As the cradle of horse racing in the United States, New York has been at the forefront of the sport for more than 350 years.
That tradition continues to this day, with 11 licensed thoroughbred and standardbred tracks, a robust off-track-betting network, and online wagering serving horseplayers 18 and older in the fourth-most-populous state.
New York residents have a wide array of online wagering options, as virtually every advanced deposit wagering site on the internet with national reach accepts wagers from the Empire State. Beyond providing the ability to bet remotely, most of the operators offer standard features like a live streaming video of races, results, and handicapping information, though the quality of the latter differs considerably.
If you intend to wager using a mobile device, be sure to check that the service works well on your device and whether it offers an app to make it easier to get a bet down.
The so-called “Big Four” – the four biggest players in what is known as the advance deposit wagering industry – TVG, TwinSpires, Xpressbet, and NYRABets – all offer to bet in the state.
But home-grown NYRABets may offer better value for New York residents and those who focus on New York’s tracks.
NYRABets.com, the online betting arm of the New York Racing Association, which operates Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga, offers double reward points on wagers placed on races at its tracks in addition to other special promotions, for example.
Another local operator with a sizable ADW operation is CapitalOTB.com, which operates one of the state’s five off-track betting corporations in upstate New York. It also has a solid rewards program and offers additional promotions and signup bonuses.
New York Horse Race Betting Sites & Offers
|Racebooks||Welcome Offer for New York||Other Promos|
|Nyra Bets||$200 deposit match||Odds boosters, daily offers|
|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|
|Xpressbet||$100 sign-up bonus||XB Rewards loyalty program|
|123bet||$1230 new member bonus||Refer-a-Friend bonus: get $50|
|1/ST BET||$100 sign-up bonus||Rewards points every Tuesday and other weekly offers|
|AmWager||$300 deposit match||Daily cash rewards|
|CapitalOTB.com||$300 Signup Bonus||Online $150 Pick 5 Bankroll Contest|
|FanDuel Racing||Get 100% bonus up to $50 + get a $10 Sportsbook credit||10% bonus on win bets|
|Hollywoodraces.com||$200 Sign Up Bonus||WINsurance Offers: refund up to $20|
How to claim a horse racing bet promo in New York?
How to claim a horse racing bet promo in New York?
- Visit one of the legal horse betting sites in New York, like Xpressbet.com or Nyra Bets.
- Click the Sign-Up button to register an account
- Make an initial deposit and place your bets
- Follow terms and conditions, and wagering requirements apply.
Horse racing betting features for New York
- Nyra Bets New York Features:
- Free live video streaming (HD live and replay)
- Free handicapping tips
- Swap positions quickly for Exacta, Tri & Supers
- Weekly live money handicapping contests with cash prizes
- TVG New York 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 New York 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)
- Xpressbet New York 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 New York Features:
- Current and historical horse race results from a single screen
- Advanced wagering structuring tools. Dutching, ABC method, Rank betting.
- Fair Value Exacta Grid
- Capital Bets New York Features:
- Past Performances
- Stakes Preview Podcast
- Kevin Cox Selections
- OTB Handicappers
- FanDuel New York Features:
- Cash in with Win Bet insurance
- Live streaming (+200 tracks around the world)
- Best bets of the day
- 1st/bet New York Features:
- Up-to-date news about upcoming races
- Unlimited access to the BETMIX products
- 123bet New York Features:
- No fees Friday (deposit $10 or more on Fridays via credit card or Paynearme)
- Loyalty Reward Points
- Handicapping products from Equibase
- Hollywood Races New York Features:
- Free Expert Picks
- Loyalty program for top players
Horse bet types available online
In New York, 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 place a 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 & Hollywood Races
- Bitcoin: AmWager via BitPay
New York Horse Betting Overview
The first horse race held in America, in case you were wondering, took place in 1665 at the Newmarket course in Salisbury, New York, in an area known as the Hempstead Plains in central Long Island. It was part of a meet organized by British soldiers and settlers and supervised by New York’s colonial governor, Richard Nicolls.
Given that pedigree, it’s hardly surprising that betting on the sport remains legal and widely available, both online and in brick-and-mortar manifestations.
Today the state hosts both thoroughbred and standardbred (harness) horse racing, with four tracks – Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Saratoga, and Finger Lakes – devoted to the former and seven – Batavia Downs, Buffalo Raceway, Monticello Raceway, Saratoga Harness Track, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, and Yonkers Raceway — to the latter. Many also host slot machines to help pay the bills and broaden their audience.
The Goshen Historic Track – the oldest operating racetrack in the U.S., dating to 1838 – also conducts harness racing but without wagering.
Several of the state’s thoroughbred tracks are among the finest in the land.
Horse Race Tracks in New York
- Belmont Park
- Finger Lakes Racetrack
- Saratoga Racecourse
Historic Saratoga Racecourse in upstate New York is an architectural gem set in a resort area where appreciation of horseflesh runs deep, giving rise to the racetrack’s nickname of “The Spa.” The track which typically races from mid-July through Labor Day hosts many high-profile stakes races, including the prestigious Travers Stakes for 3-year-olds, known as the Mid-Summer Derby.
Expansive Belmont Park, which features the only 1 ½ mile dirt oval in North America, is named in honor of state thoroughbred racing pioneer August Belmont. It’s located in Nassau Count on Long Island. The track is best known for hosting the Belmont Stakes, the final leg of the Triple Crown, but it’s also renowned for its high-quality turf racing.
Aqueduct Racecourse, in the borough of Queens, is the only racetrack in New York City proper. It’s considered more of a blue-collar track than either Belmont or Saratoga and typically occupies the winter and early spring months of the racing calendar. Its signature event is the Wood Memorial Stakes, a key prep race for the Kentucky Derby.
Finger Lakes Race Track, in the town of Farmington near Rochester, is the youngest of the state’s thoroughbred tracks, having opened in 1962. While the class of the races is generally a cut below those run at the other tracks, the track also boasts a racino on site and is located in an area with many other entertainment options, both indoors and outdoors.
Popular horse racing events to bet on in New York
- Travers Stakes
- Belmont Stakes
- Wood Memorial Stakes
- The New York Derby
- New York Oaks
- The Kentucky Derby
- Preakness Stakes
- Breeders’ Cup
- Royal Ascot
- Cheltenham Festival
- Dubai World Cup
- Melbourne Cup
- Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
- Grand National
Yes, New York allows horse racing betting online and through mobile apps.
Yes, you can. 18 is the minimum gambling age in New York for playing online and at any of the state’s racetracks.
The four biggest horse racing betting sites offer services to New Yorkers, including TwinSpires.com, TVG.com, Xpressbet.com, and NyraBets.com along with some smaller online operators and betting apps like FanDuel Racing or AmWager.
No, the BetMGM Horse Racing App is not allowed in New York.
Yes, OTB is legal in New York for a long enough time. The New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation works in the state since 1970. Residents of the state can enjoy live satellite horse racing and on-site wagering.