Orse racing is an ancient sport with a rich history dating back centuries. For as long as horses are domesticated, people have been racing them. The tradition continues today, with major horse racing events held regularly around the globe.
In the United States in particular, it is possible to find horse racing tracks in the majority of states. And of course, where there is competition, there will be individuals gambling on the outcome. Up till recently, all horse racing betting took place at the track. The internet has changed everything and people can just as easily place real money wagers online.
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One of the nice things about online horse racing is that you can bet on races that take place around the nation. If you live on the West Coast and need to bet on a race that is happening on the East Coast, there is no problem. Internet gaming brings the action to you.
The very best aspect of all is the fact that it is all legal. Most states in the USA permit online horse race betting. So as long as you don’t live in one of the few limited states, you are able to bet to your heart’s content. You can even see the races live on your computer and see how your stakes pan out in real time.
Of the racebook sites listed on the page, all operate in accordance with the law in the USA. You do not have to see offshore gambling sites to wager on horses. Websites we recommend are licensed and controlled to conduct business in the US.
The Legality of Online Horse Racing
Online horse racing gambling is legal in most states at the United States. Horse and greyhound racing both received specific exemptions from anti-gambling prohibition that was passed at the national level in 2006.
A few states have opted from online horse betting, but most Americans are free to bet on horses all they desire. You’re able to see the graph below for a list states that allow online horse gambling, and those which DO NOT allow online wagering. If you reside in one of these states, you are going to need to pay a visit to a track in person, or use a licensed off track facility. Everybody else is welcome to join up and wager at licensed and regulated 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 most forms of gambling, gambling and gambling are outlawed. The Wire Act of 1961 was used as the basis for anti-gambling authorities, and then the UIGEA of 2006 farther strengthened that line of thought.
Horse racing in particular has got two noteworthy exceptions in federal law. First was that the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 (IHA). Even though the IHA was composed well before the advent of the internet, it has played an instrumental part in giving us legal online horse racing betting today.
Simply speaking, the IHA made it lawful to put interstate wagers on horse races as long as such gambling is permitted in both countries. This piece of legislation is why off-track betting parlors (OTBs) situated in 1 state may take wagers on races occurring in another nation. Back when the IHA was written, it was with OTBs in mind.
Legislators updated the Interstate Horseracing Act in 2000 using a slight change to the definition of an”interstate off-track wager” to incorporate the words”or other electronic media.” This opened the door for legal online horse racing gambling.
The second significant exemption for horse racing came in 2006. That year, Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in a bid to crack down on illegal online gaming. The UIGEA essentially made it illegal for 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 transfer money to and from gambling websites.
However, horse and greyhound racing obtained specific exemptions from the UIGEA. It was a bit of a controversy at the time, but several senators managed to ensure carve-outs for racing betting. This setup the framework for the system we have now: legal online horse gambling.
The only catch is that the individual states have been given the choice to”opt out” of online horse racing. Several nations took that path and the citizens of those states aren’t permitted to combine or place wagers at horse gambling websites. The fantastic thing is that just a few states made a decision to opt out.
The Way Horse Racing Betting Works
This is the primer manual for actually putting bets on horse races. The bets outlined below can be placed both in-person and on the internet. The best way to get started is to try out a number of the fundamental bets . As you become comfortable with how it works, you can progress up to more complex wagers.
Before we get into each type of bet, I’d love to offer you a general overview of the way the betting system works with horses. Horse wagering is categorized as a form of”parimutuel wagering.” This is a bit different than sports betting, so read closely if you’re new to horse betting.
In parimutuel betting, all bets on a particular race are pooled together. The racetrack then sets aside a percentage of the pool to maintain for its own income and operating expenses. This is known as the”vig.” This system makes sure that the racetrack gets its cash regardless of the outcome.
The percentage taken from the pool varies depending on the track and variety of bet placed. Usually, you can expect to see a vig of anywhere from 15% to 30 percent.
