Orse racing is an ancient sport with a rich history dating back thousands of years. For as long as horses have been 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, it is possible to find horse racing tracks in the majority of states. And of course, where there is competition, there’ll be individuals gambling on the result. Up until recently, all horse racing gambling 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 happen across the country. If you reside on the West Coast and want to bet on a race that is happening on the East Coast, there is no problem. Internet betting brings the action for you.
The best aspect of all is the fact that it’s all legal. Most states in the united states permit online horse race gambling. So as long as you do not live in one of the few limited states, you can bet for your heart’s content. You can even watch the races live on your own personal computer and see how your stakes pan out in real time.
Of the racebook websites listed on this page, all function in accordance with the law in the United States. You don’t have to see offshore betting sites to wager on horses. Sites we recommend are all licensed and controlled to conduct business in the US.
The Legality of Online Horse Racing
Online horse racing betting is legal in most states in the USA. Horse and greyhound racing received particular exemptions from anti-gambling prohibition which was passed at the federal level in 2006.
A couple of countries have opted from online horse betting, but many Americans are free to bet on horses they all want. You’re able to see the chart below for a list states that allow online horse betting, and those that DO NOT enable online wagering. If you live in one of these states, you are going to need to visit a track in person, or use a licensed off track facility. Everyone else is welcome to join and wager at licensed and controlled online racebooks.
Why is 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 authorities, and then the UIGEA of 2006 farther strengthened that line of thought.
Horse racing particularly has receive two noteworthy exceptions in national law. First was that the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 (IHA). Even though the IHA was written well before the advent of the world wide web, it has played an instrumental role in providing us legal online horse racing betting today.
In short, the IHA made it lawful to put 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 take wagers on races occurring at another nation. Back when the IHA was written, it had been with OTBs in your mind.
Legislators upgraded 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 up the door for legal online horse racing betting.
The 2nd 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 for banks and other financial entities to do business with offshore gambling sites. This didn’t technically make it illegal for citizens to put bets online, but it instead made it rather hard to move money to and from betting sites.
But, horse and greyhound racing obtained specific exemptions in the UIGEA. It ended up being a small controversy at the time, but several senators managed to ensure carve-outs for racing betting. This set up the framework for the system we have now: legal online horse gambling.
The only catch is that the person states have been given the choice to”opt out” of internet horse racing. Several states took that path and the citizens of these states aren’t allowed to join or place wagers at horse gambling websites. The good news is that only a few states made a decision to opt out.
How Horse Racing Betting Works
This is the primer manual for actually putting bets on horse races. The stakes outlined below could be put both on site and online. The best way to begin would be to test out a number of the fundamental bets first. As you become comfortable with how it works, it is possible to advance up to more complicated wagers.
Before we enter each type of bet, I’d love to give you a general summary of how the gambling system functions with horses. Horse wagering is categorized as a form of”parimutuel wagering.” This is a bit different than sports betting, so read carefully if you’re new to horse betting.
In parimutuel betting, all bets on a particular race are pooled together. The racetrack subsequently sets aside a percentage of that pool to maintain for its income and operating expenses. This is known as the”vig.” This system makes sure that the racetrack earns its money regardless of the outcome.
The percentage taken from the pool varies depending on the track and type of bet placed. Generally, you can expect to observe a vig of anywhere from 15% to 30%.
Following the vig is removed, the remaining portion of the money from the swimming pool is used to pay the winners out. The payouts in a horse race change constantly up before the beginning of the race. As new wagers are collected, the offered payouts vary to account for the newest betting action.
That is why favored horses offer lower premiums. More people tend to bet on the favorite, so when the preferred wins, the section of the pool delegated to that horse needs to be divided among more individuals. If a longshot horse wins, there are inclined to be fewer people backing that horse, therefore each person accumulates additional winnings.
Types of Bets
There are all kinds of different bets that may be placed on a single race. The rule of thumb is that the more difficult the bet is to win, the higher it pays. For example, a straight bet on a single horse to win pays pretty well, but a bet on the exact finishing order of the top 3 horses pays even better.
Here are the most common Kinds of horse bets:
There are 3 different kinds of bets that are straight. These wagers are fairly simple and act as a great starting point for newbies.
Win: This is a wager on a single horse to take 1st place Place: A bet on a single horse to take either 1st or 2nd Location Show: A bet on a single location to take 1st, 2nd or 3rd Location Exotic Bets
Exotic bets are more complex than straight bets. Within an exotic wager, you make multiple picks that include more than one horse and perhaps even more than 1 race.
Exacta: A bet on two horses to take 1st and 2nd place. Your horses must finish in this Specific order to acquire Quinella: A bet on two horses to take 1st and 2nd but the arrangement does not matter
Trifecta: A bet on three horses to take 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in that exact order 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
Select 3: A wager in which you pick the 1st place finishers of three successive races
Pick 4: A bet where you pick the 1st place finishers of four consecutive races Boxing Horses
Boxing comes in handy when you understand a few horses are strong favorites, but aren’t sure which order they’ll finish. You can”box” these horses to cover every possibility.
Quinella Box: You pick three horses and you’ll win if any two of these horses finish in 1st and 2nd place. 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 can also box exactas, trifectas and superfectas in this manner.
You can key horses when you’ve got a strong feeling that one horse will finish first but you aren’t as certain about the horses that will take 2nd and 3rd location. In other words, you have one”key” horse picked to win the race along with a few other horses that will come in after that one.
So let us say you create a $1 trifecta key of #1 on #2, #3 and #4. In this case, you want the #1 horse to win, then any of the other three horses to finish in 2nd and 3rd place in no particular order.
Now you have a grasp on the fundamentals of horse betting, you can apply that knowledge to gambling on the internet. In practice, it’s basically the same idea. The only difference is that rather than speaking to a cashier in the racetrack, you choose your wagers onscreen with your mouse and keyboard.
1. Produce and Fund Your Betting Account
The first thing you’ll have to do to wager online is sign up for an account in a legal horse racing site (see my three picks near the top of the page). All you have 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 account. You do this by logging in to your account at your gambling site and then hitting the”deposit” link in your account area. In case you’ve never created a deposit before, you’ll probably get a pop-up requesting you to deposit.
Then, you can Pick from a number of deposit methods:
Credit cards and debit cards
Check or money order
Green Dot Moneypak
Note: The Green Dot Moneypak is a form of prepaid coupon which you are able to purchase at stores like Wal Mart and Walgreens. You pay money for your own Moneypak and redeem that Moneypak online by typing in the unique number on the back of the card. Essentially, it’s a simple way to finance your account with cash.
2. Place Your Bets
As soon as you have an account financed with money, you can begin putting your wagers. Click on the”bet today” button and this will take you to an area that shows a list of all the monitors supported by your betting site. Click the title of a monitor and then you’ll see a listing of upcoming races and the horses competing in each race.
Every gambling site does it somewhat differently but generally speaking, you will find a display which lets you pick your bet amount, the type of bet and the horses which are going to be competing. As you make your selections, you should see a bit slip that reveals a list of your current bet. You will also have the option to box and key that your horses at this moment.
When you think you’ve got your bet all set up, you’ll see a”verify” or”submit” button close to the bet summary box. Hit that button and it will ask you one more time if you are convinced this is the 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 place more wagers, watch the race live on the website or go about your day as normal. The website will track your bet and pay your winnings if appropriate. If some one of your wagers are winners, then the betting site will instantly credit your account with the cash. You may then cash your winnings out or utilize them to place additional wagers.
The best horse betting websites compete heavily with one another for your enterprise. All of them know it doesn’t take much effort at all for a customer to switch to a rival. Thus, all of them offer their own rewards promotions and programs in an effort to increase customer loyalty.
You won’t go wrong with any of the horse betting sites on this webpage, but you might want to check out their promotions to see which ones seem the best for you. Here’s a look at what every betting site has to offer:
Right off the bat, BetAmerica gives all new clients a 100% match deposit bonus worth up to $300. It follows that any amount you deposit will probably be accounted for up to $300 in additional cash. The bonus money is published at a speed equal to 10% of each wager you place at BetAmerica.
BetAmerica also allows players to make their own gaming tournaments. This is a unique idea in which you can produce your own handicapping tournament where you specify the buyin, demanded deposit, wager types, date and payouts. You can then invite your friends or let anybody join. BetAmerica also chooses one tournament every week and promises at least $250 in prizes for free.
On selected”bonus tracks,” BetAmerica provides 3% cashback on all wagers, without the maximum cashback amounts. You can even refer friends to BetAmerica and get $50 when your friends sign up and make a deposit.
TwinSpires requires a slightly different approach with its promos. Rather than focusing on long-term promos that rarely change, TwinSpires constantly releases new, short-term promotions. All 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 large racing events.
Player points are racked up in TwinSpires by placing wagers and participating in the frequent promos mentioned previously. You can redeem these points for wagering credits, gifts from Brisnet.com and for free entrance to racetracks.
