Online Horse Betting Sites in the United States

There are plenty of horse racing tracks and betting venues across the USA that you can visit to place your bets in person, however, it’s becoming more popular to place horse racing bets at US online sportsbooks. On this page, we’ll help guide you to the best US horse betting sites, help you with tips on how to get started, which major events are coming up in the horse racing calendar and also the different types of bets you’ll encounter.

Is Horse Betting Legal in the USA?

Before we get into details, let us cover the semantics of whether it’s legal to bet on horses at US online betting sites. Generally speaking, betting on horses is legal in the majority of US states but let us explain the back story on how so. In 2006, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was introduced and many forms of online gambling within the USA were prohibited. At this time, many online casinos, poker sites and sports betting sites ceased accepting real money wagers from residents across the US, but it was horse racing betting sites that got a reprieve from the UIEGA.

Roll onto today and there are 30 states that allow betting online in one form or another. More recently, individual states have started to regulate sports betting within their own borders. However, when it comes to horse race betting, it’s not been part of this new legislation since federal law has already long allowed it. Bottom line? Horse racing betting is entirely legal to bet online within the USA as long as you can bet on a race in person within your state.

How to Bet On Horse Races Online

Now we have the serious stuff out of the way, let us look at how horse race betting works online. Many bettors placing bets on horse races for the first time don’t always realize that it’s an entirely different betting system than betting on traditional sports. 

When you bet on horse racing, it commonly uses a system called Parimutuel betting. Pari-mutuel betting takes its name from the French Pari-Mutuel “mutual betting” and is a betting system in which all bets are placed together in a pool and taxes (such as the house take/commission) is subtracted and the payoff odds are then calculated by sharing the pool among all of the winning bets. Therefore, it’s the Parimutuel betting system that sets the price of each bet, not the online betting sites and thus gives everyone a fair pay-out based on the weight of wagers for each contender.

Different Types of Horse Racing Bets

There are three main types of bets you’ll encounter when betting on horse races. The first, often the most popular is where you bet on an individual horse. Another type is where you bet on several horses in the same race and the order in which they’ll finish. Thirdly, you can bet on the outcome of multiple races.

Best Horse Race Betting Sites USA

There is a number of top horse racing betting sites accepting real money wagers from US residents. Check out some of our recommended US gambling sites that each offers an immense choice of horse betting options. You can bet on local, national or even internationally acclaimed horse races either on your desktop, iPhone, iPad or Android device.

When you bet on horses online, you can also take advantage of many different betting bonuses that US sportsbooks offer new customers who make a real money bet. Make sure you have a browse of the best horse racing betting sites and pick the best bonuses to suit what you’re planning to bet on.

Famous USA Horse Racing Events

The USA has hundreds of tracks open all year round offering different types of racing that the horse racing calendar is a full one! However, out of the thousands of races, there are a few ‘stand out’ famous events that attract the most horse racing bets online and the biggest crowds at the tracks. They are:

  • The Kentucky Derby
    This is the first leg of the ‘Triple Crown’ and takes place on the first Saturday in May at the Churchill Downs racetrack in Kentucky. Commonly referred to as “the Run for the Roses” the race runs over 1¼ miles and is open to 3-year-olds.
  • The Preakness Stakes
    The is the second leg of the Triple Crown and takes place two weeks after the Kentucky Derby. The Preakness stakes takes place at the Pimlico Race Course in Maryland. 
  • The Belmont Stakes
    Three weeks after the Preakness Stakes, the concluding leg of the Triple Crown takes place at Belmont Park, New York. The Belmont Stakes is also known as “the Test of the Champion.” 
  • The Breeders’ Cup
    This race is a series of thoroughbred races with enormous prize pools that moves from track to track. The Breeders cup attracts some of the best horses from around the world, a huge crowd and loads of on online wagers.