Online racing betting is legal in most US states due to favorable gaming laws dating back decades. Even to this day, it is surprising to find out just how many people have no idea that it is perfectly legal to bet on races online in the USA. The truth is it has been legal for years.
We’ll dig into the law below, but the main thing to know up front is that online racing betting is legal in most US states. The websites listed below are all legal, regulated and headquartered in the USA. There is no need to take your chances with unregulated offshore sportsbooks when there are legal options right here at home.
Best Legal Racing Betting Sites
Online Horse Racing Betting
We can thank the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 for paving the way for legal online horse racing betting. That law made it legal at the national level for people to bet on races across state lines via off-track betting facilities. The definition of interstate off-track wagers was expanded in 2000 to effectively permit online wagering.
Online racing betting received further legal protections in 2006 when it was specifically exempted from a law (the UIGEA) passed that year intended to crack down on illegal online gambling. Shortly thereafter, the first modern horse racing betting sites went live. Now, the majority of US states permit online horse racing betting.
You can learn more about online horse racing here:
Most people think of horses when they hear the words “racing betting,” but greyhounds remain an option as well. Online greyhound betting is governed by different rules than horse racing, but the basic idea is the same. In states that allow online greyhound betting, fans are free to go online and bet on dog races just the same as they can bet on horse races.
Greyhound betting sites are a little tougher to come by these days due the decline of the sport in general. Greyhound racing has fallen on hard times in recent years due to animal welfare concerns, increased competition for entertainment dollars and unfavorable legislation. Even so, it is still legal to bet on greyhound races online in certain states.
Just ten states allow greyhound races to even take place, and four of those states have no active tracks. Today, there are only six states which have actual races. Even in those states, attendance numbers are poor and most tracks are reliant on a combination of on-track casino games and wagering handle taken over the internet.
You can read more about the state of greyhound betting and how it works at the following link:
States Where Online Racing Betting is Legal Right Now
State-level racing laws can be terribly complicated, so I should warn you that I am not a lawyer. The following lists of states where horse racing betting is legal and illegal are based on my personal research. Each list is the product of my own interpretations of the law and in some cases, I assume racing betting is legal because the major racing betting sites accept customers from that state.
The map below displays states where online betting is legal in blue and states where online betting is prohibited in red.
Desktop users: Hover your mouse over any state for the legal status of online racing betting in that state. Click any state for a list of legal betting sites and a link to read more about that state’s gambling laws.
Mobile users: Tap any state for a quick overview of the legal status of online gambling in that state. Tap again to view a list of legal betting sites and to see a link where you can read more about that state’s gambling laws.