Furthermore, new customers are welcomed to TwinSpires using a $100 signup bonus. This bonus is granted if you sign up, 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 gambling account.
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 actual money account. For your first three months, you will get $50 added to your balance if you bet at least $250 in any single month.
TVG also has a continuing promotion in which you get 1 point for each dollar wagered. As time passes, you may accumulate these points and can 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 betting.
Major Horse Racing Events
People today 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 set of three unique races. This is the biggest racing event of them all and it is restricted especially to 3-year-old horses. That makes it a once-in-a-lifetime occasion for every racehorse.
The pinnacle of horse racing glory would be to win all three events at the Triple Crown. It is exceedingly tough to win a Triple Crown because each race is of a different period, and horses typically fare better at some lengths than in the others. Add to that 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 USA, only 11 horses have made Triple Crown glory.
And just to clarify a thing — the expression”Triple Crown” means different things in various countries. Every horse racing nation has its Triple Crown series of events. So in the event that you overhear someone talking about the Triple Crown and they cite the Epsom Derby, this person is speaking about the UK’s version.
The following three events that make up the Triple Crown in the United States are:
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 is 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 into Churchill Downs, the chances are you can get a Kentucky Derby party in your own city.
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 much of a crowd as the Kentucky Derby, but it is still a massive event in its own right. Additionally, this is where you’ll start to find some of the drama that accompanies the possibility of a Triple Crown. All eyes are on the winner of the Kentucky Derby.
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 longest race in the sequence. This one is conducted three months after the Preakness and ranks somewhere in the top 5 in terms of attendance and viewership. But this race becomes the biggest of them whenever there is a horse that has taken 1st in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, giving that horse a shot at the coveted Triple Crown title.
The Kentucky Oaks is held on the Friday prior to the Kentucky Derby annually in the same racetrack in Louisville. The Kentucky Oaks is an extremely common 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.
The Breeders’ Cup is a series of 14 races held over one weekend every November. This event is usually held at a different track in the United States each year. It is among those most-watched events in horse racing, with more than $25,000,000 in prize money up for grabs.
The largest 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 series is worth $500,000; each other event is worth $1 million or more.
The Travers Stakes is the oldest thoroughbred racing event in the USA and is now 1.25 miles in length. The race is open to 3-year-olds just and contains a handbag worth $1,000,000. Just 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 some of the big players in the US horse racing market. More specifically, we’ll discuss some of the major betting sites and explain how they all fit into the large picture.
TVG and Betfair
TVG is short for the”Television Games Network” and it is a television network dedicated entirely to horse racing. It started broadcasting in 1999 and is now the largest horse racing network in the United States. TVG also facilitates offtrack betting via the internet, phone and sometimes even via boxtop sets on your television.
The television portion of TVG shows live horse races, analyses, betting tips and other programs that cover the wide subject of horse racing. TVG also functions a US-based website that you can visit to watch live races and place wagers on your own computer.
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. In this way, gambling at Betfair is very similar to trading choices.
Betfair doesn’t conduct business with customers in the United States, but it keeps TVG alive as a distinct entity. You likely won’t see any references to Betfair when 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 available to clients from the United States and supplies betting options on tracks around the nation. It’s a free-to-use service that supplies a vast range of wagers, live races and signup bonuses to get new customers.
TwinSpires is one of the biggest horse racing gambling sites and includes a clean track record. In case you decide to bet here, you’re going to be in good hands. The business is licensed to accept and manage real money betting in the US.
BetAmerica.com is your youngest horse racing bet website but it has grown quickly and now functions as a significant player in the online betting market. 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 webpage, BetAmerica delivers a variety of racing wagers, live streaming video along with simulcast options for all members at no cost. Why is 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 crowds to the day, however, the sport as a whole has undergone a gradual, steady decline over the last few decades. Betting manage is down considerably since the 1970s and lots of horse racing tracks are suffering financially.
You can point to a variety of reasons for the decline. Americans have more gaming options, other sports have grown in popularity, so it is easier to sit at home and watch TV and so forth. Today, you can find the general public to tune into the Kentucky Derby, but other races are generally the domain of critical horse racing lovers.
Racetracks first looked into incorporating other gaming games to their assumptions as a way to bulge earnings. We can observe this with state legislatures eventually opening into the concept of all ontrack slot machines. The tracks that have been able to add slots have profited greatly from the new earnings.
Likewise, tracks are based increasingly more on off-track betting — specifically internet betting. The horse racing industry still retains substantial clout in politics, and that is most likely 1 reason why horse racing received a carve-out from the UIGEA in 2006.
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