North Dakota Horse Race Betting – The Best Racebooks in North Dakota 2023 Compared
Shawn West has been involved with college basketball, NFL and college football and MLB since he left his job as bank vice president two decades ago. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, children, two dachshunds and a variety of turtles.
When North Dakota approved its state constitution after joining the union in the late 1800s, there was a blanket ban on gambling built into the law. Gradually, the state has softened its stance on gambling. It’s now legal to bet on horse racing, both in person at North Dakota tracks, at various off-track betting parlors around the state, as well as online.
In this guide to online horse betting, we cover the top offshore online gambling sites that serve North Dakotans. These sites offer online sports betting and online casino gaming alongside horse racing odds from tracks all over the world.
These sites offer great bonuses to new players in North Dakota and allow residents to wager on horse races with more choices and fewer restrictions. Let’s dive in.
Ranking the Top 10 Betting Sites for Horse Racing in North Dakota
Our panel of experts evaluated dozens and dozens of online racebooks and settled on a top 10:
- Bookmaker.eu – Best overall horse race betting site in North Dakota
- Heritage Sports – All customers can expect VIP treatment
- Bovada – The best racebook loyalty program in the state
- BetOnline – Great cashback rebate program for wagering on horse races
- BetAnySports – Payout boosting programs and rebates for horse bettors
- BetUS – Video previews of big races
- WagerWeb – Crypto users get same-day payouts
- JustBet – User-friendly interface responds quickly
- Everygame – The oldest online racebook still in operation
- SportsBetting – Offers some of the largest betting limits
Of course, choosing the best offshore site for wagering on horse races is not an easy task. There are dozens and dozens of them, and not all of them have a history of treating gamblers fairly or keeping their personal information secure.
All the online horse betting sites on our list are located offshore. That allows them to operate anywhere that the laws of the country in which they are based permit. In other words, they don’t need to follow North Dakota or United States law to serve customers there.
Each site in our top 10 has several gambling options, including table games and betting on college sports. Most sites also have online casinos with slots and table games, as well as live dealer sections with casino games.
None of those other online gambling sites can offer these options if they are based in North Dakota. The only way to get them in one place is at an offshore sportsbook.
Is horse race betting legal in North Dakota?
You can bet on races at the track, OTB parlors and online with racebook-only sites. However, the state is not as liberal with other forms of online gambling, including sportsbooks, online casinos and poker rooms. They are not allowed for sites based in North Dakota. That means the only way to have all forms of gambling available in one place is at an online racebook based offshore and not subject to state law.
The Best North Dakota Sportsbooks in 2023
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Reviewing the Best Online Horse Betting Sites in North Dakota
Most of the online horse betting sites in our top 10 use the same software to run their racebook. So the actual process of betting on races looks very similar at all of them. The sites can differentiate themselves in other areas, however. Betting lines and odds may differ and there are also different ways that each approaches bonuses and promotions, the speed of their payouts, and the quality of customer service.
Below are the pros and cons of each of the top sites in our best racebook rankings.
1. Bookmaker: Best Overall Horse Race Betting Site in ND
Our experts put Bookmaker.eu at the top of the rankings as the best all-around choice for online horse racing betting in North Dakota. It earned the top spot by offering something for everyone.
Regardless of their experience level or the size of their bankroll, gamblers of all categories will find something to like at Bookmaker. They offer some of the highest betting limits in North Dakota and also have low minimum bets, some starting as low as $1. It is usually the first site to have odds posted on all events, which, in the racebook, includes action from more than 50 horse tracks around North America as well as a selection of tracks overseas.
The user interface is organized and easy to use, and Bookmaker operates just as well on mobile devices as on a computer.
Bookmaker’s promos include a cashback rebate program that returns 3% of all losses on win, place, and show bets, calculated on a daily basis. For exotic bets, the percentage rises to 8% of daily losses. Bookmaker also has generous sign-up bonuses, as well as a top-rated loyalty program.
