The best online casinos in Iowa 2023
Play at the top social Iowa casinos and sportsbooks with our experts’ recommended sites. We’ve rated the best casinos for the latest games and promos, excellent software and player experience, as well as safe, secure banking options. Find your perfect place to play below. (Edited by Steve Bittenbender)
Our top recommended Iowa online casinos
Iowa casinos to avoid
The best online casinos in Iowa
Various social brands are available to Iowa online casino fans, and these offer a variety of games. Most are free to play, some carry traditional casino games, others are slots-only, and a couple offer innovative gameplay with the chance to win real money.
If you enjoy playing social casinos in Iowa, you can find one of the biggest game selections at Pulsz. There are around 300 slots and other casino-style games available. What makes the games section even better is the fact you can only play these games at Pulsz. Alongside a large catalog of exclusive games, the platform provides free coins that allow you to play games without spending a dime. You can also buy and win sweep coins, which you can trade for cash.
Read our Pulz casino review
Bright and breezy and very easy to access, Gambino is one of the biggest names in social casinos in the US. There are more than 200 slot games to be enjoyed here – though, as you might expect given the brand, nothing else. But the quality of the gaming experience is high, and the mobile app is highly rated.
Read our Gambino Slots review
Fortune Coins is a popular sweepstakes casino that allows players in Iowa to gain free coins and play slots and other games for free. Alternatively, it is possible to purchase additional Fortune Coins and play for prizes. Fortune Coins does an excellent job of giving players a steady supply of free coins with various promos. All games on the site are original and available only on Fortune Coins.
Read our Fortune Coins casino review
Stake is a unique social casino allowing players to buy on-site currencies using cryptos. You can use Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other popular tokens to make these transactions. You can play casino games for free using the currency on-site. The social casino also provides a modern website that makes navigating through its game library easy. You’ll find dozens of different slots and casino games, all exclusive to Stake.
Read our Stake Casino review
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games brings a fresh idea to the social casino market by allowing you to donate most money you spend to charity. You can even choose which charity! The social casino allows you to buy on-site currency, or you can play for free. There are dozens of slot games, with the biggest prize of $2,500. However, bingo is the most impressive game, with new rounds starting every 10-15 minutes.
Another brand where the focus is purely on slots, with about 200 games to choose from. All the games are exclusive to Slotomania, which releases new titles on a regular basis. There are plenty of bonuses on offer, and the high software standard ensures the user experience is excellent.
Read our Slotomania review
Unusually for a social casino, WorldWinner has none of the traditional casino games you might expect. No slots or table games, but plenty of options based on TV game shows and board games. The hook is that you can challenge your buddies, and other players around the world, in games of skill with cash prizes at stake.
This brand offers online gaming with a twist. There are no casino games; the way to play is to match your sporting insight against that of other fans in real time. You do this by making prop bets on leading televised sporting events while the action is being played out.
Read our Winview review
Big Fish Casino
Big Fish looks to net Iowa online casino players by offering a good variety of games and playing options. As well as slots, there are table games to be enjoyed for free. These include roulette, poker and blackjack. You can play via Facebook, or via an app that's highly regarded by users.
Read our Big Fish Casino review
MyJackpot.com arrived in Iowa from Europe with a stellar reputation – and you can see why. The brand brings a tempting selection of slot games as well as table, and it focuses on the quality of the gaming experience. Novices and experienced gamers alike will find games to suit them. The brand also offers an excellent mobile app.
Another European brand that now delivers one of the leading social casinos in Iowa and elsewhere. There's a wide selection of games on offer, and the website and app are both extremely easy to play on. The welcome bonus of one million coins is a stand-out initial offer.
Gold Fish Casino Slots
Some of the top developers in the world provide games to this social casino, giving it an outstanding gaming experience. You are restricted to slots, and there are only 120 of them – but the quality is undeniable. It’s possible to play here through Facebook, as well as website and app.
Read our Gold Fish Casino review
What game do you want to play most?
What the best Iowa casinos offer you
There are many factors that go into finding the best Iowa online casino for you. Our experienced team of casino experts assess each point to narrow the choice down. We weigh up the following considerations as part of our casino review process.
Security and fairness: Leading operators who run Iowa casinos have extensive experience in this area and should offer state-of-the-art security protocols. It’s also important to know that the games you are playing are run fairly.
Bonuses and promotions: Players expect to receive extra value through regular bonus offers. There should be a welcome offer, and regular boosts and bonuses at your chosen casino. Check out the terms to make sure you understand what you're getting.
Game selection: You want a good selection of slots and table games at the casino. It’s also important that the quality of the software being used is as premium as possible, so the range of game developers invited to share their products is a key consideration.
Mobile: Any operator that does not also offer a top-notch mobile option is really missing a trick. Many players now prefer to play on their mobile device, and there should either be an app or a version of the site that is accessed through a mobile web browser.
Banking methods: Even with free play, there may be times – such as in-app purchases – when real money is required. Be sure that your chosen operator will allow you to deposit and withdraw funds using a banking method that works well for you.
