Born in 1975 in a town in the midwest, Edward is a seasoned veteran in the world of gambling writing. Getting a taste for the scene by getting involved in local poker tournaments, he soon turned his passion into a job by securing a role writing about gaming on a freelance basis. After building up his portfolio, he joined us in 2013 and has since progressed to become our all-knowing editor-in-chief for anything poker or casinos.
The situation with regards to the online casinos in IA is complicated to say the least – so much so that we thought it was best to provide this guide to everything related to finding the best IA online casino.
The most important thing to understand is that real money casinos aren’t legal in Iowa. However, there’s a broad selection of sweepstakes, also known as social casinos, available for Iowa residents. If you’re unsure of how this works, both practically and legally, and how to find your best online casinos in Iowa, we’re here to help.
Also known as social casinos, there are some key distinguishing features between these and traditional casinos, beyond the operators that are available.
Firstly, you must have the option to play the casino freely. This is using an available currency option for those who wish to simply enjoy playing these games, with a focus on social elements. These are often known as gold coins. There are also other virtual currencies – often known as sweep coins, or something similar – which may be redeemed for cash prizes. You have access to many of your favourite casino games, often through great software developers, but the use of virtual currency is a must.
We’d say this article is suitable for you if that still sounds like something you’re interested in.
Considering Iowa online gambling sites – at least the potential real money IA casinos – as still currently illegal, we think it’s fair to say we’re still early days into the history of casino betting in Iowa. We certainly hope so. But that isn’t to say Iowa doesn’t already have a pretty amazing casino history. And, a great deal of it has to do with riverboats.
Yes, you read that right. At the beginning of April 1991, a trio of riverboat casinos set sail, allowing people to enjoy betting on their favourite classic games from roulette to blackjack all from a rather interesting setting. This intriguing scenario remains an enormously popular tourist attraction to this day. It’s believed these riverboats could count for over half of tourists into the state, according to some estimates – not bad for a floating game of baccarat.
They couldn’t stay on the water for long, however, and in 1994, land-based casinos started opening their doors. Once again, these offered the full range of casino games like slots and poker. This industry is now worth billions to Iowa, and provides thousands of jobs. The best online casinos in Iowa may not allow for real money transactions but there’s no shortage of brick-and-mortar options, and this continues to grow to this day.
While the land-based options continued to grow, the legal situation for online casinos Iowa stayed the same. Even with the opening up of online sports betting in 2019, Iowa remains restricted to sweepstakes casinos. We don’t think this means there’s a lack of really fun online casinos Iowa, but considering that in such a short space of time, the best betting sites Iowa has for sports betting is already competing on an international scale, we have to believe that a similar change for online casino in IA would have a comparably impressive effect.
Editor’s recommendation – the best casino betting operator for users in Iowa
This is quite distinctly different to pretty much anything we do regarding USA online casinos generally, as we most often pay attention to those real cash operators. And, that’s not the only issue we find when it comes to providing an editor’s recommendation for the best IA online casino sites.
As these sites utilize very strict rules on how they operate – it’s the only way they can remain legal – they can have a great deal in common. It’s for both of these reasons that we’ve decided to forego our usual recommendations because we really can’t tell you which of the sweepstakes casinos will appeal to most people.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be a best online casino in Iowa sweepstakes options that you prefer though, so the best thing to do would be check out the biggest and most reputable names out there like Chumba casino and Luckyland Slots, to give but a few examples.
Truthfully, we really do hope that this list of best IA online casino options does expand to include more social options and even real money casinos one day. If that does occur, then we assure you we’ll give a singular concrete pick for IA online casinos. For now though, our advice is that there are many sweepstakes options that we would consider equally valid.
Five tips for a secure and fair gambling experience in Iowa
Just because IA online casinos are only of the social kind, that doesn’t mean your safety shouldn’t be a priority. Sure, there might be some different things you need to take into account on real money sites, and yes, there are probably less new casino sites USA when you only look at the social options, but there’s still plenty to consider.
With that in mind, here’s five key things you can do to make your search for the best online casinos in Iowa is a safe on:
Check for licensing
That’s right, some social casinos also have licensing, and these can include international examples. For instance, it wouldn’t be unusual to see a license on a sweepstakes casino from Malta. Now, these aren’t as prominently displayed as you would find on real cash options, so you might not notice them. But if they’re there, they can be a really nice way of getting some outside reassurance of the kinds of rules and regulations that social casinos in particular adhere to.
