Related Topics:

Gambling & Amusement Devices

The Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing (DIAL) regulates the registration of all electrical and mechanical amusement devices that are subject to regulation according to Iowa law. An amusement device must meet the following requirements: 

  • Prizes must be merchandise only and must not exceed $50 in value. No cash shall be awarded as a prize.
  • A device shall not be designed or adapted to cause or to enable a person to cause the release of free games or portions of games when designated as a potential award for use of the device.
  • An amusement device shall not be designed or adapted to enable a person using the device to increase the chances of winning free games or portions of games by paying more than is ordinarily required to play the game.
  • Amusement devices may not be designated or resemble a machine which is normally used for casino-type gambling. Slot machines are not permitted nor are devices capable of playing poker, blackjack, or keno. 
  • An award given for the use of an amusement device shall only be redeemed on the premises where the device is located and only for merchandise sold in the normal course of business for the premises.  

Please review Iowa Code Chapter 99B and administrative rules 481 IAC 104 and 481 IAC 105 for general provisions of amusement devices and registered amusement devices.

Registered amusement devices may only be located on the premises of an establishment for which a Class "A," Class "B," Class "C," Special Class "C," or Class "D" liquor-control license, OR a Class "B" or Class "C" beer permit has been issued, pursuant to Iowa Code Chapter 123.

Purchasing Amusement Devices

Iowa Code restricts the total number of registered amusement devices that may be placed in the state [see Iowa Code Section 99B.53(6)]. Anyone interested in purchasing an amusement device for placement in an approved establishment should contact the Social and Charitable Gambling Unit at or 515.281.6840 for instructions on how they may place their name on the waiting list to register a device.

How to Register an Amusement Device

Individuals owning or possessing amusement devices may register electronically through the DIAL's online Game Machine Management System (GMMS). Registrations may be purchased through the GMMS website as well. Once an account has been established, individuals may make changes to their information including changing the location of registered devices.

For assistance with the registration of electrical and mechanical amusement devices, please contact the department's Social and Charitable Gambling Unit at 515-281-6840 or send an email to

Annual Cost

  • Each device must display a registration tag that is issued annually: $25 per device
  • Manufacturer registration: $2,500
  • Distributor registration: $5,000
  • Owner registration: $2,500 (no more than four devices may be placed at a single location)
  • Qualified organizations: $0 (no more than four devices may be placed at a single location)
  • NOTE: A copy of 501(c) determination letter must be included with application