Wisconsin has no permanent horse racing tracks, but it does conduct standardbred harness racing at several local fairs and state law allows betting on horses.
Most providers of online betting on horse races, known as advance-deposit wagering (ADW) accept Wisconsinites, including three of the four biggest providers: TwinSpires.com; NYRABets.com; and Xpressbet.com. The largest, TVG.com, does not.
These sites offer a variety of signup bonuses and reward-for-play incentives, as well as a range of ancillary handicapping products, so it pays to shop around before settling on a service.
You must be 18 or older to place online horse bets in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Horse Race Betting Sites & Offers
|Racebooks||Welcome Offer for Wisconsin||Other Promos|
|Nyra Bets||$200 deposit match||Odds boosters, daily offers|
|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|
How to claim a horse racing bet promo in Wisconsin?
Horse racing betting features for Wisconsin
- Nyra Bets Wisconsin 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
- TwinSpires Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin Features:
- Unlimited DRF Classic and Formulator Past Performances
- Free Beyer Speed Figures
- Free DRF expert picks
- 1/ST Bet Wisconsin 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
- 123bet Wisconsin Features:
- No fees Friday (deposit $10 or more on Fridays via credit card or Paynearme)
- Loyalty Reward Points
- Handicapping products from Equibase (available only on the web)
- Hollywood Races Wisconsin Features:
- Free Expert Picks
- Loyalty program for top players (earn up to $200 in bonuses each week with the 2 VIP promotions)
Horse bet types available online
In Wisconsin, 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 & Hollywood Races
- Bitcoin: AmWager via BitPay
Wisconsin Horse Betting Overview
Horse racing in the Badger State dates at least to the early 1800s, with an etching from approximately 1832 in the Wisconsin Historical Society’s archives showing Sioux Indians racing ponies near Fort Pierre.
Harness racing in the state dates at least to the late 1840s when Cold Spring Park in Milwaukee hosted trotters.
As of 2021, harness races were still being staged from mid-July through mid-September at fair tracks in the towns and cities of Elkhorn, Mineral Point, Rice Lake, Richland Center, Viroqua, and Westfield.
The Wisconsin State Fair also hosted harness racing for many decades before the horses began to share the dirt track with auto racing in 1903. The motorized contests eventually proved more popular and the track was paved over in the 1950s.
In addition to parimutuel betting on horse races, Wisconsin has a state lottery; riverboat and tribal casinos; sports betting (only at the main Oneida Casino in Green Bay as of early 2022); and charitable games like bingo and raffles.
Fun fact about horse racing in Wisconsin
In 1871, the standardbred mare Goldsmith Maid broke the world record by trotting a mile in 2:17 in a match race against Lucy at the Milwaukee track, an occasion that prompted the creation of a nationally distributed Currier and Ives color print. Known as the “Queen of the Trotters,” she went on to lower the mark several more times before retiring at the end of a remarkable 13-year racing career and was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1953.
Popular horse racing events to bet on in Wisconsin
- The Kentucky Derby
- Belmont Stakes
- Preakness Stakes
- Breeders’ Cup
- Royal Ascot
- Cheltenham Festival
- Travers Stakes
- Pacific Classic Stakes
- Haskell Invitational
- Dubai World Cup
- Melbourne Cup
- Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
- Grand National
Horse Race Tracks in Wisconsin
There are no tracks open permanently in the state.
Yes, you can. The minimum gambling age in Wisconsin is 18 years for off-track betting. Wisconsin tribal casino’s minimum gambling age for players is 21. There is no special age for online horse betting, so 18 years is the minimum.
Yes, Wisconsin allows horse racing betting online and through mobile apps.
The three of the four biggest horse racing betting sites offer services to Wisconsin, including TwinSpires.com, Xpressbet.com, and NyraBets.com along with some smaller online operators and betting apps like 123bet or AmWager.
No, it does not operate in the state.
No, the BetMGM Horse Racing App is not allowed in Wisconsin.
Yes, OTB is legal in Wisconsin. E.g. Oneida Casino near Green Bay offers thoroughbred wagering on different US tracks and greyhound tracks.