- Rebate program refunds 3% of win/place/show losses and 8% of exotics
- Earliest odds to post
- High limits and low minimums
- Organized, easy-to-use interface
- Performance information for handicapping purposes is limited
- Loyalty program excludes professional gamblers
2. Heritage Sports: All Customers Can Expect VIP Treatment
Heritage Sports was selected as the second-best racebook in the state. A former elite, invitation-only gambling site, Heritage Sports is known for rolling out the red carpet for its customers. It has one of the best customer service departments in the state and has a generous portfolio of ongoing loyalty promotions.
The racebook features 60 different tracks from around the world. You can bet on horse racing action in Ireland, England, mainland Europe, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong and South Africa, as well as across the United States.
Betting limits have different levels of maximum bets, depending on which track is hosting the race. Heritage Sports has identified 16 major tracks with limits that go to $1,000. Another 14 tracks are at the next tier with limits of $500.
Heritage Sports’ mobile-optimized site is fast and efficient. Pages load quickly, and bettors will get a similar betting experience at the mobile racebook and on the full-blown site. Outside of racing, Heritage Sports also offers an online casino and reduced juice sportsbook.
- Offers VIP service for all customers
- Pays full track odds on even the biggest events, limits are as high as $1,000 at some tracks
- Mobile racebook site is as good as the main site
- Also home to a top online casino with online slots and live dealer games
- Welcome bonuses aren’t as high as other gambling sites
- No live streaming of races
3. Bovada: The Best Racebook Loyalty Program
Bovada finished in the third spot of our top 10. That’s based on the racebook, but the site is extremely popular for offering a full-service gambling location. Customers rave about getting a full casino experience at Bovada. Their highly-rated sportsbook offers more options for prop betting than any other site and there’s also a huge online casino, as well as America’s busiest online poker room.
The racebook has a busy schedule of races from America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa and Australia. Much like the sportsbook, Bovada provides a wide variety of different betting options at the racebook, including one of the state’s largest menus of futures betting for horse races.
When it’s time for the gem events on the horse racing schedule, Bovada is at its best. They pay up to $100,000 on the three Triple Crown races and up to $30,000 on other major races throughout the year, such as the Breeder’s Cup. And if there are no races on the schedule that capture your interest, Bovada also offers virtual horse racing, allowing you to bet on simulated races involving computer-generated horses, greyhounds or even camels.
Bovada’s racebook offers a welcome bonus that matches 75% of your first deposit for up to $750. Adding to that, they attached an extremely low rollover requirement to the money, meaning you can withdraw your money faster than at sites that may advertise a higher maximum bonus. There’s also a loyalty points program that includes rewards for sportsbook and racebook action.
- One of the best loyalty programs in the state
- Pays up to $100,000 on Triple Crown races, $30,000 for other major races
- Full casino experience with top-shelf casino, sportsbook and poker room
- Deepest menu of betting markets including racing futures and virtual racing
- No rebate program for racebook losses
- No performance data for race handicapping
4. BetOnline: Great Cashback Rebate Program
BetOnline is the No. 4 site in our rankings, but our experts took special notice of the site for its rebate program, which the panel called the best in North Dakota. BetOnline returns 4% of all money wagered on straight horse racing bets (win, place or show) and 9% on exotic bets. While some sites offer a rebate on net losses, BetOnline returns those percentages on the total amount bet, regardless of whether you won or lost.
The racebook offers action from the United States, Australia, the U.K. and Ireland, France, South Africa and Japan, as well as events you won’t find everywhere, like Swedish harness racing. For fixed odds races, like the Triple Crown and other big races, you’ll find the most favorable odds at BetOnline, and it publishes them weeks ahead of time, so you’ll have plenty of time to prepare.
Outside of the racebook, BetOnline has plenty going on, including a poker room on the third busiest network in America, a sportsbook with opinionated lines and an online casino. They match new customers’ first deposit up to $1,000, but that bonus money can’t be used in the racebook. They do offer a $25 risk-free horse bet for new customers, however.