See how they’re handling your information
Go for sites with great reputations
Although sweepstakes casinos can often be similar, they’re not necessarily all made equal. One of the easiest ways to figure out which are worth your while is simply to go on the reputation and customer feedback behind those names. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be the best IA online casino for you, but it should mean you at least get to pick from a safe, fair, reputable selection.
Look for contact options
If you have a problem, you’ll want someone to talk to. That’s why it’s a good idea for your operator to have some way of contacting them directly. The easier this is, the better your experience will be.
Make sure any bonus offers are fair
One of the things the sweepstakes casinos are actually really good at is providing excellent bonus offers. They legally have to provide the ability for people to be able to enjoy their site without purchase and this usually means a big initial giveaway, so the user has plenty of coins to enjoy them with. Of course, any online casino bonus needs to be fair and generous, so it’s important to check any relevant terms available to make sure that’s the case.
What do we look for when evaluating operators for Iowa residents?
While sweepstakes casinos certainly do have their distinctions from real money casinos, what we look for remains largely the same. Here’s a list of things we analyse when assessing the quality of online casinos Iowa:
Ease of use
This is a little different here because there’s some additional complexity in how the sweepstakes system works and is explained, but any worthwhile casino should be simple to use.
Unlike cash-based casinos, promotions are much more interwoven into the fabric of how sweepstakes versions operate. That said, promotional quality still comes down to the generosity of the offer and how it’s backed by terms and conditions.
We’ve already broken down security at length, but needless to say, it’s incredibly important on any site you’re adding personal data to. Customer service is also an important part of security.
Probably the biggest distinction is how important social elements are compared to cash casinos. In fact, sweepstakes casinos are often known as social casinos – and the fun without the need to spend money if you don’t want to is incredibly important to any quality Iowa casino.
Game quality and variety
Sweepstakes casinos utilise many of the same software developers you can find internationally, meaning in terms of the quality of the actual games, your expectations can be sky high.
Whatever kind of casino we’re using, we want them to look great and work seamlessly.
Take everything we’ve discussed above and put that on a smaller screen because that’s every bit as important as the desktop version. We want a perfect miniature version, on all major platforms.
These are just some examples of the most important things we look for in a sweepstakes casino. We hope you can see just how much effort goes into every one of our recommendations and also how although casinos can be different, they have plenty more in common.
Never forget the personal side of things when it comes to finding your ideal operator. Consider design, for instance, or in terms of the kind of ambience and style you enjoy, there’s no objective right or wrong there. It’s just what you like.
Not everything is subjective, of course. There’s nothing subjective about needing decent security, for instance. But when you get to that upper level, where the best go head-to-head, there’s often not much between them.
With that in mind, we think the best thing you can do before checking operators out is to decide what your ideal casino would actually look like. That way, you can use any recommendations by us more effectively to narrow down that ideal experience. Ask yourself questions like what kinds of bonuses you would like to see, or what platform do you prefer. Consider us a partnership to sweepstakes casino perfection.
Conclusion – A unique casino offering for Iowa
While the use of sweepstakes casinos does make the situation in Iowa different to states where casino games are entirely legal in their cash-based form, there’s still a whole lot to enjoy here. There’s that mix between different currencies and prizes which does genuinely provide interesting stakes, and the social elements often provide a fun factor that many alternatives seem to forget.
Also, we think you’ll be surprised by the sheer quality and variety out there. Check out the things we look for and the security considerations for instance, and you’ll see just how much great casinos of all kinds have in common. We, of course, can’t say what the future will hold in terms of the legality of IA online casinos. However, what makes the best IA online casino will certainly overwhelmingly remain the same regardless.
The legal situation when it comes to online gambling in the US varies from state to state. This can cause a lot of confusion for customers. Thankfully, we’re here to help. Check out our in-depth guide on online casinos in Iowa to discover how and where you can wager.
🔒 Is it safe to bet on online casinos in Iowa?
Nothing is more important than your security when it comes to gambling online. You should always take steps to ensure that your personal and financial data is protected. We never recommend a betting site without them passing our extremely high security standards, so be sure to see our recommendations.
🎰 Which casino games are available in Iowa?
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to their favourite online casino games. From roulette to blackjack, slots to poker, it’s important to know an operator has your favourite games available before you sign up. Check out our handy guide to online casinos in iowa to discover what’s available to you.