Wagering on horse racing is both legal and widely available in Florida, though the opportunities to attend live racing of various types have dwindled in recent years.
Horseplayers in Florida have plenty of options when it comes to online wagering, with the big four providers – TwinSpires.com, TVG.com, NYRABets.com, and XpressBet.com – and many smaller operators providing service in the state. MGM recently got into the act with its BetMGM mobile app, which runs on NYRABets.com’s wagering system like Caesars racebook FL.
Beyond providing the ability to bet remotely, most of the operators offer standard features like the live streaming video of races, results, and handicapping information, though the quality of some features differs substantially. Also, you’ll want to shop around for the best signup bonus and reward program for your level of play.
Most states treat online and mobile wagering the same under their laws, but Florida is not one of them.
For now, mobile parimutuel wagering in the state is up in the air after a federal court blocked the state’s decision to give the Seminole Tribe exclusive rights to online sports betting. If the compact between the state and the tribe is upheld, it could have an adverse impact on the state’s horse racing operations by forcing them to cut in a middle man on mobile betting, thereby reducing their profits.
You must be 18 or older to place online horse bets in Florida.
Florida Horse Race Betting Sites & Offers
|Racebooks||Welcome Offer for Florida||Other Promos|
|TVG||Get up to $200 back||Get a $25 Bonus for every friend you refer|
|TwinSpires||$200 sign-up offer||Free play daily & weekly options|
|Nyra Bets||$200 deposit match||Odds boosters, daily offers|
|123bet||$1230 new member bonus||Refer-a-Friend bonus: get $50|
|Xpressbet||$100 sign-up bonus||XB Rewards loyalty program|
|BetMGM||100% match up to $200||Insurance promos|
|DRF||Get a $200 bonus on the first deposit||Earn an additional card for every $50 wagered|
|1/ST BET||$100 sign-up bonus||Rewards points every Tuesday and other weekly offers|
How to claim a horse racing bet promo in Florida?
Horse racing betting features for Florida
- Nyra Bets Florida Features:
- Free live video streaming (HD live and replay) on Thoroughbred, Harness and Quarter horse racing and race replays nationwide
- Free handicapping tips
- Swap positions quickly for Exacta, Tri & Supers
- Weekly live money handicapping contests with cash prizes
- TVG Florida Features:
- TVG Expert Picks for everyday
- Free Past Performances Program
- Live streams from tracks around the US and beyond
- Money Back Special on select races
- Twinspires Florida Racebook Features:
- First Race Freeplay: get $100 in Free Bets
- 15% boost on a winning Trifecta bet every Tuesday
- Exacta insurance: get a bet back of up to $10
- Live races and highlights of previous races, both on the website and the app
- Bet Back offers (receive a refund for your bet if the horse you bet on to win the race finishes in second or third)
- Daily Double bets
- Xpressbet Florida Features:
- Horse racing’s leading loyalty program (receive two XB Rewards Points for every dollar you wager)
- Cash prizes in regular handicapping contests
- Deposit by mail
- Bet the horse races over the phone
- BetMGM Florida Features:
- Horse racing’s guide
- The BetMGM Rewards loyalty program
- DRF Florida Features:
- Unlimited DRF Classic and Formulator Past Performances
- Free Beyer Speed Figures
- Free DRF expert picks
- 1st/bet Florida Features:
- Up-to-date news about upcoming races
- Unlimited access to the BETMIX products: Toteboarding, Free Daily Race Analysis, and ‘Race of the Day’ Past Performance
Horse bet types available online
In Florida, you can place different types of horse wagers. The most popular online bets are
- Win (the horse you bet on must come first)
- Place (the horse must finish first or second)
- Show (the horse must come either first, second, or third)
- Win Place (places a win and a place bet in one bet)
- Win Show (places a win and show bet in one bet)
- Win Place Show (aka “across the board”; combines Win, Place and Show into one bet)
- Exacta (you bet on horses to come first and second in that order)
- Quinella (the same as exacta, but horses can finish in any order for you to win the bet)
- Trifecta (three horses should finish first, second and third in that order)
- Superfecta (the same as trifecta but here you bet on four horses)
- Super High 5 (you have to choose the winner of five races in a row)
- Grand Slam (pick a horse to finish in the top three in three straight races, capped by the winner of the fourth race in the sequence)
- Parlays (combine multiple selections on the same ticket, even if the races aren’t in sequential order).
