Iowa Casinos

There are three types of casinos in Iowa: riverboat casinos, pari-mutuel (racetrack) casinos and Indian casinos.

Riverboat Casinos in Iowa

Iowa was the first state to legalize riverboat casino gambling. The riverboats began operating on April Fools Day in 1991 and passengers were originally limited to $5 per bet with a maximum loss of $200 per person, per cruise.

In early 1994 the Iowa legislature voted to eliminate those gambling restrictions. That same year the state also legalized casinos on moored barges that float in man-made basins of water and no longer required the casinos to be on boats. This allowed riverboat casinos to resemble land-based buildings.

As of mid-2018 there were 16 riverboat casinos in Iowa.

Pari-Mutuel (racetrack) Casinos in Iowa

Electronic gaming machines, such as slots and video poker, were legalized at three of the state’s pari-mutuel racetracks in 1994 and, in mid-2004, a provision was added to allow table games at those three tracks.

There are no casinos in Des Moines, Iowa. However, there is one racetrack casino that is close to that city. Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Altoona, is just 11 miles northeast of Des Moines.

The payback percentages on electronic gaming machines at all Iowa casinos (riverboats and pari-mutuels) are released as a matter of public record. Just click here to see a list of slot machine payback statistics for all Iowa  casinos.

Indian Casinos in Iowa

There are three Indian casinos in Iowa and all of them offer electronic gaming machines, as well as table games. No public information is available concerning the payback percentages on gaming machines at Indian casinos in Iowa. 

All Iowa casinos offer: blackjack, roulette, craps, pai gow poker, Mississippi stud, ultimate Texas hold em, slots and video poker. Some casinos in Iowa also offer: mini-baccarat, poker, pai gow poker, Caribbean stud poker, let it ride, big 6, bingo, keno, Mississippi stud, three card poker, four card poker, Spanish 21 and off-track betting. 

NOTE: If you happen to win a jackpot of $1,200 or more at any Iowa casino, they will withhold 5% of your winnings for the Iowa Department of Revenue. If you want to try and get that money refunded, you will be required to file a state income tax return and, depending on the details of your return, you may get some of the money returned to you. The $1,200 threshold would also apply to any cash prizes won in casino drawings or tournaments.

There are many casinos in Iowa with hotels. Eleven of the 16 riverboat casinos in Iowa have a hotel, all three racetrack casinos have a hotel and two out of the three Indian casinos have a hotel.

Anyone looking for casinos in Iowa on I-35 will find three close to that major highway: Diamond Jo Casino Worth in northern Iowa; Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino near Des Moines; and Lakeside Casino & Hotel in the southern end of the state.

All Iowa casinos are open 24 hours and the minimum gambling age is 21, 18 for pari-mutuel wagering or bingo.

Want to See a Map of all casinos in Iowa?

Visit our Iowa casinos map page to see a detailed map showing all casinos in that state.

Shown below is a list of casinos in Iowa. Click on a casino name to see a page of detailed information about that particular casino.

Try an online casino for FREE! Use any of our great No Deposit Bonus Codes. No credit card needed, just sign up and start playing!

For more information on visiting Iowa call the state’s tourism de­partment at (800) 345-4692 or visit their web site at www.traveliowa.com


Iowa can be found in the heart of the United State and it is known as the top corn producer in the nation. The state is filled with a wide range of attractions that you can visit like the state capital of Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and so on. Iowa offers a plethora of attractions that you can enjoy like the National Mississippi River Museum, varieties of state parks, and lots of scenic landscapes that you will love. Some of the top places to visit in Iowa are listed below.

National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

This museum is operated by the Dubuque Historical Society and it features a wide range of collections, live animals exhibits which reflect the cultural and geological importance of the mighty Mississippi River and national rivers to explore. The aquarium displays collections that showcase the importance of the Mississippi River and its watershed to the environment and the people. The museum features permanent exhibits such as the immersive 4D Theater and the Mississippi River Discovery Center. You will also get to enjoy temporary exhibits that both the children adult will love. Your kids will also love the aquarium here where they will find animals like otters, alligators, and sturgeon.

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library

This museum is located in Cedar Rapids and it is dedicated to sharing the histories and culture of Czech & Slovak people. At this institute, you will also get to understand better your own freedoms and how history led to this civic right. Some of the best things to explore here are the permanent exhibits, varieties of special events, and educational traveling displays.

Maquoketa Caves State Park

This park is a great place to get an insight into the world under your feet. The park is filled with varieties of hiking trails that you can explore, there are also woodlands and natural wonder like the Balance Rock not to miss here. The highlight of the park is the caves like the Dancehall Cave and the Maquoketa Caves State Park which will give you access to lots of other caves. The park also features a large campsite which is set up for tents, and RVs if you planned to stay overnight here.

Amana Colonies

The Amana Colonies located in Eastern Iowa consists of seven villages and it serves as a great escape into the past and away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The colony dates back to the mid-19th century, the community experience no outside influences interference for many years after German Pietists first broke soil in this isolated area. The Amana Colonies is now listed as a National Historical Landmark and it is a great place to go if you want to experience the slower pace of life while visiting iconic structures, shopping and dining around the colony. You should also make sure you explore the areas on bike paths, walkways, and also experience the annual festivals.

Des Moines Art Center

This attraction is a hotspot for both locals and tourists that loves artworks since 1948. The center features rotating works of painting, photography, sculpture, and mixed-media displays, it also houses permanent collections that range from Georgia O’Keefe to Edward Hopper. This art center is a top place not to miss while in Iowa and the best thing is that admission is free of charge.

Field of Dreams Movie Site

This is a great place to go if you are movie lover, this movie site was used for shooting of the movie Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner in 1989. The movie site also offers interactive exhibits, scenic backdrop, and lots of photo opportunities that you will love. If you are lucky to be here on select Sundays throughout the year, the site hosts a Ghost Sunday Show where the baseball players from the past will come out of the cornstalks for a thrilling family-fun show which will surely entertain tourists of all age.

Grotto of the Redemption

This is a unique attraction in Iowa that you do not want to miss while in the state. The Grotto of the Redemption is also known as the West Bend Grotto and it consists of nine separate grottos which are built from precious stones and gems. It was handcrafted by a local pastor with the help of few locals for immortalizing the story of Jesus Christ. This is a great place to go for tourist no matter your religion or denomination as it is a great example of what one man with a mission can accomplish.

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