- Best rebate program in North Dakota, giving back 4% of total amount bet on straight bets, 9% on exotics
- Favorable futures odds for big events posted weeks ahead of time
- $25 risk-free horse race bet for new customers
- Also has highly rated sportsbook, as well as a casino with poker games and other types of games like slots
- Welcome bonus can’t be spent wagering on horse races
- Some transactions have fees
5. BetAnySports: Payout Boosting Programs and Rebates for Horse Bettors
BetAnySports is another A+ rated online betting site whose racebook earned the No. 5 spot in our panel’s ratings. In addition to the racebook, it offers a reduced juice sportsbook and online casino.
BetAnySports features races from most major tracks in the United States and overseas. They offer some of the highest betting limits in the state, and their cash rebate program returns 3% on the total amount for straight bets and 6% on exotics. That means it doesn’t matter whether your bet wins or loses. You still get money back. The percentage increases based on your betting volume and tops out at 9%.
They also offer a “Plus 10%” promotion at the racebook, which gives a profit boost of an additional 10% on top of your payout for races at certain tracks.
BetAnySports’ welcome bonuses give new bettors a choice and start with matching 25% of your first deposit, up to $500. Unlike other offshore gambling sites, that money can be used anywhere on the site, including the racebook. The rollover requirement on the bonus money is relatively low, although the deposited money also has a rollover attached.
- Cash rebate of 3% of amount bet on straight bets, 6% on exotics, can increase to 9%
- Plus 10% program boosts payout for selected races and tracks
- Welcome bonus can be used in racebook
- Website not as user-friendly or stylish as others
- Deposited money has rollover requirements attached
The Best Sites for Horse Racing That North Dakota has to Offer Compared
Our experts looked at a wide variety of factors in determining their rankings. Here’s a look at some of the most important ones they identified, along with a quick explanation of some horse racing terminology.
Horse Racing Fixed Odds
Fixed-odds betting is generally only used for some of the biggest horse races in the sport. We looked for online horse betting sites that posted odds the earliest for major races like the Triple Crown and Breeders Cup Classic. We also looked for the sites with the most favorable betting odds.
Horse Racing Betting Markets
There are two categories of bets you can place when wagering on horse races: Straight bets and exotics.
A straight bet requires you to pick one horse in one race. You can bet on it to finish first (win), first or second (place) or first, second or third (show). The payout is higher if you bet to win, as opposed to place and show bets.
Exotics are combination bets that involve multiple horses. They could be competing in a single race or you can pick horses across multiple races.
Some common exotics are:
- Exacta: You pick the top two finishers in the correct order.
- Trifecta: Picking the top three finishers, in order
- Superfecta: You need to pick the top four finishers in the right order. Super High Five is the top five.
- Boxed Exacta: Also called an Exacta Box, you choose two horses to finish first and second in a single race. It often refers to picking two horses to finish in the top two in either order (a straight exacta requires you to also pick the order), but you can also have three or more horses in the box. If any of them finish in the top two, you win. There are also Trifecta Boxes.
- Daily Double: Pick the winners of two races in a row. These bets are linked like on a sports parlay, so you only win if you pick the winners in both races. Three races would be a Pick 3, and so on. Just like with parlays, payouts are higher because the bets are linked.
Live Horse Racing Simulcasting
Some racebooks have live simulcasts of races, so you can watch the action in real time while wagering on horse races. Other than the industry’s biggest events like the Triple Crown, you won’t find most horse races on television when race day comes, so this feature can be valuable on the majority of your bets.
Horse Racing Betting Promotions
Most racebooks have a variety of promotions, both for new customers and customers already on the books. One of the most popular ones is a cashback rebate, which refunds a percentage of what you lose. Some sites rebate a percentage of your entire betting volume, not just the losing bets.
Usually, exotic bets have a higher rebate percentage than straight bets. Another popular bonus you’ll often see is risk-free bets. North Dakota’s new users at these sites can often get a large bonus when they sign up and make their initial deposit.
