The Best Gambling Experiences in Iowa

The state of Iowa moved quickly when it came to expanding the gambling options in the state after a major turn of events in 2018. Now, the state has a range of gaming options that include land-based casino gambling, horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering as well as sports betting. Our team of gambling experts have taken a look at what’s available in the state to make the best recommendations. Take some time to look into how we rate these casinos and what’s on offer in the great state of Iowa.

Gambling Laws and Regulations in Iowa

Iowa is no stranger to gambling and was also one of the first states to take advantage of the legalization of sports betting in the country. The federal law was amended in 2018, which gave all the country’s states the opportunity to legalize sports wagering. In 2019, Iowa made quick work of finalizing legislation to bring online and retail sportsbooks to the state. When it comes to casino gambling, there are tons of options available at one of the state’s land-based casinos, racetracks, bingo venues and retail locations for lotteries.

Online Gambling

The popularity of online sports betting shows that residents of Iowa are not averse to gambling online. However, there have been many issues cited which have delayed the legalization of online casino gambling in the state. Players in the state can also check the status of their lottery tickets with a lottery app, but still, need to purchase tickets at a retail location. As for real money online gambling, the only current option is online sports betting. To enjoy casino games online, residents and visitors in the state only have access to social casinos as well as sweepstakes casinos. According to statements from one of the online casino operators that are interested in the market in the state, there would be a push for online casino gaming in 2022 with hopes that the industry will be legalized and launched in 2023.

Gambling Taxes

Any winnings that are acquired through the different legal gambling options in the state of Iowa are considered taxable. However, there are different percentages depending on how much you have won and how you have won it. So, some advice that we could give is that you keep a record of your gambling activities in Iowa as there might be federal and state taxes that need to be paid when filing your tax return.


When it comes to regulating and upholding the golden standard of gambling in Iowa, it all depends on the type of gambling activity. Sports betting in both its forms, horse race betting, casino gambling and poker are overseen by the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission. The state’s lotteries are overseen by the Iowa Lottery. Finally, the bingo, social casino gaming and other skill-based gaming options are overseen by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals.

The Best Online Casinos in Iowa

There is no concrete information that has confirmed when or if online casino gambling will be legalized in Iowa. However, for players looking to enjoy some casino games online, there are social casinos that offer great entertainment. Keep in mind that there is no real money on the line or to be won at social casinos, but the games are the same as what you might find at an international online casino or at a land-based casino in the state. Here are some of the best social casinos that we reckon you should try.

300% up to $6,000
1-5 days Payout
Win Rate
100% + 100 Free Spins
1-7 Days Payout
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3-7 days Payout
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3-7 days Payout
96.18% Win Rate

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Reviewing and Rating The Best Casinos

When we compile our lists of the best gambling websites, we do it thoroughly and leave no stone left unturned. Our team takes great care when reviewing online casinos to ensure that you choose to play with the safest and most enjoyable online casinos out there. There are steps that are taken to ensure only the best of the best are presented to you and here are some of the most important factors that we believe can make or break the gambling experience.


Customer Support

Having support if something does go wrong during your gaming session is often overlooked. However, we take the time to find out how the customer support team can be reached and test these methods as well. Customer support should be professional and efficient to ensure that any issue is resolved as quickly as possible. A casino gets extra points if there is a well-organized FAQ section for players to go to if they need answers to common questions.

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Our team does a thorough background check on each online casino or social casino to find out about its origins and whether or not the website or brand can be trusted. We also find out if the latest encryption technology is being used to keep your personal information safe at all times. A deep dive is also conducted to find out if the social casino has a stamp of approval from major and well-known third-party auditors, which shows that the software is regularly tested.

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Payment Options

While you won’t need to fund your bankroll with cash, you may want to purchase gold coins to extend your gaming experiences. In these cases, there should be an extensive list of payment options available to players or at least a list of easily accessible and secure payment options to be used.

Bonuses and Promotions

The social casinos we review and recommend should have great welcome bonuses to attract new players. However, the casino will receive extra points if there are ongoing promotions, regular events or tournaments for players to enjoy. Another aspect we love to see is a loyalty or VIP program that rewards players for coming back to play.

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Collection of Games

We know that the casino gaming options on a social casino are not huge. However, the games that are offered, should be of good quality, have familiar titles and be provided by trusted software developers. The games featured should also have the same mechanics and odds that their real-money counterparts have. This is also where regular audits and testing come in, to rest assured that when you play, it is random and fair.

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Mobile Compatibility

Social casinos are known to be a convenient way to enjoy casino games on the go. That is the main reason why we want to see the best social casinos accessible on a range of mobile devices. The casinos should present well on a tablet or smartphone running on a range of different operating systems. If the casino has an app, we thoroughly check to see how well the app gaming experience compares to the desktop version of the website.

