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 globe.
In the USA in particular, it is possible to find horse racing tracks in most states. And of course, where there is competition, there’ll be individuals betting on the result. Up till recently, all horse racing gambling happened at the monitor. 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 internet horse racing is that you can bet on races which take place around the nation. If you reside on the West Coast and need to wager on a race that is happening on the East Coast, there is no problem. Internet betting brings the action for you.
The very best part of all is the fact that it’s all legal. Most states in the USA allow online horse race gambling. So as long as you do not reside in one of the few limited states, you can bet to your heart’s content. You can even watch the races live on your personal computer and see how your bets pan out in real time.
Of the racebook sites listed on this page, all function in compliance with the law in the USA. You don’t have to visit offshore gambling sites to bet on horses. Websites we recommend are licensed and regulated 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 both received particular exemptions from anti-gambling prohibition which has been passed at the federal level in 2006.
A few states have chosen from online horse gambling, but many Americans are free to bet on horses all they want. You can see the graph below for a list states that let online horse betting, and those that DO NOT allow online wagering. If you live in one of these countries, you are going to have to visit a monitor in person, or use a licensed off track facility. Everyone else is welcome to join and wager at licensed and regulated 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, gambling and poker are outlawed. The Wire Act of 1961 was used as the foundation for anti-gambling authorities, and the UIGEA of 2006 further reinforced that line of thought.
Horse racing particularly has receive two notable exceptions in federal 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 part in giving us legal online horse racing gambling today.
In short, the IHA made it legal to put interstate wagers on horse races as long as such betting is permitted in both countries. This piece of legislation is why off-track betting parlors (OTBs) situated in 1 state may accept wagers on races occurring in another nation. Back when the IHA was composed, it was with OTBs in your mind.
Legislators updated the Interstate Horseracing Act in 2000 with a minor alteration to the definition of an”interstate off-track wager” to include the words”or other electronic media.” This opened up the door for authorized 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 a bid to crack down on illegal online gambling. The UIGEA basically made it illegal to allow banks and other financial issues to conduct business with offshore gambling sites. This didn’t technically make it illegal for citizens to place bets on the internet, but it instead made it rather hard to transfer money to and from gambling websites.
But, horse and greyhound racing obtained specific exemptions from the UIGEA. It ended up being a bit of a controversy at the moment, but many senators were able to make sure carve-outs for racing gambling. This set up the framework for your system we have now: legal online horse gambling.
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 are not permitted to combine or place wagers at horse gambling sites. The fantastic thing is that just a few states decided to determine.
How Horse Racing Betting Works
This is the primer manual for actually putting bets on horse races. The bets outlined below could be put both in-person and on the internet. The best way to get started is to test out a number of the basic bets first. As you become familiar with how it works, you can advance up to more complex wagers.
Before we get into every type of bet, I’d like to offer you a general overview of how the betting system functions with horses. Horse wagering is classified as a kind 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 particular race are pooled together. The racetrack then sets aside a proportion of that pool to keep for its income and operating expenses. This is called the”vig.” This system ensures that the racetrack earns its money whatever the outcome.
The percentage taken out of the pool fluctuates based on the path and variety of bet placed. Usually, you can expect to observe a vig of anywhere from 15% to 30 percent.
Following the vig is removed, the rest of the money from the pool is used to cover out the winners. The payouts at a horse race change constantly up until the start of the race. As new wagers are accumulated, the provided payouts change into account for the newest betting action.
This is why favored horses provide lower premiums. More people have a tendency to bet on the favorite, so when the favorite wins, the portion of the pool delegated to this horse needs to be split up among more people. If a longshot horse wins, there tend to be fewer individuals financing that horse, therefore each individual accumulates more winnings.
Types of Bets
There are all types of different bets that may be put on a single race. The rule of thumb is that the harder the bet is to triumph, the greater it pays. For example, a right bet on a single horse to win pays pretty well, but a wager on exactly the finishing order of the top 3 horses pays much better.
Here are the most common Kinds of horse bets:
There are 3 different kinds of straight bets. These wagers are fairly simple and behave 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 Show: A bet on a single location to take 1st, 2nd or 3rd place Exotic Bets
Exotic bets are more complicated than direct bets. Within an exotic bet, you create several selections which include more than 1 horse and maybe 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 win Quinella: A bet on two horses to take 1st and 2nd but the order doesn’t matter
Trifecta: A bet on three horses to take 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in that exact sequence Superfecta: A bet on four horses to take 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place in that Specific order Daily Double: A wager where you pick the 1st place finishers of two Distinct races
Pick 3: A bet in which you pick the 1st place finishers of three consecutive races
Pick 4: A wager in which you pick the 1st place finishers of four consecutive races Boxing Horses
Boxing is useful when 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 possibility.
