Iowa has allowed parimutuel wagering on horse races by individuals 21 and older since 1983, both in person, via a network of off-track betting (OTB) locations and, more recently, via online wagering services.
Bets can be placed in person at the racetrack and at off-track-betting (OTB) sites at many of the state’s casinos and online via numerous advance deposit wagering companies.
Three of the four biggest operators – TVG.com, TwinSpires.com, and XpressBet.com – are available to Iowa customers, as are numerous smaller providers. Note that some sites have restrictions on betting in-state races.
ADW websites offer the same bets you can wager on in the track, and some offer special custom wagers only available to customers. They also offer a wide range of signup bonuses and rewards programs. The former typically include deposit matches up to a limit; free wagers on specified races; special handicapping contests for customers.
Many, but not all, offer mobile betting apps as well.
Iowa Horse Race Betting Sites & Offers
|Racebooks||Welcome Offer for Iowa||Other Promos|
|TVG||Get up to $200 back||Get a $25 Bonus for every friend you refer|
|TwinSpires||$200 sign-up offer||Free play daily & weekly options|
|Xpressbet||$100 sign-up bonus||XB Rewards loyalty program|
|123bet||$1230 new member bonus||Refer-a-Friend bonus: get $50|
|1/ST BET||$100 sign-up bonus||Rewards points every Tuesday and other weekly offers|
|AmWager||$300 deposit match||Daily cash rewards|
|Pointsbet||2 Risk-Free Bets up to $2,000||Free bets for points|
How to claim a horse racing bet promo in Iowa?
Horse racing betting features for Iowa
- TVG Iowa Features:
- TVG Expert Picks for everyday
- Free Past Performances Program
- Live streams from tracks around the US and beyond
- Money Back Special on select races
- Twinspires Iowa Features:
- First Race Freeplay: get $100 in Free Bets
- 15% boost on a winning Trifecta bet every Tuesday
- Exacta insurance: get a bet back of up to $10
- Live races and highlights of previous races, both on the website and the app
- Bet Back offers (receive a refund for your bet if the horse you bet on to win the race finishes in second or third)
- Daily Double bets
- Xpressbet Iowa Features:
- Horse racing’s leading loyalty program (receive two XB Rewards Points for every dollar you wager)
- Cash prizes in regular handicapping contests
- Deposit by mail
- Bet the horse races over the phone
- AmWager Iowa Features:
- Current and historical horse race results from a single screen
- Advanced wagering structuring tools. Dutching, ABC method, Rank betting.
- Fair Value Exacta Grid (allows you to quickly see exacta bets that have been over bet or under bet based on the win pool)
- 1st/bet Iowa Features:
- Up-to-date news about upcoming races
- Unlimited access to the BETMIX products: Toteboarding, Free Daily Race Analysis and Race of the Day Past Performance
- 123bet Iowa Features:
- No fees Friday (deposit $10 or more on Fridays via credit card or Paynearme)
- Loyalty Reward Points
- Handicapping products from Equibase (available only on the web)
Horse bet types available online
In Iowa, you can place different types of horse wagers. The most popular online bets are
- Win (the horse you bet on must come first)
- Place (the horse must finish first or second)
- Show (the horse must come either first, second, or third)
- Win Place (places a win and a place bet in one bet)
- Win Show (places a win and show bet in one bet)
- Win Place Show (aka “across the board”; combines Win, Place and Show into one bet)
- Exacta (you bet on horses to come first and second in that order)
- Quinella (the same as exacta, but horses can finish in any order for you to win the bet)
- Trifecta (three horses should finish first, second and third in that order)
- Superfecta (the same as trifecta but here you bet on four horses)
- Super High 5 (you have to choose the winner of five races in a row)
- Grand Slam (pick a horse to finish in the top three in three straight races, capped by the winner of the fourth race in the sequence)
- Parlays (combine multiple selections on the same ticket, even if the races aren’t in sequential order).
- Credit and Debit Cards
- ACH Bank Transfer / eCheck
- Wire Transfer
- Green Dot
- Check or Money Order
- By mail: Xpressbet
- Bitcoin: AmWager via BitPay
Iowa Horse Betting Overview
The main horse racetrack in the Hawkeye State is Prairie Meadows in Altoona, which usually conducts thoroughbred and quarter horse racing from late April through late September. Its signature thoroughbred race is the $250,000 Iowa Derby for 3-year-olds, usually run in late June or early July.
The state also has harness racing and greyhound racing facilities, though the latter is slated to close at the end of 2022.
Fun fact about horse racing in Iowa
Prairie Meadows, which opened on March 1, 1989, occupies a 240-acre site just east of the Adventureland Amusement Park.
Popular horse racing events to bet on in Iowa
- The Iowa Derby
- The Cornhusker Handicap
- The Iowa Oaks
- The Kentucky Derby
- Belmont Stakes
- Preakness Stakes
- Breeders’ Cup
- Dubai World Cup
- Melbourne Cup
- Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
- Grand National
Horse Race Tracks in Iowa
- Prairie Meadows
The track hosts both Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred racing. Prairie Meadows also has slot machines and casino games at its facility.
No. The minimum gambling age in Iowa for horse betting is 21 years.
No, it does not operate in the state.
No, the BetMGM Horse Racing App is not allowed in Iowa. It’s available In Ohio, Florida, and Louisiana.