US Horse Racing Betting Online

Orse racing is an ancient sport with a rich history dating back centuries. As long as horses are domesticated, people have been rushing them. The tradition continues today, with major horse racing events held regularly around the world.
In the United States in particular, you can find horse racing tracks in most states. And of course, where there is competition, there’ll be people betting on the result. Up till recently, all horse racing gambling happened in the track. The world wide web has changed everything and now people can just as easily put real money wagers online.
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One of the nice things about online horse racing is that you can bet on races which take place across the country. If you live on the West Coast and want to bet on a race that’s taking place on the East Coast, that’s no issue. Internet betting brings the action to you.
The best aspect of all is the fact that it is all legal. Most nations in the USA permit online horse race gambling. So provided that you don’t reside in one of those few restricted states, you can bet to your heart’s content. You can even see the races live in your computer and see how your stakes pan out in real time.
Of the racebook sites listed on this page, all operate in accordance with the law in the United States. You don’t have to visit offshore gambling sites to bet on horses. Sites we recommend are licensed and controlled to do business in the united states.
The Legality of Online Horse Racing
Online horse racing betting is legal in most states at the United States. Horse and greyhound racing both received specific exemptions from anti-gambling prohibition that has been passed at the national level in 2006.
A few countries have opted out of online horse betting, but many Americans are free to bet on horses all they want. You can see the graph below for a list states that allow online horse betting, and those that DO NOT enable online wagering. If you live in one of those states, you are going to need to visit a track in person, or use an approved off track facility. Everyone else is welcome to join and bet at licensed and controlled online racebooks.
What’s online horse racing gambling legal in the USA?
Online gambling law is murky and convoluted, but the general arrangement is that almost all types of gambling, betting and poker are outlawed. The Wire Act of 1961 was utilized as the basis for anti-gambling enforcement, and then the UIGEA of 2006 further strengthened that line of thought.
Horse racing in particular has got two notable exceptions in federal law. First was that the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 (IHA). Even though the IHA was composed well before the arrival of the internet, it has played an instrumental role in giving us legal online horse racing gambling now.
In short, the IHA made it legal to put interstate wagers on horse races as long as these betting is allowed in both countries. This piece of legislation is the reason off-track betting parlors (OTBs) situated in 1 state may take wagers on races occurring at another nation. Back when the IHA was written, it had been with OTBs in your mind.
Legislators updated the Interstate Horseracing Act in 2000 using a minor change to the definition of an“interstate off-track wager“ to include the words“or other electronic media.“ This opened the door for legal online horse racing betting.
The second significant exemption for horse racing came in 2006. That year, Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in an effort to crack down on illegal online gambling. The UIGEA basically made it illegal to allow banks and other financial issues to do business with offshore gaming websites. This didn’t technically make it illegal for citizens to place bets online, but it rather made it rather difficult to move money to and from gambling sites.
However, horse and greyhound racing obtained specific exemptions from the UIGEA. It was a small controversy at the time, but many senators managed to make sure carve-outs for racing betting. This set up the frame for the system we have now: legal online horse betting.
The only catch is that the individual states were given the option to“opt out“ of internet horse racing. Several states took that path and also the citizens of those states aren’t permitted to join or place wagers at horse gambling websites. The good thing is that only a small number of states decided to determine.
The Way Horse Racing Betting Works
This is your primer manual for actually putting bets on horse races. The bets outlined below could be placed both on site and online. The very best way to begin is to test out a number of the fundamental bets first. As you become familiar with how it works, you can progress up to more complex wagers.
Before we enter each kind of bet, I’d love to give you a general summary of the way the betting system works with horses. Horse wagering is classified as a form of“parimutuel wagering.“ This is a bit different than sports betting, so read closely if you are new to horse betting.
In parimutuel betting, all bets on a specific race are pooled together. The racetrack then sets aside a proportion of that pool to maintain for its income and operating expenses. This is called the“vig.“ This system ensures that the racetrack gets its cash whatever the outcome.
The percentage taken from the pool fluctuates depending on the path and variety of bet placed. Generally, you can expect to observe a vig of anywhere from 15% to 30%.
Following the vig is taken out, the remaining portion of the cash in the swimming pool is used to pay out the winners. The payouts at a horse race change constantly up before the beginning of the race. As fresh wagers are accumulated, the provided payouts vary into account for the new gambling action.
