Betting on Horse Racing in America

Posted: May 14, 2012

Updated: October 4, 2017

While betting on horse racing in the United States is allowed, even encouraged, other forms of betting are counted as felony.

While sports betting is heavily restricted under American gambling laws, when it comes to horse racing industry, punters can easily bet at the racing tracks and pursue off-track betting (OTB).

In the New York State alone, betting on horses is a two billion dollar industry. At the same time, the state allows casinos to operate at the Indian territories. Yet, online sportsbooks in USA aren’t legalized, although states such as Nevada seek to make these a reality within the state borders.

Allowing horse betting, while making some other sports bets a felony, is a sign of legal hypocrisy. Different sets of laws apply to it. The horse racing tracks are also able to provide video slots to supplement the income. The lobbying efforts of this industry heavily influence the legislative process. You can bet on horses in New York, but you can’t do so on the American Football, making billions of dollars in Super Bowl bets done under the table.

The State of New Jersey is also similar to New York in many ways. The Meadowlands are a major horse wagering outlet, while Atlantic City casinos bring in billions.

The horse racing industry, nevertheless, experiences declining numbers of spectators and bets. Many think going online may improve the revenues, even though the actual tracks will suffer. On the other hand, not many want to venture into this area, worried their sites may be shot down the way other gambling sites such as American poker rooms were.

Moreover, horse racing seeks to attract older punters, while younger generations like to do their betting online. Many believe bringing horse wagering to the Internet may as well save the entire industry.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments