Des Moines Sportsbooks

Des Moines, Iowa SportsbooksOne of the really unfortunate aspects of being a sports fan in Iowa is that, even if you call the capital city (and the Hawkeye State’s most populous city at that) home, you will not be likely to have access to any physical land-based Des Moines sportsbooks for some time now. This is doubly unfortunate when one considers the fact that there are several successful and popular casinos and other gambling centers within an easy drive of the city that would make excellent sportsbooks in Des Moines if the state’s laws were changed to allow for the eventual legalization of sports wagering. However, the kind of sports betting Iowa residents are looking for can still be had, it is just that you will have to head online to a legal offshore sportsbook website in order to place your wagers, which could put you squarely in the crosshairs of state law enforcement looking to crack down on illegal gambling activity if you are not careful.

Fortunately, all the top operators in the fast moving and highly competitive online sports betting segment of the broader internet gambling industry – those top rated sites being Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, BetDSI and 5Dimes – have the advantage of being 100 percent legal and fully prepped to accept players from all over the United States, Iowa included. These sites have a reputation for reliability and security to back up some of the best odds and the biggest variety of betting odds in the business, and they have actually been serving as the de facto Des Moines sportsbooks for more than two decades in some cases. You simply cannot go wrong if you stick to any one of those sites, which makes any (or all) of them an ideal replacement while we all wait on the state to change its stance on legalizing sports betting in the Hawkeye state, opening up some local casinos to join the ranks of Des Moines’ best sportsbooks.

Is Sports Betting Currently Legal In Des Moines?

Sadly, sports betting is not currently legal in Des Moines, nor really is it legal at any physical location within the state lines of Iowa to any extent. That is too bad, considering that in May of 2018 the US Supreme Court returned a momentous majority decision to overturn the longstanding Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), which had for more than a quarter of a century prohibited 46 of 50 states from passing laws to legalize and regulate sports wagering. Even with the removal of that substantial federal level obstacle, the Iowa state legislature has not been able to pass a law to make sports betting legal yet, though the possibility is at least now open for that to occur.

For the time being, the best bet if you want to engage in legal sports betting in Des Moines or elsewhere in the Hawkeye State is to pay a visit to Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, BetDSI or 5Dimes, the leading operators in the online sportsbook industry. All of those sites are fully licensed and regulated (albeit in foreign countries in Europe and the Caribbean, where they are also based and hosted), which makes them immeasurably safer and more reliable than any shady Iowa sportsbook or around the corner bookies you might know of. The chances seem pretty good that sports betting will eventually be legalized, even in conservative Midwestern states like Iowa that have been historically averse to gambling expansion, so now is not the time to be taking unnecessary risks: stick to one of these offshore Des Moines sportsbooks and you will not be disappointed, nor will you be breaking the law either.

Minimum Legal Age To Bet At Des Moines Sportsbooks

Even though none of the casinos in the Des Moines area contain any sportsbooks or even a form of sport wagering option for their customers, we can still make a fairly accurate prediction as to what the minimum legal age to bet at a Des Moines sportsbooks would be if that particular form of gambling were to ever become legal in the Hawkeye State. How is that so? Well, take for instance that the minimum legal age to place bets on card games, play the slots or pick winners in a horse race is 21, which leads us to believe that Iowa residents will need to be 21 years old or older before they could place bets on their favorite teams, sports and athletes. This is the general model followed by the sportsbooks on the Las Vegas Strip as well as in other states around the country that have more recently legalized sports betting in the wake of the SCOTUS justices’ May 2018 decision to overturn PASPA, so it makes logical sense that Iowa would invariably follow suite.

While on this subject, however, it would be wise to inform our readers here at Sports Betting Iowa that the legal offshore sportsbook sites (such as Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, BetDSI and 5Dimes) will all accept players and new account holders as long as those customers are at least 18 years old. This is perfectly in keeping with the somewhat more lax rules and regulations governing sports betting in their home nations, and they will take players based in the US so long as they are 18 years of age and older as well. Nevertheless, we do not recommend that any of our readers attempt to place wagers on sports at any online sports betting operator – even ones as highly respected and reputable as are top picks in the segment – for the simple reason that it always the best policy to adhere as closely as possible to your local gambling rules. That way you can be sure to avoid or at least minimize your chances of running into trouble with the law just for using the only Des Moines sportsbook that are effectively available to you.

Best Des Moines Sportsbooks

Although we have mentioned it numerous times throughout this preview of the best Des Moines sportsbooks, it definitely bears repeating that the absolute best places to go for the kind of sports betting Iowa residents are after is to head online. Legal offshore sportsbook sites such as Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, BetDSI and 5Dimes all serve Iowa sports bettors with no problem, and they combine the best elements of a solid sports wagering outlet, from unbeatable odds to the utmost security and features that land-based casino sportsbooks can’t match: just try making a deposit with Bitcoin in Las Vegas or try to gain access to a nationwide free mobile sports wagering app and you will see what we mean.

However, even though these online operators are the best in the business and serve as the de factor locals favorite sportsbooks in Des Moines, it is still worth pointing out that there are several local casinos that could easily take that place if the state of Iowa ever changes its stance on sports betting legalization. Being that PASPA is no longer in effect, the odds are better than they ever have been before for there to be a major shift in public policy vis a vis legalized, regulated sports wagering. The fact that the US sports gambling market is estimated to total out somewhere between $150 billion and $250 billion annually is a testament to the fact that the public is keenly interested in legally betting on sports. Below you will see some of the highlights of the top casino properties in the Des Moines area, which will hopefully give you some insight into why we believe that these are the best candidates for what could become the top sportsbooks in Des Moines for sports betting in Iowa.

