Casinos in Iowa

Home » Iowa Casinos

Bonnie Evans | May 27, 2022 | Updated on: February 13th, 2024

Gamblers will be happy to know that casinos in Iowa offer an excellent range of casino games. Very few gambling forms are illegal in the state, leaving gamblers with ample choices. The state’s gambling industry accommodates casino game lovers, sports fans and horse racing fanatics. The state may not regard their casinos as key points visitors have to visit. However, casinos in Iowa are responsible for bringing in billions of dollars in revenue, making it one of the most lucrative businesses in the state.

Casinos in Iowa USAThe state is known for its rich outdoor scenery and scenic byways. Tourists or residents of the state can spend time visiting historic spots or learning more about wine at some of the coolest wineries. Once you have done some sightseeing, Iowa has a number of American casinos that you can visit. The state still has a riverboat that overlooks the Mississippi River and if you are one to get seasick, not to worry. Iowa has several casinos that are further away from the water. For all the info you need on gambling in Iowa and a list of casinos in Iowa, read our guide for more.

Iowa’s Top Casino Sites

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Gambling Laws in Iowa

There are serval forms of gambling that are legal in Iowa. These range from bingo, raffles and the lottery right through to slots, blackjack, roulette poker and o much more. Gamblers in Iowa can also enjoy social gaming as long as they are playing at licensed establishments. The gambling ages in Iowa range from 18 to 21 and over defending in the venue.

Web-based gambling is yet to be discussed by Iowa lawmakers. Nowhere does it state that gambling on the internet is illegal — bills to regulate internet gambling in the state where posed three years in a row and failed. Players are advised to gamble at offshore casino sites to0 avoid getting prosecuted.

The professional and amateur sports protection act of 1992, also known as the PASPA or Bradley Act, is the reason why sports betting in Iowa was illegal. The legalization of sports betting in Iowa happened shortly after the act was overturned. The law includes amendments made on the existing Gambling Games regulation. The bill also allows standing casinos in Iowa to pertain for a sports betting license.

Gambling Legislation Timeline

Gambling in the 1900s

The 19th century saw Iowa allow pari-mutuel dog and horse racing. The permit also saw Iowa appoint the first Racing Commission in the state. The state lottery was set up two years later. Players were then allowed to place simulcast wagering which allowed to place bets on horses in other states. The century also saw three tribal casinos, and the first riverboat in the state begin operations. Lawmakers allow casinos to offer 24-hour gambling.

Gambling in the 2000s

Gambling was legalized in the 2000s along with daily fantasy games in the state. Sports betting is also legalized with eight casinos set to launch in 2019 Four cities in Iowa approve gambling referendums

Gambling in Iowa

Regulatory Bodies in Iowa

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission regulates all casinos in the state. The commission administrates laws. Licenses and rules on pari-mutuel wagering.

The Iowa lottery board oversees the lottery and all its operations. The board consists of five members, and on the board, there has to have a member who is practicing law, marketing, accounting and has law enforcement experiences.

Problem gamblers in Iowa can get in touch with the Iowa Racing and gaming commission for their self-exclusion program.

Best Land Based Casinos in Iowa

Iowa recently permitted sportsbooks in which some of the casinos are already opening sporting parlours on their premises. If you are a table games lover or slot fanatic, here are the top five casinos in Iowa that you should visit.

  1. Prairie Meadows-Altoona is the biggest casino in the state of Iowa. The casino has over 2000 gaming machines, table games and poker tables. When you aren’t betting away at various blackjack tables, you can dine at any of the six eateries at the casino. With all-round entertainment, a hotel and a sportsbook, it is no wonder why the casino is one of the best in the state. Prairie Meadows is the only casino in Altoona Iowa. Address: 1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona, Iowa.
  2. Ameristar Casino Hotel Council Bluffs is open for 24 hours a day giving gamblers a chance to bet whenever they want. The 38000 square feet casino doesn’t have a ton of amenities; however, the casino has over 1500 slots, sportsbooks and table games. Whether you are craving for seafood or a good ol’ stake, the gambling establishment has six restaurants that cater for all foodies. Address: 2200 River Road, Council Bluffs, IA 51501
  3. Diamond Jo Casino Dubuque is not just a casino by an entertainment hub. The casino is not too far from the Mississippi River and has about 9000 gaming machines and table games. There are four restaurants and a bar on the casino property. Diamond Jo is one of the casinos in Iowa with hotels. Address: Diamond Jo, 301 Bell Street, Dubuque, Iowa.
  4. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City is a 30 000 square feet casino where all the cool rock star gamblers want to be. The casino offers over 8000 gaming machines and table games. The establishment is complete with a bar, restaurants and nightlife venues. Address: 111 West 3rd Street, Sioux City, Iowa.
  5. Blackbird Bend Casino offers players the over 300 of the hottest slots, table games and is complete with a poker room. The Native American casino only has one restaurant and often hosts events in its entertainment centre. Address: 17214 210th Street, Onawa, Iowa.

State Casino Stats

Dubuque is the only city in Iowa with more than one casino. The city has three casinos while all the other casinos are spread across the state. The casinos in the state are Native American owned casinos, commercial casinos and a riverboat.

Number of regulated casinos22
Number of Horse Tracks2
Number of Table Games459
Number of Slots20 800
Number of Poker Tables93


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