Horse race betting dates back to the colonial era, which makes it one of the oldest forms of gambling in America. Racing fans in New York now have more ways to bet on horses both live and online, in addition to NY online sports betting options.

As it stands, online horse racing is legal in at least 39 states, each with its own set of regulations.

Currently, New York allows parimutuel online horse betting, but a bill is pending in the legislature that could make fixed odds racing legal soon. If you’re in the Big Apple and looking to get in on the action on horse races, you have plenty of options, including three of the biggest names in the game: TVG, TwinSpires, and BetAmerica. 

This guide will give you the full low-down on online horse racing in New York, including the best horse racing apps in NY, bonuses, types of bets, and more. 

The Top Online Horse Race Betting Sites in the US

FanDuel Racing 

  • No Sweat First Bet up to for win wagers 
  • iOS/Android app 

The DFS and sports betting giant FanDuel NY has wormed its way into horse race betting, becoming an instant contender in the sector thanks to its superb app functionality, rich betting portfolio, and great streaming service.

In Dec. 2022, FanDuel completed the same-wallet integration, becoming the first gambling operator in the country to offer sports betting and horse racing through a single account. The FanDuel Racing platform provides bettors with access to more than 200 tracks, including Belmont Park, Saratoga, and Aqueduct.  

The numberFire-powered predictor tool is another standout feature at FanDuel Racing. In addition, the racebook offers race replays and live streaming through its in-house service, FanDuel TV. 

Add to this a competitive welcome bonus, and it becomes clear why FanDuel Racing is hailed as one of the best apps for betting on horses in NY. 

TVG 

  • Welcome bonus offering up to $500 back on first bet loss
  • iOS/Android app

TVG is a feature-heavy horse race betting app with strong brand recognition, a versatile betting program, and a top-notch live streaming service.

It’s a sister site to FanDuel and one of the best sites for horse race betting in the country. The racebook offers odds for races held at over 150 tracks worldwide and provides live coverage for a variety of high-profile events. TVG’s betting menu features a multitude of single bets, single-race combo bets, and specialty wagers.

TVG offers all kinds of auxiliary data and functionalities to help bettors make informed picks, including handicapping tips, insights, previews, and free replays. Besides the intro promo, TVG offers numerous benefits for existing customers, including referral bonuses, contests, insurance deals, and rewards programs.

The operator signed a deal with MSG Networks in July 2021, giving the cable provider broadcast rights to its Trackside Live horse racing content. 

TwinSpires 

  • $200 sign-up bonus 
  • iOs/Android app

TwinSpires is one of the best horse racing apps in New York, largely because of its free-to-enter contests, excellent user interface, and attractive welcome bonus.

It’s an online horse racing skin of Churchill Downs, the host of the legendary Kentucky Derby. Featuring action on 150+ quarter horses, thoroughbreds, and harness tracks around the world, the app offers great betting depth and excellent stream coverage. 

The racebook delivers strong promotional value through various rotating promos: namely bet-back offers, exacta insurance, free contests, and bonus prize pools. Bet Share is a cool feature at TwinSpires that enables users to split wagering costs and potential rewards. Other extras include a podcast channel, a race replay system, and a free past performance data carousel. 

Twin Spires also runs a sportsbook; however, it wasn’t among the first wave of operators that went live when online sports betting in New York got off the ground.

BetAmerica

  • Welcome bonus offering a 100% match worth up to $100 
  • iOS app

BetAmerica is a reputable horse racing portal with hard-to-beat track coverage, a rewarding VIP program, and a modern user interface.

It’s the second extension of Churchill Downs, which makes it the sister site to TwinSpires. This operator offers odds on more than 5,000 races each week across 425 tracks, living up to its reputation as one of the most diverse NY horse race betting platforms. 

Regulars at BetAmerica can participate in the brand’s TSC Elite, a cross-app VIP program shared by its online app and Churchill Downs tracks and OTBs. 

BetAmerica offers plenty of exotic bets with hefty carryovers. The racebook has shown a knack for innovation, introducing several helpful features, including a fast bet-building tool, interactive wager pad slip, free handicapping service, and a free replays system. 

PointsBet 

As an established sports betting brand, PointsBet is well-positioned to expand into the US horse racing market. The partnership with 1/ST TECHNOLOGY and the acquisition of BetPTC will only streamline the transition.

