Horse racing is one of the most popular sports in the world to bet on. Online betting on horse racing is booming in the United States. In this guide, we will delve into all you need to know about horse race betting sites.

About horse betting

Horse racing has roots in Babylon, Egypt, Ancient Greece, and even Syria. There are ancient records all across the world that show horse and chariot racing existed much earlier than anyone could have imagined.

Horse betting of course was close behind. It began with pari-mutuel betting, which is still popular today. All bets are pooled, and once the interest is deducted, the horse race betting odds are computed based on the total, and profits are paid out proportionally. It is critical to recognize that the sport varies depending on the location of an event. Different requirements apply to racetracks, horse breeds, distance, obstacles, and other factors. Surprisingly, given the present popularity of horse races, the sport appears to be heavily reliant on gamblers. The bulk of viewers is, in fact, gamblers. Experts say that if gambling in the sport is prohibited, the sport will die away. In fact, the gambling activity related to horse races generates $100 billion yearly in over 50 nations, which accounts for a substantial part of its economic value. Read on to learn more about horse race betting sites in the USA.

Yes, horse racing betting sites are legal in some US states. Horse racing betting is by definition gambling, but it is distinguished from other sorts of sports betting under US federal law. When the federal government passed the anti-gambling act in 2006, horse racing was exempted. Betting on a sporting event was illegal under the law.

Today, most states allow horse racing betting, albeit every state has its own set of rules. Some states have not legalized regular online sports betting yet, but do allow horse race betting.

US states where horse race betting is allowed

Horse race betting is currently allowed in 40 states across the United States. Below is a list containing all of them:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

How to bet on horse racing online

Below is a guide on how to get started with your adventure in horse race betting online in the USA.

  1. Sign up for a horse race betting site. Have a look at our list of the best horse race bookmakers and pick one that you find appealing. Visit the website and sign up with your details.
  2. Enter a promo code to receive any bonuses on offer. If needed, you can enter a betting bonus promo code in order to receive any welcome offer at the bookie.
  3. Deposit funds. Before you can start betting you’ll need to deposit some funds. The minimum amount is typically 10$ and you can use payment methods like PayPal, debit/credit card, or even online banking.
  4. Bet on horse races. Now that your betting account has some funds, you can start betting on your favorite horse race events.

Best horse race betting sites

There are numerous online sportsbooks in the United States where you can wager on horse races. To assist you, we’ve listed and highlighted some of the best online horse race betting sites in the US:

  • DraftKings Sportsbook – DraftKings Sportsbook is definitely one of the finest alternatives when it comes to horse race betting, with a fantastic range of markets on a variety of sports and strong odds for a significant number of these markets. They are a genuinely great choice when choosing a US sports betting site, especially since they have many bonuses and promotions usually on offer.
  • FoxBet Sportsbook – With FOX Bet, you can bet on anything from basketball and football to snooker and horse races. Their sign-up bonus is also one of their primary selling points, so we’d recommend Fox Bet to anyone in the US looking to sign up with a betting site.
  • FanDuel Sportsbook – FanDuel Sportsbook allows consumers a tremendous number of possibilities to take advantage of their fantastic odds and live betting features, thanks to a number of retail sportsbooks located around the state. FanDuel is undoubtedly one of the best when it comes to horse race betting in the US, with a very remarkable online platform and they usually offer a superb sign-up deal.
  • Unibet Sportsbook – Since their entrance, Unibet’s generous deals and good choice of sports markets have made them one of the most well-known sportsbooks in each state in the USA. This should come as no surprise, given Unibet’s retail and online betting sites are both outstanding. You can bet on many different horse racing events across the world using Unibet.
  • BetMGM Sportsbook – There are no better options when it comes to choosing a horse race betting site than BetMGM, which excels in all aspects of sports betting. They truly stand head and shoulders above everyone else when it comes to betting sites in the US region, from their superb pre-game and in-play markets to their generous odds.
  • Twinspires Sportsbook – Twinspires Sportsbook is a well-known online betting platform for horse races in the US. Because of its reputation, TwinSpires US has drawn tens of thousands of customers from all across the country to wager on the site. The corporation makes every effort to recruit and retain customers. One of the main reasons TwinSpires is so popular is the ability they have to retain customers. It has worked hard to become one of the greatest online betting sites in the United States. TwinSpires offers you access to each and every possible racing market. This explains why TwinSpires’ evaluations and ratings are so positive. You can wager on the winner, second place, or third place. Betting on an exacta or trifecta is still an option. If all of your horses come in, you can place high-odds accumulator bets and win big. All in all, TwinSpires is an excellent sportsbook for anybody looking to join a racing sportsbook.

Horse race betting types explained

Are you excited about placing a wager on a horse race at a betting site? There are plenty of bet types to pick from when developing your wagering methods.

