Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission

Located in the Midwestern USA, Iowa has always been a crossroad state with many visitors and passers-by travellers. The Iowa gambling dates since early 1800 when such operations were not yet legal in the state and most likely in most of the states at that time. In that century the riverboat casinos become very popular, but about that, later on. Today we intent do show you a bit more details about the timeline of events and the history of Iowa gambling and the creation of the Gaming Commission that regulates it.
Riverboat Casino under a Bridge Share on Pinterest

This blog post is dedicated specifically to the Iowa Gaming Commission, but on bestcasinosites.net you can find many articles about other regions and countries, like our guides to online gambling in the USA and online gambling in the UK. There’s also a very detailed guide to the best online casinos that payout in the USA.

Iowa Gaming Commission – Rules & Laws

The Iowa Gaming Commission is the local authority handling the gambling business its taxation and legal representation. Officially the Iowa Gaming Commission was assembled respectfully late in 1983 because of the necessity of gambling authority to organize and collect licenses and taxes. As you can see below nowadays almost everything is legal in Iowa even the things that are falling in the grey sector, but what do we mean?

Betting & Gambling Legal State
Casinos Legal
Online Casinos Not Regulated
Sports Betting Legal
Online Betting Legal
Poker Online Not Regulated
Fantasy Sports Betting Legal
Horse Racing Legal
Dog Racing Legal
Motor Sports Legal
Lottery Legal
Legal Age 21+

The thing about online gambling and betting in Iowa is that they are not marked as illegal anywhere in the law. It is illegal to organize one on the territory of Iowa, but it is not illegal to play/bet in online casinos. This is controversial we know, but it does not obscure your rights to play online or incriminates you if you do so. Don’t forget that there is a legal age minimum, of course, if you want to either bet or play you need to be at least 21+ years old. If you are looking for the best betting websites in the USA or maybe the best USA casino sites, we got a lot to tell you!

Iowa Racing & Gambling History – Horses & Cards to Cars

Horse racing and betting in general dates since ancient times and they have always been a way of public entertainment. Of course, gambling was brought on American soil by the European colonialists, while horse racing was popular between the Native Americans anyway. Many horse breeders established stables in the USA exactly because of the fine American horse breeds.

Old Fashioned Riverboat Casino

The Beginning – 1800 – 1900

This decade was marked by many things but mostly by the civil war in 1860, but from a betting and gambling perspective, it was the time of the outlaws. Of course, we cannot miss mentioning the large industrial development of that period. Most of the land-based casino no matter where in the USA were not regulated, especially those in the western parts of the country. Meanwhile, horse racing tracks were all around the USA and more specifically in states like Delaware as one of the main states for racing. In the same period, the first riverboat casinos started sailing through Mississippi.

Poker saloons were available in almost every city from the east to the west of the USA. At that historical point, casinos were not presenting anything good the common people. With the development of different engines and the official release of the first car by Henry Ford, many things changed. Of course, the change was not immediate but the industrial thrive of humanity between 1870-1900 changed the world entirely, including the betting one by adding the Motor Sports into the list of betting events.

When the Motor Sport replaced Horse Racing – 1900 – 2000

Yes, it is true that in the 20th-century betting and gambling perspectives changed significantly with the economic and industrial success of the humankind. Probably you don’t know but the first slot machine was invented in 1895, the original 3-reel slot machine by Charles Fey. Meanwhile, horse racing started falling behind from the new types of races where the speed is enormous, and the sound is load – motorsports.

The same year 1895 were the first motor car races in the world from Paris to Bordeaux and back which is a total distance of ≈731miles. Meanwhile, the first race in America was organized the same year on the Thanksgiving day with route from Chicago to Evanston and back, which is a ≈53 miles track. From that moment onwards Motorsports started gathering more and more publicity. Of course, this was only the beginning, in the period between 1895 and 1905, many automotive clubs were assembled all around the globe like the Automobile Club de France(1895).

The club was responsible for the organization of the first Bennet Trophy races in 1901, 1902, 1903. The year of 1906 will always be remembered as the first France Grand Prix at Le Mans. The truth is that racing was only at its basic development at that point of history. In the first 50 years of the 20th century, racing was not quite well regulated and controlled. Of course, the vehicles were just a poor example of what comes after the 50s.

