Iowa Online Casinos

Generally, the states that constitute the USA have a clearly determined standpoint regarding the subject of online gambling in USA states. Basically, there are those who are openly in favor of expanding the market and welcome any innovation that comes their way, and these are also the states where online gambling found proper ground to develop. Then there are those that blatantly oppose any idea of wagering and have a hard time moving centimeters away from their conservative path. These, of course, consider the online expansion of the phenomenon a threat, rather than focusing on the good parts it brings along with it.

Iowa, however, is a mystery for the better part of specialists, as it doesn’t really fit in any of the two categories. For instance, many have thought it to become a pioneer, with great chances to see some definite Iowa online gambling laws in the very beginning of the expansion. This state has kept an open mind towards any form of wagering, trying its best to make any amendments necessary, so all those wishing to play for real money might find the suitable option, between the state’s boundaries.

Online gambling IA, however, despite some clear attempts at regulating it, never managed to find the support needed to make that much-awaited final step.

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Iowa Gambling Stage

Iowa gambling laws are some of the most extensive and comprehensive laws on the matter in the country. Legislators here have always received with quite the enthusiasm any form of gaming where money was involved, always including the latest discoveries and permanently adding to the list of legal gambling opportunities.

But for all the opportunities that law-makers were more than willing to put at gamblers’ disposal, in the purest American spirit, there is an equivalent set of punishments and sanctions put in place, in the absence of which, things could not take place in a civilized manner. The first oddity, where Iowa differs from the majority of US states, is that it makes no difference between players which engage in illicit gambling activities and the operators which perform these illegal actions. They are all possible of the same punishments.

There is a distinction which depends on the amount involved in the illegal betting, with thresholds at 100, 500 and 5000 USD, surpassing each of them meaning a more serious degree of illegal gambling, with a more severe reaction from the authorities. The nuance of this mention helps taking care of separation of sorts between operators and simple players, assuming operators naturally roll larger amounts. Unfortunately, the casinos’ favorite type of players, the high rollers, are also possible of heavier fines and more severe punishments.

After talking about the unpleasant part of the gambling regulations, we should take a look at what is actually allowed, in order to manage to make an opinion on the magnitude of this phenomenon in Iowa. If we take it back in history, we might also understand why there were such high expectations to see online casinos in Iowa state. The first venues to open all the way back in 1983 were horse and dog betting based. Afterward, following the lotteries trend, a state lottery appeared and then evolved to include the interstate versions available across the USA.

A new shock in the gambling market of IA came when riverboats casinos were authorized to open up shop in several counties across the state. All of a sudden, there were votes in various counties where people could make their opinion heard and those who wanted to play casino games actually had a shot at making it happen. The laws are quite focused on reflecting the will of the people, and as such, there is a stipulation in the gambling laws which states that periodically, a new vote is to take place and the people have the possibility to choose differently, should they feel gambling is no longer a good idea in their state. So far, all venues remained open. More so, typically, the votes score around a percentage of 80 in favor of maintaining the status quo. Such county referendums are also held to find out residents’ opinion on opening new establishments in their area. This only gets to show that the expansion in Iowa is far from reaching its conclusion.

The Latest Development in Iowa Gambling Laws

The beginning of 2019 came with an outstanding rumor: a bill reuniting the regulation of sports betting and daily fantasy sports came into the state’s Governor’s attention. It seemed like a too good to be true news, and those dreaming of Iowa online casinos kept their enthusiasm in check. However, come May, and the bill was voted and passed. It wasn’t the all-access, full-option bill everyone hoped for, but it allowed a whole lot more than before, becoming a stepping stone towards legalizing those online casinos.

This bill managed to clear some aspects and give the green light to other services, such as:

  • It allows gambling on both professional and college sports, and it stipulates the opening of sportsbooks across the state.
  • The bets allowed on college sports only refer to the games’ outcomes and not in-game aspects to be wagered on, just as a measure of avoiding any suspicious activities.
  • The gambling age remains 21 in this case, as well as in all the other options across the state.
  • Online betting on sports is also allowed, which might just be one of the greatest news this bill brings along. However, the only way players can involve themselves in online betting is if they visit a land-based casino first and prove they are of the required age.
  • Another thing in favor of online gambling is the permission of daily fantasy sports’ bets, an aspect where the laws clearly stated against.

