Betting horse racing and other sports online is a billion-dollar business in the United States and abroad. Most of our readers at EZ Horse Betting have made the decision to use an online racebook to make their bets. There are many advantages of doing so. Still, we get the occasional question: is online horse betting legal. In this article we’ll try to give readers some specific information about the legality of horse race betting online for real money.
Online Horse Betting in the United States
If you happen to live in the United States, congratulations! You have access to one of the most vibrant horse racing circuits in the entire world. Horse racing in America has been popular since the 1800s, and betting on horses has always been a part of the appeal. It wasn’t until the 2000s, however, that online horse betting began to eclipse betting at live tracks and off-track betting parlors.
There are only a handful of states that restrict horse race betting in the US. The US government passed legislation in 2006 that exempted horse racing from gambling prohibitions. The federal government essentially gave individual states the right to decide if they wanted to offer online horse betting to citizens.
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Rather than attempt to list the majority of states which permit online horse betting, it is simpler to list the states which have opted out of legalized online horse race betting along with their reasons for doing so.
- Texas – Residents of Texas are not allowed to bet horses online with a racebook such as BetAmerica. The reason for this is likely the state’s complicated history with parimutuel wagering and gambling venues. There are several live tracks in Texas where horse racing bets can be made.
- Mississippi – This is one of the few states that do not have any live race tracks, and online betting is also prohibited. This may be changing soon, as Mississippi has become one of the first US states to embrace live sports betting.
- Georgia – All parimutuel forms of gambling are illegal in Georgia, and this includes online horse betting.
- North Carolina – Another state that does not have any live racing venues in the state. As such, wagering on online horse racing is also prohibited.
- South Carolina – Although the state does have some horse racing for special occasions, it does not allow residents to wager online.
- Missouri – This state prefers not to allow live horse racing, and betting online is also illegal.
- Nebraska – Although the state is home to no less than six racetracks which once included the legendary Ak-Sar-Ben, online horse betting is not permitted.
- Nevada – The only horse betting that can be done in Nevada is at one of the state’s many live sports books. Obviously, the state does not like online horse betting because it cuts into the revenues of the live sports books and casinos which are its bread and butter.
- Utah – This state is known as a Mormon stronghold, and the religious culture of the state prohibits gambling activities. No online horse betting is allowed.
- Arizona – There are some notable horse racing tracks in Arizona, but residents cannot bet those race tracks online with a racebook like TwinSpires or BetAmerica.
- Alaska – No race tracks exist in the state and online horse betting is not permitted.
- Hawaii – Hawaii is just one of two states in the US that does not allow any forms of legalized gambling, online or offline. The other is Utah.
If you live in any of the 38 states that do not appear on the above list, online horse betting is legal for you! You can sign up for an account with an online racebook today and make bets from your computer, phone, or tablet.
Is Online Horse Betting Legal in Other Countries?
Many of our EZ Horse Betting readers don’t live in the US. They live in places like the UK, Hong Kong, Australia, or even Japan where horse racing is very popular. Betting is also popular in these locations, and in all of them it is legal to make bets online on horse racing.
Now, there are some things that you should be aware of before you decide to make that first online horse bet overseas. In Hong Kong, for example, all online horse betting falls under the jurisdiction of the Hong Kong Jockey Club. It is not legal to bet with bookies, and online racebooks that offer Hong Kong race betting must be approved by the Jockey Club.
You can watch and wager on horse racing from Japan with many online racebooks. The same can be said for horse racing from Canada and the UK. That’s one of the great things about online racebooks. They put the entire world of horse racing right at your fingertips. Just fire up your computer or tablet and you are good to go.
It should be said that the attitude toward horse racing and betting on horses in many parts of the world is different than it is in the United States. Many countries embrace all forms of gambling as a type of harmless entertainment that can be enjoyed by anyone that is of legal age.
You should always check the regulations of the area in which you live. It pays to do your due diligence before you risk doing something illegal.
A Final Word About Legal Online Horse Betting
Before we conclude the answer to is online horse betting legal, let’s just take a moment to remind you of some of the advantages of online horse betting. You will find that there are many benefits to signing up with an online racebook.
Most online racebooks will be happy to provide you with free past performances to assist with your handicapping. They will also give you a welcome bonus when you make your first deposit. You can also access an entire library of race replays that may be very useful in your own handicapping.