Texas Horse Racing Betting – The Best Racebooks in Texas 2023 Compared

Texas has more horses than any other U.S. state, so it should be no surprise that the Lone Star State boasts a rich history in horse racing betting. While Texas hasn’t yet legalized online gambling due to its gambling laws, wagering on horse races was reinstated by the Texas Racing Commission in 1987 after being considered to be a form of illegal gambling for 50 years. It is among the most broadly legal forms of gambling in the state and takes place exclusively at horse racing venues.

All wagers on horse races have to take place in person. Of course, Texas residents can also turn to online sportsbooks for online horse race betting, legal sports betting, casino games, and more.

Our guide will touch on multiple aspects of Texas horse racing betting. We’ll look at the best offshore sportsbooks that offer online horse race betting, some of the horse racing history, the horse betting laws, and various other topics. Whether you’re looking for information on Lone Star Park or any other horse racing venues in Texas, check out our experts’ top 10 online betting sites for horse racing in Texas.

Top Offshore Sportsbooks for Texas in 2023

Texas Betting Guides

We have the answers to all of your questions about betting in Texas here at BMR. If you’re looking to learn more about sports betting and gambling at casinos as a Texas State resident, we suggest you check out one of our many guides to Texas State betting.

Ranking the Top 10 Betting Sites for Horse Racing in Texas

If you are looking to indulge in some wagering on horse races, we suggest you go with one of the best sportsbooks in the gambling industry. Our reviews have determined these offshore betting sites are the top 10 for bettors in the Lone Star State.

  • BetOnline – Offers same-day payouts and opinionated lines.
  • Bookmaker – Provides some of the sharpest betting lines and high wagering limits.
  • Heritage Sports – Delivers exceptional customer service and impeccable live betting service.
  • Bovada – Has a vast selection of betting options with flawless mobile operations.
  • BetAnySports – Presents customers with reduced juice and low house edges on moneylines.
  • Everygame – Covers more events than most competitors.
  • WagerWeb – Is known for its Bitcoin options and speedy payouts.
  • GTBets – Provides high-level security and highly responsive 24/7 customer service.
  • BetUS – Boasts some of the most significant bonuses for new and loyal customers.
  • JustBet – Is an excellent live betting platform with early lines and firm betting limits.

Reviewing the Best Texas Horse Racing Betting Sites

Now that you’ve had the opportunity to look at our top 10 online betting sites for horse racing in Texas, we can preview our top five in a more detailed format.

The following sportsbook reviews will highlight the most positive and negative features. Still, ultimately, they will steer Texas horse racing enthusiasts in the direction of the country’s best operators to use.

1. BetOnline: Highly Respected Racebook with the Fastest Payouts in Texas

betonline racebook

BetOnline has an exceptional reputation amongst sports bettors, and its horse racing offerings are some of the greatest in the offshore gambling space. They’re also known to have some of the best sign-up promotions in the industry.

As one of the oldest online sportsbooks in the industry, BetOnline offers fixed-odds futures on major horse racing events, like the Triple Crown and the Breeder’s Cup.

In addition to BetOnline’s incredibly popular racebook, the site also offers an online sportsbook, casino, and poker room. The old-school bettors who like to wager on the ponies can phone in for horse racing bets if needed.

Pros:

  • Mobile friendly
  • Incredible $2,500 signup bonus
  • Always pays their customers promptly
  • Professional interface & layout
  • Opinionated lines & large betting limits

Cons:

  • Fees for credit card deposits
  • A lack of proposition bets compared to rivals
  • $50 fee on check withdrawals
  • Minor complaints about the poker software

2. Bookmaker: Fast Payouts & Experienced Racebook

bookmaker racebook

With a dedicated team that owns 29 years of experience in the business, Bookmaker.eu is unquestionably one of the most respected and experienced sportsbooks. Bookmaker promises “the best-thoroughbred horse racing betting experience on the internet”, with significant races such as the Kentucky Derby to the smaller events at The Meadows and Yonkers Raceway.

Vegas sportsbooks have been known to compare their lines to Bookmaker, and they hold a reputation for housing some of the best professional gamblers in the business. They also have one of the best loyalty programs in the industry.