After the end of the WW2, when people were finally able to concentrate on their daily lives and hobbies when all industries were working for the people not for government purposes. Companies like BMW or Bentley, which were producing aeroplane engines and military mobile equipment switched to public-oriented products. Meanwhile, between 1930-1950, racing deviated in several directions – speedway races, rally races, Nascar and other 24h type challenges like the legendary Le Mans. The period between 1950 and 2000 created the racing world we know today. Car racing slowly overtook the horse races or any animal races and become the new passion of men.

In that same period, hundreds of races of all types were led all around the world including the most popular nowadays Formula 1, which started originally in 1946 – the Turin Grand Prix. Okay, maybe we went a bit too far with the history lesson, what happened to Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission? Well, we didn’t forget about it at all, it is just the fact that it was founded at the very end of that period in 1983 when the need of horseracing legislation (1983) and greyhound races legislation (1985) becomes a necessity. This is how the actual Iowa Racing and Gambling Commission was founded.

In 1985 the first Iowa state lottery was released in August in the form of scratch cards and lotto tickets. In 1989 Iowa was the first state to legalize riverboat casinos and the first video lotteries. In the last 10 years of that century, many things changed gambling in Iowa. Many new casinos were opened, many riverboats were legislated, many new gambling laws and changes were done in that period, luckily for all gamblers.

Modern World – 2000 – 2021

Currently, there are over 22 land-based casinos in Iowa, 1 speedway and 2 raceways. But the truth is that in this section we will speak more about the modern gambling in the US and the current online casino’s movement in the sector. Of course, many of these 22 new land-based casinos were built and opened in the last 20 years and some could be considered new. The Iowa Gaming Commission did many other legislations for the same period. What about the online casinos some of you may ask? Indeed, they are falling in the grey sector, just because they are kind of legal and illegal at the same time, but what do we mean by that?

So, in the state of Iowa is appears that it is illegal to own, found or manage any online casino on the territory of the state. Meanwhile, nowhere in the text is said that it is illegal for you to play in online casinos, which makes playing in online operators not legal, but not illegal too. The state of Iowa is considered gambling-friendly and you can enjoy pretty much everything from online betting and online casinos to horse racing, hounds racing or something faster like Naskar or Indy series. If you prefer, you can bet on these or any other sports online or play online lotteries. There is only 1 thing – you need to be at least 21+ years old to enter or log in any of these venues.

Iowa Gambling History Timeline
1800 -1900
  • – Gambling was owned and managed mainly from local outlaws all around the USA.
  • – The casino boats become very popular across the country and especially down to the Mississippi River.
  • – This was the beginning of automotive sports and the first race in 1895.
1900-1950
  • – Huge industrial development.
  • – Better, bigger and more powerful vehicles were developed and produced in that period.
  • – The first Le Mans race happened in 1906.
  • – The racing sport deviated in 3 branches – rally, speedway, Nascar.
  • – The first Formula 1 happened in 1946.
1950-1980
  • – One nonstop continuing progress for the humankind from any perspective.
  • – World-known companies like Bentley and BMW started manufacturing mainly cars and motorcycles.
  • – The cars evolved significantly for a short period.
1983 Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission foundation and the legalization of horseracing.
1985 Lottery & greyhound racing legalization
1989 Video Lottery, simulcasting and excursion boat casinos legalized
1992 The state of Iowa negotiates casino gaming offers with Native American tribes.
1994 Many legislations were enacted that year but maybe the most noticeable one was the raise of the wagering restriction age from 18 to 21 year, while you can be hired to work at the casino on the age of 18.
1995-2003 No new legislation or changes in the law. In that period the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission was mainly dealing with approvals, denials and overview of new potential “want to be casinos”.
2004
  • – Increased fees for underage gambling up to $500.
  • – The legislation of tax raises for both states in which boats reside and in additional the Gamblers Treatment Fund.
  • – Ban of all ATMs on casino floors.
2007 Horseracing drug tests added in case of doubts for any drug abuse.
2008 Gambling referendum concerning gambling boats was approved.
2011 Deposit wagering allowed. Betting through your phone or internet was now possible.
2013 Another approved gambling referendum about gambling boats.
2016 A new license fee will be applied to all companies with more than 1 facility(for every additional) in the state.
2017 Iowa Gaming Commission approved an exact dosage of Phenylbutazone for horseracing.
2019 The sports betting and fantasy sports become officially legal and regulated by the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission

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