Legal Online Horse Betting Guide 2015

Although horse racing dates back thousands of years, American horse racing (and betting) was born on May 17, 1875. That date marks the first run at Churchill Downs in Lexington, Kentucky, “Home of the Kentucky Derby.” People worldwide tune in to watch this event, known as the “greatest two minutes in sports,” placing wagers on their favorite Thouroghbreds. In 2012, attendance at the Kentucky Derby hit all-time highs with 165,307 in attendance and $187 million in wagers from all sources. A “Triple Crown” event with a rich and proud history, the Kentucky Derby is probably the most recognizable horse race in the world. But that’s just one race on one day of the year. Horse racing events are happening every day at tracks throughout the entire country.

Pari-mutuel wagering is legal at these facilities, which are regulated by state law. In many states, wagering through off-track betting facilities or casinos is also legal. In addition, residents in many states can legally wager on horse racing online through website racebooks. The pari-mutuel wagering laws vary by state, but for those in states without legal online horse betting, numerous online racebooks and sports betting sites accept USA players from all states. These online brands, which are licensed and certified outside the USA, let players wager through tracks worldwide and are some of the most reputable brands on the web when it comes to betting.

Legal USA Online Horse Betting Sites

The following sites offer legal online horse betting and are 100% licensed and regulated to accept horse wagers. Most offer convenient banking options such as credit cards to easily fund your betting account. You'll notice we only recommend a couple sites, this is because we have stringent criteria for getting a recommendation from us. We are gamblers just like you are, so we want you to play with the best sites available that are the most reputable brands for betting. Bet horse racing legally at either of our top 2 picks both offering great rewards for loyal players.

Horse Betting Site Link Sign Up Bonus Rating Full Racebook Review
Bovada Racebook $250 Signup Bonus + Weekly Cashback Rebate 5 Star Rating Bovada Racebook Review
BetAmerica Racebook $300 Signup Bonus + Weekly Cashback Rebate 5 Star Rating BetAmerica Racebook Review
5Dimes Racebook $520 Signup Bonus + Weekly Cashback Rebate 5 Star Rating 5Dimes Racebook Review
BookMaker Racebook $2500 Signup Bonus + 8% Rebate 5 Star Rating Bookmaker Racebook Review

Online Horse Racing Legality

Is online horse betting legal? A reported 43 states allow some form of pari-mutuel wagering on horseracing, and 36 states allow live wagering at horse tracks that are regulated by the state. Other states, such as Georgia, prohibit pari-mutuel wagering, the system of betting that allows horse racing states to collect millions of dollars per year in wagering revenues. According to one report, more than 125 horse tracks are operating in North America, generating more than $12 billion in wagers. In addition, “horse race wagering online has been legal in most state for years.” Again, state laws vary.

The federal Interstate Horse Racing Act also regulates wagers on horse racing. According to one report, “it was amended in 2000 to expressly allow pari-mutuel wagers transmitted between states by the use of phone or other electronic media.” Thus, people in states that allow pari-mutuel wagering may have some legal state based online horse betting options. However, those options may be limited to horse racing that occurs within that state or states that are in horse racing compacts. Rest assured, if you’re in a state that does not offer pari-mutuel wagering, or you’d like more horse racing options, there are plenty of licensed online racebooks that will accept your wagers, and which are legally licensed and regulated outside the USA within a governing jurisdiction which has legalized online gambling for their respected territory.

Other federal laws, such as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, target “persons engaged in the business of betting or wagering” from accepting bets from people in states where online gambling is illegal. The objective of this law is to regulate how online gambling transactions are processed to eliminate the risk of fraud and money laundering. It is actually designed to make online gambling safer. First, this law targets illegal gambling operations, not those individuals who are actually betting online. Second, pari-mutuel horse race wagering is legal in most states, mainly because horses are not susceptible to the influence of money that has the potential to impact the performances of athletes or sporting events. Third, there is no reported case involving a USA-based player who was ever fined or jailed for placing bets through online racebooks that operate in other countries.

What Is An Online Racebook Website?

Online horse racing sites use cutting-edge software to let bettors select numerous race and wager formats through hundreds of tracks in the USA and other countries. These sites provide information on horses, jockeys, trainers, weather conditions, odds, handicapping, injury updates, and other information. Handicapping is an art form, involving the use of information and statistics to pick your winners. Online racebooks offer the tools you need to make informed bets.

And when your research is done, many brands offer live race streaming so bettors can watch races live, or view race replays to see your potential horse or horses in action before you make your play. Our team of professionals reviews these recommended online racebooks to ensure they are legal and licensed in the country of origin. Licensing authorities ensure that online racebooks meet the laws, regulations, and standards necessary to protect consumers against fraud, misrepresentation, or other unfair practices. Because online racebooks want continued business through a solid reputation, meeting these licensing requirements is in their best interest. In short, betting horse races online through reputable racebooks based in other countries is just as safe as betting with those which are legally licensed within the US.

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