Iowa Casinos and Gambling

Short Summary: Iowa is extremely liberal when it comes to gambling laws.  The charitable gambling regulations are mostly reasonable, the state has a lottery and the casinos can offer whatever they like provided they are located in the water and close for at least two of every 24 hours.  There has been an exception made for one land casino, thus far, as well as one tribal casino. The only common forms of gambling not specifically legalized and regulated in the state are online gambling as well as sports betting. 

The state of Iowa is another one whose gambling laws are amongst the most liberal in the entire country. They essentially have every form of gambling you could ever want all in one place. The only forms of gambling not yet explicitly legalized and regulated are sports betting as well as online gaming. There was a sports betting bill introduced in January 2018, but it died a legislative death. Not that they didn’t want to pass it, or anything, they just couldn’t iron out the particulars of the bill. That measure might have included the ability to bet online.

The following forms of gambling have been legalized and regulated:

  • Lottery
  • Pari-Mutuel (Horses and Greyhounds, LIve and Simulcast)
  • Charitable
  • Commercial Casinos
  • Tribal Casinos

The state has a number of casinos of all types of sizes which includes both those who fall under the state’s regulatory purview directly, and those who are regulated by Tribal Compact between the tribe in question and the State of Iowa. Again, we expect the Hawkeye State to have legalized sports betting sooner rather than later.

The lottery is linked to the multi-state lottery system, thereby enabling lottery retailers within the state to offer games such as Powerball and Mega Millions.

Charitable Gaming laws are pretty reasonable with no taxes on revenues to speak of, however, they do have a unique license fee structure where license costs depend on what kind of games you wish to offer, where you wish to offer them and how many days of the year you wish to offer such games. Aside from that, it seems like the state would be pretty easy to get along with in that regard.

When it comes to the racetracks and live racing handle, the state cuts out 6% of the gross sum wagered, which makes that one of the highest state takes in the racing industry. There are some states in which this figure is as low as 2% of the profits. The state does not appear to be able to enforce any taxes on the tribes since the state themselves offers casinos.

Unfortunately, this is one of only six states in which greyhound racing still operates.

Legality Of Online Gaming In Iowa

The first thing to establish is that any form of gambling not specifically legalized and regulated by the state is illegal, per the code, which reads as follows:

725.7 Gaming and betting — penalty.

1. Except as permitted in chapters 99B [bingo] and 99D [racetracks], a person shall not do any of the following:

Participate in a game for any sum of money or other property of any value.
Make any bet.
For a fee, directly or indirectly, give or accept anything of value to be wagered or to be transmitted or delivered for a wager to be placed within or without the state of Iowa.
For a fee, deliver anything of value which has been received outside the enclosure of a racetrack licensed under chapter 99D to be placed as wagers in the pari-mutuel pool or other authorized systems of wagering.
Engage in bookmaking.

As you can see, this targets mere players as they would be participating. Beyond that, the law is pretty specific about what penalties shall befall operators and players alike:

A person who violates this section is guilty of the following:

a. Illegal gaming in the fourth degree if the sum of money or value of other property involved does not exceed one hundred dollars. Illegal gaming in the fourth degree constitutes the following:

A serious misdemeanor for a first offense.
An aggravated misdemeanor for a second offense.
A class “D” felony for a third offense.
A class “C” felony for a fourth or subsequent offense.
b. Illegal gaming in the third degree if the sum of money or value of other property involved exceeds one hundred dollars but does not exceed five hundred dollars. Illegal gaming in the third degree constitutes the following:

An aggravated misdemeanor for a first offense.
A class “D” felony for a second offense.
A class “C” felony for a third or subsequent offense.
c. Illegal gaming in the second degree if the sum of money or value of other property involved exceeds five hundred dollars but does not exceed five thousand dollars. Illegal gaming in the second degree constitutes the following:

A class “D” felony for a first offense.
A class “C” felony for a second or subsequent offense.
d. Illegal gaming in the first degree if the sum of money or value of other property involved exceeds five thousand dollars. Illegal gaming in the first degree constitutes a class “C” felony.

Again, this sort of wording is not terribly unusual for a state whose financial interests depend largely upon gambling and taxation of gambling revenues. As a practical matter, we could find no instance of any player gambling online from home getting in any trouble whatsoever, and we would be shocked if we were to ever uncover such a thing.

There have been busts for illegal gambling in the state that we did discover, but those all had to do with gambling in a physical location with one such bust involving a dice game and another involving a poker game.

