Rhode Island offers an extreme example of horse racing’s decline in the U.S. over recent decades, as the sport is now extinct in a state that once was home to one of the sport’s crown-jewel racetracks.
Though racing is no more in Rhode Island, virtually every provider of online betting on horse racing, known as advance-deposit wagering, accepts customers from the smallest state, including the four biggest operators: TVG.com; TwinSpires.com; NYRABets.com; and Xpressbet.com.
These websites and others offer a range of signup bonuses and rewards for play programs, so it pays to shop around before making your selection.
You must be 18 or older to place online horse bets in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island Horse Race Betting Sites & Offers
|Racebooks||Welcome Offer for Rhode Island||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|
|DRF||Get a $200 bonus on the first deposit||Earn up to $50 every week|
|Hollywoodraces.com||$200 sign-up bonus||WINsurance Offers: refund up to $20|
|WatchandWager.com||Bonus up to $25||The weekly 3-2-1 Bonus, no maximum payouts on cashback|
How to claim a horse racing bet promo in Rhode Island?
Horse racing betting features for Rhode Island
- Nyra Bets Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island 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
- Bet Back offers (receive a refund if the horse you bet on to win the race finishes in second or third)
- Daily Double bets
- Xpressbet Rhode Island Features:
- Horse racing’s leading loyalty program
- Cash prizes in regular handicapping contests
- Bet the horse races over the phone
- AmWager Rhode Island Features:
- Current and historical horse race results from a single screen
- Advanced wagering structuring tools. Dutching, ABC method, Rank betting.
- Fair Value Exacta Grid
- DRF Rhode Island Features:
- Unlimited DRF Classic and Formulator Past Performances
- Free Beyer Speed Figures
- Free DRF expert picks
- 1/ST Bet Rhode Island Features:
- Up-to-date news about upcoming races
- Unlimited access to the BETMIX products
- 123bet Rhode Island Features:
- No fees Friday (deposit $10 or more on Fridays via credit card or Paynearme)
- Loyalty Reward Points
- Handicapping products from Equibase
- Hollywood Races Rhode Island Features:
- Free Expert Picks
- Loyalty program for top players (earn up to $200 in bonuses each week)
- Watch and Wager Rhode Island Features:
- Horse Racing Contests Daily for free
- Refer-a-Friend Bonus
Horse bet types available online
In Rhode Island, 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 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
Rhode Island Horse Betting Overview
Like many Eastern Seaboard states, Rhode Island had a long history of harness racing at many small tracks, though without legal wagering. It was the arrival of thoroughbreds shortly after voters approved parimutuel betting that suddenly propelled the Ocean State to the top of the sport.
Narragansett Park on the outskirts of Pawtucket opened on Aug. 1, 1934, less than three months after the referendum. The one-mile oval, which came to be known simply as “The ‘Gansett,” had a 14,000-seat grandstand, a clubhouse, and barns for about 1,000 horses.
Expectations were so lofty that the city built a four-lane roadway to the track and, after a successful first season, train service from Boston carried patrons directly to the park.
For the most part, the ‘Gansett” lived up to those expectations. In its early years, it drew famed horses like Seabiscuit, War Admiral, and Whirlaway, as well as the moneyed Newport crowd and entertainers like Cab Callaway, Jimmy Durante, Mickey Rooney, and Babe Ruth.
It also was the nation’s most profitable track for a time, in part the result of track owner Walter E. O’Hara’s development of the practice of “breakage,” where tracks round parimutuel payoffs down to the nearest nickel. Those pennies on each bet went to the house, and they added up over a year’s racing.
In 1947, a second track known as Lincoln Downs opened in nearby Providence County, and it too put together several positive seasons while operating at a lower level than Narragansett.
Beginning in the 1950s, both tracks’ fortunes began to decline amid increased gambling opportunities both in-state – including a lottery and later a pair of casinos – and in neighboring states. By the 1970s, both were on their last legs.
Lincoln Downs was first to close in 1976, followed by The ‘Gansett in 1978, leaving the park a weedy ruin that was later paved over for an industrial park.
Fun fact about horse racing in Rhode Island
The iconic jockey Red Pollard, best known as the regular rider of Seabiscuit, was a longtime resident of Pawtucket and rode frequently at Narragansett Park. Born in Canada in 1909 as John M. Pollard, he earned the nickname “Red” for his flaming red hair. Red and his wife, Agnes, spent many years in their home in the city’s Darlington neighborhood and their kids, Norah and John, attended local schools.
Popular horse racing events to bet on in Rhode Island
- The Kentucky Derby
- The New York Derby
- Belmont Stakes
- Preakness Stakes
- Breeders’ Cup
- Royal Ascot
- Cheltenham Festival
- Travers Stakes
- Santa Anita Handicap
- Arkansas Derby
- Pacific Classic Stakes
- Haskell Invitational
- Dubai World Cup
- Melbourne Cup
- Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
- Grand National
Horse Race Tracks in Rhode Island
Nor are there any live racing venues in the state.
Yes, you can. 18 is the minimum gambling age in Rhode Island for playing online.
Yes, Rhode Island allows horse racing betting online and through mobile apps.
Currently, TVG.com, TwinSpires.com, NYRABets.com, and Xpressbet.com provide service for Rhode Island residents, along with some smaller online operators and betting apps like AmWager.com and 123Bet.com.
No, the BetMGM Horse Racing App is not allowed in Rhode Island. It’s available In Ohio, Florida, and Louisiana.