Online horse betting is legal and thriving in the USA (in most states). TVG, Nyra Bets, AmWager, and BetMGM Racing are among the best online betting sites for horse racing in the USA. New wagering apps are Pointsbet, Caesars, and PlayUp – all offer hundreds of races to wager on, and new customer promos, including free bet deals, deposit bonuses, and daily odds boosts. More to launch in 2023. Here is our guide to the best horse betting promos and online racing websites.
The Best US Horse Racing Betting Sites 2022 (with Offers)
- TwinSpires Features:TwinSpiresBest-rated Online Horse Betting, Easy-to-use Mobile App for Android, iOS, Daily Odds Boosters, Parlay Bet Insurance, Comeback Protection, New Player Bonus, Legal in USA$200 Sign up BonusBET200
- AmWager Features:AmWagerHD Live Streaming/Betting, 700+ Races, 498 Tracks, Odds Boosts, Results, Deposit Bonus$300 Deposit Match
- Caesars Racebook Features:Caesars RacebookTop-rated Horse Betting App, Live Odds, Replayes, Free Picks, 700+ Races, Best Odds on Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont StakesDeposit Match up to $300
- BetMGM Horse Racing Features:BetMGM Horse Racing700+ Races, Replays, Live Betting, Best-rated Mobile App, Daily Odds BoostsGet BetMGM Horse Racing App
- NYRA Bets Features:NYRA BetsUS-licensed Horse Betting App, Exacta, Tri & Supers, New Player Deposit Bonus, HD Live Streaming, Replays, Bet & Get$200 Deposit BonusMATCH200
- PlayUp Racebook Features:PlayUp RacebookExpert Analysis, Live Streaming, Free Contests, Deposit Bonus, Free Cash Contests, Weekly Wager Rewards, Best for Breeders’ Cup, Belmont Stakes, Preakness Races50% Deposit Bonus up to $250
- TVG Features:TVGMost Popular Online Horse Wagering Platform, Handicapping Contests, Hit It & Split It, Cahsbacks, Free Bets, Daily Odds Boosts, Live Horse BettingRisk-Free Bet up to $200RISKFREE
USA Best Horse Racing Betting Sites: Place Horse Bets Online
- Amwager (best bonus $300)
- BetMGM Horse Racing App
- PlayUp Horse – newest site
- NYRA Bets
- Hollywood Races
AmWager and Caesar’s racing websites and apps offer new customers the biggest first deposit bonus ($300) for first bets. Register TVG and Twinspires horse racing wagering accounts and get up to $200 in welcome offer.
What are the top-rated horse racing operators for online betting in USA?
|AmWager||1000+ Races, 498 Tracks, Odds Boosts, Innovative Site|
|NYRA Bets||Popular US-licensed Horse Betting App, New Player Bonus, HD Live Streaming|
|TwinSpires||Best Online Horse Betting Site & App for Android, iOS, Parlay Bets|
|PointsBet Racing||Newest Site (in partnership with 1/ST BET)|
|PlayUp Horse||Best Odds for Breeders’ Cup, Belmont Stakes, Preakness Races|
|TVG||Handicapping Contests, Hit It & Split It, Cahsbacks, Daily Boosts, Live Horse Betting Betting|
U.S. Horse Betting Offers for New Customers in 2022/2023
|AmWager||$300 Deposit Bonus. T&Cs apply.|
|NYRA Bets||$200 Bonus. New customers only. T&Cs apply.|
|TwinSpires||$200 Sign up Offer. T&Cs apply.|
|PointsBet Racing||Daily Promotions|
|PlayUp Horse||50% Deposit Match Bonus. T&Cs apply.|
|TVG||Free Bet up to $200. T&Cs apply.|
- Sign up Bonus, Deposit Match $300.
- CashBack Rewards
- Free Bet bonus if first single-horse win bet. New U.S. customers using promo code get up to $200. T&Cs apply.
- Handicaping Contests.
- Cash back for 2d or 3d place.
- First Deposit Offer: $200. Use code, read terms.
- Trifecta Offers: Opt in now and earn a 15% boost on your winning Trifecta wagers every Tuesday
- Exacta Bet Insurance Bonus. Get your bet back if your two (2) selected horses finish in the first three (3) home but not in the winning order. Applies to selected tracks each week.
- Free Play.
- NYRA Bets:
- New User Deposit Match Welcome Offer. To earn the bonus, customer must sign up for a NYRA Bets account using promo code MATCH200 and the first deposit amount a new customer makes, within the first 30 days (promotional period) of creating the new NYRA Bets account, applies to this promo.
- Hollywood Races:
- Get $150 after you wager your first $150. New players only.
- Get your win bets insured on select races.
- Breeders’ Cup promotions & VIP Champions Club
- DRF Bets:
- Deposit Match 200 + Free Formulator. Sign up with a promo code STAKES. T&Cs apply.
- Cashback Weekly. Wager over $500 in a week and receive cashback in your account the next week.
- Free Rewards. For every $50 wagered you’ll receive a free PP credit that can be redeemed inside DRF Bets.