After the vig is taken out, the remaining portion of the money in the pool is used to cover the winners out. The payouts at a horse race shift constantly up until the start of the race. As fresh wagers are collected, the provided payouts vary into account for the new gambling action.
This is why preferred horses provide lower payouts. More people have a tendency to bet on the favorite, therefore when the favorite wins, the portion of the pool assigned to this horse has to be divided among more individuals. If a longshot horse wins, there tend to be fewer people backing that horse, so each person collects additional winnings.
Kinds of Bets
There are all types of different bets that may be put on a single race. The general rule is that the harder the bet is to win, the higher it pays. By way of example, a straight bet on a single horse to acquire pays fairly well, however a bet on exactly the finishing order of the top 3 horses pays much better.
Here are the most common Kinds of horse bets:
Straight Bets
There are 3 distinct types of bets that are straight. These wagers are pretty straightforward and act as a great starting point for newbies.
Win: This is a bet on a single horse to take 1st Location Place: A bet on a single horse to take either 1st or 2nd place Prove: A wager on a single location to take 1st, 2nd or 3rd Location Exotic Bets
Exotic bets are somewhat more complex than direct bets. Within an exotic wager, you create several selections which include more than one horse and perhaps more than 1 race.
Exacta: A bet on two horses to take 1st and 2nd location. Your horses must finish in that Specific order to win Quinella: A bet on two horses to take 1st and 2nd but the arrangement does not matter
Trifecta: A wager on three horses to take 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in that Specific sequence Superfecta: A wager on four horses to take 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place in that Specific sequence Daily Double: A wager in which you pick the 1st place finishers of two different races
Pick 3: A bet where you pick the 1st place finishers of three consecutive races
Select 4: A wager where you pick the 1st place finishers of four successive races. Boxing Horses
Boxing is useful once you understand that a few horses are solid favorites, but are not sure which order they will finish. You can”box” these horses cover every chance.
Quinella Box: You pick three horses and you will win if any two of those horses finish in 1st and 2nd location. A quinella box on horses #3, #4 and #5 will cover all probable outcomes: 3-4, 3-5, 4-3, 4-5, 5-3 and 5-4.
You can also box exactas, trifectas and superfectas in this manner.
Keying Horses
It is possible to key horses whenever you have a strong feeling that one horse will finish first but you aren’t as certain about the horses which can take 2nd and 3rd location. To put it differently, you have one”key” horse picked to win the race and a few other horses which will come in later that one.
So let us 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 some of those other three horses to finish in 2nd and 3rd place in no specific order.
Getting Started
Now you have a grasp on the basics of horse betting, you are able to apply that knowledge to betting on the internet. In practice, it is basically the same idea. The sole difference is that instead of speaking to a cashier in the racetrack, you select your wagers onscreen using your mouse and keyboard.
1. Produce and Fund Your Betting Account
The first thing you’ll have to do to bet online is register for an account in an authorized horse racing website (see my three picks near the top of the page). All you need to do is see the race gambling site of your selection, click a few of the large”join now” buttons and complete the new account type. It should be quite self-explanatory.
The next step is to fund your accounts. You do that by logging in to your account in your betting site and then hitting the”deposit” link on your account area. If you have never created a deposit before, you’re likely going to receive a pop-up asking you to deposit.
Then, you can choose from a number of deposit methods:
Wire transfer
Credit cards and debit cards
Check or money order
Green Dot Moneypak
Notice: The Green Dot Moneypak is a form of prepaid coupon which you can buy at stores like Wal Mart and Walgreens. You pay cash for your own Moneypak and redeem that Moneypak online by typing from the unique number on the back of the card. Essentially, it’s an easy way to fund your account with money.
2. Place Your Bets
After you have an account financed with cash, you can begin putting your wagers. Click on the”bet today” button and this will take you to an area which shows a listing of all the tracks supported by your betting site. Click on the name of a monitor and then you’ll see a list of upcoming races and the horses competing in every race.