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Best Online Casinos in Detail

You may be familiar with some of the social casinos listed below. You may have seen them advertised on social media or heard of them from your friends. Here are some of the best social casinos that you can find in Iowa.

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Gold Fish Casino

A social casino that can be accessed through its dedicated app, from the website or even through your Facebook page. It is geared at people that love playing slots with about 120 of the best online slots. These games are provided by some of the best software developers in the gambling industry.

My Jackpot com casino logo


A social casino that is extremely popular in Europe and now in Iowa as well. Players can expect to find a great selection of online slots as well as table games. There is something for any type of casino game player and the casino can be accessed through a dedicated social casino app.

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This social casino is home to some of the best online slots out there. Players can also enjoy some popular table games. There is a lot to enjoy at this social casino and it also has a very generous welcome bonus to draw you in and take advantage of.

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Big Fish Casino

This social casino comes fully packed with a selection of the most popular table games and online slots for you to enjoy. Getting onto and playing games with this social casino is easy and can be done from the app, on your Facebook page or the website.

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This social casino is a front runner when it comes to the software used to power its platform. The gaming experience is like no other and has approximately 200 online slots to enjoy. New games are regularly added to the casino to keep things fresh and titles are usually exclusive to Slotomania.

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It is slightly different to other social casinos given that the games are based on popular board games or TV shows. Another major difference is that the games can be played against a variety of opponents ranging from friends to strangers around the world and there is even a possibility of winning real-money prizes.

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Gambino Slots

A well-known social casino in the US that offers players a great selection of over 200 online slots to take advantage of. The brand has gained popularity due to its high-quality overall gaming experience that can be enjoyed on desktop or mobile.

Gambling Games in Iowa

Even without real money online casinos, there are still tons of gambling options to enjoy in Iowa. Here is a look at the gambling opportunities you will have if you find yourself in the state.

Land-Based Casinos

There are about 23 land-based casinos located in Iowa. So, if it’s casino games you’re looking for then Iowa is where you will find it. Here are some of the best land-based casinos that we would recommend you try.

  • Prairie Meadows landbased

    Prairie Meadows

    This is a racino that is home to, of course, a racetrack, more than 40 gaming tables, several poker tables and approximately 1,700 slot machines. The size of the casino floor makes it one of the largest casinos in the state and is located in Des Moines, Iowa.

    Address: 1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Des Moines, IA 50009, USA
    Contact: +1 515-967-1000
    Play Now
  • Ameristar Council Bluffs landbased

    Ameristar Council Bluffs

    Home to over 1,500 slot machines, you wouldn’t say that this is a riverboat casino. This casino also has a great selection of table games and is the only riverboat casino left in the state.

    Address: 2200 River Road, Council Bluffs, IA 51501, USA
    Contact: +1 712-328-8888
    Play Now
  • Catfish Bend Casino landbased

    Catfish Bend Casino

    Comfort and entertainment are what this casino is all about. You can enjoy the great dining options as well as poker, 20 gaming tables and a selection of 600 slot machines. The games are great and the entertainment is even better along with retail sports betting in this casino located in Burlington, Iowa.

    Address: 3001 Winegard Drive, Burlington, IA 52601, USA
    Contact: +1 319-753-2946
  • Horseshoe Casino landbased

    Horseshoe Casino

    Some consider this to be one of the best casinos in Iowa with approximately 1,400 slot machines to choose from. Guests can also enjoy retail sports betting, a dedicated poker room with about 20 poker tables. There are more than 50 table games to choose from as well.

    Address: 2701 23rd Avenue, Council Bluffs, IA 51501, USA
    Contact: +1 712-323-2500
    Play Now
  • Q Casino & Hotel landbased

    Q Casino & Hotel

    This casino has it all with its great restaurants, sports bar and on-site sportsbook for you to enjoy. Additionally, this gaming location in Dubuque, Iowa is also home to a greyhound racetrack. The casino floor is packed with several table games, a poker room and more than 800 slot machines to play.

    Address: 1855 Greyhound Park Road, Dubuque, IA 52001, USA
    Contact: +1 563-582-3647
    Play Now
  • Rhythm City Casino Resort landbased

    Rhythm City Casino Resort

    If a vacation and casino action is what you’re after, this is the place for you. Enjoy what the resort has to offer along with a casino floor that has poker tables, several gaming tables and over 800 slot machines to enjoy.

    Address: 7077 Elmore Avenue, Davenport, IA 52807, USA
    Contact: +1 563-328-8000
    Play Now

Responsible Gambling in Iowa

Casinos in the state take responsible gambling seriously and even offer self-exclusion programs for people that are struggling to manage their gambling habits. Gambling should always be enjoyed and never be a stressful activity that leads to negative outcomes. Here are a few resources to use if you or someone you know has been affected by gambling addiction.

Temple Nile Casino Logo
C$ 500
3 days
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