Bookmaker is a great choice as a racebook, presenting excellent bonuses and speedy payouts. One of the best, if not the best, options for any Texas bettor seeking a licensed and reputable site to wager on horse racing.

Pros:

  • Higher withdrawal limits and betting limits
  • Rebate on racebook wagers up to 8%
  • Decades of experience in the sports betting business
  • Fast-released betting lines

Cons:

  • Professional bettors lose their rights to participate in the loyalty program
  • No reduced lines

3. Heritage Sports: The Best Opinionated Lines & Excellent Live Betting Services

heritage sports racebooks

With market-leading odds and an attractive user base, Heritage Sports is undeniably one of the best sportsbooks for horse racing betting.

Heritage Sports presents more than 60 different thoroughbred and harness racetracks that customers can wager on. With at least 16 major tracks on the menu, horse racing bettors from Texas can wager up to $1,000 on win, place, and show markets, including a $200 max limit on exotic props. Additionally, the alternate 14 tracks limit straight bets at $500 and props to $100.

Overall, our experts labeled Heritage Sports with a BMR rating of A+. In addition to their extensive horse betting, they boast a reputable sportsbook, casino, and live dealer games.

Pros:

  • Best for live betting
  • Straightforward to navigate/operate sports betting interface
  • Reduced juice on multiple betting lines and unique promotional offers
  • Great live betting options

Cons:

  • US and Canada residents only
  • Sign-up bonuses aren’t as significant as other sites

4. Bovada: Fast Payouts & Attractive Bonuses

bovada racebook

Bovada sets a high standard among offshore sportsbooks, quickly becoming a favorite for Texas horse racing enthusiasts. With a vast selection of events available to bet on, it also provides a massive online casino and a racebook. It has also become the most popular online poker room in America.

The Bovada racebook was specifically designed for US horse racing bettors. The racebook offers its customers more than 60 North American tracks within their available markets, and new Bovada racebook customers will receive a 50% welcome bonus on the head-to-heads, triple crown, and various other racing props, a 24/7 customer service line, ultra-quick payouts, and a 5% rebate on exotic bets.

Pros:

  • Horse bettors get 3% rebates on straight bets and 5% back on exotic wagers
  • A more extensive selection of wagers than most competitors
  • Mobile-friendly with smooth optimization
  • Small rollover requirements for bonuses

Cons:

  • Betting limits can sometimes be lower than competitors
  • Betting lines may be a bit slower than other sites

5. BetAnySports: Fast Payouts & The Best Opinionated Lines

BetAnySports homepage
A snapshot of A rated BetAnySports’ homepage.

Bettors in Texas looking for reduced juice betting lines will revel in BetAnySports and its offerings. Known for its incredibly low house edge on straight bets, it’s the perfect sportsbook option for bettors who value hunting.

Reduced juice does arrive with minor setbacks, such as its low margins and fewer promotions. However, it’s a simple-to-use online betting site that delivers quick, secure, and trustworthy withdrawals. And, of course, the available odds are exceptional.

Pros

  • Reduced juice
  • Excellent customer service
  • Some of the best moneyline, prop, and future betting odds
  • Fast payouts and a trustworthy reputation

Cons

  • Not available in every country
  • Smaller bonuses in comparison to direct competitors
  • Less desirable interface when compared to rival sportsbooks

Comparing the Best Sites for Horse Racing Texas Has to Offer

There are many factors to consider when deciding which offshore sportsbooks enter our top-ranked list. Of course, each sports bettor will have their personal preference, so choosing the ultimate operator is difficult. However, a sportsbook must have certain qualities even to be considered one of the best.

For example, BetOnline is one of the most popular racebooks in Texas, and its payout scheme is flawless, but it still has its weaknesses.

Below you’ll find a list of factors we consider when deciding which horse racing betting sites deserve a top-rated ranking and how we determined who to count among the best in the sports betting industry.

Horse Racing Odds

The key to successful wagering is finding the best odds on horses.

With an overwhelming amount of competitiveness in the betting market, supplying customers with the best available value is of the utmost importance. Many sportsbooks in Texas will provide the same odds, but bettors must shop for their odds and find the best available price.

This makes operators such as BetOnline so appealing since they’re consistently looking to provide their customer base with the best available horse odds.