PointsBet, known for offering one of the best sportsbook bonuses in New York for new players, is about to plant its flag in horse racing. It has teamed up with Stronach Group to develop an advance-deposit wagering (ADW) horse racing product that will leverage 1/ST TECHNOLOGY software. 

DK Horse 

All of DraftKings’ main competitors are already making waves in the horse racing industry, so launching DK Horse seemed like a logical step for DraftKings. DK and CDI seem to be a good match for the new mobile horse racing app, combining DK’s sports betting pedigree and CDI’s well-known horse racing image.

In Nov. 2022, DraftKings inked a deal with Churchill Downs, through which it will diversify its offerings to include horse race betting. It will use Twin Spires’ ADW technology and have a separate wallet from DK’s other products. 

DK Horse is expected to launch in at least 21 states in the run-up to the Kentucky Derby. 

What States Offer Online Horse Race Betting

There are currently at least 39 US states where you can bet on horse races online, and New York is one of them. Horse race betting odds in NY are also offered in a wide range of OTB facilities and racetracks. Among the states that allow online horse racing, only a handful haven’t launched a sports betting market or iGaming market. These include Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Idaho, and Nebraska. In these states, horse race portals are the only means of placing any wagers online. 

Kentucky, a hotbed for horse racing, joins Maine and Florida as a new entrant to the online horse racing industry. Arkansas, Iowa, and Indiana have hopped on the online horse betting trend in the last decade or so. 

As for online horse racing holdouts, we don’t see anyone getting off the sideline anytime soon. 

What Types of Bets Are Available on Online Horse Betting Sites in New York? 

Horse racing apps in New York generally offer a large selection of bets for every race, be it high- or low-profile. From straightforward win bets to complex wagers, there’s usually something to accommodate every taste. 

It’s important to note that NY horse race betting portals use a pari-mutuel wagering system. In this format, wagers are pooled into a common pot, and odds are calculated based on the total amount of staked money. After fees and expenses are deducted, the remaining amount is split among the winning bettors.

Let’s take a look at the different types of bets available on online horse betting sites in NY.

Straight Horse Bets 

Straight bets are a great starting point for beginners. There are several variations available:

  • Win: A bet on the horse to cross the finish line first 
  • Place: An easier-to-hit variant of win that pays when your horse finishes as the winner or runner-up
  • Show: Your chosen horse must finish within the first three positions for the bet to cash out 
  • Combinations: Bets that combine two or three options mentioned above for a shot at bigger payouts 

Exotic Bets 

Exotic bets add a layer of excitement to horse racing, but they also increase the difficulty and cost of betting. In general, they can be divided into two categories: multiple horse bets and multiple race bets. Let’s tackle both groups separately: 

Multiple Horse Bets

  • Exacta: Bet on the winner and the runner-up in the exact order
  • Quinella: The same as exacta, but it doesn’t require bettors to predict the exact order of the first two horses
  • Trifecta: Predict the top-three finishers in the correct order 
  • Superfecta: Pick horses that you believe will finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the exact order; hit it, and you’re in for a big payday
  • Boxed Exotic Bets: Place a bet on multiple horses to finish in the top spots in no particular order

Multiple Race Bets

  • Daily Double: Predict the winner(s) of back-to-back horse races
  • Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5: Wager on the winning horses of three, four, or five consecutive racing events
  • Pick 6: Bet on the winner of six races in a row 

What Types of Bonuses Are Available When Betting on Horse Races Online

The best horse race betting sites offer a variety of incentives. Some are geared toward first-timers, while others aim to keep existing players engaged. Let’s explore both types. 

Welcome Bonuses

Welcome bonuses are the bread and butter of every online horse racing platform, as these offers are designed to draw new customers. Most commonly, they come in the form of a match deposit whereby the site matches a percentage of the bettor’s deposit up to a certain cap. For instance, BetAmerica offers a 100% match worth up to $100, meaning that it’ll match your initial deposit dollar for dollar up to the specified amount.

Rebates

This is the percentage of the player’s horse racing losses returned as cash back. These bonuses help soften the blow of a losing streak and can add up over time. BetAmerica offers a 3% rebate on bets made on its bonus tracks. More and more sites are offering flat-rate rebates, which are basically refunds for all bets — both winning and losing ones. 

