The Legality of Online Horse Betting in the US

This might be a surprise to many people, but online horse betting in the United States is completely legal. That’s right – US citizens can legally bet real money on horse races at websites that are licensed and regulated within the United States.

Horse and greyhound betting are the only two types of online betting that are exempt from federal gaming statutes in the United States. The US government has come down hard on online gambling over the past few years, but online horse race betting has been quietly exempted from legislation such as the UIGEA.

Each state in the United States has the power to decide if it wants to allow online horse betting or not. So even though horse betting is legal at the federal level, it may not be legal on the state level. Most US states allow horse betting, but not all. Visit this page to see which states allow horse betting online.

Where to Bet on Horses in the US

There are several US-based websites that provide real money horse betting on the internet. My favorites are the following:

The nice thing about all of these websites is that they are strictly regulated within the United States. You can bet at any of these sites with confidence because they are bound by strict gambling regulations. These websites are based in the United States and comply to all state and federal laws.

A secondary advantage of betting at the above websites is that you can transfer money to and from your betting account with ease. Since these sites operate with the blessing of the US government, you can make instant deposits with your credit card or debit card, bank transfers or online e-wallets.

And last but not least, all of the above horse betting sites provide live streams of horse races. This means you can place your bets and then watch the races in real time on your computer. If you don’t live near an actual horse racing track, this is the next best thing. It costs nothing extra to watch these events on your computer.

Why is horse racing legal in the US?

So why is online horse betting legal in the US when other forms of gambling are not? Well, the simple answer is corruption. The same people who argue for the prohibition of other types of online gambling have also made sure to get exceptions for online horse betting. Unfortunately, US law isn’t always based on what is right or what makes sense.

The people that pushed for the UIGEA claimed that a prohibition was necessary to protect kids from the evils of online gambling, to protect degenerate gamblers and to avoid money laundering by terrorists (ridiculous). However, these same people also decided to give horse racing a free pass.

It’s all about the money. Horse betting provides a great source of revenue for many states, so the creators of the UIGEA decided that, for some mysterious reason, horse racing betting doesn’t pose any of the same risks that other forms of gambling present. It’s ridiculous, but at least we can have online horse betting.

But the good news for horse race betting fans is that you can place real money horse bets in most states. A few states do not allow online horse betting, but most US residents have access to off track betting on all the major race tracks in the United States.

States that Allow Online Horse Betting

The list of states that allow online horse betting is longer than the list of states that do not allow betting. So, here’s a quick list of states that DO NOT allow online horse betting:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • New Jersey
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Utah
  • Virginia

Note: this information was hard to find, so I can’t promise that this list of states is always up to date. If you live in one of the restricted states above, go ahead and visit one of my recommended horse betting sites and see if they let you sign up. If you notice an error in my list, please contact me and let me know.

Horse Betting Guide