For long-term bettors, good horse racing odds can be the difference between a positive or negative bankroll. Naturally, most bettors should want to find the best bang for their buck.

Horse Racing Betting Markets

Horse racing betting in Texas holds a nostalgic feeling for most as the Lone Star State is the most horse-populous location in the United States.

If the online betting sites don’t provide a wide variety of horse racing betting markets, they could miss some traditional wagers near and dear to local bettors.

BetOnline’s advanced racebook will offer multiple markets such as:

  • Win
  • Show
  • Place
  • Exotic
  • Trifecta
  • Superfecta
  • Super High Five
  • Double Bet
  • Pick 3
  • Pick 5

Live Horse Racing Betting

The ability to wager on live horse racing in Texas can create an even more enjoyable experience for some bettors. Our experts often position a sportsbook in the top-10 list when it can provide the ability to place live wagers as well as offer simulcast racing, so you can watch the event live.

Trusted sports betting apps in Texas can do all of the above; each site recommended by Bookmakers Review has been thoroughly tested in each area.

For example, BetOnline supplies an exceptional live betting platform. You can live-bet hundreds of sports, including horse racing, and click the “Watch Live” tab to enjoy the live stream right from the race track.

Horse Racing Betting Promotions

Some of the best horse racing betting promotions and bonuses in Texas provide cashback on losing wagers, known as rebates.

Again, BetOnline is a great example of a racebook that delivers excellent bonuses. You can receive a 50% first-time deposit bonus of up to $2,500, daily rebates, and a risk-free bet.

The best sportsbooks often provide a racebook with excellent promotions for online horse betting. Other options also include the likes of industry leaders such as Bookmaker, Bovada, or Heritage Sports.

Odds Chart for Online Horse Racing Betting in Texas

Horse Racing OddsPayout from a $2 WagerImplied Probability of Winning
1/5 (-500)$2.4083.33%
1/4 (-400)$2.5080%
1/3 (-300)$2.6075%
1/2 (-200)$3.0066.67%
4/6 (-150)$3.3360%
1/1 (-100)$4.0050%
2/1 (+200)$6.0033.33%
3/1 (+300)$8.0025%
5/1 (+500)$1216.67%
10/1 (+1000)$229.00%
50/1 (+5000)$1021.96%

Best Texas Horse Racing Betting Sites

Deciding on the best online betting site is never easy. With the aforementioned factors we listed above, let’s evaluate the more general purposes of sportsbooks and why an operator providing horse racing betting will excel against its competitors.

Brand Recognition

Like most professions in life, experience is crucial, and offshore sportsbooks are no different. In addition to their wealth of knowledge, betting sites have a long-established reputation for providing multiple forms of gambling online for decades. They are trusted by a large customer base.

Payment Methods

The more deposit and withdrawal methods that are available on betting sites, the better. Some customers want to utilize their crypto wallets, whereas others want to use credit cards. So, the best sportsbooks and operators will always have multiple payment method options.

Safety & Security

Entangled with brand recognition, safety and security are crucial for sports bettors to trust their operators. The well-established sportsbooks have maintained their position in the market because of their secure systems. That said, it’s important to look at sites that own a license to operate in their respective countries.

Speed & Design 

Flawless design and simple-to-use interfaces are essential for customers to navigate and place wagers easily. All of our top-rated sportsbooks fall into this category.

Customer Service

When a customer is in need, having the ability to contact your bookmaker is usually the difference maker in receiving a good or bad reputation. Sites such as the ones mentioned above provide 24/7 customer service and excel in this area. Sportsbook operators that offer a live chat option are always going to top our list.

Overall Value

Our overall value is conjured up from everything we’ve spoken about. Finding a little of everything we’ve mentioned in an online betting site will provide you with significant value. Although some players are looking for bonuses and promotions, your opinion on value will differ in this case.