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Land Casinos In Iowa

Ameristar Council Bluffs

Located, unsurprisingly, in Council Bluffs, IA, this is perhaps one of the larger and better-known casinos in the state. With over 160 rooms, of which forty are suites, this offers plenty of accommodations for you and can easily hold your conference, event or wedding. This casino, while owned by Penn National Gaming is linked with the Your Choice players club rewards program as opposed to Marquee Rewards.

The casino features over 1,500 slot machines and video poker games as well as dozens of table games including Blackjack, CrapsRoulette and Baccarat. This casino is about on par with some of the larger casinos in nearby Illinois and Indiana. They also have a high-limit room consisting of 51 slot machines and five table games.

They have seven total eateries, which includes the buffet. There is one steakhouse and the rest of the eateries are either casual food or quick bites. Either way, you shouldn’t have a problem finding whatever it is you are looking for if you’re just there for an overnight or for a weekend.

There is a pool and fitness room, and while it is a nice-enough property, it definitely falls sort of being a resort, but it knows what it is and never claimed to be anything else. It’s a decent little place to spend a weekend if you live within a reasonable driving distance.

Blackbird Bend Casino

The Blackbird Bend Casino is located in Onawa, Iowa and is operated by the Blackbird Bend Corporation, owned by the Omaha Tribe of Indians.

This is a much smaller scale casino than most and basically serves as a hangout for people around the area. On weekdays, they are actually only open from 8:00a.m.-2:00p.m. despite there being no law in place that says they have to close. They are open for 24 hours on weekends, and table games are only open from noon-eight during the week.

Their one eatery, the Upstream Cafe, features breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their website doesn’t give a count on table games, slot machines or even suggest what table games they might have, so if they’re not going to worry about that, neither will I.

Catfish Bend Casino

The Catfish Bend Casino, located in Burlington, Iowa, and it is owned by Great River Entertainment—a partnership of Kehl Development and investors within the state. At 51%, Kehl Development has a controlling interest in the casino. Kehl Development was started by Robert and Ruth Kehl, who were instrumental in getting gambling into Iowa, you can read more about that here.

Catfish Bend features live poker as well as a collection of over 600 combined video poker and slot machine offerings. For such a small casino, they are known to stay pretty on top of new things coming out, so they are constantly taking older machines out and putting newer ones in.

Table Games are offered daily from 9:00a.m. until the very early morning hours and consist of Blackjack, Mississippi Stud, Match Em Hi-LO, Free Bet Blackjack, Multi-Hand Blackjack (an exclusive) Spanish 21, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, Craps, Four Card Poker and  Pai-Gow Poker. This is really quite an expansive offering for a casino of this size, so if you enjoy or want to try out one of the less common games, we strongly recommend calling ahead to say what days and times it is usually open. Other than that, this casino really does have a few games that are going to be tough to find anywhere else.

The casino’s hotel consists of forty suites and complimentary breakfast, interestingly enough, a patron has to be 21+ to even stay in the hotel. Catfish Bend is part of an overall resort area, so there is plenty to do with the kids in the general area and they offer all of this information on their website.

There is golf as well as spas, arcades and apparently, indoor/outdoor water parks. While you have to be 21 to stay at the actual Catfish Bend Casino Hotel, this seems like a great area to visit and take the family to. There are several dining options throughout the area including multiple casual locations as well as a Panera Bread.

The Diamond Jo Casino Fort Worth

This casino is located in Fort Worth, Iowa and is a Boyd Gaming property making it part of the BConnected Players Club program. It features a number of slot machines, table games and comes with a poker room.

Table games featured are Craps, Blackjack, Three-Card Poker, Roulette, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em and Mississippi Stud, among others. They have four dining options, including a Burger King.

Diamond Jo Casino Dubuque

This casino has a lucky number of slots, 777, and 17 table games and is located in Dubuque, Iowa. This casino is also owned by Boyd Gaming and is part of the BConnected players club family of casinos. Among the table games offered on this property are Big Raise Hold ’em, Blackjack, Craps, Four card poker, Let It Ride, Roulette, Texas Hold ’em, and Three card poker. Big Raise Hold ‘Em sounds pretty unique, it’s definitely not one I have run across before.

As always, if you wish to play any of the less typical games, we would recommend calling ahead to determine what hours they may operate so that you don’t go there for nothing. There are also three eating establishments consisting of a diner, a cafe and a steakhouse.