Special Features for Wagering on Horse Races
Doing research to decide what bets to make is known as handicapping a race. When you go to a track in person, you can buy a racing form that has information like the bloodlines of participating horses and the performance history of the horses and their jockeys.
Our top-rated online sports betting sites that offer wagering on horse races in North Dakota give you that same data, including performance and bloodlines. Offshore sportsbooks, which provide a number of different gambling options besides the racebook, may not have as detailed a dataset as sites that only offer race betting, but they give you some information to help you pick a winner.
Horse Racing Welcome Bonus
Almost every individual sportsbook offers a sign-up bonus to new customers. Usually, the bonus amount matches a percentage of your first deposit. Welcome bonuses may be limited so that they can only be used in certain areas of the sportsbook, so you’ll have to make sure the bonus money can be wagered in the racebook.
The user interface should be organized and intuitive to help you find your way around. You should be able to easily find the races and bet types you’re looking for. The process to place bets should be fast and easy, and the mobile betting platform should work as well as the main site.
The top racebooks on our list have all been in operation for many years. Some of them have been around for close to three decades. Over that time, they’ve built a reputation for being safe, secure places to bet that treat gamblers fairly and are a secure place to keep your money. Each site on our list has a long history of paying out on time and in full and has a flawless reputation of being reliable, safe and trustworthy.
The top sites have a variety of banking methods for deposits and withdrawals, including credit and debit card transactions, bank transfers, e-wallets, like Skrill, and cryptocurrency. Delays and fees should be kept to a minimum and payouts should be fast and easy.
Speed & Ease of Use
Odds can change right up until the horses step into the starting gate, and new information can come out, changing the bets you want to make. There are times you’ll want to place your bet at the last possible moment, and in order to do that, the site you choose needs to be able to process your bets quickly. The sites in our top 10 are all fast, responsive and easy to use. Pages load quickly, without glitches, delays or crashes.
The top sites offer 24/7 customer service in multiple languages. There should be a number of ways to contact support, including phone, live chat, and email. Hold times should be short. Agents should be professional, competent and helpful.
North Dakota Horse Racing Betting Guide – Learn to Bet on Horse Races in North Dakota
The best way to bet on horse races in North Dakota online is with one of our top-rated A+ online betting sites:
- Heritage Sports
All five sites have sportsbooks, casinos, and many offer live dealer casinos and poker rooms, in addition to taking action on horse races.
North Dakota Horse Racing – What Bettors Must Know
There are two different ways to bet on horse races: Fixed odds and pari-mutuel.
Fixed odds are only used for major races like the three legs of the Triple Crown, the Breeder’s Cup, and the Santa Anita Derby. They are the same as futures odds in other sports. All the horses in the field are assigned odds of winning, placing and showing. Bettors know ahead of time exactly what they stand to win if their bet is successful.
Smaller tracks and less popular races use pari-mutuel odds to calculate payouts.
In pari-mutuel betting, the money bet on each market goes into a large pool. A small percentage is taken off the top for expenses, and the rest of the money is split among the winning tickets. So winners won’t know the exact amount of their payout until after the race is over and they cash in their winning ticket.
Horse Racing Betting Odds
For fixed-odds races, there are two different methods for listing odds: the American format and the fractional format.
Fixed Odds for Horse Racing Betting in North Dakota
The American format is listed in money line format. Each horse has odds listed as a number with a plus or minus sign. If the number has a plus sign, it tells you how much you would win (in profit) on a $100 bet.
For example, +500 means that a $100 bet would win you $500. (You also get back the $100 you bet, so you’d collect a total of $600.) The higher the number, the bigger the payout and the less likely it is that the horse will win, in the oddsmakers’ opinion.
If you don’t bet $100, the payout is scaled based on that ratio. So a $10 bet on a +500, would earn $50 in profit.