Let’s look at some of the most prevalent horse racing bet types:

  • Trifecta bet – A trifecta type of wager demands that the bettor selects the horses who will finish in the top three spots in the order. It is much more difficult to predict than an exacta, and as a result, a successful bet will pay out much more. A $2 bet on a trifecta will pay out the amount displayed for the trifecta on the wager payoffs.
  • Standard bet – A win, a place, and a show bet are the most common standard wagers. A win bet in horse racing, this is the most straightforward wager. You win your wager if your preferred horse wins the race. A place bet covers your choice for a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place. A show bet is the simplest wager in horse racing, and it pays you if your horse places first, second, or third.
  • Superfecta bet – The Superfecta is the most challenging of the single-race exotic bets, requiring the bettor to correctly guess the top four finishers in order. Predicting a superfecta is tough, and the bettor must always choose alternative combinations of horses to increase his or her chances of winning. A superfecta’s payback is typically very high.
  • Single race – A single race type of bet is wagered on a single race event, and the result of the race will determine your payout.
  • Multi-race bet – As the name suggests, this bet type contains multiple race events that will determine whether your bet is successful. To win this bet type, you must win all the multiple events you wagered on your bet slip.
  • Double bet – A double bet is the most basic form of a multiple-race wager. The bettor must correctly predict the winner of two races in a row. An Early Double (Races 1 and 2) and a Late Double (Races 3 and 4) are normally available at most tracks (the last two races on the card). Doubles can also be found in the center of a card at some tracks. There will be a note on the first race of the double wager if one is available to bet on.
  • Triple bet – A single wager on three different events with three possible outcomes. To guarantee a return, all three picks must win.

Payment methods for horse race betting sites

When it comes to online horse race betting, banking methods are often forgotten, but they are crucially important to how you will judge your gambling experience with a specific operator. If a player can utilize different payment methods on a horse race betting site, they will have a smooth gambling experience.

Below are the most prominent payment methods you can use when betting on horses online:

  • PayPal
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • MasterCard
  • VISA
  • American Express
  • Play+
  • Online banking
  • PayNearMe

Major horse race events to bet on

Every year, there are many big horse racing events taking place in the US. Below you’ll find a complete list of the major races:

  • Kentucky Derby
  • Belmont Stakes
  • Preakness Stakes
  • Breeders Cup
  • Travers Stakes
  • Pegasus World Cup
  • Pegasus World Turf
  • Santa Anita Handicap
  • Haskell Invitational
  • Kentucky Oaks
  • Florida Derby
  • Arkansas Derby
  • Wood Memorial Stakes

What is Off-track betting? (OTB)

Off-track betting is the practice of wagering on horses from a location that is outside the actual horse racing track. Betting on a race held in Arlington Park from a bar in Illinois is considered Off-track betting.

Many states in the US allow Off-track betting parlors which usually are located in casinos or sports bars where you can order food and drinks while watching horse races on a big screen.

States in the US with Off-track betting facilities

There are currently 38 states in the United States where you can find Off-track betting facilities. Below is a list of each state together with information about their OTB locations.

Alabama Birmingham Race Course Casino
Arizona Multiple OTB locations
Arkansas Oaklawn Racing, Southland Casino Racing
California Multiple OTB locations
Colorado Bally’s Arapahoe Park and many more
Connecticut Multiple OTB locations
Delaware Bally’s Dover, Harrington Raceway, Delaware Park
Florida Multiple OTB locations
Idaho Greyhound Park and Event center
Illinois Multiple OTB locations
Indiana Horseshoe Indianapolis, Harrah’s Hoosier Park, Winner’s Circle
Iowa Multiple OTB locations
Kentucky Churchill Downs, Ellis Park, Keeneland, The Mint at Kentucky Downs, Turfway Park, Newport Racing & Gaming, Red Mile OTB
Louisiana Multiple OTB locations
Maryland Multiple OTB locations
Massachusetts Plainridge Park, Suffolk Downs, Raynham Park Simulcast Center
Michigan Northville Downs
Minnesota Running Ace Race Book, Canterbury Park Racebook
Mississippi Multiple OTB locations
Nebraska Lincoln Race Course, Horseman’s Park, Fonner Park
Nevada Multiple OTB locations
New Hampshire The Brook Racebook
New Jersey Multiple OTB locations
New Mexico The Downs Racetrack & Casino, Zia Park OTB, Ruidoso Downs Sports Bar OTB, Sunland Park Racetrack, Sunray Park & Casino
New York Multiple OTB locations
North Dakota Sky Dancer Casino Racebook, Sidestreet Grille and Pub, Rumors Sports Bar
Ohio Multiple OTB locations
Oklahoma Multiple OTB locations
Oregon Multiple OTB locations
Pennsylvania Multiple OTB locations
Rhode Island Bally’s Tiverton Racebook, Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Racebook
South Dakota Triple Crown Casino OTB
Texas Bar & Book OTB at Lone Star, Park Sam Houston Race Park OTB, Retama Park OTB
Virginia Colonial Downs OTB, Buckets Bar & Grill OTB, Breakers Sports Grille OTB
Washington Multiple OTB locations
West Virginia Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races OTB, Mountaineer Casino OTB, Wheeling Island OTB, Mardi Gras Casino OTB
Wisconsin Multiple OTB locations
Wyoming Multiple OTB locations


Are horse race betting sites secure to bet on?

Yes, the majority of horse race betting sites in the US are secure to bet on. They use the most up-to-date technology to ensure the safety of your money and private information. All betting sites that accept horse race bets have employed the latest SSL system, which protects you against hackers. They also employ a two-factor verification system for an added layer of security for you.

Do all betting sites offer horse race betting?

No, not all betting sites offer horse race betting. Although horse racing is offered by the majority of betting sites, some may not. This could be due to the market they are in, but it is uncommon to come across a sportsbook that does not offer horse racing. It is suggested you call the betting site's customer service department to clarify the situation.

How to check if a horse race betting site isn’t offshore?

To check if a horse race betting site isn’t offshore you should look out for a license number. You can also try and speak to the customer service team, most shady offshore sites don’t have a live-chat option available.