Cedar Rapids Sportsbooks
As one of the major population centers in the Hawkeye State, you can bet that there are tens of thousands of diehard sports fans in the city of Cedar Rapids, IA. And as many people know, with a high concentration of sports fans surely comes a high number of sports bettors as well. The deeply conservative Midwestern state had been historically averse to gambling expansion, but Iowa legislators have now changed their stance and have legalized sports betting throughout the state. This comes from the fact that there are numerous popular and successful casinos in the area that would make fantastic sportsbooks in Cedar Rapids if they had the chance, and it is those gaming properties that our preview of the best sportsbooks in Cedar Rapids will focus on.
However, we would also be remiss if we did not mention that an alternative (or really alternatives) exist in the form of de facto Cedar Rapid sportsbooks that can be found solely online. These 100 percent legal offshore sportsbook sites – and our favorite ones in the segment to use are Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, BetDSI, and 5Dimes – offer the kind of sports betting Iowa residents have been looking for going back decades. These reputable, regulated and licensed overseas-based sites provide unbeatable security, peerless reliability and some of the best betting odds and more betting lines than just about any other sports wagering platforms out there, so this time it is you that would be remiss if you failed to check them out the next time you want to get in on the action.
We will cover all those topics and more in this guide to the best sportsbooks in Cedar Rapids – and to the casinos that will make the ultimate Cedar Rapids sportsbooks once they are given the go-ahead by the state.
Is Sports betting Currently Legal In Cedar Rapids?
You probably already know this if you keep up with all the comings and goings of the broader gambling scene, but sports betting became open for nationwide legalization on a state by state basis, when the US Supreme Court in May of 2018 decided to overturn the longstanding and much derided PASPA. That law made it impossible for 46 of 50 states to regulate their own sports betting industries, but now that it has been stricken from the federal legal rolls, all 50 states are legally able to pursue legislation on their own to legalize wagering on sporting events and to regulate the industry inside their borders. Iowa took advantage of this new-found freedom and legalized sports betting through both land-based sportsbooks and through statewide mobile sports betting apps.
However, there are, as you also may be aware, plenty of legal online sports betting sites based overseas that accept Iowa players and have, in fact, been serving as the de facto and default best sportsbooks in Cedar Rapids. The most highly recommended sites in this extremely competitive segment of the online gambling world are without a doubt (to us anyway), Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, BetDSI, and 5Dimes. These sites provide not a just a great alternative to legal land-based sportsbooks in Cedar Rapids, IA, but excellent sportsbooks in their own right, which is what they have been for more than two decades in several cases.
Minimum Legal Age To Bet At Cedar Rapids Sportsbooks
The legal age to bet at Cedar Rapids sportsbooks is 21 years old or older. This is the requirement set by the state when lawmakers decided to legalize sports betting in Iowa. This is also the age requirement for when mobile sports wagering apps are offered to Iowans. In order to use those apps, sports bettors will have to travel to the casino which hosts the platform and verify their age. You will need to bring a government-issued ID to the casino’s sportsbook and this rule will remain in effect until January 1, 2021.
While we are on this topic, it is worth pointing out that the legal offshore sportsbooks serving Iowa players will all accept players and account holders so long as they are aged 18 and up. Nevertheless, we suggest that our readers here at SportsBettingIowa stick to the “21 and up” rule. This is for the simple reason that it is always a wise policy to adhere as closely to the local laws relating to the gambling hobby as possible to protect oneself as best as can be from running afoul of the law.
Best Cedar Rapids Sportsbooks
As is abundantly clear to our readers who have made it all the way through this guide, all the best Cedar Rapids sportsbooks are not currently based in the city limits or even in any physical location in the Hawkeye State. All the top sportsbooks in Cedar Rapids are found – at this time anyway – online at legal offshore sports betting sites based in and regulated according to the gaming authorities in foreign countries. This is pretty much the only way sports betting for Iowa residents can be realized as the state’s legal codes do not specifically place a ban on using the internet to place wagers on sporting events, and the best operators in this segment are Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, BetDSI, and 5Dimes.
However, there are several casino properties that are located quite close to downtown Cedar Rapids (most within a drive of just a few minutes at most) that have the raw materials and the numbers to make great Cedar Rapids sportsbooks once they are approved by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. In the next few sections below, we aim to give you our hot take on why these prominent and popular casino properties are just on the cusp of becoming some of Cedar Rapids’ best sportsbooks. Now, when exactly they will launch is a different matter. But we think it is abundantly clear that by legalizing sports betting in Iowa, it will now be of immense benefit to gamblers in the state that have been without a legal local option for decades.
- Riverside Casino & Golf Resort
- Address: 3184 Highway 22, Riverside, IA 52327
- First Opened: May 2005
- Number of Rooms: 201
- Total Gaming Space: 58,000 square feet (1,150 slot machines, 24 table games, blackjack, craps, roulette, poker room, etc.)