Quinella Box: You pick 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 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.
You can key horses whenever you’ve got a strong feeling that a horse will finish first but you aren’t as certain about the horses that can take 2nd and 3rd place. In other words, you’ve got one”key” horse chose to win the race along with a few other horses which will come in later that one.
So let’s say you create a $1 trifecta key of #1 on #2, #3 and #4. In this example, you want the #1 horse to win, then any of the other three horses to finish in 2nd and 3rd set in no specific order.
Now that 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 using your mouse and keyboard.
1. Produce and Fund Your Betting Account
The very first thing you are going to need to do to wager on the internet is sign up for an account at a legal horse racing site (visit my three selections near the top of the page). All you need to do is see the race gambling site of your choice, click a few of those big”join now” buttons and fill out the new account form. It needs to be quite self-explanatory.
The next step is to fund your accounts. You do this by logging in to your account in 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 asking you to deposit.
Then, you can choose from a number of deposit methods:
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 purchase at stores like Wal Mart and Walgreens. You pay money for the Moneypak and then redeem that Moneypak online by typing in the special number on the back of the card. Essentially, it’s a simple way to fund your account with cash.
2. Place Your Bets
After you have an account funded with cash, you can begin putting your wagers. Click on the”bet today” button and this will take you to a region that shows a listing of all the monitors supported by your gambling site. Click on the name of a track and then you’ll see a listing of upcoming races and also the horses competing in every race.
Every gambling site does it a little differently but in general, you will find a display which allows you to select your wager amount, the sort of bet and the horses which are going to be competing. As you make your selections, you need to observe a bit slip that shows a list of your current bet. You’ll also have the option to box and key your horses in this time.
When you think you have your wager all set up, you’ll see a”confirm” or”submit” button close to the wager summary box. Hit that button and then it will ask you one more time if you are sure this is your bet you wish to place. If everything looks good, click the validate button and your bet will go live.
When you submit your wager, you can go back and place more wagers, watch the race live on the site or go about your day as normal. The website will monitor your bet and pay out your winnings if applicable. If some of your wagers are winners, then the gambling site will immediately credit your account with the money. You can then cash out your winnings or use them to place more wagers.
The best horse betting sites compete heavily with one another for your business. They all know it will not require much effort whatsoever for a client to switch to a rival. Thus, they all offer their own benefits programs and promotions in an effort to boost customer loyalty.
You won’t go wrong with any of those horse betting sites on this page, but you might want to check out their promotions to see which ones look the best for you. Here’s a look at what each betting site has to offer:
Right off the bat, BetAmerica provides all new customers a 100% match deposit bonus worth up to $300. This means that some amount you deposit will probably be accounted for up to $300 in extra cash. The bonus cash is released at a speed equal to 10% of each bet you place at BetAmerica.
BetAmerica additionally allows players to create their own gaming tournaments. This is a exceptional idea in which you’ll be able to produce your own handicapping tournament in which you define the buyin, required bankroll, wager types, date and payouts. You may then invite your friends or let anyone connect. BetAmerica also chooses one tournament every week and guarantees at least $250 in prizes for free.
On selected”bonus tracks,” BetAmerica provides 3% cashback on all wagers, with no maximum cashback amounts. You can even refer friends to BetAmerica and receive $50 when your friends sign up and make a deposit.
TwinSpires requires a slightly different approach using its promos. Rather than 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 are able to make more loyalty points and get payout bonuses for placing bets on large racing events.
Player points are racked up at TwinSpires by placing wagers and engaging in the regular promos mentioned previously. You can redeem those points for wagering credits, gifts from Brisnet.com and for free entry to racetracks.
Additionally, new clients are welcomed to TwinSpires with a $100 signup bonus. This bonus is given if you sign up, make a digital banking deposit and wager at least $500 during your first month. Meet those requirements and you’ll get $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’s released in $50 increments directly to the real money account. For your first three months, you’ll receive $50 added to your balance should you wager at least $250 in any specific month.
TVG also has a continuing promotion where you get 1 point for every dollar wagered. Over time, you will collect these points and will finally redeem them for money rewards and Skymall gift certificates. The rate of yield is a bit on the low side, but it does come in handy after a couple of months of heavy gambling.