Online Horse Wagering Legal States
You can download a horse racing site or an app for online horse wagering in the following U.S. states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Gambling in the U.S., including betting on horse racing, is primarily governed by the states. As of early 2019, 44 states had laws in place authorizing pari-mutuel wagering on horse races. There’s a lot of variation, though, in how residents of those states can bet. Some states allow betting only at the track. Others have off-track betting facilities at numerous locations. Still others allow wagering on horse racing but have no tracks.
The same goes for wagering by phone or online: Some states allow it; others don’t.
Companies called advance deposit wagering (ADW) providers are licensed – usually in Oregon or North Dakota – to provide online betting on horse races in states where local law permits it. Some of those providers do business in states where pari-mutuel betting is allowed but no law explicitly allows online betting, but they do so at their own legal peril.
If you are in a state where the law doesn’t allow pari-mutuel betting, none of the legal ADW providers will risk their licenses by accepting you as a customer. In that case, offshore racebooks are your only option.
Online Horse Betting: How to Start, What Bets to Place
If you’re betting on a single race, the most straightforward bet to place online is the win bet – you pick your horse, and you’re asked for your stake. If it wins, you get the stake times the odds of the horse, plus your stake back. A simple example is if you put $5 on a 2/1 horse, you’ll get $15 back if it wins (/$5 times two, plus your returned stake).
Also popular is the each-way bet, where you bet on a horse to win or finish in the places. You get a percentage of the odds for the place part of the each-way bet – typically a quarter or fifth. A /$5 each-way bet on a 10/1 horse that wins would return $70 on a race offering 1/5 odds on the place; $50 for the win, $10 for the place, and your returned stake. If your horse only places then you’d get $15 back with $10 for the place and $5 part of your stake returned.
In the US, the betting system is similar to the most popular bets: the win, place (horse finishes first or second), and the show (horse finishes first, second or third).
You can also try a forecast or exacta where you pick the horses to finish first and second, a reverse forecast or simple quinella where you pick horses to finish first or second in either order – stake is double the cost of a straight forecast – or a trifecta where you pick the horses you think will finish first, second and third. You can also try a superfecta bet, more common in North America, where you pick the first four horses to finish in the correct sequence.
There are also a number of combination bets where you try to pick winners or horses that place in a number of different races. The Yankee is a popular one in the UK – four selections consisting of 11 bets: six doubles, four trebles, and a fourfold accumulator – where two must win, or place if it’s an each-way Yankee, to get a return. A $1 win Yankee costs $11, based on the 11 bets, and it is believed to have been named after a World War Two American soldier that placed a small bet in the UK while on service and, due to the multiple roll-overs won back hundreds of thousands of pounds.
How to engage in online horse betting if you are new to this:
- Firstly, find the relevant bookmaker (the licensed, of course) that offers horse racing odds. You may also download one of the best apps to place horse bets directly from your mobile device.
- Then register with your personal details like name, address, social security number, or ID. You must be a verified punter (21+ in the US) before you can sign up, bet on horses online, and deposit and withdraw money.
- Take advantage of the offers by the horse race betting sites and apps. Deposit funds and carefully read the terms and conditions before claiming any bonuses and using promo codes.
- If you made the right predictions and won the bet, your winnings are credited to your betting account after the event ends.
Picking Your Horse Racing Bets
When you make your selection, always remember the term horses for courses – check your selection’s form on the track, form at a distance being run, and don’t forget the jockey’s form. The more you know, the better your chances of winning the bet on horse races online, and while there’ll always be a shock in the sport, the more research you do, the less chance you’ll have of picking the wrong horse.
Many big races, such as the Derby and the Kentucky Derby are competed for by horses of the same age and carrying the same weight, but those are the exception. Most racing involves competitors of varying ages and abilities with a handicap system in operation in a bid to equalize the competition, so always take that into account when betting horses online.
Information is your key to gambling success, so use horse betting websites such as Racing Post and Sporting Life in the UK and Ireland for in-depth analysis of the form and to get the views of the tipsters, with BloodHorse and drf.com offering a similar horse wagering service in the US. When you’ve picked your horse, oddschecker will save you the time of going through all the gambling websites to find the best odds for your selection, and they’ll direct you to the sites you need. Learn how to find the best and free horse betting picks and predictions provided by top racing handicappers.
Horse Competitions & Racing Events
There are four primary horse race types – flat racing, steeplechasing, harness racing, and endurance. Horse races are divided into categories in a bid to make them more competitive, ranging from a maiden for horses who haven’t won a race right up to pattern races like the Derby and other Group One events – also known as stakes races in the US.
The vast majority of the horses competing are thoroughbreds – bred from a pure breed sire (father) and dam (mother) – and they can be traced back to a handful of horses such as Godolphin, an Arabian breed from the 18th century.
Flat races are where runners race over a set distance on either turf, dirt or synthetic track. They are run most days in both the UK and Ireland, and in the US. The pinnacle of flat racing are the classics, open to three-year-olds, with three in the US making up the Triple Crown – the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Breeders Cup – and the dream of all trainers is a thoroughbred that can win all three. The last horse to do this was Justify in 2018.