That is why favored horses provide lower premiums. More people tend to wager on the favorite, therefore when the favorite wins, the section of the pool assigned to this horse has to be divided among more people. When a longshot horse wins, there are inclined to be fewer individuals backing that horse, so each person collects more winnings.
Kinds of Bets
There are all types of different bets that can be put on a single race. The general rule is that the more difficult the bet is to triumph, the higher it pays. By way of instance, a right bet on a single horse to acquire pays fairly well, but a bet on the exact finishing order of the top 3 horses pays much better.
Here are the most common Kinds of horse bets:
Straight Bets
There are 3 different types of straight bets. These wagers are fairly simple and behave as a great starting point for newbies.
Win: This is a wager on a single horse to take 1st Location Place: A bet on a single horse to shoot either 1st or 2nd Location Show: A wager on a single place to take 1st, 2nd or 3rd place Exotic Bets
Exotic bets are more complicated than direct bets. In an exotic wager, you make several picks that include more than 1 horse and maybe even more than one race.
Exacta: A bet on two horses to take 1st and 2nd location. Your horses must finish in this exact order to acquire Quinella: A bet on two horses to take 1st and 2nd but the arrangement doesn’t matter
Trifecta: A wager on three horses to take 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in that exact sequence Superfecta: A wager on four horses to take 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place in that Specific order Daily Double: A bet where you pick the 1st place finishers of two Distinct races
Select 3: A wager where you pick the 1st place finishers of three successive races
Pick 4: A wager in which you pick the 1st place finishers of four consecutive races Boxing Horses
Boxing is useful once you know that a few horses are strong favorites, but aren’t sure which order they’ll finish. You are able to“box“ these horses to cover every chance.
Quinella Box: You pick three horses and you’ll win if any two of those horses finish in 1st and 2nd location. A quinella box on horses #3, #4 and #5 would cover all possible outcomes: 3-4, 3-5, 4-3, 4-5, 5-3 and 5-4.
You could also box exactas, trifectas and superfectas this way.
Keying Horses
It is possible to key horses whenever you’ve got a strong feeling that one horse will finish first but you aren’t as sure about the horses which can take 2nd and 3rd location. To put it differently, you’ve got one“key“ horse picked to win the race along with some other horses that will come in after that one.
So let’s say you create a $1 trifecta key of #1 on #2, #3 and #4. In this case, you need the #1 horse to win, then any of the other three horses to finish in 2nd and 3rd set in no specific order.
Getting Started
Now you have a grip on the fundamentals of horse betting, you are able to apply that knowledge to betting on the internet. In practice, it’s basically the same idea. The only difference is that instead of talking to a cashier at the racetrack, you select your wagers onscreen with your mouse and keyboard.
1. Produce and Fund Your Betting Account
The very first thing you are going to have to do to wager online is register for an account at an authorized horse racing site (visit my three picks near the top of the page). All you need to do is visit the race betting site of your choice, click a few of those large“join now“ buttons and fill out the new account form. It should be pretty self-explanatory.
The next step is to fund your account. You do this by logging in to your account at your gambling site and then hitting the“deposit“ link on your account area. If you have never made a deposit before, you’re likely going to receive a pop-up asking you to deposit.
Then, you can Pick from a number of deposit methods:
Wire transfer
Credit cards and debit cards
Check or money order
Green Dot Moneypak
Note: The Green Dot Moneypak is a type of prepaid coupon which you are able to buy at stores such as Wal Mart and Walgreens. You pay money for the Moneypak and then redeem that Moneypak on line by typing in the unique number on the back of the card. Essentially, it’s a simple way to finance your account with money.
2. Place Your Bets
As soon as you have an account financed with cash, you should start placing your wagers. Click on the“bet now“ button and this will take you to an area that shows a list of all of the monitors supported by your gambling site. Click the name of a track and then you’ll see a listing of upcoming races and also the horses competing in each race.
Every betting site does it somewhat differently but in general, you will see a display which allows you to pick your wager amount, the sort of wager and the horses which will be competing. As you make your choices, you should see a bit slip that reveals a summary of your current bet. You will also have the choice to box and secret that your horses at this moment.
When you think you’ve got your bet all setup, you’ll see a“confirm“ or“submit“ button close to the bet summary box. Hit that button and then it will ask you one more time if you’re sure that this is your bet you would like to place. If everything looks good, click the confirm button and your bet will go live.