If the number starts with a minus sign, it tells you how much you’d have to bet to win $100. So, odds of -110 mean you’d have to risk $110 to earn $100 profit on a win. Minus signs are reserved for heavy favorites. Because there are so many horses in a race, it’s rare to find a horse with a minus sign.
Fractional odds are the more common way to list horse racing fixed odds. You multiply your bet amount by the fraction to calculate your potential profit. For example, a horse with 7/2 odds would earn $350 profit on a $100 bet. (100 x 7/2 = 350)
Pari-Mutuel Betting in North Dakota
Pari-mutuel wagering is the most common type of race betting. Unlike fixed odds, there aren’t a lot of other types of betting that use anything similar. The payouts for large multi-state lotteries might be the closest comparison. The large highway billboards advertise the estimated amount of the jackpot, but the actual amount will depend on how many tickets end up being sold.
Your bet goes into a pool of money. The remaining money, after expenses, gets divided up evenly (based on the wager amount) among the winners. Tracks and racebooks (like the lotteries) can estimate what the payout will be prior to the start of the race, but the exact final amount of your winnings will depend on activity and not be known until after the race is over and the payout is calculated.
Pool Betting on North Dakota Horse Races
Pool betting is another term for pari-mutuel betting.
North Dakota Horse Racing Odds Chart
The following chart shows the payout for a $2 bet at different odds, which are presented as American and fractional. We use $2 as the sample bet because that is usually the minimum amount a racetrack will accept.
|Horse Racing Odds||Payout from a $2 Wager||Implied Probability of Winning|
Horse Racing Bet Types Explained
- Win: The most common type of bet. Bettors pick the horse they think will win the race.
- Place: The bet wins if the horse chosen finishes in the top two. The payout for a place bet will be smaller than a Win bet.
- Show: The bet pays off if the selected horse finishes in the top three spots. The payout is smaller than a place bet or a win bet.
- Exacta: Requires picking the two horses that will finish in first and second place. You have to pick them in the correct order. If you want to bet on the top two horses, regardless of order, you’d need an Exacta Box.
- Trifecta: Pick the top three finishers in order. You can also do a Trifecta Box.
- Superfecta: Picking the top four finishers in order.
- Daily Double: Another name for a two-race parlay. You pick the winners of back-to-back races. Both horses need to win for your bet to pay off. The payout is higher than if you just made and won two independent bets on the races.
- Pick 3/4/5/6: Similar to a Daily Double but with three, four, five, or six consecutive races.
North Dakota Horse Racing Betting Terms
Horse players have several terms that they use regularly. Here’s a brief glossary of terms you might hear.
- Across the board – Putting three bets on the same horse– to win, to place, and to show. If the horse finishes first, all three bets will pay off.
- At the post – The horses are lining up to start the race, and, just as importantly, betting windows are about to close.
- Blinkers – Restrict a horse’s field of vision. The horse will typically wear them if it is easily distracted.
- Claiming Race – A race where every horse in the field is up for sale.
- Dead Heat – Two or more horses finish in a tie.
- DQ – A horse has been disqualified for some type of foul or infraction.
- Exotic bet – Bets that involve multiple horses and combine multiple outcomes, such as an exacta or trifecta.
- Favorite – The horse believed to have the best chance of winning —according to bookmakers. It will also have the lowest potential payout.
- Fixed Odds – Published odds stating exactly how much a winning bet will pay out.
- Furlong – One-eighth of a mile. Often the way race distances are reported.
- Length – Refers to the full length of a horse. It’s used to describe a horse’s lead or margin of victory (i.e. he won by three lengths). If less than a horse length separates two competitors, other measurements that can be used are a head, a neck, or a nose.
- Morning Line – The track handicapper’s estimate of what the pari-mutuel payout will be.
- Pari-Mutuel Wagering – The primary method used for horse racing payouts. All money wagered goes into a pool, which is split between winners.
- Purse – The total prize money awarded to the owners of the horses in a race. The winning horse earns its owner the largest slice.
- Tote Board – A digital board at the track that highlights the payouts for each market on the most recent race.
