 3OAKS, and BGaming. In-house titles are lacking among these, but the operator makes up for that with exclusive branded slots like WOW Vegas Wilds of Fortune by BetSoft and WOW Vegas Elvis Frog by BGaming.

→ I recommend trying the WOW Vegas Elvis Frog if you’re up for a jackpot feature experience. 

Chumba Casino in Iowa

Chumba is one of the sweepstakes casinos with an easy-to-navigate website that you’ll come across. At the time of this review, new players on Chumba get a welcome bonus of GC 2,000,000 and SC 2. Unlike the standard Iowa online casino deposit bonus, this one costs nothing.

Regarding the sweepstakes casino games portfolio, you’re in for a mixed bag of slots and table games. Titles you’ll find are created in-house, with some from Playtech, Red Tiger, and NetEnt. 

→ One of the games I recommend is The Godfather online slot. It is an Atlantic Digital product with many bonus features, free spins, and hold-and-win mechanics.

LuckyLand Slots in Iowa

Available in all but three states of the US, LuckyLand Slots is a top place to play free casino games online. Once you sign up for an account, your bankroll is instantly credited with 7,777 gold coins and 10 free sweeps coins. This is one of the best Iowa online casino sites with sweepstakes regarding smooth mobile and web navigation.

You can play over 100 exclusive games as a member of this social casino. Since you won’t find these games anywhere else, the operator has ensured they feature clean graphics and impressive mechanics.

→ If you’re into wealth-themed slot releases, you should try Mardi Gras Money. 

Sportzino Casino in Iowa 

Sportszino may not have been around longer than some operators listed here, but it has created a strong presence in the sweepstakes casino scene. Not only is it an Iowa real money online casino alternative, but Sportzino is also a sweepstakes sports betting site.

Once you join, you can explore all its offerings with the GC 170,000 and SC 7 free welcome bonus. The majority of games on Sportzino come from over 10 software providers, such as Slotmill, Booming Games, and Fantasma. Blazesoft tries to include some exclusive games in some of its casinos, so Sportzino might feature a few of those soon.

→ If you like popular slots, then Pragmatic Play’s Big Bass Bonanza is worth trying.

Want to Bet Real Money? The Top 3 Land-Based Casinos in Iowa

Earning enough sweeps coins for a cash prize redemption might take a while. If you’d rather skip the wait time and just play for real money, then any of Iowa’s land-based casinos would be a good place to start.

Consider any of the top 3 brick-and-mortar gambling venues in the state.

Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque 

If you’re around Dubuque, visit Diamond Jo Casino for a first-hand feel of Vegas. It is a venue owned by Boyd Gaming, the Vegas-based casino giant behind Diamond Jo Casino—Worth in Northwood. Here is the land-based version of one of the oldest dockside casinos that began operations in 1994.

The casino has a hotel, five restaurants, a bowling center, and a bubbling nightlife. You’ll also have access to the 43,508 sq ft casino floor with 1000 slots, 20 table games, and a range of promotional offers once you become a member.

Nice reward system for a new player card. I love getting the mailed monthly specials; too many emails to actually look. I like it in writing. Easy parking. Friendly staff. Self serve pop and coffee. I didn’t see very many cocktail servers, but I wasn’t there very long.

Daniella Tiegen, from Google Review
  • Address: 301 Bell St, Dubuque, IA 52001
  • Phone Number: (563) 690-4800
  • Website: diamondjodubuque.boydgaming.com
  • Opening Hours: 24 hours
  • Review on Google: 3.9/5

Harrah’s in Council Bluffs 

The Caesars brand has some of the finest brick-and-mortar gambling venues, and Harrah’s in Council Bluffs is a case in point. This casino hotel offers a beautiful night view of the city from every corner, delivering a visual feast if you love to take pictures. Once you register as a member, you can claim various rewards, such as concert tickets and dining credits.

Visit the 27,603 sq ft gaming floor to try its 689 slot machines and 13 table games. Its number of offerings is considerably small, but you can’t get bored in the presence of cheerful dealers.

Clean rooms, nice clean casino. Very nice atmosphere and friendly staff.

Willie Peters, from Google Review

Rhythm City Casino Resort in Davenport 

Rhythm City Casino Resort started as a riverboat casino in 1991 and remains one of Iowa’s best physical gambling venues. Since it moved to its current site in 2016, visitors have had the convenience of a spa, three restaurants, and an elite sports book.

You’ll need a membership to explore the area, but getting one is free and only takes a few minutes. The 32,000 sq ft gaming floor hosts 1,000+ games, including slots, video poker, and 17 classic table games.