- Credit and Debit Cards
- ACH Bank Transfer / eCheck
- Wire Transfer
- Green Dot
- Check or Money Order
- By mail: Xpressbet
Florida Horse Betting Overview
Florida was for many years a parimutuel paradise legally speaking, with state law allowing betting on standardbreds (harness), thoroughbreds, quarter horses, greyhound dogs, and jai-alai – an indoor ball game featuring human players who use baskets to catch and throw a sphere.
It also has a lottery and cardrooms (poker and dominoes). Slot machines are legal at tribal casinos and parimutuel wagering facilities in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
But parimutuel wagering has been in decline in the state recently, with several racetracks closing, dog racing dying and quarter horse racing and jai-alai hanging on by twin threads.
Thoroughbred racing still has a strong presence on both the Atlantic and Gulf Coast coasts in Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs, but the state has seen two other historic tracks – Hialeah Park (home of the pink flamingoes) and what was for many years known as Calder Racecourse – apparently close for good.
Harness racing at Pompano Park, midway between Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, also continues to occupy its spot on the calendar, which typically extends from late October into April.
Gulfstream Park, in Hallandale Beach, about 20 miles north of Miami, fills more race dates than any other track I know of, running almost around the calendar. And it still manages to produce full fields in most cases.
It offers plenty of options for horsemen, with racing on dirt, turf, and a new Tapeta artificial surface.
Gulfstream Park is best known these days for its marquee Pegasus World Cup program, which features the richest race in the Western Hemisphere, the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational — in January. But is also a fixture on the road to the Triple Crown races, with the Florida Derby a key final prep for the Kentucky Derby.
The track’s most unusual feature is the gigantic statue of the mythical horse Pegasus defeating a dragon. The 100-foot-tall, 200-foot-long steel, and bronze sculpture are the third-largest in the U.S., behind only the Statue of Liberty in New York and the lesser-known Birth of the New World statue in Puerto Rico.
Tampa Bay Downs
Tampa Bay Downs doesn’t have the glitz of Gulfstream Park, but the family-friendly track in Oldsmar, about 16 miles northwest of Tampa, also put on competitive races of dirt and turf. It typically conducts racing from late November through early May.
Its signature race is the Tampa Bay Derby, an early Triple Crown prep run in March.
Fun fact about horse racing in Florida
Hialeah Park in Hialeah was possibly the most picturesque U.S. racetrack ever, with landscaped gardens of native flora and fauna and its famed pink flamingos preening on its infield lake. The track, which opened in 1922 as a dog track, switched to thoroughbreds in 1925 and raced until 2001.
In 2009 quarter horse racing replaced the thoroughbreds for several seasons, but was discontinued after the track’s owners signed what many in the racing industry decried as a “sham” deal that allowed it to refocus its business around a sparkling casino was added to the property in 2013. At this point, it appears unlikely the track on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places will ever hold another horse race.
Popular horse racing events to bet on in Florida
- The Florida Derby
- The Tampa Bay Derby
- The Pegasus World Cup
- The Kentucky Derby
- Belmont Stakes
- Preakness Stakes
- Breeders’ Cup
- Santa Anita Handicap
- Pacific Classic Stakes
- Haskell Invitational
- Dubai World Cup
- Melbourne Cup
- Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
- Grand National
Horse Race Tracks in Florida
- Tampa Bay Downs
- Pompano Park
- Gulfstream Park
- Florida Quarter Horse Racing
- Hialeah Park
18 years is the minimum gambling age in Florida for playing online and at any of the state’s racetracks. So, yes, you can.
Florida is a great state for horse racing bettors and handicappers. In-person and online racing betting are legal in the state. You can bet on horses online and at any of the state’s racetracks in Tampa Bay, Hallandale Beach, Hialeah and others.
Yes, the BetMGM Horse Racing App is allowed in Florida. It’s also available in Ohio and Louisiana.