Every betting site does it somewhat differently but in general, you will find a screen which lets you pick your bet amount, the type of wager and the horses which will be competing. As you make your choices, you need to observe a little slip that reveals a summary of your current bet. You will also have the option to box and secret your horses in this moment.
When you think you have your bet all setup, you will see a”confirm” or”submit” button near the wager outline box. Hit that button and then it will ask you one more time if you are convinced that this is your bet you would like to place. If everything looks good, click on the confirm button and your bet will probably go live.
When you submit your bet, you can go back and put more wagers, watch the race live on the site or go about your day as normal. The website will monitor your wager and pay out your winnings if appropriate. If some one of your wagers are winners, then the betting site will immediately credit your account with all the money. You can then cash your winnings out or use them to put more wagers.
Betting Promotions
The very best horse gambling websites compete heavily with one another for your enterprise. They all know it doesn’t require much effort at all for a client to switch to a competitor. Thus, they all offer their own benefits programs and promotions in an attempt to increase customer loyalty.
You won’t go wrong with some of those horse betting sites on this webpage, but you may want to check out their promotions to see which ones seem the right for you. Here’s a look at what each betting site has to offer:
BetAmerica.com Promos
Right off the bat, BetAmerica provides all new customers a 100% match deposit bonus worth up to $300. It follows that any amount you deposit will be doubled up to $300 in additional cash. The bonus money is released at a speed equal to 10% of each wager you place at BetAmerica.
BetAmerica additionally allows players to create their own betting tournaments. This is a unique idea in which you’ll be able to produce your own handicapping tournament where you define the buyin, required bankroll, bet types, date and payouts. You can then invite your friends or let anybody connect. BetAmerica also chooses 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 might even refer friends to BetAmerica and get $50 when your friends register and make a deposit.
BetAmerica.com Review.
TwinSpires.com Promos
TwinSpires requires a slightly different approach with its promos. Instead of focusing on long-term promos that rarely change, TwinSpires always releases new, short-term promotions. All these promos revolve around specific betting events in which you can make more loyalty points and get payout bonuses for placing bets on large racing events.
Player points are racked up in TwinSpires by placing wagers and engaging in the frequent promos mentioned previously. You can redeem those points for wagering credits, gifts from Brisnet.com and for free entry to racetracks.
Furthermore, new customers are welcomed to TwinSpires with a $100 signup bonus. This bonus is granted when you join, make an electronic banking deposit and wager at least $500 during your first month. Meet those requirements and you’ll get $100 added to your gambling account.
Twinspires.com Review.
TVG.com Promos
TVG is a little weak on the other hand, but it will offer a few perks to clients. All new players qualify for a 150 signup bonus that is released in $50 increments directly to the real money account. For your first three months, you will receive $50 added to your balance if you bet at least $250 in any specific month.
TVG also has an ongoing promotion where you get 1 point for every dollar wagered. As time passes, you will collect these points and will eventually redeem them for cash rewards and Skymall present certificates. The rate of return is a bit on the low side, but it will come in handy after a couple of months of heavy gambling.
TVG.com Review.
Major Horse Racing Events
People today gamble money on horses year-round, but a huge portion of betting action revolves around big horse racing events.
The Triple Crown
The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing (Triple Crown for short) is a pair of three different races. This really is the biggest racing event of them all and it’s restricted specifically to 3-year-old horses. That makes it a once-in-a-lifetime occasion for each and every racehorse.
The pinnacle of horse racing glory is to win all three events at the Triple Crown. It is exceedingly difficult to win a Triple Crown because every race is of a different length, and horses typically fare better at a certain lengths than in the others. Add to that the fact that every horse just gets one chance ever to win, and you may imagine that it doesn’t happen frequently. In the USA, only 11 horses have earned Triple Crown glory.
And just to clarify a thing — the term”Triple Crown” means different things in various countries. Every horse racing nation has its Triple Crown series of occasions. Therefore, in the event that you overhear someone talking about the Triple Crown and they mention that the Epsom Derby, this person is talking about the UK’s version.
The 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 single 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 not make it to Churchill Downs, the chances are you can get a Kentucky Derby party in your own city.