Bonus Credit Bets

A bonus credit bet provides players with a safety net for their first wager. In the event that the bet fails, the site will refund the staked amount up to a set limit. This type of bonus is offered by FanDuel Racing, TVG, and several other racebooks. 

Insurance Deals

This is a rebate that applies to specific wagers, usually combo bets. For instance, TVG offers a fixed cashback worth up to $25 for bettors who hit all but one selection in their Pick 4 wagers. 

Contests

These types of promotions offer players the chance to win prizes by participating in challenges or competitions related to horse racing. For instance, NYRA Bets regularly runs handicapping contests with five-digit prize pools. 

Referral Bonuses

Referral bonuses reward players for inviting their friends to join an online horse betting site. Players receive a bonus for each successful referral. This can be beneficial to both the player and their friend who is just starting out. FanDuel Racing is among the horse racing sites that offer a referral bonus. 

Popular US Racetracks 

In the past century, horse racing has been a beloved American pastime, with numerous tracks hosting thrilling races annually. Here are some of the most notable racetracks in the US based on their recognition and attendance. 

Saratoga Race Course

Saratoga Race Course, located in Saratoga Springs, New York, is one of the oldest tracks in the country. It’s best known for hosting the iconic Travers Stakes race. 

It attracts a large number of fans and generates tons of betting action. In fact, the data from 2022 revealed that the racetrack has a larger attendance than five major NY teams combined: Knicks, Islanders, Nets, Bills, and Rangers. Saratoga also houses one of the best retail casinos in New York.  

Online horse racing is legal in NY, so you can bet on Saratoga races both in person and remotely while in the Big Apple. 

Belmont Park

Belmont Park is renowned for hosting the Belmont Stakes, the final and most challenging leg of the Triple Crown series of races. It can hold more than 100,000 people, while the seating capacity is around 33,000. 

Notable races held at Belmont park include the Metropolitan Handicap and Jockey Club Gold Cup. All horse racing apps in New York offer coverage of races at Belmont park, which makes it a prime destination for fans and bettors alike. 

Churchill Downs

Located in Louisville, Kentucky, Churchill Downs hosts the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the Triple Crown. The historic racetrack has played host to some of horse racing’s greatest moments, including the 1973 race when Secretariat won in 1:59 2/5 — a record that still stands today.

Among the other major races held at Churchill Downs, you’ll find the Kentucky Oaks and the Clark Handicap. The track has an attendance capacity of around 165,000, the largest of any sports venue in North America. 

Churchill Downs operates two online horse racing skins — BetAmerica and TwinSpires — both of which operate in New York. 

What Are the Most Popular Horse Racing Events of the Year?

Popular Horse Races in the US

The US horse racing calendar is packed with exciting events, but few match the popularity of the Triple Crown. The Triple Crown consists of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes, all of which are open to three-year-old thoroughbred horses. Winning all three races is considered the pinnacle of horse racing and is a rare feat accomplished by only a few. The most recent Triple Crown winner was Justify in 2018. 

There are a few notable races in the US besides the Triple Crown that attract top horses and lots of betting action. The Breeders’ Cup is a two-day event that brings together the best horses from around the world to compete in a series of races, with $6 million of purse money on the line. The Pegasus World Cup is another high-stakes race, offering a large purse and attracting top horses from all over the globe.

Major International Horse Races

The Dubai World Cup is one of the most lucrative horse races globally, featuring a purse of over $30 million. In terms of attendance and popularity, it’s on par with Grand National, which is the most popular steeplechase event in the world and one of the most demanding competitions in all of horse racing. Royal Ascot, a week-long event with exciting races and a unique atmosphere, isn’t far behind either. 

You can find odds for international horse races in the best apps for betting on horses in New York

Is Online Horse Race Betting Legal in New York?

The Interstate Horseracing Act passed in 1978 marked the first major milestone in the legalization of online horse racing in the United States. There’s only one federal law that regulates off-track, interstate parimutuel betting. It was amended in 2000 to allow for pari-mutuel horse racing over the internet. 

Online horse racing is legal in 39 states, most of which employ a pari-mutuel wagering system. Fixed-odds horse racing is only legal in New Jersey and Colorado. Recently, Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. introduced a bill that would allow New York to be the third state to allow fixed-odds wagering.