Customer support: Should you need to raise an issue, there should be plenty of customer support options – and a service that satisfies your need quickly and easily. This may include a toll-free phone number, email and a live chat function.
Iowa gambling laws
The presence of about 20 Iowa casinos in operation across the state suggests that this is a region comfortable with the concept of gambling. The speed with which Iowa legalized online sports betting also suggests that the state will soon be ready for an online casino offering.
Online casino gambling’s legal status in Iowa
Iowa moved fast after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in 2018. Online sportsbooks were authorized to offer their services in 2019, and there are now about a dozen live in the state.
There were suggestions in early 2022, notably from BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt, that Iowa online casino legislation might be forthcoming in the same year.
Until that happens, online casino gamblers are restricted to social casinos, where you can enjoy a range of casino games but without gambling real money.
The minimum Iowa gambling age is 21
If you want to enjoy any form of gambling in Iowa, you need to be aged at least 21. Unusually, this even covers lottery, bingo and horse racing – in many states you can wager on these from 18. All casinos in Iowa, including social casinos, insist you are 21 or more.
You should expect to pay tax on gambling winnings
The IRS has made it clear that it considers all forms of gambling income as taxable. Naturally, this does not apply to social casinos, but if you wager at a bricks-and-mortar casino, or an online sportsbook, you should keep a record of your winnings and losses to ensure that you are assessed accurately for both state and federal taxes.
Regulation of online casinos in Iowa
All forms of gambling in Iowa are regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. This includes online sportsbooks, social casinos, racetracks and more.
Sports betting and online casinos in the US
Find the latest online gambling legislation updates for your state below.
Which online casino games are available in Iowa?
Iowa's social casinos might not match the volume of games that real money brands offer, but the variety of gaming options is just as broad.
The majority of games at an online casino tend to be slot titles. Indeed, more than one social Iowa online casino offers slots alone. The quality of slot games seems to improve by the month as developers invest heavily in innovation and compete with each other.
Not all of the social casinos in Iowa offer blackjack – but if you are a fan of this grand old game, you should be able to find a title or two with a bit of digging. Blackjack’s perennial popularity means there are plenty of online variations on its simple theme.
Another of the games without which a casino would not be complete. There are numerous video and live versions of roulette, and some of the social Iowa online casinos will enable you to play as if you were sitting at a table.
Iowa has more than a dozen sportsbooks available online where you can place wagers on your favorite action. There are also several casinos with a sports betting capability. None of the social casinos in the Hawkeye State feature sports betting – although WinView offer a similar experience that's gambling free.
Iowa legalized Daily Fantasy Sports games in 2019, with the result that leading DFS operators such as FanDuel and DraftKings offer their services in the state. However, you will be unable to access DFS via any social casino.
Getting the best online casino bonuses
Iowa's free play social casinos still offer bonuses and promotions to add extra value to your gaming experience. When you sign up you should expect a welcome bonus and regular offers to follow. Always check the terms of any bonus to ensure it works for you.
You should expect to receive a welcome offer that gives you extra gaming power right from the start. At social casinos, this is usually in the form of a large number of coins or chips in your account.
You should begin your time with any social casino with a large number of coins at your disposal. However, it’s always good to have free spins – either on a selected game, or any game of your choice – and this is another popular form of welcome offer.
No real money is involved when you play at a social casino, though with some you can spend cash to boost your number of coins. You may also be able to accumulate sweep coins. These allow you entry to sweepstake games, where you can win real cash. This is how some social casinos allow you to play for – and win – real money.
Refer a friend
This is one of the most popular promotions at all online casinos. If you introduce a buddy to the brand, and they register for an account, you might both qualify for a bonus that boosts the number of coins you have to play with.
Local casinos in Iowa
The 20 casinos in Iowa are scattered right across the state, which means you're never too far from a venue you can attend in person to enjoy casino gaming. Check out the different games on offer. And you should be able to play at any of these sites all year round, except over Christmas and Easter.
Rhythm City Casino Resort
This casino is located in the far east of the state, almost as close to Chicago as it is to Des Moines. There are more than 800 slot machines on site, as well as a dozen table games and a poker room with several tables. There are also plenty of amenities and entertainment options to be enjoyed around the resort.
- Address: 7077 Elmore Avenue, Davenport, IA 52807, USA
- Contact: +1 563-328-8000
Q Casino and Hotel
One of two racinos in the state, the venue hosts greyhound racing as well as the chance to play your favorite casino games. There are over 800 slot machines to choose from, almost two dozen table games and a small poker room. As well as the dog track, there is a sportsbook on site as well as a sports bar and several restaurants.
- Address: 1855 Greyhound Park Road, Dubuque, IA 52001, USA
- Contact: +1 563-582-3647
Horseshoe Council Bluffs
This is one of the biggest casinos in the state, with serious claims to being the best Iowa casino around. There are almost 1,400 slot machines, as well as an impressive choice of over 50 table games, and a poker room with nearly 20 tables. The maximum bet is $100,000. Away from the casino, there's a sportsbook and a host of dining options.
