Best Horse Race Betting Apps

As legal sports betting has spread throughout the country, the question of online horse racing wagering and its legality has followed. Fortunately, most US states allow online horse racing betting to one degree or another, thanks to the fact that many states allow legal in-person horserace betting already. It’s no surprise that there are plenty of quality horse racing betting apps to choose from.

These apps are perfect if you want to put money down or watch a horserace from the comfort of your couch rather than visiting a track in person. Not sure where to start or which apps are really worth your time and money? Let’s break down the best horse race betting apps in the US in detail.

Top US Horse Race Betting Apps

At the moment, there are only a handful of high-quality US horse race betting apps. Fortunately, these apps are available in practically all US states, even in those that outlaw other forms of sports wagering. 

BetMGM Horse Racing

BetMGM Horse Racing brings the same level of user experience to horse racing as it does to its top-notch sports betting app. It’s not live in all states yet, but if you’re wanting to bet on horse racing, you’re going to want to check out this app first.

TVG Horse Racing

TVG is another major competitor in the online horse race betting scene and it’s the most well-known betting site in the entire country. Whether you like to bet on US or international horse races, TVG will have you covered with wagering opportunities at hundreds of different tracks around the world.

TVG’s app is also partnered with the horse racing channel of the same name, so live stream feeds are a given as is high-quality betting information and expert advisors. TVG makes it easy to succeed with horse betting thanks to its plethora of betting information tools and analysis subscriptions.

TwinSpires Horse Racing

TwinSpires is one of the best mobile horse race betting apps overall, which is no surprise given that it is owned and operated by Churchill Downs. This US-centric racing app nonetheless lets you bet on horse races occurring over 300 tracks worldwide, plus view live and HD video feeds of racing action as it unfolds.

More importantly, TwinSpires offers several different app interfaces and race information breakdowns. In this way, it’s great for both beginners and more experienced horserace wagerers alike.

BetAmerica

BetAmerica is another quality online horse race betting app, particularly for folks who like to wager on greyhound races as well. This top-tier mobile app allows you to bet on races occurring over 400 tracks worldwide, plus a good loyalty program and excellent digital security.

BetAmerica’s mobile app layout is one of the best in the industry, featuring an intuitive and simplistic interface that newcomers will be able to grasp in a couple of minutes.

Best Bonuses At Horse Race Betting Sites

Most horserace betting sites use opening bonuses and other promotions to draw new users to their platforms. However, understanding what’s involved in each bonus and what bonuses are really worthwhile is key to knowing which app you should download next.

Risk-Free Bets

Risk-free bets are similar to the popular opening bonuses used at sportsbooks. In a nutshell, they only apply for your first wager. If you lose, you’ll get the wager’s amount refunded in the sportsbook or horseracing app site credit up to a set amount.

These bonuses are great if you are new to sports betting or horserace wagering overall and don’t want to waste your initial wagering cash. But they do have a downside; you don’t get anything if you are lucky and your first bet is successful.

Deposit Match Bonuses

Deposit match bonuses are also popular opening promotions for horse race betting apps. In brief, these match your initial deposit amount by a certain percentage up to a credit limit.

For example, TVG currently has a first deposit bonus of up to $250 at a 50% rate. Say that you deposit $200 into your TVG account. TVG will then credit you with $100 of extra site credit that you can use for your wagering.

Deposit match bonuses are excellent for increasing your initial wagering cash, but they do rely on you taking advantage of the offer by making a big initial deposit instead of spacing out your deposits over time.

Wager Bonuses

You also may find wager bonuses that are contingent on your wagering activity for your first few weeks or months. For instance, TwinSpires currently has a wagering bonus that works like this:

  • Wager $800 on horse race bets within 30 days of making your account
  • If you do this, you’ll get $200 of bonus credit
  • The credit is awarded in $100 increments for every $400 wagered, though you can alternatively wager $400 and get $100 of credit added to your account

These types of bonuses are a little more complex, but can still be worthwhile if you want to choose a mobile horse race betting app that rewards you for betting aggressively and often.