Major Horse Racing Events
People gamble money on horses year-round, but a big part of betting 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 different races. This is the biggest racing event of them all and it’s restricted especially 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 would be to win all 3 events at the Triple Crown. It’s exceedingly tough 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 the fact that every horse only gets one opportunity ever to win, and you may imagine it doesn’t 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 various 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 cite that the Epsom Derby, that person is speaking about the UK’s version.
The three events that make up the Triple Crown at the USA are:
When: First Saturday in May
Where: Louisville, Kentucky
Length: 1.25 miles
The first event in the show, the Kentucky Derby, is the single most celebrated event in most of horse racing. It is held at Churchill Downs annually since 1875 and even non-horse racing enthusiasts dress up in flashy clothes and eccentric hats to observe. Even if you can’t make it to Churchill Downs, the odds are you can find a Kentucky Derby party in your own city.
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 much of a crowd because the Kentucky Derby, but it is still a massive event in its own right. This is also where you are going to begin to see some of the play that comes with the chance of a Triple Crown. All eyes are on the winner of the Kentucky Derby.
After: Three weeks after the Preakness
Where: Elmont, New York
Length: 1.5 miles
And the final leg of the Triple Crown is that the Belmont Stakes. At 1.5 mph, this is the longest race in the series. This one is run three weeks after the Preakness and ranks somewhere in the top 5 in terms of attendance and viewership. However, this race becomes the biggest of them whenever there’s a horse which has taken 1st in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, giving that horse a shot in the coveted Triple Crown title.
The Kentucky Oaks is held on the Friday prior to the Kentucky Derby each year at the Exact Same racetrack in Louisville. The Kentucky Oaks is a very popular race which regularly attracts a crowd of 100,000. The winner has a $600,000 purse and the famed garland of lilies known as the Lilies for the Fillies.
The Breeders’ Cup is a set of 14 races held across one weekend each November. This event is generally held at a different track in the USA each year. 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 will be a 1.25 mile race worth $5,000,000. The smallest event in the series is currently 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 kilometers in length. The race is open to 3-year-olds only and contains a handbag worth $1,000,000. Just one 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 some of the big players in the US horse racing industry. More importantly, we’ll discuss some of the major betting sites and clarify how they all 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 started broadcasting in 1999 and has become the greatest horse racing community in the USA. TVG also facilitates offtrack betting through the world wide web, telephone and at times even through boxtop sets in your tv.
The television part of TVG shows live horse races, analyses, betting tips and other applications that cover the wide topic of horse racing. TVG also functions a US-based site that you can see to watch live races and place wagers on 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 gaming platform in which people can buy and sell”shares” in positions on sports bets. This way, gambling at Betfair is similar to trading choices.
Betfair does not do business with customers in the USA, but it keeps TVG residing as a separate thing. You probably won’t find any references to Betfair when you visit TVG, but Betfair does own the company.
TwinSpires is a US-based horse gaming site owned and operated by Churchill Downs. TwinSpires is open to customers in the USA and supplies betting options on tracks around the country. It is a free-to-use service which supplies a vast selection of wagers, live races and signup bonuses to get new clients.
TwinSpires is one of the biggest horse racing betting websites and has a clean track record. If you choose to wager here, you’re going to be in great hands. The business is licensed to take and manage real cash betting in the united states.
BetAmerica.com is your youngest horse racing wager website but it has grown quickly and now functions as a significant player in the online gaming marketplace. BetAmerica is accredited by the North Dakota Racing Commission and accepts wagers from customers in many US states.
Like the other race gambling websites on this webpage, BetAmerica offers many different 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 in addition to its own horse racing options.
Online Horse Racing Betting in a Declining Industry
Major horse racing events draw impressive crowds to this day, but the sport as a whole has experienced a gradual, steady decrease over the last couple of decades. Betting manage is down significantly since the 1970s and lots of horse racing tracks are affected financially.
You can point to many different reasons for the decline. Americans have more gambling options, other sports have grown in popularity, so it’s a lot easier to sit and watch TV and so on. Now, you can get the public to tune into the Kentucky Derby, but other races are generally the domain of serious horse racing fans.
Racetracks first looked into incorporating other gambling games to their assumptions as a way to bulge revenues. We can see this with state legislatures finally opening into the concept of ontrack slot machines. The tracks which have been able to add slots have benefitted significantly from the new earnings.
Likewise, tracks are depending increasingly more on off-track gambling — specifically internet betting. The horse racing sector still holds considerable clout in politics, and that’s probably one reason why horse racing received a carve-out in the UIGEA in 2006.
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