Legal Horse Racing Betting Sites

Before baseball became America’s pastime, before football became the most popular sport in the country, and honestly before any major sport was even invented, people rode horses for sport. Horse racing can be dated all the way back to the colonial era in the mid-1600’s and is still popular nearly 400 years later.

Over that long stretch of time, the placement of bets on horse races has become more and more readily available and the popularization of the internet has certainly changed the game. Legal horse racing betting sites offer players betting opportunities on just about any horse race that they want and as long as you know which sites to use, you are completely secure and safe. This point is especially true in the United States, though, there are popular horse races across the world that are available for wager.

This page will help players of all skill levels understand the legality and availability of legal horse racing betting sites. We will also provide useful and helpful information to help you in your attempt to win some money while betting on horses. The reviews we have provided will help you decide which site you want to bet with and put you on the fast track to making some money while wagering on your favorite horse races.


Each state is able to determine its own horse racing betting laws. That is why you will find that some states permit residents to start betting on horses at 18, while others have a legal horse betting age of 21 years old. The pari-mutuel wagering laws will vary from state to state, but there are federal horse racing betting laws that impact the US horse racing industry as a whole. The Interstate Horse Racing Act of 1978 (IHRA) is a federal law that regulates horse racing betting across state lines. The IHRA makes interstate horse racing legal, granted that such wagering is legal in the host state and the receiving state. The initial law was enacted well before the advent of the internet and therefore only included language for horse bets that were placed at race tracks or off-track betting facilities. In 2000, Congress amended the IHRA and removed the provisions that limited the placement of wagers to a brick and mortar location.

Though the IHRA is the main law related to horse racing, you will find that other federal gambling laws have carve-outs specifically for horse betting. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) is a federal law that prevents U.S. financial institutions from processing payments related to unregulated online gambling. Though this law targets all types of gaming, such as online casinos, poker, and sportsbooks, horse racing betting is exempted. The UIGEA specifically states that “the term ‘unlawful Internet gambling’ shall not include any activity that is allowed under the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978.”

More: Is Sports Betting Online Legal?

States With Legal Horse Racing Betting

There are more states with legal horse racing betting than there are without. In total, there are 43 states around the nation that have legalized betting on horses. These states give horses enthusiasts the option to bet on horses in a variety of ways. In states with horse race tracks, fans can spend the day at the races and bet at the ticket window. There are also off-track betting venues that do not have live races, but still allow horseplayers to bet on the horses. Many of the states with horse betting also allow residents to use both state regulated and offshore legal horse racing betting sites. The states with that have legalized pari-mutuel wagering include:

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

States Without Horse Racing Betting

Given the popularity of the sport, it is surprising that there are some states without horse racing betting. Many of these states never offered legal pari-mutuel wagering, while others banned horse racing betting after initially permitting the activity. Utah, for example, signed a bill to legalize pari-mutuel wagering in 1925 only to have the law repealed two years later. In some states the climate simply has never created a need to offer horse racing betting, as is the case in Alaska. Regardless of reasoning, here are the states that do not offer pari-mutuel horse betting:

Alaska, Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Utah.

Is Online Betting Similar To Off-track Betting?

Off-track betting is still fairly new as it only became readily available throughout the United States in the late 80’s, and into the early 90’s. Off-track betting is sanctioned wagering on horse racing outside of the track so yeah it is similar to online betting. Using legal horse racing betting sites allows you to bet on your favorite horse races while not actually attending the race so in that sense, it’s the same. With online betting, though, you have much freedom because you can bet from wherever you want, instead of betting on off-track horse racing machines at casinos and things like that.

What Tracks Are Available For Online Betting?

The beauty of betting at online sites is that you can bet on any track you want across the entire United States and even a few abroad. All three Triple Crown races, the Breeders Cup, and even the Dubai World Cup are all available for wager at the top legal horse racing betting sites and that’s just the tip of the iceberg as even a lot of smaller, local tracks can have betting lines at the top sites. You can find odds on nearly 100 tracks around the world so choose which site you prefer today and start betting on all of your favorites.

