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Online Casinos in Iowa (US)

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There are plenty of online establishments offering up gambling services to the people of Iowa in a legitimate and regulated manner. Issues arise, however, for people wanting to play casino games online. The current regulations are clearly focused on sports betting, leaving gaming to overseas operations. 

While local operations are strictly prohibited from setting up shop, the regulations can not be applied to sites that operate outside of state and federal jurisdictions. This means that online casino gaming remains strictly the domain of primarily offshore-based sites. While legitimate sites exist in large numbers, black-market sites can often blend in quite effectively, especially in restricted or unregulated markets. Due to having a representative body or the ability to take any legal recourse, individuals are advised to be extra vigilant towards registering any information with any site that they can not fully confirm as trustworthy.

  • Is the casino itself licensed and regulated?
  • What do reviews say about the casino?
  • Does the site allow registrations from Iowa?
  • Can you deposit using US dollars?
  • Will you be eligible for any promotions?

Asking yourself the above-mentioned questions is a great step to finding out if a specific web-based casino is the one for you. A great way of finding the answers to these questions is by visiting us here at GoodLuckMate. Our writers strive to create concise and informative reviews and articles that will help you with your casino journey.

Gambling Regulation

Gambling regulations in Iowa are quite liberal when compared to the rest of the country. Plenty of land-based operations exist and the recent changes to sports betting activities were also a welcome sight back in 2019. The big break for sports betting came in with the application of the SF617 law. While this act did a lot to open up the online gambling scene, the freeing up of sportsbook platforms also allowed them to provide their services on the internet. The unfortunate consequence is that this seemed to create somewhat of a divide between sportsbook and casino services. While sportsbook operations now exist in a regulated market, casino games remain very much restricted. 

The full legislative focus has been transfixed on sports betting since the changes made in 2019. There currently appears to be little evidence of any legal changes being applied to casino games, as has been the case in other states like Delaware and New Jersey. Iowa isn’t the only state that draws clear lines between certain gambling activities though, as Indiana is also sat in the same situation. Despite the legalities, players are still able to access overseas establishments, which creates a dilemma of making gambling possible but without the government being able to directly reap any benefits from it.

Localized Online Casinos

Localization options tend to be pretty good for US-based players, which may be rather surprising for a nation that remains largely restricted. Most online casinos are headquartered in Europe, where English is accepted as the default language. US dollar currency options and payment methods are also widely available, as these provide a substitution for localized payment options that the establishment is unable to support.

Sportsbook players can largely ignore a lot of this, as there are plenty of local and national sports betting operations already available. These sites have gone through the efforts of providing their services legitimately, which makes them more incentivized towards offering up events, features and services that specifically target players in both Iowa and the whole of the USA.

Gambling with US Dollars

Finding a site that allows you to play with US dollars is very easy, even when looking at overseas establishments. You may however find that these sites do not necessarily offer up an extensive list of payment options catered to US players, due to the restrictions in place. You should also be aware of the fact that many banks will have policies that block the transaction of funds that they suspect will be going towards gambling activities. That is why many players instead opt to use E-wallets and cryptocurrencies to keep their player balance topped up. These methods provide a widely supported alternative to depositing online without the direct involvement of the bank.

Casinos in Iowa

In the face of heavy online restrictions, the casino games industry is still very much alive in the Hawkeye state. Over two dozen land-based casinos exist, including Native American establishments, as well as riverboat casinos and the state-run lottery. It makes it all the more peculiar that it is perfectly legal to play games like Blackjack at a venue, but not online and in the comfort of your own home. As we have already established, this isn’t the case for sports betting, as several different retail stores and sites exist in facilitating odds for Iowa residents. Sites like DraftKings Sportsbook, PointsBet Iowa and William Hill all legitimately operate within state lines. 

It appears that a domino effect is in progress, as more and more states are becoming shining examples of what a fully regulated gambling industry could look like. We really hope that the process won’t lose momentum, as future regulations can address the current issues with gambling in America today. Loss of tax revenues to overseas organizations, the lack of funded support groups and not being able to take any legal recourse as an individual are all factors that need to be clearly considered when settling for a restricted outlook on gambling.


Dispute resolution – can I get help from a third party?


A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.

Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.


Secure payments – can I trust a casino with my money?


If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.

Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.


Fair gaming – do the games give me a fair chance to win?


The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.

The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.


Encrypted website – how is my information kept safe?


An SSL-encrypted website should be mandatory for any casino, and very few casinos operate without this or similar safe encryption features. Always keep in mind that you are giving the casino quite a bit of sensitive information, including your payment details. When you’re uploading and sending documents to verify your identity, you want to make sure that no unauthorized third-party has access to them. Site security, therefore, doesn’t only include the website itself but also what the casino does on the backend. You should always look into a casino’s data security. You’ll normally find information about this in their terms and conditions and their privacy policy. If in doubt, contact their support and ask for more detailed information.

Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.


Gambling license – can I play at a casino from my country?


The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.

The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.


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