There are also a few shops and a bowling alley located within this property.

The Grand Falls Casino

The Grand Falls Casino is located in Larchwood, Iowa and is another casino owned and operated by Iowa residents in collaboration with Kehl development. This casino sits on the South Dakota border, so it exists as much to serve its own residents as well as those of Iowa. Referring to itself as a, “Vegas-inspired,” casino, its lead as a resort is that it has a world-class golf course, so there you go.

The hotel side of things has regular rooms as well as deluxe suites. Outdoor pool and hot tub is available seasonally while an indoor pool and indoor hot tub are available year-round. The amenities and hotel itself would be roughly the equivalent of a fairly nice limited-service chain hotel. Maybe something akin to a Hampton Inn, or something like that.

The casino boasts over 750 gaming machines inclusive to slots, video keno and video poker. In terms of table games, the website is actually kind enough to list precisely what they have:

  • 16 Blackjack tables
  • 1 Pai Gow Poker
  • 2 Mississippi Stud Poker
  • 2 Craps tables
  • 3 Roulette tables
  • 1 Ultimate Texas Hold ‘em
  • 1 Free Bet Blackjack
  • 1 Twenty-One + 3 Blackjack
  • Poker room with 8 poker tables

Those are all pretty standard games with exception to the slowly (and unfortunately) dying out Pai-Gow Poker and Free Bet Blackjack which has placements here and there. Those tables might not be open all hours, so we would recommend calling and seeing when they operate if those are the games that you are looking for.

In terms of dining, there is a buffet, a cafe and a steak and seafood place called Ruthie’s, which might be meant to make one think of Ruth’s Chris, or something along those lines.

Guests interested in the spa will want to keep in mind that it is closed on Mondays.

Hard Rock Sioux City

The Hard Rock Sioux City is located in the city of the same name and became embroiled in controversy right off of the bat. The Iowa Gaming Commission had decided to revoke the license of Penn National Gaming owned Argosy Casino (which prompted a lawsuit) and the Hard Rock Sioux City just happened to be coming in at right about the same time, imagine that.

The Hard Rock features a hotel with both regular rooms and deluxe suites. For those who like to stay fit, even while relaxing, the fitness center at this hotel is open 24/7. The casino consists of 883 slots as well as 28 table games. Dining consists of a steakhouse, a casual restaurant and a buffet. Unfortunately, this is not the place to stay in the Winter if you absolutely must have a pool, the pool is outdoors and, as such, is only opened seasonally.

Table Games include Blackjack, Criss Cross Poker, Craps, Roulette, Face-Up Pai Gow Poker, Mississippi Stud and Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em. Face-Up Pai-Gow Poker is an interesting concept, but in my opinion, it grows pretty repetitive after about fifty hands, or so. If you are interested in playing that or any of the less common games, you probably want to call the property to determine what days and time they might be open.

Harrah’s Council Bluffs and Horseshoe Council Bluffs

These casinos are both owned by Caesars Entertainment, they’re both in Council Bluffs and they are both part of the Total Rewards Players Club program, so who cares, let’s list them together.

Harrah’s consists of a hotel, 500 slot machines and table games which include Blackjack, Craps, Mississippi Stud, High-Card Flush, Pai-Gow Poker, Roulette and Three-Card Poker. It seems that they do not have a poker room at this location. There is one upscale restaurant, one casual restaurant and also a buffet. CET blueprint, standard, cut-and-copy casino, have fun.

Horseshoe Council Bluffs is kind of like Harrah’s Council Bluffs, except the building says, “Horseshoe,” on it, instead. This casino does not have its own hotel, though there is a walkway linking it to the Hilton Garden Inn. If it were my website and you were coming in from out of town, I would try to direct you to Harrah’s which does have a hotel and is owned by me, but what do I know? This is the larger of the two casinos featuring 1,600 machines as well as a poker room.

Table Games featured are Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Pai-Gow Poker, Mini-Baccarat, Mississippi Stud, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em and Criss Cross Poker. As always, we recommend calling ahead and seeing when you can expect the less common table games to be open if you are planning on playing those.

This cookie cutter CET cardboard casino also has a casual cafe, upscale restaurant and a buffet. Just like the other one, isn’t that surprising?

They should just abandon all pretense and make both casinos the same colors, they already use the same pictures for each of the websites, so why not?

Isle of Capri Bettendorf

I need to visit this Isle of Capri Casino just so that I can make the #DadJoke, “Bettin’ in Bettendorf.” Man, that’s lame.

