Horse racing has been on the decline for decades in Nebraska, but a new law expanding gambling opportunities may soon improve the outlook for the Cornhusker State’s remaining tracks.
In the meantime, Nebraskans are able to wager online on horse races via many advance-deposit wagering (ADW) providers, including Twinspires.com; Xpressbet.com; AmWager.com; and DRFBets.com. These sites offer varying signup bonuses and rewards programs so be sure to shop around before you decide.
You must be 18 or older to place online horse bets in Nebraska.
Nebraska Horse Race Betting Sites & Offers
|Racebooks||Welcome Offer for Nebraska||Other Promos|
|TwinSpires||$200 sign-up offer||Free play daily & weekly options|
|Xpressbet||$100 sign-up bonus||XB Rewards loyalty program|
|1/ST BET||$100 sign-up bonus||Rewards points every Tuesday and other weekly offers|
|AmWager||$300 deposit match||Daily cash rewards|
|DRF||Get a $200 bonus on the first deposit||Earn up to $50 every week|
How to claim a horse racing bet promo in Nebraska?
Horse racing betting features for Nebraska
- TwinSpires Nebraska 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 Nebraska 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
- AmWager Nebraska Features:
- Current and historical horse race results from a single screen
- Advanced wagering structuring tools. Dutching, ABC method, Rank betting.
- Fair Value Exacta Grid (allows you to quickly see exacta bets that have been over bet or under bet based on the win pool)
- DRF Nebraska Features:
- Unlimited DRF Classic and Formulator Past Performances
- Free Beyer Speed Figures
- Free DRF expert picks
- 1st/bet Nebraska 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 Nebraska, 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 a 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
- Bitcoin: AmWager via BitPay
Nebraska Horse Betting Overview
The Nebraska Legislature approved sports betting in November 2020, after voters passed a ballot initiative, offering residents a new option beyond betting on horse races, a state-run lottery, and charitable bingo games. The regulation process for sports betting appears to be on course for wagering to begin early in 2022.
The measure was good news for horse racing interests, as it requires that bets be placed at sportsbooks at parimutuel race tracks, which can also offer “Las Vegas-style” casino gaming. That figures to produce good crowds on days with other big sports events scheduled, providing the state’s six currently licensed tracks an excellent opportunity to attract new fans.
The life-saver arrived in a nick of time, as horse racing has been declining in the state since the 1990s at least.
The closure of two of its premier tracks – Ak-Sar-Ben (Nebraska spelled backward) and Atokad (Dakota backward) – in 1995 and 2011, respectively, accelerated the trend. Other tracks on the state’s fair circuit also dropped their racing programs.
Of the six racing associations licensed in Nebraska as of this writing, only two currently conduct actual race meets.
Fonner Park in Grand Island typically races from mid-February to late May, while the Columbus Exposition and Racing runs from late May to late June.
The other racing associations – Lincoln Race Course in Lincoln; Horsemen’s Park in Omaha; Fairplay Park in Hastings; and a South Sioux City aiming to build a new track on the Atokad site – hold one day of racing each year in order to maintain its simulcast licenses.
Association officials have said they plan to use some of the expected windfalls to rebuild or renovate their racing facilities, though plans are still being firmed up.
Fun fact about horse racing in Nebraska
When Lincoln Race Course ran its lone race of 2014 needed to keep its simulcasting license in good order, attendees got more than they bargained for. As the three horses crossed the finish line in the 1-furlong dash, one, a thoroughbred named Husker Ridge, didn’t stop, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported at the time.
“Seriously,” tweeted Brian Rosenthal, a Lincoln Journal Star sports reporter. “Jockey bailed. The horse is MIA. Search party.”
The Journal-Star later reported the thoroughbred was found about a mile from the track and loaded into a trailer. Both the horse and rider were unharmed it said.
Popular horse racing events to bet on in Nebraska
- Columbus Races
- Gus Fonner Stakes
- The Kentucky Derby
- Belmont Stakes
- Preakness Stakes
- Breeders’ Cup
- Travers Stakes
- Pacific Classic Stakes
- Haskell Invitational
- Dubai World Cup
- Melbourne Cup
- Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
- Grand National
Horse Race Tracks in Nebraska
- Fonner Park
- The Columbus Exposition and Racing
- Lincoln Race Course
- Atokad Park
- Horsemen’s Park
- Fairplay Park
- Ak-Sar-Ben (closed in 1995)
Yes, you can. The minimum Nebraska gambling age is 18 years for horse racing.
Betting on horse racing is legal in Nebraska. The state’s law allows advance deposit wagering apps and simulcast facilities at licensed racetracks.
No, it does not operate in the state.
Yes, DRF operates in Nebraska but not in Fonner Park and it is restricted from all IRE and UK tracks.