- Triple Crown – The three leading races for three-year-old horses in America: the North Dakota Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.
North Dakota Horse Race Tracks
There are two main tracks still in use for regular horse racing events in North Dakota
Located in Belcourt, ND and run by the Chippewa Native American tribe, it hosts a race season every June and July.
North Dakota Horse Park
Located in Fargo, it hosts a racing season after Chippewa Downs, in the month of July, although the two venues have discussed the possibility of swapping schedules in future years.
North Dakota Horse Racing Betting Bonuses
Here are the different types of bonuses offered by racebooks.
The most common type of bonus, a welcome bonus usually matches a percentage of a customer’s first deposit, anywhere from 50% to 200%.
In addition to the amount of the match percentage and the maximum bonus allowed, customers should look at any rollover requirements, which say how many times the bonus amount must be wagered before they can withdraw it. For instance, a 5X rollover on a $1,000 bonus means you can’t withdraw the bonus money until you’ve bet at least $5,000 (five times the bonus)
Sometimes referred to as risk-free bets or bet insurance. If the bet loses, the site returns the amount lost in the form of free bet credits.
These are programs to keep customers loyal and active. Usually, customers are awarded points for activity, which can then be redeemed for money or other perks.
Another program that rewards customer loyalty. The site returns a portion of your losses as a cash rebate or site credit. Some sites offer rebates on total betting volume, meaning even winning bets earn rebates.
Bonus Terms and Conditions at North Dakota Horse Racing Betting Sites
Bonuses usually have some type of requirements or other strings attached. Customers could be required to make a minimum deposit or bet a certain amount in order to qualify for them. Some bonuses can only be used in certain areas of the site, for instance, a sportsbook-only bonus or a casino online bonus. There also is often an expiration date for the bonus money, as well as rollover requirements.
This refers to how many times bonus money needs to be played before customers can withdraw it. As an example, Bovada has a relatively low 6x rollover. That means you have to wager six times as much money as you’ve received as a bonus before withdrawing it. For example, if you get a $100 bonus, you need to play at least $600. Some rollovers are as high as 30x, meaning you’d have to bet $3000 to withdraw your $100 bonus.
Virtual Horse Racing Betting in North Dakota
In addition to live racing, some sites offer simulated horse races. Computer-generated horses (or other animals) perform in a simulated race based on random number generators. It’s similar to video slot machines, where customers bet on computer versions of something in real life.
Tips to Start Betting at Horse Racing Sites for North Dakotans
Registering a new account at an online racebook is fast and easy. It only takes a few minutes.
- Go to Bookmaker.eu, our top-rated racebook in North Dakota, or another site in our top 10
- Hit the “Join Now” button. Fill out the registration form with simple personal information. You might need to do two-step verification by having a code sent to your phone.
- Choose a deposit method and enter your information and the amount of your deposit. This is when you’d put in the promo code to collect your welcome offer.
- Find “Racebook” on the menus at the top of the site and then browse upcoming races.
- For straight wagers, check the win, place or show box next to the horse you want to bet on.
- Use the separate tabs to create exotic bets like an exacta, trifecta, or superfecta.
- Enter the amount you want to bet and click “Place Bet.”
FAQs – Betting on Online Horse Racing in North Dakota
Our expert panel ranked the best sites for online horse race betting in North Dakota. Bookmaker.eu was the top-rated site, although our experts heartily recommend any of the sites in the top 10 to provide a safe, dependable and enjoyable user experience.
Wagering on horse races is legal in multiple forms in North Dakota. In-person betting is available at horse racing tracks and various off-track betting locations. Online wagering on horse races is also allowed.
Summer is horse race season in the state, with North Dakota’s two major horse racing tracks running their seasons back to back, in June and July.
Most of the horse racing in the state is done at Chippewa Downs and North Dakota Horse Park in the summer months. These are North Dakota’s only horse racing tracks.
There used to be more horse racing tracks, but only two remain in operation in the state and host events on a regular basis.
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