Meskwaki Casino
  • Meskwaki Casino
  • Address: 1504 305th Street, Tama, Iowa 52339
  • First Opened: 1996
  • Number of Rooms: 404
  • Total Gaming Space: 127,669 square feet (1,415 slot machines, 40 table games, poker room with 16 tables, bingo hall)
  • Gaming Age: 21
  • Top Attractions: Winding Stream Spa and Salon, whirlpool suites in hotel, live entertainment at Meskwaki theatre concert venue, RV camping park
  • Best Restaurants: Prime Cuts (steakhouse, fine dining), Jackpot (buffet), Full House (café), food court (fast food and fast casual chain restaurants)
  • Owner: Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa
  • Phone: 1 (800) 728-4263

Meskwaki CasinoLocated about 50 or so miles from Des Moines, Iowa, is the Meskwaki Casino, one of the largest tribal land-based casinos in the entire Midwest region and one of the nicest too. With a huge gaming space totaling out at nearly 130,000 square feet and boasted more than 1,400 slot machines and table game station to go along with an amply sized poker room and bingo hall, this Tama, IA, property could easily become one of the top Des Moines sportsbooks in the comparatively near term. With 404 hotel rooms and suites and plenty of amenities and attractions in the form of a popular day spa, live entertainment venue hosting prominent musical acts all throughout the year and even a successful RV park nestled amidst the beautiful natural scenery of the Hawkeye State, this casino truly has something for everyone. With hundreds of thousands of visitors already coming to the casino annually, it is no wonder why we think this would be a prime spot and, honestly, our top pick for one of the Des Moines sportsbooks we think could be coming within a few years at the latest.

Terrible’s Lakeside Hotel And Casino
  • Terrible’s Lakeside Hotel And Casino
  • Address: 777 Casino Drive, Osceola, Iowa 50213
  • First Opened: January 1, 2000
  • Number of Rooms: 150
  • Total Gaming Space: 37,500 square feet (1,000 slot machines, 24 table games, poker room with two table)
  • Gaming Age: 21
  • Top Attractions: Live outdoor amphitheater - entertainment and concert venue with accommodations for 1,200 people
  • Best Restaurants: West Lake Bar & Grill (casual dining), Heartland Buffet, Lakeside Sports Bar
  • Owner: Z Capital Partners, Z Capital Group LLC
  • Phone: (877) 477-5253

Terrible’s Lakeside Hotel And CasinoDespite its somewhat humorously unfortunate name, the Terrrible’s Lakeside Hotel and Casino in Osceola – about 45 miles outside De Moines – is easily one of the best candidates for a sportsbook in Des Moines, IA. This popular locals favorite sportsbook hopeful is far from the largest casino in the Hawkeye State, but it is probably one of the best attended if the official figures released by its owners is to be believed. In our opinion, that comes down to its cozy environs coupled with a sizeable outdoor amphitheater that always seems to be hosting some of the top names in popular music and favorites from yesterday throughout the year. Oh yeah, and the Lakeside Casino also has a fairly wide selection of 1,000 slot machines and more than 30 table and card game stations to keep even the most serious bettors busy well into the early hours of the morning after the big show of the night is over. In conclusion, Terrible’s Lakeside Hotel and Casino is far from a terrible spot to base the next Des Moines sportsbooks after sports betting is legalized in the state.

Prairie Meadows Racetrack
  • Prairie Meadows Racetrack
  • Address: 1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona, Iowa 50009
  • First Opened: March 1, 1989
  • Number of Rooms: none (not a hotel)
  • Total Gaming Space: 85,000 square feet (1,900 slot machines, 40 table games, poker room with 11 tables, 1 mile dirt oval horse racing track – harness, quarterhorse and thoroughbred racing, off site betting terminals, simulcast options, etc.)
  • Gaming Age: 21
  • Top Attractions: Live horse racing events throughout the year, live entertainment nightly, regular poker tournaments
  • Best Restaurants: AJ’s Steakhouse, Café at the Meadows, Triple Crown Buffet, Champions (sports bar), Quick Bites (four fast food vendors and snack bars)
  • Owner: Polk County, Iowa
  • Phone: (515) 967-1000

Prairie Meadows RacetrackAs one of the top combination casinos and horse racing tracks in the entire state of Iowa, and possibly in the rest of the Midwest region as well, the Prairie Meadows is also something of a unique find in the world of possible Des Moines sportsbooks. That is because, unlike most other places in the same category, this racino (which boasts a combined gaming space of more than 85,000 square feet and an impressive array of nearly 2,000 slot machines, table games, poker and card tables as well as a mile long thoroughbred track and simulcast betting facilities to match) is 100 percent owned by Polk County, Iowa. If that does not make this a locals favorite sportsbooks in Des Moines in the making, we simply can’t think of what is missing from the equation. The state of Iowa seriously needs to reconsider its policy on the legalization of sports betting, being that casinos and race tracks as well established as this one are around just waiting to join the ranks of the best Des Moines sportsbooks in the very near term – at least we hope so.

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