Funding Your Horse Betting Account Is Easy

To put any worries or concerns to rest, just know that funding your horse betting account is easy and it takes no time at all to get started. All you have to do is choose your preferred payment option, whether it be a credit card deposit, bitcoin deposit, wire transfer, or one of the other options your favorite site may provide. You then enter the amount you want to deposit and you are ready to place bets. In fact, you may even receive a bonus offer for having deposited with that site for the first time.

Payouts are just as easy and even though they take a little bit longer to process than deposits do, you are still likely to receive your withdrawal in a timely period. Each payout method varies as some are faster than others, it all comes down to personal preference for both deposits and withdrawals.

Getting Bonuses At Legal Horse Racing Betting Sites

All of the best legal horse racing betting sites will offer bonuses to their horseplayers. The most common type of bonus is a new player match bonus. Offered exclusively to new members, these bonuses will match your initial deposit by a certain percentage for additional cash or free plays. For example, if you were to deposit $100 and claim a 50% match bonus, the online cashier would credit $50 to your racebook account. There are also promotions where you can get free-bets just for trying an online racebook.

One of the most advantageous rewards that you can get at a horse racing betting site is track rebates. The rules will vary, but most sites will offer cash back on winning and losing horse bets placed at certain tracks. When you bet at Churchill Downs and other major tracks you can easily get a return on your efforts.

Legal Triple Crown Betting

When discussing horse racing in the United States, and legal horse racing betting sites, it doesn’t get any more popular than when the Triple Crown gets underway. It is made up of three races, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. The Kentucky Derby was the last race to be put together so the Triple Crown officially began around since the start of the Kentucky Derby in 1875. The horses in these races are all three-year-olds

The Kentucky Derby kicks the series of races off in early May and is by far the most popular horse race in the U.S. and maybe even the world. Also called the fastest two minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby offers the biggest purse to its winners of any race in the country.

The Preakness Stakes is the second race of the series and it is two weeks after the Kentucky Derby. Run out of the Pimlico race track in Baltimore, Maryland. The Preakness is the shortest track of all of the Triple Crown races at 9.5 furlongs or 1 and 3/16ths miles.

Finally, the Belmont Stakes rounds out the Triple Crown and the gates open in early June. It is the longest race of them all at 1.5 miles and is run out of Elmont, New York. The Belmont is the final stop for horses aiming for a Triple Crown.

The first Triple Crown winner and more than three decades came in 2015 after American Pharaoh completed one of the rarest feats in the entire sports world. After winning the Derby by just one length, Pharaoh tallied the fifth fastest times at the Preakness and the Belmont in the last 50 years and won by substantial margins in both.

Legal Triple Crown betting can net players big time payouts at all of the top sites and with so much media coverage on the races nowadays, bettors who aren’t even horse racing fans are able to see how big of a deal it is. The continuous coverage makes more people want to bet on the races and as long as you are using a legal horse racing betting site, like those we have mentioned on this page, you will most certainly have an enjoyable experience.

Best Horse Racing Betting Sites For 2021

When looking for the best horse racing betting sites for 2021, players need to focus on a couple of major traits that all of the top sites for sports betting states should have. You want a large listing of horse racing tracks to bet on and the wager types associated with all of those races are seemingly endless. From small local races to the big money races like the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. You should also be making sure the bonuses and features are beneficial to you. A lot of sites offer up welcome bonuses, and rebates on horse racing bets so you don’t want to cheat yourself and choose a site without those things. Not to mention mobile betting and live betting options as well, these are vital to an enjoyable gambling experience. All of the top legal horse racing betting sites accept players from all over the United States and some places outside the country as well. That is a great thing because nobody should miss out on what the top sites have to offer their players. It’s free to sign up and takes mere minutes, if not seconds to create your account so get started today and win big playing the ponies.

Best Legal Sports Betting Sites For Sports Betting States
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