Note that each of these bonuses typically comes with a few strings attached, such as:

  • Expiration dates. Most bonus site credit has to be used within one week to one month of it arriving in your account
  • Minimum deposit limits, such as $10 or $20 limits
  • Play through requirements, which require you to play through any extra credit at least once before you can withdraw that credit as cash

Major States with Online Horse Race Betting

At the time of this writing, over 30 states have formally legalized online horse race betting, even if they don’t allow in-person betting or sports betting in any other capacity. Let’s break down some of the most important states with online horse race betting in detail.

California

California has allowed online horse race betting in some form or fashion for decades. This is no surprise given that the state is the site of major racetracks like Santa Anita Park. At the moment, California doesn’t allow online sports betting aside from betting on horse races, and you can only bet on those horse races from a handful of apps (including TVG and TwinSpires, both of which are broken down above). 

Florida

Florida is a different story. This populous and historic state does allow online sports betting, so many sports betting apps will let you place bets on horse racing events in addition to other sports/matches. However, Florida also allows horseracing specific apps to operate within its borders, making this state one of the best for online gaming fans overall. 

Texas

Texas is closer to California in that it doesn’t allow online sports betting for anything other than horse races. That said, many of the most popular online horseracing apps are available in Texas without any limitations, so feel free to put your money down on an upcoming derby. Texas may legalize online sports betting to a greater capacity sometime over the next year.

North Carolina

North Carolina is one of the most restrictive states in the country while still allowing limited in-person retail sports wagering. There’s one exception to this: online horse race betting, which is legal for all North Carolina residents provided you use one of the above-mentioned apps. You can sometimes place in-person horse bets at The Book sportsbooks, which are available at two separate locations in North Carolina.

New York 

New York recently legalized online sports betting in a variety of formats and across several apps, meaning you can wager on both horse races and other sporting events to your heart’s content. Although many mobile sportsbook apps will be great places to play, dedicated horserace betting apps will likely provide you with better betting information and a wider array of race wagering opportunities.

How To Sign Up For Online Horse Race Betting Apps

Whether you use an iOS or Android device, signing up for most top-tier online horse race betting apps in the US is quick and simple:

  • First, download the sportsbook or horserace betting app of your choice. Once you do so, installation should begin automatically.
  • Next, open the app and click “register”, “join” or whatever button is indicated.
  • You’ll be taken to a registration field where you have to enter certain pieces of personal information, like your date of birth, name, and Social Security number.
  • Once the horse race betting app’s staff verifies your identity, your account will be created.
  • Then you can make a deposit and start betting on horse races around the world.

These days, practically all worthwhile horserace betting apps are available on both Android and iOS devices. There should be no difference in the sign-up process, and no states currently require you to visit a racetrack or casino in-person to finish registration.

What Options Are There To Deposit And Withdraw At Online Horse Betting Sites?

Most online horse betting sites offer a variety of options to either fund your account or withdraw your winnings after a lucky streak. Deposit options typically include:

  • Credit or debit card transfers
  • Bank transfers
  • ACH transfers
  • E-wallet transfers with platforms like PayPal
  • Physical deposits at PayNearMe terminals, which are found at convenience stores or gas stations
  • Physical checks
  • Physical deposits made at partnered racecourses

Withdrawals are usually electronic and may take a few business days to process. Note that most online horse race betting apps limit your withdrawal options compared to their deposit options. For example, you may only have two or three withdrawal options for a given horse betting site vs. having five or more deposit options.

What Types Of Bets Are Available On Online Horse Betting Sites In The US?

All legal horserace betting in the US follows the pari-mutuel model. With this model, each bet placed funnels all the money from the individual gamblers into a single shared pool. Taxes and house fees, called the vigorish, are removed from the pool. The remaining money is the prize for horserace bettors.

The prize money is then distributed amongst all successful horserace bettors. Note that this also affects the price for entering a horse race bet at most online horse betting sites. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of bets available at online horse race betting apps.