This is another property owned and operated by the ever-growing El Dorado Gaming and features a hotel with an indoor pool. Aside from that, there are over 1,000 slot machines on this property as well as dozen of table games.

They also use the phrase, “Non-Stop Action,” and then state that some blackout dates may apply on table games. I’m not sure how that doesn’t constitute a stoppage of the action, but apparently, that doesn’t count. The action hasn’t stopped, it has merely paused. The stopping non-stop table games that may or may not be open include: EZ Baccarat, Blackjack, Craps, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, Roulette, Three-Card Poker, Pai-Gow Poker and Mississippi Stud.

I will give this casino credit for allowing up to 50x Odds on Craps, for up to $5,000 ($100 base bet) as of the time of this writing and advertised here.

That’s fairly liberal, so credit where it is due.

Buffet, check. Steakhouse/Grill, check. Casual restaurant, check.

Isle of Capri Waterloo

Located in Cedar Falls, Iowa, this Isle of Capri Casino is another one that is owned and operated by El Dorado Gaming. They have guest rooms ranging from smallish (less than 400 square feet) standard rooms all the way up to deluxe suites. Hotel amenities include an indoor pool and hot tub as well as a fitness center.

The property features almost 1,000 slot and video poker machines as well as 25 table games which include Blackjack, Craps, E-Roulette, Heads Up Hold ‘Em, Cajun Stud, Match ‘Em High Low, Commission-Free Baccarat. If you enjoy or wish to try any of the less common games, then you might want to call ahead and see when they are usually open. This is probably one of the only Cajun Stud games in the entire state.

They have a buffet, a casual place, a steakhouse and a bakery.

Wait, a bakery? Something semi-unique? Chain casinos aren’t allowed to have unique stuff.

Casino Queen Marquette

Formerly the Lady Luck Marquette, this casino was sold and rebranded as the Casino Queen. Casino Queen owns both this property as well as the property of the same name in East St. Louis, Illinois. Isn’t that refreshing? A casino company that owns fewer than twenty places? Neat!

The casino features over 500 machines and is open from 9:00a.m.-2:00a.m. through the week as well as 24 hours on Friday and Saturday. The casino also offers table games duing certain hours four days per week.

Table Games include Blackjack, Mississippi Stud, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, Electronic Roulette and Shoot-to-Win Craps. Dining options include a buffet, deli and casual restaurant.

Lakeside Casino Hotel

Located in Osceola, Iowa, the Lakeside Casino Hotel is owned by a little casino company called Affinity Gaming who owns eleven total properties and specializes in smallish casinos across the midwest and west. They own a few properties in Nevada, as well.

The hotel consists of 150 rooms and suites and they are built to handle events, weddings and meetings within a reasonable size. Amenities include an indoor pool, hot tub, fitness center as well as an outdoor theater open seasonally. For those travelling by RV, this property also features a large and easily accessible RV park.

The property features over 600 machines ranging in denomination from $0.01 to $25 as well as table games that include blackjack and craps. Dining consists of a buffet and a casual restaurant.

Meskwaki Casino

Located in Tama, IA, this casino is owned Meskwaki Tribe and boasts a spa and salon along with their hotel, as well as an indoor pool and fitness center. In addition to that, this property operates a large Bingo Center, so large, in fact, that it is separately located and there is a shuttle that runs from the hotel to bingo.

They have a live poker room consisting of ten tables as well as nine table games including Blackjack, Bad Beat Baccarat, Craps, Pai Gow Poker, Match ‘Em Hi Lo, Roulette, Cajun Stud, Criss Cross Poker and Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em. Less common table games may not operate during the entire time that games such as Blackjack do, so you may want to call ahead to find out what time your game of choice generally operates. They have more than 1,350 slot and video poker machines as well as live keno and a racebook.

They have a buffet, proper grill and a grill and taproom as well as a couple of grab and go locations throughout.

Prairie Meadows Casino

Located in Altoona, Iowa, Prairie Meadows is a racetrack and racino consisting of over 1,700 slots and video poker tables as well as live poker and table games. Table Games include Xtreme Blackjack, Blackjack that is not as Extreme, Roulette, Craps, Pai-Gow Poker, Three-Card Poker, Mini-Baccarat, Mississippi Stud, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, Deuces Wild Joker Poker, and face up Pai-Gow Poker. We always recommend calling ahead to find out the hours the less common games run if that is your fancy or if you are looking to give them a try. They also have a Big Six Wheel.