The Present Iowa Online Gambling Market

No matter how encouraging the news, the latest 2019 bill has brought, the domain of online gambling, Iowa is still far away from achieving the potential it holds. Law-makers fear that giving the good-to-go sign for real money online slots and online poker might mean a lower attendance in the land-based casinos, which translates into lower revenues from the afferent consumption made by players from roulette, craps, poker, or baccarat tables. However, most of the 20 casino operators in Iowa don’t have the same view on the matter, and they lobby the implementation of online casinos, as they welcome the potential flux of clients that it is expected to bring along. For the time being, the state’s authorities decided to continue studying the effects this change had in the other states where it was set in place and postpone the decision-making.

Another troublesome aspect to take into account is the fact that this delay to create online state casinos, plays right into the strategy of the offshore-based websites, which already accept players from Iowa without fearing any repercussions. Iowa authorities should start their plan by answering the question: is Bovada legal in Iowa? Because, if so, the presence of such large online operators is definitely an alarm signal of the fact that these offshore sites are aiming at a large portion of the market shares.

Right now, before setting a functional system for the online sports betting, Iowa online gambling is represented mostly by online casinos set in jurisdictions across borders, this far away location allowing them to operate in the grey area, where they can’t be touched by the American restrictions. Finding the right online casino to play at is a simple task, especially in this age when information is just at a click of a button away.

Playing casino games on these online websites is risk-free, but some limitations do exist. For instance, there are some software providers who prefer not to get involved with sites accepting US players, given the fines some operators received in recent history. Real Time Gaming, however, remains a trusty operator and seeing how it also is one of the gamblers’ favorite, things aren’t as bad as they sound.

Another thing to take into account mentions the options used by these sites to deposit or withdraw money from the online account. Some means are safer than others but are also prone to transactions restrictions put in place by federal law. While it doesn’t make them illegal, it creates some frustrations as never knowing if it’s a simple delay, or refuse to finalize the operation. One approach to avoid such unpleasantries is to use fast money transfer services, MoneyGram, Western Union, of sorts, making it an option faster and safer, even than that of using bank cards.

Offline Options

There are plenty of alternatives for those who want to spend money and have a good time in Iowa. For instance, there are 20 Iowa state casinos, alongside three racinos, one covering horse racing and the other two based on dog races. All of them offer the possibility to play slot machines, but all the other games available in casinos.
In a state with such modern views on the subject, there is no wonder that lottery, charitable gambling in the form of bingo nights, raffles, or social gaming, are allowed. Social gambling even includes card games with small stakes. And added to that list of alternatives, since May, the possibility to bet on sports and daily fantasy sports.

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FAQ
Can you gamble online in Iowa?

The general answer would be that no, it’s illegal to gamble online, in the classic form of placing bets in online casino games. However, starting March 2019, the field of online gambling in Iowa received an unexpected boost, after the bill regulating online sports betting and wagering on daily fantasy sports, has passed.

Are casinos legal in Iowa?

The domain of gambling in IA is very ample, with many options being available to residents, land-based casinos being among them, alongside other alternatives. This openness towards embracing the latest developments of the gambling stage made people think that the state is going to be among the first to regulate online gambling, as well, but so far, Iowa online casinos are not an option.

How many casinos are in Iowa?

The list of casinos in Iowa is an extensive one, with 23 such establishments, including tribal, commercial and racinos. Most of the lobby the legalization of Iowa online gambling, making us feel positive that it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a reality

What's the gambling age in Iowa?

The legal gambling age in Iowa is of 21 years old, regardless of the way that players want to bet their cash on. This is a strict rule, seeing how if players want to bet online on sports, they first need to get inside a land-based casino, where they will prove they’re over 21, before being allowed to wager online.