Single Horse Bets

Single horse bets are the most common overall and have you wager on the placement of a single horse in a single race. Possible wagers include:

  • Win wagers, which obviously mean that your chosen horse wins a race
  • Place wagers, which mean that a horse comes in either first or second place
  • Show wagers, which mean that a horse comes in first, second, or third place for the bettor to win

Multi-Horse Bets

Multi-horse bets involve putting your money down on the performance of several horses. These wager types include:

  • Exacta bets, where you pick two horses and both horses have to finish in first or second place in the order you predict
  • Trifecta bets, which are similar to the above bets but require you to pick and place three horses successfully
  • Superfecta bets, where you pick four horses, and each horse must come in the predicted place for you to win

Multi-Race Bets

Multi-race bets necessarily have you bet on the outcomes or places of different horses over several races. These wagers can include:

  • Futures bets, which involve wager on the outcomes of upcoming horse races, like derby champions
  • Pick 5/6 bets, where you wager on the winner of several races at a specific track

Exotic Bets

Then there are exotic bets, which are more complex compared to the above straight bets. With exotic bets, you must correctly pick several factors, like race outcomes or horse placements, in order to win a bet. 

Fixed Odds Horse Race Betting

Some states, like New Jersey and Colorado, are considering offering fixed-odds wagering. These will allow horserace bettors to place a wager on a horse using a set price. This is similar to classic forms of sports betting, so it’s only available in states with legal sports wagering industries at this time.

Note that, instead of following the pari-mutuel model, the fixed odds horse race betting system will have players wager against the track or bookmaker instead of other bettors. Time will tell to see how far this betting system spreads throughout America.

Biggest US Racetracks

The US is home to many popular racetracks, and the above horserace betting apps allow you to wager on events that take place at many of them.

Churchill Downs, KY

Churchill Downs, 700 Central Ave, Louisville, KY, 40208, is a famous racecourse that opened in 1875. It’s the home of the Kentucky Derby and holds about 170,000 people.

Belmont Park, NY

Belmont Park, 2150 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont, NY, 11003, is another famous thoroughbred race track that opened in 1905. It’s usually open between April and July and from September to October. It can fit 120,000 or more people and oftentimes holds major events like the Kentucky Derby or other important meets.

Santa Anita Park, CA

Santa Anita Park, 285 W Huntington Drive, Arcadia, CA 91007, is the last important racetrack in the Golden State, and it opened in 1934. This popular natural dirt track and turf course is home to worldwide horseracing competitions all year round.

Biggest Horse Races In The US And Around The World

The best horserace betting apps will allow you to put your money down on top of popular horse races both in America and around the world, including the following.

Breeders’ Cup

The Breeders’ Cup involves several thoroughbred races and massive prize purses, usually at or above $6 million in total.

Triple Crown

The Triple Crown includes the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes, which themselves are three important races that draw huge prize pools and massive crowds.

Epsom Derby

The Epsom Deby is held in London each year and is one of the oldest major horse races in history, as it first began in 1870.

Dubai World Cup

The Dubai World Cup is a more recent major horse racing event that began in 1996. TVG typically broadcasts this famous race live each year.

Prix de l’arc de Triomphe

The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is a famous French race that takes place in Paris every October, drawing crowds from Europe and America alike.

Online Horse Race Betting FAQs

Is online horse race betting legal in the US?

Yes, in 30 states so far. This number may increase as legal sports betting spreads across the country.

Who sets the price for online horse bets in the US?

Online horse bets have prices set based on how much money is wagered for a specific bet overall. The payoff odds, in turn, are calculated by dividing the pool’s remaining money by however many winning bets there are.

How old do I need to be to bet on horses online in the US?

Most online horse race betting apps require you to be 18 or older to place a wager. A few sites may require you to be 21.

Where can I watch horse racing on live stream?

TVG, TwinSpires, and most other high-quality horse race betting apps include live stream functionality. Therefore, you can place a wager and watch the action unfold on your mobile device screen at the same time.

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

It is only if you use a legal and/or licensed online horse race betting app. You can also only bet on the Kentucky Derby online legally in one of the 30 states where online horse race wagering is legal.

Is TVG online horse betting legal in the US?

It is in approximately 30 states.

About the Author

Amber Hoffman

Amber Hoffman is Managing Editor of GamblingOnline.com. A recovering attorney, she's spent almost a decade developing and managing websites and writing for a variety of industries. Amber became a Cubs fan after living a handful of blocks from Wrigley Field, much to the chagrin of her Mets-loving family and Red Sox-loving husband. Amber writes for a number of online sites including the food and lifestyle site Food And Drink Destinations.