The poker room is open 24/7 according to their website, which is believable because they are one of the largest gambling operations in Iowa.

Interestingly, the casino is owned by Polk County, Iowa and ran by a committee.

They have a steakhouse, cafe, buffet, quick eats place as well as one other casual restaurant.

The Q Casino

This is a combination casino and greyhound racing track that is owned by the City of Dubuque, Iowa and operated by the Dubuque Racing Commission. The hotel is an attached hotel that is a Hilton Garden Inn.

The property boasts nearly 1,000 slot machines with denominations as high as $25.

They have Electronic Roulette, Zombie Blackjack (whatever the hell that means), Deuces and Joker Wild Stud Poker, Face Up Pai-Gow Poker, Blackjack (Zombie-free), Roulette, Craps, Mississippi Stud, Free Bet Blackjack, Mississippi Stud, Crazy 4 Poker and Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em. If you like any of the games on this list that are less common, then we recommend calling ahead and seeing if your game of choice is available.

Players will want to be mindful of the fact that the poker room is only open during certain hours and is closed completely on Monday and Tuesday.

For dining, this casino features a sports bar, a country kitchen and a Houlihan’s.

It’s the opinion of this author, though it may not reflect the views of this site, its ownership, affiliates or any subsidiaries, that Houlihan’s is friggin’ awesome. Try the stuffed mushrooms.

Rhythm City Casino Resort

Rhythm City Casino Resort is located in Davenport, Iowa and is owned by Kehl Developments, who acquired it from Isle of Capri prior to El Dorado buying out Isle of Capri outright. The property features a sizable hotel with an indoor pool and hot tub, a spa, fitness center and three restaurants including a buffet, a casual place and Ruthie’s Steakhouse and Seafood.

Robert Kehl is the founder of Kehl Developments and his wife was named Ruth, so that is the name of the Steakhouse. I think that’s sweet, laugh at me if you want. They have a combined 1,000 slot and video poker games and are kind enough to list all the table game counts on their website, so here they are:

  • 2 Craps Tables
  • 2 Roulette Wheels
  • 1 Pai Gow Poker Face Up
  • 1 Three-card Poker
  • 1 Ultimate Texas Hold’em
  • 1 Mississippi Stud
  • 4 Tri Lux Blackjack
  • 7 Blackjack Tables
  • 6 Poker
  • 1 High Card Flush
  • 1 Electronic Roulette
  • 1 Electronic Blackjack Table

Riverside Casino & Golf Resort

Located in Riverside, this casino and resort also has a golf course, so this is quite the effective name, don’t you think? This property is owned and operated by WCCR, which stands for Washington County Casinos and Resorts and is part of the Washington County Casino Foundation. Long story short, it’s owned by the county.

In addition to the golf, this property has an indoor/outdoor pool as well as a spa on the property. The golf course is championship level and is designed by Rees Jones, who has designed a number of championship level golf courses across the country.

The casino features over 900 slot and video poker machines as well as a wide variety of table games including Blackjack, Pai-Gow Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, Heads Up Hold ‘Em, Craps and Roulette. They also have a live poker room with fourteen tables.

They have a Ruthie’s Steak and Seafood, a buffet and an area for grab and go food.

Wild Rose Casinos and Resorts

There are three properties in the state under the Wild Rose moniker and they are located in Clinton, Emmetsburg and Jefferson, Iowa.

The Wild Rose in Clinton has sixty guest rooms, live and simulcast racing and the following table games:

  • 2-Buster Blackjacks
  • 2-Blackjack
  • 1-Ultimate Hold’em
  • 1-Craps
  • 1-Let It Ride Three Card Bonus Poker
  • 1-Mississippi Stud
  • 1-Double Deck (upon request)
  • 1-Bonus Spin Blackjack

They have slots, but don’t care to list the count on their website, so neither will I. They have a buffet, a steakhouse and a casual restaurant.

The Wild Rose Emmetsburg has an RV Park as well as 63 standard rooms and seven suites. They have the following table games from 11:00a.m.-2:00a.m., but it is 3:00a.m. on the weekends. Specific games will usually vary by day of the week and time of day.

  • Blackjack
  • Mississippi Stud
  • Ultimate Texas Hold ‘em
  • Craps
  • Vegas Star Live Roulette
  • Table Master Fusion Blackjack
  • Commission Free Fortune Pai Gow

The property features a buffet, an Irish Pub as well as a casual restaurant. This property is capable of hosting receptions and banquets with little problem.