Another type of racing popular for betting on in North America is harness racing, where the horse pulls a driver in a two-wheeled cart called a sulky.
There are two main types, trotting, and pacing, with the difference based on the horses’ leg movements. Important annual races in the US include the Hambletonian, part of a Triple Crown for Trotters, and the Little Brown, part of the Triple Crown for Pacers; in Canada, an important event is the Gold Cup and Saucer, run at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
Big Online Betting Horse Races
The biggest betting horse race in the world is the Grand National at Aintree, a four-mile test of the jumping and stamina of some of the top horses in the UK and Ireland. Around $210million is bet on the outcome, with many people placing their only bets of the year on the race, with selections based on horses’ names, jockeys’ silks, and even the color of the animals, rather than any attempt to analyze the form of each horse. Approximately 65-70% of all horse bets are placed online.
The Epsom Derby and the Cheltenham Gold Cup, part of the four-day Cheltenham Festival, are also popular betting races, with the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup Classic the top two in the US.
Other big betting events include Royal Ascot – a four-day festival of Flat racing in June at the famous track in Surrey, with the Queen usually attending – and several events in Ireland, including the Punchestown Festival. The big international races that attract more than their fair share of gambling interests include the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the Melbourne Cup in Australia, and the Dubai World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
Horse Betting Offers
If you’re considering opening an account at a horse gambling website, don’t pick the first one you see. There’s plenty to choose from, and they all offer generous promotions for new customers, with a range of free bets and various bonus offers when you open an online account. In the USA, some of the best legal horse wagering apps are Pointsbet, TVG, Amwager, DRF Bet, and NyraBets. So, look through who’s offering sign-up bonuses, free bets, and deposit bonuses, and pick the one offering a deal that suits you best.
Quick History Of Betting On Horses
Horse racing dates back to ancient times, with chariot racing one of the most popular ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine sports. With racing comes betting, and both came to prominence in Britain in the 17th century with the establishment of the Newmarket racecourse in 1636 in Suffolk, England, with King Charles II a notable competitor who became the only reigning monarch to ride a winner.
Soon after, Salisbury in New York established the United States’ own ‘Newmarket’ track, with a professional organization of racing controlled by the Jockey Club in the UK, established in 1750, before the American version was formed in 1894.
Flat racing dominates the US sport, predominantly on dirt tracks, while in the UK and Ireland, turf racing is king, with the flat seen as the summer version of the sport and jump racing prominent in the winter – the first recorded example of a jumps race was in County Cork, Ireland, in 1752.
Originally confined to race tracks, gambling on racing has come a long way since the first bookmaker, Ogden, stood at the Newmarket track in 1795, with betting websites effectively allowing people to place a bet on any horse racing event around the world from their own home – dependent on any local restrictions.
3 Best Horse Racing Betting Apps
Online Horse Betting FAQs
In most states where parimutuel wagering is legal, players 18 and older are allowed to make wagers. Try Amwager, TVG, DRF Bets, Twinspires and other US horse betting sites. That’s also true in most European countries and the U.K., though there are exceptions. Greece, for example, doesn’t allow anyone under 23 to place a bet on the ponies.
An ADWS is a form of gambling where you must fund your betting account before you are allowed to place bets. It is the principle of online gambling sites, where you deposit an amount of money in your betting account and are only allowed to place bets when there are funds in that account.
A horse racing program is effectively a history of each runner in miniature, detailing the previous form of competitors in a horse race. It includes details such as finishing places, when they ran, ground conditions of the races run, weight carried and, on many online sites, videos of those races run.
Endurance Racing is another popular sport, with different events based on the age of the horses competing and the distance. Endurance races are typically over 40km on natural terrain rather than at a race track, with obstacles like rivers and hedges traversed.
There really is no horse racing betting season in the U.S. Racing occurs virtually year round on many racing circuits, moving from one track to another to add some variety. Christmas Day may be the only day of the year when there isn’t a single racetrack running in the U.S. (though Camarero Race Track in Puerto Rico was open for business on that day in 2019 and likely will be again this year). In other words, even if your local track isn’t conducting racing, you likely have lots of opportunities to wager on contests being conducted elsewhere, including in other countries.
There is dog racing of greyhounds in the U.S., but the sport has experienced a steady decline in recent years amid growing sentiment that the canine athletes are not treated well. Forty-one states now have laws on the books banning dog racing. Currently, five states – Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Texas and Wisconsin – still conduct dog races, according to the anti-racing group grey2kusa.org. Four other states — Connecticut, Kansas, Oregon and Wisconsin – no longer have dog racing venues but have not outlawed the practice.
Best Horse Races to Bet on in 2023
2023 Kentucky Derby Betting Offers & Best Bets
|TVG||TVG Bonus: Get $200 Sign up Offer|
2023 Preakness Stakes Betting Promos & Sportsbook Offers
|AmWager||AmWager New Customer Offer: $300 Deposit Match|
The Best 2023 Belmont Stakes Betting Offers & Promotions
|AmWager||AmWager New Customer Offer: $300 Deposit Match|