- Gaming Age: 21
- Top Attractions: Riverside Golf Course designed by Rees Jones, live entertainment at Riverside Event Center, Show Lounge with nightly live shows, BBQ & Blues Brunch, day spa services
- Best Restaurants: Ruthie’s Steak & Seafood, Robert’s Buffet, Ripple Diner, Ripple Express (coffee and breakfast items, pastries, etc.)
- Owner: Elite Casino Resorts, LLC
- Phone: (319) 648-1234
Launched a little more than a decade ago in nearby Osceola, the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort offers sports bettors and vacationers alike plenty of options when it comes to fun activities and all the wagering action both groups are prepared to handle. When you are not gaming it up on the 58,000 square feet of the main casino floor you can put your putting (and driving) skills to the test on the Riverside Golf Course, which was designed by famous US PGA Tour course designer Rees Jones or check out a concert or a live nightly performance while enjoying a few rounds of drinks at the BBQ & Blues Brunch lounge. Fine dining options like Ruthie’s Steak & Seafood go hand in hand with more affordable options like those offered by Robert’s Buffet and the Ripple Express, meaning that every guest as the 201-room hotel can be sure there is something on the menu they can afford. All these factors combine to make this elite casino property, which is only about a 30-minute drive from Cedar Rapids, a prime candidate to become one of the best Cedar Rapids sportsbooks with the addition of legal sports betting for Iowa residents.
- Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo
- Address: 777 Isle of Capri Blvd, Waterloo, IA, 50701
- First Opened: June 30, 2007
- Number of Rooms: 195
- Total Gaming Space: 43,142 square feet (1,009 slot machines, 23 table games, baccarat, video slot machines and video poker games)
- Gaming Age: 21
- Top Attractions: Indoor pool and hot tub, large fitness center, lots of seasonal promotional offers, regular tournaments, live entertainment venue with shows throughout the year
- Best Restaurants: Otis & Henry’s Steakhouse, Farmer’s Pick Buffet, The Lone Wolf sports bar, Simply Yummy Baking Company
- Owner: IOC Black Hawk County, Inc., Isle of Carpi Casinos, Inc.
- Phone: (877) 477-5253
One of the first things you will notice after you first set foot into the Isle Casino Hotel in Waterloo, IA, which is only about 40 minutes or so by car from Cedar Rapids is that this average sized casino would make a great addition to the growing number of potential Cedar Rapids sportsbooks. How so? Well, take for starters that there is absolutely no smoking on the amply appointed gaming floor of nearly 44,000 square feet – not huge, but you will not feel cramped, especially after the upcoming renovations and expansions are completed (hopefully to include a new sports wagering lounge where you can watch your team play after you have placed a bet). Additionally, there are several excellent restaurants to choose from, including Otis & Henry’s Steakhouse, a legit fine dining experience like few others in this part of Iowa, as well as the ever-popular Lone Wolf sports bar and the Simply Yummy Baking Company (your wife or other female companions will probably spend as much time there as she will at the heated indoor pool and top-flight fitness center/spa). All in all, this is a casino with a little bit of something for every guest, which is why it would easily make one of the best sportsbooks in Cedar Rapids area.
- Diamond Jo Casino
- Address: 301 Bell Street, Dubuque, IA 52001
- First Opened: May 1994
- Number of Rooms: none (not a hotel)
- Total Gaming Space: 37,291 square feet (992 slot machines, 19 table games, blackjack, roulette, poker, pai gow, etc.)
- Gaming Age: 21
- Top Attractions: Mississippi Moon Bar – live shows four nights per week, Tree Bar, Cherry Lanes – bowling alley, National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, Dubuque River Rides
- Best Restaurants: Woodfire Grille, The Game sports bar, The Kitchen Buffet, Filament Meetery + Eatery, various fast food and snack bars
- Owner: Diamond Jo, LLC
- Phone: (563) 690-4801
The Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque may be a little bit further afield than some of the other (hopeful) Cedar Rapids sportsbooks locations, but the extra drive time of about a half hour longer will definitely be worth it, and we will tell you why. This place has got you covered with live shows four nights a week at the Mississippi Moon Bar, which is famous for its blues acts straight from the Delta and local locations of interest like the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium or rides on the replica steamboat cruise on the river itself. Once you have seen all the charming small-town environs have to offer, you can enjoy a rousing evening of playing cards, spinning the roulette wheel or pulling a slot machine handle at the modestly sized but never crowded 37,291 square foot gaming floor. It may not sound like much compared to some other resort-style casinos in Iowa, but the Diamond Jo Casino makes up for its somewhat smaller size with a familiar, cozy feel that bigger gambling spots simply struggle to achieve. The addition of legal sports betting for Iowa residents can now make this into one of the perceived Cedar Rapids sportsbooks. This would do wonders to boost the profitability of this popular locals’ haunt for Cedar Rapids residents.
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