Those who like to bet on horse racing in the United States have many excellent wagering opportunities. Live race tracks are found in many states, and online horse racing betting is allowed in many others. With an online horse racing betting account, the United States handicapper can watch and bet on hundreds of horse races each week.
This brief guide to legal online horse betting in the United States will help you determine the legality of wagering in your state. We also recommend that you always check to see the latest regulations regarding US online horse betting in your state before you make a bet.
Why Horse Racing is Legal in the USA
Horse racing has been a fixture in the United States since the 19th century. There were as many as 300 race tracks operational in the United States in the late 1800s, more than there are today. This doesn’t include many private bush tracks and other venues where horse owners pitted their horses against one another head-to-head.
Of course, betting was always a part of the equation. This was true in the early days when betting on horses wasn’t strictly legal. Things soon changed as the US found a way to justify the legality of horse betting. It was called the parimutuel system.
Parimutuel betting originated in France. The term actually means “betting among ourselves” and refers to wagers that are made between individuals. In this context, the race track is only the facilitator of horse racing wagers. It is allowed to take out money from the wagers made to pay its expenses and make a profit.
In parimutuel wagering all the money from bettors is placed into a pool. Those who win their bets are paid from this pool. The pool is also the source of the money the track receives. Money taken by the track is also used to pay the purses that are offered for each race.
Online horse betting operates under the same principle. The online racebooks are tied into the tote board betting pools at the live race track. This is what distinguishes horse racing betting from other types of gambling.
The Interstate Horse Racing Act – What is it?
1n 1978, the United States passed groundbreaking legislation that would ultimately pave the way for online horse racing betting. This law was called the Interstate Horse Racing Act, and it basically cleared the way for individual states to create partnerships with one another to accept wagers.
This act is what created the era of simulcast race horse betting. It made it possible for live race tracks to offer live simulcast feeds of the horse racing in other states, and the states could also connect to each other’s parimutuel pools.
This law is the primary reason why online horse racing betting is legal in many US states today. Online racebooks use the same legal system to allow bettors in many states to make legal wagers on horse racing.
Individual states have the right to decide for themselves if they will participate in the legality of online horse betting. Some states choose not to allow online wagering. Below you will find a guide to which states permit online betting and which do not.
Which States Have Legal Online Horse Betting?
Here is a state-by-state list of the laws regarding online horse betting.
It is legal to use an online racebook to bet horses in Alabama, but the state does not have live horse racing.
It is not legal to conduct horse racing in Alaska, and no betting offline or online is allowed.
Horse racing betting in Arizona is allowed, but only on tracks that are simulcast by Turf Paradise. This limits the action that bettors have access to.
Arkansas is the home of Oaklawn Park, one of the most famous US race tracks. Residents are allowed to bet horses online.
California is home to many famous race tracks. All of them can be enjoyed at an online racebook where betting horses is legal for all California residents.
There is very little live horse racing in Colorado, but it is fully legal to bet horses with an online sportsbook.
It is legal in this state to bet online on horse racing, but there are no major live race tracks in the state.
Delaware has had limited live racing in the past, and it is still permitted to bet horses online.
All residents of Florida are allowed to make online horse racing bets. This includes bets at all of the state’s major race tracks.
The State of Georgia does not allow live horse racing or betting online.
Hawaii remains steadfast in its opposition to all types of gambling. That includes a prohibition against online horse racing betting.
Idaho is home to a small race track where live events are conducted. The state allows betting on horses with online racebooks.
The state once had a lively racing scene with live events. Today most bettors must content themselves with legal online race betting.
Indiana hosts live horse racing and also allows online horse racing betting.
Prairie Meadows is an active live race track in Iowa, and online horse betting is legal.
It is legal to bet horses online in Kansas.
It should come as no surprise that betting horses online is legal in Kentucky, the home of the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs. Twin Spires is the company that owns Churchill Downs, and it also operates its own online racebook.
Horse racing is s very popular sport in Louisiana, and the people of the state are allowed to wager online with authorized racebooks.
The only way to watch and wager on horse racing in Maine is with an online racebook.
Maryland is the home of the Preakness Stakes and Pimilco Racecourse. Online betting is legal.
The state does not conduct live horse racing but does allow online horse racing betting.
Residents of Michigan may legally bet online horse racing.
The state has conducted live horse racing from Canterbury Park for many years, and it allows residents to make bets with online racebooks.
Online horse betting is not allowed at the present time. This may change as there have been laws passed which have legalized other types of sports betting.
It is legal to make online horse racing bets in Missouri.
You are allowed to bet horse races online if you live in Montana.
Nebraska has limited live horse racing that generally coincides with the fair season, but the best way to make horse racing bets in this state is online.
Nevada does not allow online horse racing betting, despite the fact that bettors can use live racebooks at many of the state’s physical casinos.
There are no live racing venues in the state, but it is legal to bet horses online.
Many types of horse racing are popular in New Jersey, and it is legal for anyone in the state to bet with an online racebook.
If you live in New Mexico you are allowed to bet horses at an online racebook.
The NYRA actively supports online horse betting in New York, and it is legal to do so.
Online horse betting is not allowed in North Carolina.
The state has some very small horse racing tracks which run meets in the summer, and it also allows residents to bet horses online.
Online horse betting is legal in Ohio.
Both thoroughbred and quarterhorse racing is legal in Oklahoma, and so is betting horses online.
The only way to make horse racing bets in Oregon is to use an online racebook.
Pennsylvania is home to Parx, a famous American race track. The state also allows individuals to make horse racing bets online.
This small state allows online horse betting.
South Carolina is one of the few states in the US which does not allow online horse betting.
This state allows online racebooks and online horse racing betting.
The state doesn’t stand big on live racing betting, but it does allow residents to use online racebooks.
You can bet on horse racing from Texas online as long as you are in another state. State residents are not allowed to make online horse racing bets.
Utah has a longstanding prohibition against all forms of gambling. This includes online horse racing.
If you live in Vermont you are allowed to bet horses online for real money.
Online racebooks are legal under the laws of this state.
It is legal for residents of Washington State to make bets on horse racing with an online racebook.
There are some smaller live racetracks in West Virginia, and online horse racing betting is also allowed.
You can make bets with an online racebook legally if you live in Wisconsin.
Live racing is not conducted in this state, but there are plenty of legal horse betting opportunities online.
Betting horses online is not allowed in Washington, DC.
Check With Your Favorite Online Racebook
It should be noted that not every online racebook is available in every state. You should check with your preferred online racebook to determine if your state is accepted. Check our Bovada racebook review, Twinspires review or even our Betamerica review. All great choice if you are in the US. 5Dimes review for folks anywhere!