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Orse racing is an ancient game with a rich history dating back centuries. For as long as horses have been domesticated, folks have been racing them. The tradition continues today, with major horse racing events held regularly around the world.
In the USA 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 betting on the result. Up until recently, all horse racing betting took place at the track. The world wide web has changed everything and now people can just as easily place real money wagers online.
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One of the pleasant things about online horse racing is that you can bet on races that take place around the nation. If you reside 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 very best aspect of all is that it’s all legal. Most nations in the USA permit online horse race gambling. So as long as you do not live in one of those few limited states, you are able to bet to your heart’s content. You may even watch the races live on your computer and see how the bets pan out in real time.
Of the racebook websites listed on the page, all operate in compliance with the law in the USA. You don’t need to see 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 USA. Horse and greyhound racing both received specific exemptions from anti-gambling prohibition that was passed at the national level in 2006.
A few countries have chosen out of online horse betting, but most Americans are free to wager on horses all they want. You can see the graph below to get a list states that allow online horse betting, and those that DO NOT allow online wagering. If you live in one of those states, you are going to have to visit a track in person, or use an approved off track facility. Everyone else is welcome to join up and wager at licensed and controlled online racebooks.
Why is online horse racing betting legal in the USA?
Online gambling law is murky and convoluted, but the general arrangement is that most types of gambling, gambling and poker are outlawed. The Wire Act of 1961 was utilized as the foundation for anti-gambling enforcement, and then the UIGEA of 2006 farther reinforced that line of thought.
Horse racing in particular has got two noteworthy exceptions in national law. First was that the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 (IHA). Although the IHA was composed well before the arrival of the internet, it’s played an instrumental role in providing us legal online horse racing gambling now.
Simply speaking, the IHA made it lawful to place interstate wagers on horse races as long as these gambling is permitted in both states. This piece of legislation is the reason off-track betting parlors (OTBs) situated in one state may accept wagers on races occurring in a different nation. Back when the IHA was composed, it was with OTBs in your mind.
Legislators updated the Interstate Horseracing Act in 2000 using a slight alteration to the definition of an”interstate off-track wager” to incorporate the words”or other electronic media.” This opened up the door for legal online horse racing betting.
The second major exemption for horse racing arrived 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 essentially made it illegal to allow banks and other financial issues to conduct business with offshore gambling sites. This did not technically make it illegal to citizens to place bets online, but it rather made it very difficult to transfer money to and from betting sites.
However, horse and greyhound racing received specific exemptions from the UIGEA. It ended up being a small controversy at the time, but several senators managed to ensure carve-outs for racing gambling. This setup the frame for the system we have now: legal online horse gambling.
The only catch is that the individual states have been given the option to”opt out” of internet horse racing. Several nations took that route and the citizens of those states are not allowed to join or place wagers at horse gambling sites. The fantastic thing is that just a few states made a decision to determine.
How Horse Racing Betting Works
This is your primer manual for actually putting bets on horse races. The stakes outlined below could be put both on site and on the internet. The best way to get started is to try out some of the basic bets . As you become familiar with how it works, it is possible to advance up to more complicated wagers.
Before we get into each type of bet, I’d love to offer you a general summary of the way the gambling 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 gambling.
In parimutuel betting, all bets on a specific race are pooled together. The racetrack then sets aside a proportion of the pool to maintain for its own income and operating expenses. This is called the”vig.” This system ensures that the racetrack gets its cash regardless of the outcome.
The percentage taken from the pool fluctuates depending on the path and type of bet set. Usually, you can expect to see 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 the winners out. The payouts in a horse race change constantly up before the start of the race. As new wagers are collected, the offered payouts vary into account for the newest betting 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 that horse has to be split up among more people. When a longshot horse wins, there tend to be fewer people backing that horse, therefore every individual accumulates more winnings.
Types of Bets
There are all types of different bets which can be put on a single race. The rule of thumb is the more difficult the bet will be to triumph, the higher it pays. By way of instance, a right bet on a single horse to acquire pays pretty well, but a wager on the exact finishing order of the top 3 horses pays much better.
Here are the most Frequent types of horse bets:
Straight Bets
There are 3 different kinds of bets that are straight. These wagers are pretty straightforward and behave as a good starting point for novices.
Win: This is a wager on a single horse to take 1st place Place: A wager on a single horse to take either 1st or 2nd Location Prove: A bet on a single place to take 1st, 2nd or 3rd Location Exotic Bets
Exotic bets are somewhat more complex than straight bets. Within an exotic wager, you create multiple selections which include more than one horse and perhaps even more than one race.
Exacta: A bet on two horses to take 1st and 2nd location. Your horses must finish in that exact 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 bet 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
Select 3: A bet in which you pick the 1st place finishers of three successive races
Pick 4: A bet in which you pick the 1st place finishers of four successive races. Boxing Horses
Boxing comes in handy when you know a few horses are solid favorites, but aren’t sure which order they will finish. You can”box” these horses to cover every possibility.
