How Do I Start a Sportsbook From Iowa?

Written by:
Don Shapiro
Published on:

Iowa sports betting is hot as a result of primarily two state teams: The Iowa Hawkeyes and ISU Cyclones.  Both enjoyed some success in the 2023 men's college basketball season.  The Iowa women's college basketball team made it to the Final Four, where they knocked off undefeated South Carolina, the huge favorite to win it all.  And both schools look to do well in the upcoming college football season.


How to Start Your Online Mobile Sportsbook in Iowa

For a fee as low as $3 per head (per customer/player) per week, you will get a customized website for your players, 24/7 customer service (online and by phone), full odds service, live in-play wagering, betting on most international sports, full reporting, an online casino, a horse book and much more.  AcePerHead is currently running a FREE WEEK every month FOR LIFE promo.

There are no upfront costs such as the purchase of the software, etc...  Also no need to hire anyone other than the recommended accountant and perhaps an assistant.  Remember, you will be spending most of your time on the beach. 

Is Sports Betting Regulated in Iowa?

Yes.  Iowa was among the first to open its doors to regulation back in 2018.

The competition from the state-regulated apps could prove tough for local bookies in such a small state.  These apps include all the big names such as DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars and BetMGM as well as PointsBet, BetRivers, Tipico, SuperBook, BetFred, Betway, Hard Rock, Barstool, Elite Sportsbook, Circa, Q Sportsbook, ClutchBet and DRF Sportsbook.

Local bookies can benefit from some prohibitions for these apps.  The bookies can capitalize on the 18 to 21 crowd, those looking to bet on the NFL Draft, those looking to wager on eSports and those looking to place bets on college props.

With the state-regulated apps, winnings that exceed $600 must be reported to the state and taxed at 5% plus there is the standard 24% federal tax, none of which will typically be reported by local bookmakers.

Benefits of Betting With a Local vs. Regulated Sportsbook in Iowa

There are plenty of state-regulated apps for the Iowa gambler.  But local bookies provide anonymity, wagering on credit and typically accept customers 18 and up.  They also do not require extensive paperwork.  Pay per head businesses like also provide wagering on many events and options not available at regulated books.  They also feature an online casino and racebook.  Local bookies do not report your winnings to the IRS (you still need to file your taxes).


Never accept customers you have not fully screened beforehand.  You should either be familiar with your customers or they should contain references.  A pay per head has eliminated a number of elements of the bookmaking business once deemed to be illegal such as the operation of a wire room and the settlement of payments/collections via cash.  For example, bets are placed over a secure website with servers outside the United States.  Bets by phone are strongly discouraged

Pay per heads like AcePerHead also offer money transactions via Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that take place via the website.

Take That Extra Step:

  • Do not take bets over the phone.
  • Avoid taking on customers who reside outside your state.
  • Know your customers and check referrals.
  • Do not engage with individuals involved in any type of criminal activities.
  • Use cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin Tumblers provided by AcePerHead, for secure anonymous transactions.
  • Keep your customers information private.
  • Always file your taxes.

Today's pay per head businesses are regular sponsors on your favorite search engines so they enjoy maximum exposure, but not all pay per head businesses are the same.  AcePerHead is one of the most established in the industry.

Avoid those services that only offer the software for super cheap and nothing else.

Iowa Team Report (Updated April 1, 2023)

Iowa Hawkeyes College Basketball (Women) - They did it!  They shocked the sport with a win over the undefeated South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball team that was the huge favorite to win it all entering this year's tournament.

Caitlin Clark scored a national semifinal record 41 points for the 77-73 upset.

"We had nothing to lose," Clark said. "I have all the confidence in the world in this group, and they believe right back in me. That's all you need: teammates that believe in you, coaches that believe in you, a program and a university that supports you, the state of Iowa, they supported me like no other, and I love it." 

Iowa Hawkeyes College Football - The Hawkeyes pay $10,000 on a $100 bet to go all the way. 

Iowa has added a Big Ten championship-winning quarterback in Cade McNamara to pair with tight ends Erick All and Luke Lachey, which has resulted in Athlon Sports picking the Hawkeyes to finish second in the Big Ten West, at least a few months ahead of the season start.


Hopefully, experience will finally pay off up front along the offensive line for Iowa. There’s another addition up front in Saginaw Valley State transfer offensive tackle Daijon Parker that should help that along.

Then, there’s a defense that has all sorts of talent back and that folks expect to be stingy once more.

Iowa Cyclones College Football - The Cyclones pay $30,000 on a $100 bet to win the College Football Playoff Championship.

- Don Shapiro,

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