This place is beautiful. The customer service was great, and they gave me $10 free on a player’s card to start. The slot machines were fun. The rooms were very nice, and everything was easily handicap accessible. I highly recommend this casino over the others nearby.

Jeff Minner, from Google Review
  • Address: 7077 Elmore Avenue, Davenport, IA 52807, United States
  • Phone Number: +1 563-328-8000
  • Website: rhythmcitycasino.com
  • Opening Hours: 24
  • Review on Google: 4.1/5 

How to Declare Taxable Winnings in Iowa

You must fill out form IA 1040 to report taxable winnings in Iowa. Whatever you’ve won from slots, horse or dog racing, or other forms of gambling should be itemized as “Other Income” on line 14 of the form.

According to the Iowa Department of Revenue:

Gambling winnings within its jurisdiction are taxable whether or not you’re a state resident. 

Consequently, gross receipts from gambling activities carried out in the state are subject to state sales tax. Likewise, they are subject to local option sales tax where applicable.

Winning a certain amount will attract a 5% state income tax and a 25% Federal income tax. The casino often deducts for you and then pays out the balance. 

Other Legal Gambling Activities in Iowa

With online casino gaming and poker excluded from the state’s legal gambling options, what activities can you engage in legitimately as an Iowan?

Here are the four gambling activities supported in Iowa currently:

  • Land-based casinos: We’ve listed the top three venues you can consider, but there are 19 brick-and-mortar casinos in Iowa. You can also explore four tribal venues in the state.
  • Online Sports betting: Take advantage of a chance to support your favorite teams or bet on games from popular leagues when you’re in Iowa. Sports betting online has been legal in the state since 2011.
  • Lottery: Another option to consider is the Iowa State Lottery. Since its inception, proceeds from the lottery have been used to fund various entertainment activities and public programs.
  • Charitable Gaming: Raffles, bingo, and other games of chance are approved for charitable gambling. 

If you must play online, your best bet is to stick with sweepstakes casino sites like the ones recommended.  

History of Gambling in Iowa

Different forms of gambling were legal in the Hawkeye State long before the talks of online casinos began. Iowa is one of the most flexible states for betting on games of chance, so much so that it has become a cultural legacy.

From the 1980s until date, here are historical dates and events that have shaped all things betting in the state:

  • 1846: The Iowa Constitution prohibited lotteries and gambling activities.
  • 1973: Lawmakers in the Hawkeye State passed legislation approving friendly social gaming.
  • 1972: A constitutional amendment legalized gambling in Iowa after an election, receiving 68% of the vote.
  • 1983: The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) was established, marking the beginning of regulated gaming.
  • 1983: Pari-mutuel horse and dog racing in Iowa were legalized in 1983, making them the oldest legal gambling options.
  • 1985: The state lottery started just two years after horse and dog racing became legal. In the same year, Iowa passed the riverboat gaming referendums.
  • 1991: The state’s first riverboat casinos hit the waters, and the Dubuque Casino Belle was one of them.
  • 1994: Three land-based physical casinos were launched in the state, opening the door to a thriving gambling market for the first time.
  • 2004: Riverboats transitioned to moored barges, allowing for partner hotels near casino locations.
  • 2019: Online sports betting became legal in Iowa, while online casinos remain unregulated.

What’s Next for Iowa Online Casinos? 

No recent moves have been made to legalize online casinos or poker in Iowa. As of now, Iowa’s online gambling landscape remains focused on sports betting. However, since the discussion on the possibility of a legal online casino industry started in 2023, there is hope that the bill will pass soon.

Wes Ehrecke, the President and CEO of the Iowa Gaming Association, has stated that:

The concept of online casinos in Iowa is still in its early stages.

While there may be discussions about legalizing online casino gambling, it is not expected to happen just yet. The association remains neutral, with some members supporting exploration and others opposing it.

So, Will You Bet From Iowa Tonight?

Based on our findings, is real money online casino legal in Iowa? No, but the best sweepstakes online casinos welcome players from Iowa. That’s a plus since the state does not support online gambling.

An added advantage is that you can redeem sweepscoins for cash prizes on these sites even as you play for free. On the other hand, if you do choose to explore sports betting or land-based casinos, there’ll be no legal consequences. There’s no date in sight for the approval of online casino betting in Iowa.

Don’t wait until Iowa casino apps and Iowa online gambling are approved; consider checking our guide to states with legal online casino gaming if you must play for real money!