- Address: 2701 23rd Avenue, Council Bluffs, IA 51501, USA
- Contact: +1 712-323-2500
Catfish Bend Casino
With more than 600 slot machines, there's plenty of choice for the dedicated slots player. There are also 20 table games on site, as well as a handful of poker tables. You can enjoy sports betting here, as well as a notably broad choice of dining and entertainment options.
- Address: 3001 Winegard Drive, Burlington, IA 52601, USA
- Contact: +1 319-753-2946
Ameristar Council Bluffs
Before 2004, Iowa casinos could only be located on riverboats. The only venue still on such a vessel is the Ameristar Council Bluffs, another claimant to the title of the best casino in Iowa. The choice of slot machines is enormous, at more than 1,500, with a couple of dozen table games – but no poker. The maximum bet is $5,000.
- Address: 2200 River Road, Council Bluffs, IA 51501, USA
- Contact: +1 712-328-8888
The presence of a racetrack on site gives you a clue that this is one of the state’s racinos. The size of the casino floor, meanwhile, ensures this venue is another to lay claim to being one of the biggest in Iowa. Along with 1,700 slot machines, there are over 40 table games and about a dozen poker tables.
- Address: 1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Des Moines, IA 50009, USA
- Contact: +1 515-967-1000
Making deposits and withdrawals for online gambling
When you are playing for real money, it matters greatly that you are able to deposit your funds in your gaming account as quickly and easily as possible. This will become important when real-money online casinos are legalized in Iowa. Check carefully that the Iowa online casino or sportsbook where you want to play caters for your preferred banking method. The best online operators offer a range of options, including:
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- Wire transfers
Gambling responsibly in Iowa
The overwhelming majority of people enjoy gambling as a pleasurable leisure activity and nothing more. For a small minority, however, it can lead to addiction and serious personal issues. It's essential that people who do feel they are losing control of their gambling have access to specialized support, expert advice, and practical help.
Most casinos in the state operate self-exclusion programs, while the leading sportsbook brands offer detailed and accessible information on keeping your gambling under control. Among the bodies in Iowa that offer addiction advice are:
New York Council on Problem Gambling: Help for people worried about their gambling, and a wide array of resources.
New York State Gaming Commission: The body responsible for regulation in the state offers a range of useful links and advice.
Office of Addiction Services and Supports: Offers a wealth of advice on the prevention and treatment of problems.
National Council on Problem Gambling: National body with a local focus and links to in-state resources.
You can also visit our dedicated responsible gambling section for more help.
Are online casinos legal in Iowa?
Yes, but only social casinos at present. These are casinos where you play for free, so no real money is involved. Iowa has moved forward swiftly in the legalization of online sportsbooks, and is home to about 20 physical casinos. It's likely that real money Iowa online casinos will be offered later this year.
What gambling apps are available in Iowa?
Most social Iowa online casinos have apps for iPhone and Android. They deliver a quality user experience and allow you to access the same range of games and bonuses available on the website. If you want to wager on sports, the leading sportsbook brands in the state also deliver high caliber mobile apps.
What is the legal gambling age in Iowa?
21. If you want to place a wager at any of the casinos in Iowa, or with a sportsbook in the state, you need to be at least 21 years old. The minimum age for all forms of gambling, including the lottery, horse racing, and bingo, is 21.
Who regulates online gambling in Iowa?
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission regulates all forms of gambling in Iowa – including horse racing, casinos, online sportsbooks and social casinos. The Commission is headquartered in the state capital, Des Moines.
How will Iowa tax my gambling winnings?
As taxable income through your tax returns. While social casinos won't give you real money winnings, if you decide to play at a real casino, or with an online sportsbook, your winnings are liable to be taxed. The IRS has ruled that all forms of gambling returns constitute taxable income. For large wins, the sportsbook or casino will withhold a certain amount for federal tax. You should expect to pay a small amount of state tax too. The operator you play with should keep a record of any major payouts, but it's a good idea to keep a close check on your wins and losses throughout the year.
Do I need to live in Iowa to play online casino games?
No, you don’t have to be an Iowa resident to play at the social casinos licensed to operate here. When it comes to other online forms of gambling such as online sportsbooks, you don’t have to be a resident but you do need to be physically located within state lines to be able to wager.
Are sweepstakes and fantasy sports legal in Iowa?
Yes, they are. Some social casinos operate sweepstake games. They get around the law prohibiting online casinos from running real-money games by allowing players to trade certain amounts of coins for tickets to sweepstake games that carry cash prizes. Daily Fantasy Sports games are also legal in Iowa and are offered by major operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel – though they are not available through social casinos.
Edited by Steve Bittenbender
Steve Bittenbender covers Midwest news for Casino.org, specializing in sports betting and horse racing. He joined the Casino.org news team in 2019, and previously covered sports, business and politics at the Associated Press and the Louisville Courier-Journal. He continues to contribute to Reuters. Steve lives in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife and son. He is an avid poker player, having learned from his uncle as a kid.