Quinella Box: You select three horses and you will win if any two of these horses finish in 1st and 2nd location. A quinella box on horses #3, #4 and #5 would cover all probable results: 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
You can key horses when you’ve got a strong feeling that a horse will finish first but you are not as sure about the horses which will take 2nd and 3rd place. In other words, you’ve got one”key” horse chose to win the race and a few other horses which will come in later that one.
So let’s say you make a $1 trifecta key of #1 over #2, #3 and #4. In this example, you need the #1 horse to win, and then some of those other three horses to finish in 2nd and 3rd place in no particular order.
Getting Started
Now that you have a grip on the basics of horse betting, you can apply that knowledge to gambling online. In practice, it is essentially the same idea. The only difference is that rather than speaking to a cashier in the racetrack, you select your wagers onscreen with your mouse and keyboard.
1. Create and Fund Your Betting Account
The first thing you are going to have to do to wager online is register for an account in a legal horse racing website (see my three picks near the top of this page). All you have to do is visit the race betting site of your selection, click one of those big”join now” buttons and complete the new account type. It should be pretty self-explanatory.
The next step is to fund your account. 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 made 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
E-Check
Green Dot Moneypak
Note: The Green Dot Moneypak is a form of prepaid voucher that you can buy at stores like Wal Mart and Walgreens. You pay cash for the Moneypak and then redeem that Moneypak on line by typing from the unique number on the back of the card. Essentially, it’s an easy way to fund your account with cash.
2. Place Your Bets
After you have an account funded with money, you should begin placing your wagers. Click on the”bet today” button and this will take you to an area which shows a list of all of the tracks supported by your gambling site. Click the title of a track and then you’ll see a listing of upcoming races and also the horses competing in every race.
Every betting site does it somewhat differently but generally speaking, you will see a screen that allows you to pick your wager amount, the sort of bet and the horses which will be competing. As you make your selections, you should observe a little slip that shows a summary of your current bet. You will also have the option to box and key that your horses in this moment.
When you think you have your wager all setup, you’ll see a”verify” or”submit” button near the wager outline box. Hit that button and it will ask you one more time if you’re sure this is the bet you would like to place. If everything looks good, click on the validate button and your bet will probably go live.
When you submit your wager, you can go back and place more wagers, watch the race live on the website or go about your day as normal. The site will monitor your wager and pay your winnings if appropriate. If any of your wagers are winners, then the betting site will immediately credit your account with all the money. You may then cash your winnings out or use them to put more wagers.
Betting Promotions
The best horse betting sites compete heavily with one another for your enterprise. They all know it will not require much effort at all for a customer to switch to a competitor. Thus, they all offer their own benefits promotions and programs in an attempt to increase customer loyalty.
You won’t go wrong with some of the horse betting websites on this webpage, but you may want to check out their promotions to see which ones look the right for you. Here’s a look at what every betting site must offer:
BetAmerica.com Promos
Right off the bat, BetAmerica provides all new customers a 100% match deposit bonus worth up to $300. This means that any amount you deposit will be doubled for up to $300 in extra money. The bonus money is published at a rate equivalent to 10% of each bet you place at BetAmerica.
BetAmerica also 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, wager types, date and payouts. You may then invite your friends or let anyone connect. BetAmerica also picks one tournament every week and promises at least $250 in prizes for free.
On chosen”bonus tracks,” BetAmerica provides 3% cashback on all wagers, with no maximum cashback amounts. You might even refer friends to BetAmerica and get $50 if your friends sign up and make a deposit.
BetAmerica.com Review.
TwinSpires.com Promos
TwinSpires takes a slightly different approach with its promos. Rather than focusing on long-term promos that rarely change, TwinSpires always releases fresh, short-term promotions. These promos revolve around specific betting events in which you are able to earn more loyalty points and also receive payout bonuses for placing bets on big racing events.
Player points are racked up in TwinSpires by placing wagers and engaging in the regular promos mentioned above. You can redeem these points for wagering credits, presents from Brisnet.com and also for free entry to racetracks.
Furthermore, new clients are welcomed to TwinSpires with a $100 signup bonus. This bonus is given when you join, make a digital banking deposit and wager at least $500 during your first month. Meet those requirements and you will receive $100 added to your betting 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’s released in $50 increments directly to the real money account. For your first 3 months, you will receive $50 added to your balance should you wager at least $250 in any single month.
TVG also has a continuing promotion where you get 1 point for each dollar wagered. As time passes, you will accumulate these points and will eventually redeem them for money rewards and Skymall present certificates. The rate of return is a little on the low side, however, it does come in handy after a few months of heavy betting.
TVG.com Review.
Major Horse Racing Events
People gamble money on horses but a huge portion of gambling action revolves around big horse racing events.
The Triple Crown
The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing (Triple Crown for short) is a set 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 occasion for every racehorse.
The pinnacle of horse racing glory would be to win all three occasions at the Triple Crown. It is exceedingly tough to win a Triple Crown because every race is of a different period, and horses typically fare better at some lengths than at others. Add to the fact which each and every horse only gets one opportunity ever to win, and you can imagine it does not happen frequently. In the United States, only 11 horses have earned Triple Crown glory.
