This little part of RacingBetting.com is all about choosing the right site for your gambling needs. Online horse racing is super convenient, but it requires a greater deal of trust than placing your bets at the track. It’s that old need we all have to look someone in the eyes when we do business with them. The anonymity of the internet doesn’t offer that same sense of trust.
Online horse betting doesn’t need to be so nerve-wracking. There are a handful of websites that have been online for so long and have processed so many bets that I trust them just as much as I would placing a bet at the counter at Churchill Downs. It’s a simple matter of knowing which sites are established as legitimate operators.
I’d like to direct you to a few reviews of the biggest horse racing betting sites. These are all trustworthy sites so the reviews focus mostly on what each has to offer and the overall experience of doing business with each. There’s no question of whether or not they are safe because each one has an ironclad reputation. Most of these racebooks are licensed by and based out of the United States.
The Best Racing Betting Sites
Below are links to reviews of the best and most well-known horse/greyhound betting websites. You may recognize some of these names thanks to their longstanding associations with major racetracks in the US. In any case, these are the main sites most people use to bet on horses and dogs.
You can read all the details inside, but there are a few traits that all the best online racebooks have in common. For one, they are all owned and operated by big names in the world of gambling. These are not small-timers or random people setting up quick operations in third world countries. All the best sites are owned by either major racetracks or billion-dollar companies.
The reason I feel safer with big names is because they are financially stable and have major incentives to treat their customers fairly. They have investors, other business interests and public faces associated with them. Small time books run by unknown people have none of that.
The biggest players also have the resources and connections to set up things like live racing video and to pool your wagers with the wagers placed at the physical track. It’s just a whole different level of service when you bet with one of these types of organizations.
Licensed vs. Unlicensed
Horse racing, greyhound racing and fantasy sports were the only three forms of “gambling” to receive exemptions from a big piece of legislation that was passed in 2006. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 was passed in order to curb online gambling, sports betting and poker. However, the aforementioned forms of betting were granted an exemption.
This was huge for horse racing as it granted legitimacy to all the websites that were previously operating in a legal grey area. Additionally, each state in the union has the authority to approve or disapprove online horse betting within its borders. Sites that want to be licensed must go and get the approval of each state to which they want to offer their services.
That’s why you might find you’re able to sign up at one racing site but not another. Each horse betting site has a slightly different list of accepted and restricted states. If you can’t sign up at one site, try another. If you can’t sign up at any, you can always try your luck at an unlicensed site.
Unlicensed sites operate without the permission of any state or federal government. These tend to be offshore sportsbooks that also host other forms of gambling such as sports and casino games. Players don’t have any protections at sites such as these, so I tend to be hesitant in recommending anyone go this route.
However, some unlicensed sites are perfectly fine. The ones that are legitimate operate out of countries where there are no laws against betting. According to them, they are breaking no law. They have no connection to the US other than the fact that Americans sign up over the internet to gamble and play games.
You just need to exercise a little extra caution when playing at offshore betting sites. If you play at the big name sites, the biggest risk you face is the US government shutting down the site and making it difficult to access your money.
All of my horse betting site reviews clearly mention which sites are licensed. I personally don’t have any issue doing business with a select few unlicensed sites, but that’s your decision to make and I want you to make it with all the facts.