Iowa is one of the US states that has had an extremely conservative beginning with its gambling laws but is now considered a more progressive State that now allows for a wide range of gambling – land based casinos, riverboat casinos, racetracks and charitable games. Some limited betting options are also allowed through online casino sites.
Although strictly regulated by the state, the various gambling establishments have been improving and growing in popularity since the early 1970s. When the laws first passed to allow charitable gambling in Iowa, it quickly paved the way to expand gambling options to allow several casinos and racinos to be established throughout the state. Since then, the next logical step would be to expand into the online gambling market, and unlike many other states, they have been making headway into it.
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Is Online Gambling Legal in Iowa?
As with most states in the US, the laws and regulations of online gambling are unclear in some aspects. State law implies that online casino operators are prohibited to be based within the state. On the other hand, as a player, there are no explicit laws either permit or prohibit placing bets on casino-style games online. There are no laws to stop players from joining and gambling at offshore sites.
At the moment, Iowa has legalized online daily fantasy sports and games of skill, with some sites even offering the opportunity to place a bet on sports online. The State has yet raised and pass an amendment to the current gambling law to declare online gambling as legal and to subsequently regulate onshore online casinos.
Differences Between Land Based Casinos and Online Casinos
Lots of players who love to gamble will have their preference for where they like to experience the fun and entertainment, but since online casino gambling is still very new, it helps to see what the differences are.
Land Based Casinos
Iowa is home to more than twenty casinos and a few racinos on land and some riverboat casinos. Some of the casinos are Native American tribal-owned, while others are fully regulated by the state.
The popularity of land-based and riverboat casinos has not wavered from their first introduction because they are a great place for gambling and live entertainment. In one location, players can access lots of casino-style games like slots, blackjack, poker, roulette, craps, and baccarat. Casinos also have drinks, fine dining, and shows for even more entertainment.
The Top 5 Land Based Casinos in Iowa
- Harrah’s Casino
- Hard Rock Casino Sioux City
- Diamond Jo Casino
- Horseshoe Council Bluffs
- Rhythm City Casino Resort
The fun and thrilling atmosphere that casinos have are a big reason why so many people choose to enjoy them, but the introduction of online casino gambling is quickly making waves and drawing attention from long-standing brick and mortar gamblers.
There are virtually thousands of different online casinos available to choose from, and each one will have a collection of hundreds of games to enjoy. Casino sites will not only have a variety of games from slots, progressives, table games, and sports betting. Some sites will also offer a set of live dealer games that bring the sounds and excitement from classic casinos online.
The sheer convenience of accessing online casinos is a big reason why many people are choosing to make the switch online. Sites are easily accessed anytime and anywhere a player would like.
To give players extra incentive to play online, casinos also offer a range of promotions and special offers that give free cash, points, spins, or turns. Players who first sign up to a site and loyal players to a casino group periodically get benefits that give them an edge in the games they already love to play.
How to Find the Best Iowa Online Casinos
Players who are unsure how to find a great online casino can rely on a few important factors that will help them narrow down their options to legitimate sites with much to offer.
License and Regulation
US players who are looking for an online casino should first look for the online gambling license the site has registered to its name. Every site that offers real money gambling will need a license from one of the top jurisdictions:
- Costa Rica
- Isle of Man
The license is often posted in the footer of the main page or within the terms and conditions. If this information is not easily found, players are always able to contact customer support for more information (this is also a great chance to see what the site support is like too).
Modern Site Design
The site design is often overlooked yet it has a lot of bearing on the overall casino experience. A clean modern style with user-friendly details will not only have new players navigating with ease, but it also cuts down on search time so players can jump into their favorite games within minutes.
Good Game Selection
Before a player chooses to register on a site, they should take a moment to check out the game options available to them. Some online casinos will have hundreds of different games from slots and table games to poker and sports betting, though other sites only have a minimal selection.
Deposits and withdrawals for real money bets will have to be registered in each player’s accounts just like their personal information. Since US banks are unable to make any money transfers to sites that offer gambling (unless regulated by the state itself), offshore online casinos offer a variety of banking options besides direct bank transfers. US players can expect one or more of the following:
- Wire transfers
- Major credit cards
How Can I Stay Safe Gambling for Real Money Online?
Gambling online has many people worried about potential fraud or fear of hackers getting sensitive information. For the most part, online casinos are safe and have plenty of security measures in place.
Stick to Popular Sites
One of the best ways to ensure a trusted online casino is found is by putting in a little research and checking out the most popular sites first. There are tons of reviews listing all of the benefits and drawbacks to casino sites from real players who have experienced gaming and placing bets through them.
All of the top sites make it a point to stay on top of their competition by keeping up with updates, game selection, challenges, and even promotions. The best experiences for new online players will come with the sites that have been around for a while and have streamlined their sites for entertainment and experience.
Safety and Security
Since online casinos require all players to register on the site with sensitive information (name, address, and valid photo ID), understanding what type of security the site has in place will give the peace of mind from knowing the information is safe and secure.
Check the footer of the site to see if any security information is mentioned or read through the terms and conditions to learn more about how the site protects its players and their data.