Finally, the Wild Rose Jefferson has a combined 74 rooms and suites for its guests. It has a casual restaurant as well as a cafe and features slots and blackjack. They don’t give too much other detail about it on the site.

WinnaVegas Casino Resort

WinnaVegas (ahem) is located in Sloan Iowa and is a smallish resort consisting of a hotel with a number of amenities for all travellers including a pool, arcade and fitness area. The property is owned by the Winnebago Tribe, so the source of the name should be pretty obvious here.

The casino features 850 slot machines as well as table games, poker and bingo. They have ten total tables including Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Pai-Gow Poker and Mississippi Stud. Dining consists of a buffet and a cafe. For the kids and those uninterested in gambling, there is a video game lounge and golf simulator. Hell, I AM interested in gambling, and you’d probably find me in the golf simulator the whole time.

Pari-Mutuel Racing in Iowa

Both horse and greyhound racing are available in Iowa, and facilities also offer slots and other games that qualify them as racinos. Even when races aren’t being held, customers can still come in 24 hours a day and take part in the other games of chance.

  • Horseshoe Council Bluffs – This dog racing track also has more than 80 poker and gaming tables, as well as over 1,600 slots and video poker machines.
  • Mystique Casino – This racino holds greyhound and thoroughbred racing, as well as almost 1,000 gaming machines and 23 poker and table games.
  • Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino – The centerpiece of this establishment is a one-mile dirt track where thoroughbred and quarter horse races are held. Fifty-one table and poker games are also available, as well as almost 2,000 slot and video poker machines.

For those who prefer to watch the races in a climate-controlled environment, there’s also the option of off-track betting. Gamblers can watch the races live on a number of monitors, with a betting window just a few steps away. These facilities are available in the following cities:

  • Altoona
  • Bettendorf
  • Burlington
  • Clinton
  • Council Bluffs
  • Davenport
  • Dubuque
  • Emmetsburg
  • Fort Madison
  • Marquette
  • Osceola
  • Riverside
  • Sioux City
  • Iowa Indian Casino

Thanks to the tribal compacts signed between the state and various Native American tribes, Iowa has a few Indian casinos to choose from. As of this writing, the following establishments are in operation:

  • Casino Omaha
  • Meskwaki Bingo Casino & Hotel
  • Terrible’s Lakeside Casino & Resort
  • Winna Vegas Casino
  • Blackbird Bend Casino

As with all other casinos in the state, patrons must be at least 21-years-old to gamble.

Owning a Slot Machine in Iowa

According to IA Code 725.9, a resident of Iowa can legally own a slot machine as long as it was manufactured at least 25 years earlier. This qualifies it as an antique and means that it should pose no threat to the modern-day devices offered by state casinos. The machines are only meant to be displayed and operated at home, however, and using them to make a profit is expressly prohibited.

Lottery in Iowa

The first lottery drawing in Iowa took place in 1985, and it’s been going strong ever since. Over 2,500 locations sell lottery, pull-tab, and scratch-off tickets throughout the state, and over $2.2 billion in prize money has been paid out. While most states only require a customer to be 18 in order to buy a lottery ticket, Iowa became the first state to raise the limit to 21.

Conclusion and Prognosis

With exception to sports betting and legalized and regulated online gambling, Iowa is as liberal as you please when it comes to gambling, so most residents should be able to find what they want and it shouldn’t be terribly far from where they are. In addition to the racetracks, there do not seem to be any time restrictions in the state for when casinos can be open and there do not appear to be any game restrictions on table games. You might have to hunt around a bit to find live bingo or a specific table game, but it’s in the state somewhere.

Other than the more expansive resorts, one unfortunate fact is that the majority of these casinos are the same in size, scope and offerings; particularly so in the Council Bluffs area. It is the casinos scattered elsewhere throughout the state and not owned by the major national players that would hold the most interest for me and have some prayer of offering a unique experience.

If you wish to play online, you should run into no problems even though the state has not regulated their own online gaming yet.

We expect the state to get a sports betting bill through in three years or less considering they are so liberal on other things related to gambling. It probably would have already happened had the Legislature been able to hammer out the particulars. Aside from that, we think that the state will eventually regulate online gambling, but it’s tough to put a timetable on that. We think it will follow several other states doing it, so we’ll just have to see how it goes.

References