After you submit your bet, you can go back and put more wagers, see the race live on the site or go about your day as normal. The website will track your wager and pay your winnings if appropriate. If any of your wagers are winners, the betting site will immediately credit your account with all the money. You may then cash your winnings out or utilize them to place more wagers.
Betting Promotions
The best horse gambling sites compete heavily with one another for your enterprise. They all know it doesn’t require much effort whatsoever for a customer to switch to a rival. Thus, they all offer their own rewards promotions and programs in an attempt to increase customer loyalty.
You won’t go wrong with any of the horse gambling websites on this webpage, but you may want to check out their promotions to see which ones look the best for you. Here’s a look at what every betting site must offer: Promos
Right off the bat, BetAmerica gives all new clients a 100% match deposit bonus worth up to $300. This means that some amount you deposit will be doubled up to $300 in extra money. The bonus cash is released at a speed equal to 10 percent of every bet you place at BetAmerica.
BetAmerica additionally allows players to make their own gaming tournaments. This is a unique idea in which you’ll be able to produce your own handicapping championship where you define the buyin, demanded deposit, wager types, payouts and date. You may then invite your friends or let anybody join. BetAmerica also picks one tournament every week and promises at least $250 in prizes at no cost.
On selected“bonus tracks,“ BetAmerica provides 3% cashback on all wagers, with no maximum cashback amounts. You can also refer friends to BetAmerica and receive $50 if your friends register and make a deposit. Review. Promos
TwinSpires requires a slightly different approach with its promos. Instead of focusing on long-term promos that seldom change, TwinSpires always releases fresh, short-term promotions. These promos revolve around special betting events in which you are able to make more loyalty points and also get payout bonuses for placing bets on big racing events.
Player points are summed up at TwinSpires by placing wagers and engaging in the regular promos mentioned previously. You can redeem those points for wagering credits, presents from and also for free entrance to racetracks.
Furthermore, new customers are welcomed to TwinSpires with a $100 signup bonus. This bonus is granted if you sign up, make an electronic banking deposit and wager at least $500 during your first month. Meet those requirements and you will receive $100 added to your gambling account. Review. Promos
TVG is somewhat weak on the other hand, but it will offer a few perks to clients. All new players qualify for a $150 signup bonus that’s released in $50 increments right to the real money account. For the first 3 months, you will receive $50 added to your balance should you wager at least $250 in any single month.
TVG also has an ongoing promotion in which you earn 1 point for every dollar wagered. Over time, you may accumulate these points and will finally redeem them for money rewards and Skymall gift certificates. The rate of return is a little on the low side, but it will come in handy after a couple of months of heavy betting. Review.
Major Horse Racing Events
People bet money on horses but a big portion of gambling action revolves around major horse racing events.
The Triple Crown
The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing (Triple Crown for short) is a pair of three unique races. This really is the biggest racing event of them all and it’s restricted especially to 3-year-old horses. This makes it a once-in-a-lifetime event for each and every racehorse.
The pinnacle of horse racing glory would be to win all 3 events in the Triple Crown. It’s exceedingly difficult to win a Triple Crown since every race is of a different period, and horses typically fare better at a certain lengths than in the others. Add to the fact that each and every horse just gets one chance ever to win, and you may imagine it does not happen frequently. In the United States, only 11 horses have made Triple Crown glory.
And just to clarify a thing — the term“Triple Crown“ means different things in different nations. Every horse racing country has its own Triple Crown series of events. Therefore, if you overhear someone talking about the Triple Crown and they mention the Epsom Derby, this individual is talking about the UK’s variant.
The following three events that make up the Triple Crown in the USA are:
Kentucky Derby
Preakness Stakes
Belmont Stakes
Kentucky Derby
When: First Saturday in May
Where: Louisville, Kentucky
Length: 1.25 miles
The very first event in the show, the Kentucky Derby, is the one most celebrated event in all of horse racing. It’s held at Churchill Downs every year since 1875 and even non-horse racing fans dress up in flashy clothes and eccentric hats to observe. Even if you can’t make it into Churchill Downs, the chances are you can get a Kentucky Derby party in your city.
Preakness Stakes
When: Third Saturday in May
Where: Baltimore, Maryland
Length: 9.5 furlongs (1 and 3/16ths miles)
After the Kentucky Derby comes the Preakness. This one doesn’t draw as much of a crowd as the Kentucky Derby, but it is still a massive event in its own right. This is also where you’ll begin to find some of the drama that accompanies the possibility of a Triple Crown. All eyes are on the winner of the Kentucky Derby.