Preakness Stakes
When: Third Saturday in May
Where: Baltimore, Maryland
Length: 9.5 furlongs (1 and 3/16ths miles)
Following 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 huge event in its own right. Additionally, this is 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 last leg of the Triple Crown is the Belmont Stakes. At 1.5 miles long, this is the greatest race in the series. This one is conducted three months after the Preakness and positions somewhere in the top 5 with regard to attendance and viewership. But this race becomes the largest of them whenever there is a horse that has taken 1st in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, giving that horse a shot in the coveted Triple Crown title.
Kentucky Oaks
The Kentucky Oaks is held on the Friday before the Kentucky Derby each year in the same racetrack in Louisville. The Kentucky Oaks is an extremely 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 series of 14 races held over one weekend each November. This event is usually held in a different track in the United States each year. It is one of those 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 will be a 1.25 mile race worth $5,000,000. The smallest event in the show is currently worth $500,000; each other event 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 miles in length. The race is open to 3-year-olds only and contains a handbag worth $1,000,000. Only 1 horse in background (Whirlaway in 1941) has taken the Triple Crown and the Travers Stakes.
Big Players in the Industry
This section will cover some of the huge players in america horse racing industry. More specifically, we’ll discuss some of the major betting sites and clarify how they fit into the big picture.
TVG and Betfair
TVG is short for the”Television Games Network” and it is a television network dedicated solely to horse racing. It started broadcasting in 1999 and is now the largest horse racing community in the USA. TVG also facilitates offtrack betting via the internet, telephone and at times even via boxtop sets on your tv.
The television part of TVG shows live horse races, investigations, gaming tips along with other programs that cover the wide topic of horse racing. TVG also operates a US-based website which it is possible to visit to see live races and place wagers in your PC.
In 2009, TVG was bought by Betfair, a UK-based betting site founded in 2004. Betfair is best known for its exchange-style betting system in which people can buy and sell”shares” in places online sports bets. This way, gambling at Betfair is similar to trading options.
Betfair does not do business with clients in the United States, but it retains TVG alive as a separate thing. You probably won’t see any references to Betfair if you visit TVG, but Betfair does own the provider.
TwinSpires is a US-based horse gaming site owned and operated by Churchill Downs. TwinSpires is open to customers from the United States and provides betting options on tracks across the country. It is a free-to-use service which offers a vast selection of wagers, live races and signup bonuses for new clients.
TwinSpires is one of the biggest horse racing betting sites and includes a clean track record. If you decide to bet here, you’ll be in great hands. The business is licensed to take and manage real cash betting in the united states.
BetAmerica.com is the youngest horse racing bet website but it has grown quickly and now functions as a substantial player in the online gaming marketplace. BetAmerica is accredited from the North Dakota Racing Commission and accepts wagers from customers in most US states.
Similar to the other race gambling sites on this page, BetAmerica offers many different racing wagers, live streaming video and simulcast selections for all members free of charge. Why is BetAmerica unique is that it offers online greyhound betting in addition to its own horse racing options.
Online Horse Racing Gambling in a Declining Industry
Major horse racing events draw remarkable crowds to this day, however, the sport as a whole has undergone a slow, steady decline over the past couple of decades. Betting handle is down significantly since the 1970s and many horse racing tracks are affected financially.
You can point to a variety of reasons for the decrease. Americans have more gaming options, other sports have grown in popularity, it’s easier to sit at home and watch TV and so on. Now, you can find the public to listen in to the Kentucky Derby, but other races are generally the realm of critical horse racing fans.
Racetracks first looked into incorporating other gambling games to their premises as a way to bump up earnings. We can see this with state legislatures eventually opening to the concept of ontrack slot machines. The tracks that have managed to add slots have profited significantly from the new income.
Likewise, monitors are depending more and more on off-track gambling — especially internet betting. The horse racing industry still holds considerable clout in politics, and that is probably 1 reason why horse racing obtained a carve-out from the UIGEA at 2006.

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