New York Horse Racing History

New York has a long history of horse racing, with the first recorded race occurring in 1665. With the legalization of pari-mutuel betting on horse races in 1939, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board (NYSRWB) was created to regulate the industry. The NY State Gaming Commission took over NYSRWB’s responsibilities in 2013 and became the sole regulator of gambling in the state.

NY is home to four thoroughbred and seven standardbred tracks, along with 170 OTB parlors. Some of the best sites for horse race betting operate in New York, including TwinSpires, TVG, and BetAmerica.  

In recent years, New York has taken steps to expand its gambling industry, including the legalization of in-person sports betting in 2013 and online sports betting in 2019. The next vertical in line for legalization is online casino gaming.

Is It Safe To Bet on a Legal Online Horse Betting Site 

Horse race betting online can be fun and convenient, as long as you do it safely. It’s always recommended to place wagers on legal and regulated sites, and here’s why:

  • Regulation: US-based online horse racing betting sites are regulated and overseen by government agencies. They must meet a strict set of requirements for security, fairness, and transparency and are regularly audited to ensure they’re operating responsibly.
  • Data protection: Licensed online betting sites are required to provide robust security measures, such as SSL and TLS encryption. As a result of poor security, offshore platforms are often prone to data leaks.
  • Legal recourse: If you encounter any problems or issues with a legal online betting site, you can take action to resolve the issue. Offshore platforms, however, aren’t subject to the same regulations and may not be held accountable.

How Do You Register at Online Horse Race Betting Sites in New York?

To register and start betting on horse races with a NY horse race betting app, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the racebook.
  2. Click on the Sign Up or Register button, typically located in the top right corner of the page.
  3. Fill out the registration form with your personal information, including your name, address, last four digits of your SSN, email, and phone number.
  4. Verify your account through the email or phone number provided, if applicable.
  5. Deposit and (preferably) claim the welcome bonus.
  6. Pick a horse race from the list of available events and place a wager. A race can be accessed through a track listing or via the race timeline lobby.
  7. Choose the type of bet you want to place, such as a win, place, or show bet.
  8. Enter the amount you want to bet and confirm your selection.

What Options Are There To Deposit and Withdraw at Online Horse Betting Sites

Horse race betting apps in NY usually offer various options for depositing and withdrawing funds. These may include but aren’t limited to:

Deposit Options:

  • EZ Money: Deposit funds by visiting a participating retailer.
  • Checks: Send a check or money order to the address specified by the horse racing app.
  • Visa/Mastercard: Credit and debit cards are among the most widespread payment options.
  • PayPal: This is the most popular e-wallet provider.
  • MoneyGram: This option operates similarly to Western Union.
  • Bank wire: It’s a direct transfer from a bank account.

Withdrawal Options:

  • Check: Receive winnings by check.
  • Bank wire: Transfer funds to a bank account.
  • PayPal: Transfer winnings to a PayPal account.
  • MoneyGram: Receive winnings via a MoneyGram transfer.
  • Green Dot: Access winnings with a prepaid Green Dot card at ATMs or online.

For quick cashouts, you should look for PayPal whenever it’s supported. Check with your site for specific options and processing times.

Online Horse Race Betting in New York FAQ

Is online horse race betting legal in New York?

Yes, you can bet on horses legally via horse race betting platforms like TVG, BetAmerica, and TwinSpires. 

Where can I watch horse racing on live streaming?

Each horse racing app typically has its own broadcasting service with live streams for most high-profile races. 

How old do I need to be to bet on horses online in New York?

You must be at least 18 years or older to bet on horses in New York. This age requirement applies to both in-person and online betting. 

Is it legal to bet on the Kentucky Derby online in New York?

Yes, you can bet legally on the Kentucky Derby in New York via NYRA Bets, TVG, TwinSpires, BetAmerica, and other platforms. 

Is TVG online horse betting legal in New York?

Yes, TVG is allowed to offer its services to NY bettors. 

Are BetAmerica horse racing bets legal in New York?

Yes, BetAmerica operates in New York and accepts residents aged 18 years or older. 

About the Author

Joshua Buckley

Joshua Buckley is Sports Content Manager for NY Sports Day. Along with award-winning experience as a sports editor in Alabama and Texas, he has also spent time in public relations for the tourism and blood banking industries. Joshua is co-host of "Whole Lotta Wolves," the only U.S.-based Wolverhampton Wanderers FC podcast.

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