Belmont Stakes
After: Three months after the Preakness
Where: Elmont, New York
Length: 1.5 miles
And the final leg of the Triple Crown is the Belmont Stakes. At 1.5 mph, this is the longest race in the sequence. This one is run three weeks after the Preakness and ranks somewhere in the top 5 with regard to attendance and viewership. But this race becomes the biggest of them all whenever there’s a horse that has taken 1st in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, providing that horse a shot in the coveted Triple Crown title.
Kentucky Oaks
The Kentucky Oaks is held on the Friday before the Kentucky Derby annually at the same racetrack in Louisville. The Kentucky Oaks is a very popular race that regularly attracts a crowd of 100,000. The winner has a $600,000 purse and the famous garland of lilies known as the Lilies for the Fillies.
Breeders‘ Cup
The Breeders‘ Cup is a set of 14 races held across a single weekend each November. This event is generally held at a different track in the United States each year. It’s one of the most-watched events in horse racing, with more than $25,000,000 in prize money up for grabs.
The biggest event in the Breeders‘ Cup is the Breeders‘ Cup Classic, which is a 1.25 mile race worth $5,000,000. The smallest event in this show is worth $500,000; each other occasion is worth $1 million or more.
Travers Stakes
The Travers Stakes is the oldest thoroughbred racing event in the United States and is currently 1.25 kilometers in length. The race is open to 3-year-olds just and has a purse worth $1,000,000. Only one horse in history (Whirlaway in 1941) has taken the Triple Crown and the Travers Stakes.
Big Players in the Industry
This segment will cover a number of the huge players in america horse racing industry. More importantly, we will discuss some of the major betting websites and explain how they fit into the big picture.
TVG and Betfair
TVG is short for the“Television Games Network“ and it is a television network devoted entirely to horse racing. It began broadcasting in 1999 and has become the largest horse racing network in the United States. TVG also facilitates offtrack betting through the internet, phone and at times even via boxtop sets on your television.
The television part of TVG displays live horse races, analyses, betting tips and other applications that cover the broad subject of horse racing. TVG also operates a US-based website that it is possible to visit to watch live races and place wagers in your computer.
In 2009, TVG was purchased by Betfair, a UK-based betting site founded in 2004. Betfair is famous for its exchange-style gaming platform where people can buy and sell“shares“ in positions on sports bets. This manner, betting at Betfair is very similar to trading options.
Betfair doesn’t conduct business with customers in the USA, but it keeps TVG residing as a distinct thing. You likely won’t see any references to Betfair if you visit TVG, but Betfair does own the company.
TwinSpires is a US-based horse betting website owned and operated by Churchill Downs. TwinSpires is available to clients in the USA and provides betting options on tracks across the nation. It is a free-to-use service which supplies a vast range of wagers, live races and signup bonuses to get new customers.
TwinSpires is one of the largest horse racing betting sites and includes a clean history. In case you choose to bet here, you’re going to be in good hands. The business is licensed to accept and handle real cash betting in the united states. is the youngest horse racing game bet site but it has grown rapidly and now functions as a substantial player in the online betting market. BetAmerica is accredited from the North Dakota Racing Commission and accepts wagers from customers in many US states.
Similar to the other race gambling sites on this page, BetAmerica delivers a variety of racing wagers, live streaming video and simulcast selections for all members free of charge. What makes BetAmerica unique is that it offers online greyhound betting along with its horse racing options.
Online Horse Racing Gambling in a Declining Industry
Major horse racing events draw remarkable audiences to the day, but the sport as a whole has experienced a slow, steady decline over the past few decades. Betting manage is down considerably since the 1970s and many horse racing tracks are affected financially.
You are able to point to many different reasons for the decline. Americans have more gaming options, other sports have increased in popularity, so it is a lot easier to sit and watch TV and so forth. Today, you can get the general public to tune into the Kentucky Derby, but other races tend to be the realm of serious horse racing fans.
Racetracks first looked into adding other gambling games to their premises as a way to bump up earnings. We can observe this with state legislatures eventually opening into the concept of all ontrack slot machines. The paths that have been able to add slots have benefitted greatly from the new income.
Likewise, tracks are based more and more on off-track gambling — specifically internet betting. The horse racing industry still retains substantial clout in politics, and that’s probably 1 reason why horse racing obtained a carve-out in the UIGEA at 2006.

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