And simply to clarify a thing — the expression”Triple Crown” means different things in various countries. Every horse racing country has its own Triple Crown series of events. So if you overhear someone talking about the Triple Crown and they cite the Epsom Derby, this individual is talking about the UK’s variant.
The three events that make up the Triple Crown at the USA are:
Kentucky Derby
Preakness Stakes
Belmont Stakes
Kentucky Derby
When: First Saturday in May
Where: Louisville, Kentucky
Length: 1.25 miles
The first event in the series, the Kentucky Derby, is the single most celebrated event in most 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 outlandish hats to observe. Even if you can’t make it to 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 kilometers )
After the Kentucky Derby comes the Preakness. This one does not draw as much of a crowd because the Kentucky Derby, but it is still a huge event in its own right. Additionally, this is where you’ll begin to see some of the play that comes with the possibility of a Triple Crown. All eyes are on the winner of the Kentucky Derby.
Belmont Stakes
After: Three weeks after the Preakness
Where: Elmont, New York
Length: 1.5 miles
And the last leg of the Triple Crown is that the Belmont Stakes. At 1.5 mph, this is the longest race in the sequence. This one is run three months after the Preakness and positions somewhere in the top 5 with regard to attendance and viewership. However, this race becomes the biggest of them whenever there’s a horse that has taken 1st at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, giving that horse a shot at the coveted Triple Crown title.
Kentucky Oaks
The Kentucky Oaks is held on the Friday before the Kentucky Derby each year at the Exact Same racetrack in Louisville. The Kentucky Oaks is an extremely popular race which regularly attracts a crowd of 100,000. The winner gets 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 one weekend every November. This event is generally held at a different track in the United States annually. It is one of those most-watched events in horse racing, with over $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 the series is currently worth $500,000; every 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 now 1.25 miles in length. The race is open to 3-year-olds only and has a handbag worth $1,000,000. Just 1 horse in background (Whirlaway in 1941) has ever taken the Triple Crown and the Travers Stakes.
Big Players in the Industry
This section will cover a number of the big players in america horse racing market. More importantly, we will discuss some of the important betting websites and clarify how they fit into the big picture.
TVG and Betfair
TVG is short for the”Television Games Network” and it’s a television network devoted entirely to horse racing. It began broadcasting in 1999 and has become the largest horse racing network in the USA. TVG also eases offtrack betting through the world wide web, phone and sometimes even via boxtop sets in your tv.
The television portion of TVG displays live horse races, analyses, gaming tips along with other programs that cover the broad subject of horse racing. TVG also functions a US-based site which it is possible to visit to watch live races and place wagers on your own PC.
In 2009, TVG was purchased by Betfair, a UK-based gaming site based in 2004. Betfair is best known for its exchange-style betting system where people can buy and sell”shares” in positions on sports bets. This way, gambling at Betfair is similar to trading options.
Betfair doesn’t conduct business with clients in the USA, but it retains TVG alive as a separate entity. You likely won’t see any references to Betfair when you see TVG, but Betfair does possess the provider.
TwinSpires
TwinSpires is a US-based horse betting website owned and operated by Churchill Downs. TwinSpires is open to customers from the USA and supplies betting options on paths across the nation. It is a free-to-use service which supplies a wide range of wagers, live races and signup bonuses to get new customers.
TwinSpires is one of the largest horse racing gambling sites and has a clean history. In case you choose to bet here, you’re going to be in great hands. The business is licensed to accept and handle real cash betting in the US.
BetAmerica.com
BetAmerica.com is the youngest horse racing wager website but it has grown quickly and now acts as a significant player in the online gaming marketplace. BetAmerica is accredited by the North Dakota Racing Commission and accepts wagers from clients in most US states.
Similar to the other race betting websites on this page, BetAmerica offers a variety of racing wagers, live streaming video along with simulcast options for all members free of charge. What makes BetAmerica unique is that it offers online greyhound betting along with its horse racing choices.
Online Horse Racing Betting in a Declining Industry
Major horse racing events draw remarkable audiences to the day, however, the sport as a whole has undergone a gradual, steady decrease over the last couple of decades. Betting handle is down significantly since the 1970s and lots of horse racing tracks are suffering financially.
You are able to point to a variety of reasons for the decline. Americans have more gaming options, other sports have increased in popularity, it is a lot easier to sit and watch TV and so on. Now, you can get the general public to tune in to the Kentucky Derby, but other races are generally the domain of critical horse racing fans.
Racetracks first looked into adding other gaming games to their assumptions as a way to bulge earnings. We can see this with state legislatures finally opening into the idea of ontrack slot machines. The tracks which have managed to add slots have benefitted significantly from the new earnings.
Likewise, tracks are depending increasingly more on off-track betting — especially online betting. The horse racing industry still retains considerable clout in politics, and that’s most likely one reason why horse racing obtained a carve-out from the UIGEA in 2006.
On

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