SportsbookRatingOnline SincePayment MethodsRead Review
BetOnlineA+2001Credit Card, Bitcoin, Crypto, Cashiers Check, Bank Transfer P2P,BetOnline Review
BookmakerA+ 1996 Credit Card, Bitcoin, P2P, Crypto Bovada Review
Heritage SportsA+2001Credit Card, Bitcoin, Cashiers Check, Bank Transfer, P2PHeritage Sports Review
BovadaA+2011Credit Card, BitcoinBovada Review
BetAnySportsA+2002Credit Card, Bitcoin, Electronic CheckBetAnySports Review
EverygameA1996Credit Card, Bitcoin, Skrill, Neteller, Bank Transfer, P2PEverygame Review
WagerWebA1994Credit Card, Bitcoin, Cashiers Check, Bank Transfer, P2PWagerWeb Review
GTBetsA2011Credit Card, Bitcoin, CryptoGTBets Review
BetUSA2000Credit Card, Bitcoin, Bank Transfer, P2PBetUS Review
JustBetA2000Credit Card, Bitcoin, P2P, CryptoJustBet Review

While online horse racing betting in Texas is prohibited, locals can wager on live horse racing events in-person, at any licensed track in the state. These horse tracks are also simulcast venues, allowing wagering on races held at other horse racing venues.

For this reason, online horse racing bettors in Texas often turn to offshore horse race betting sites, which are safe, legal options for online horse race betting.

In contrast to horse racing betting, most other forms of betting are illegal in Texas, with the Texas Lottery being one of the other few exceptions. In fact, due to Texas State’s gambling and gaming laws, the only place Texans can partake in in-person gambling activities is a Tribal casino located in Eagle Pass, TX (about 2 hours from San Antonio). This is because Tribal casinos on Tribal land do not operate under the same state gambling laws.

Horse Racing Betting Guide for Texan Bettors – Start Betting on Horse Races in Texas

Many Texans can enjoy in-person wagering at one of the state’s track betting facilities. However, online wagering at one of the best sportsbooks is the most popular method for Texas locals to place their wagers on horse races.

The ability to bet on the best horse odds from the comfort of your home at a top-rated horse race betting site is a plus. The largest sportsbooks also have mobile-optimized sites for betting on the go; not to mention, they also many other types of bets, too. You can wager on your favorite professional sports teams, college teams, and more.

This is why operators such as BetOnline, Bovada, Bookmaker, and Heritage Sports are ideal betting sites for Texas horse racing bettors to use.

Online Horse Racing Betting: Fundamentals in Texas

When navigating an online betting site, the common practice is to wager on the “place,” “show,” and “win” betting markets. Your betting site will provide a selection of the upcoming horse racing events, and you’ll see the available bets once you click on the horse event you desire.

The most prestigious horse race events, such as the Kentucky Derby, are ideal for new players, as betting sites will highlight these races as special events.

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the fundamental horse racing bets (win, show, place), you’ll have fun exploring the extended markets, including trifectas, exactas, and much more.

The Different Types of Horse Racing Wagers

Win

Similar to a moneyline wager found in alternative sports, a win bet is the most simplistic of them all. Bet on the horse you believe will win.

Place

A place wager will cover a horse that finishes in first and second place.

Show

A place wager expands on a place wager in that your horse can finish first, second, or third.

Exacta

Exacta is an exotic wager that requires bettors to pick the exact top two finishers.

Trifecta 

With lucrative odds for its difficulty level, trifecta wagers require bettors to pick the exact top three finishers.

Superfecta

As the difficulty level reaches its pinnacle, superfectas take it one step further and require bettors to predict the exact order of the top four finishers.

Daily Double

Often referred to as the double wager, bettors must pick the winners of back-to-back races.

Pick 3/4/5/6

Like the daily double, a pick 3/4/5/6 represents a wager where the bettor must pick the correct winners for three, four, five, or six consecutive races. Of course, a racetrack will need to host at least six races, but most courses host 10+ races at each event.

The History of Horse Racing in Texas

Horse racing in Texas boasts a long and storied history beginning in the 19th century, which has greatly influenced their approach to horse racing betting. Locations such as Epsom Downs, Alamo Downs, the State Fair of Dallas, and Arlington Downs were major attractions in the horse racing industry.

Arlington Downs opened its doors in 1929, four years before the legalization of pari-mutuel wagering became legal in Texas. While the track became a huge success and was one of the most successful racetracks in the United States, the Texas legislature repealed the pari-mutuel laws in 1937, which would setback horse racing in the Lone Star State for 50 years.

Finally, in 1987, the Texas legislature voted to legalize the return of pari-mutuel wagers, and the horse racing industry in Texas was reignited, with the status quo for horse racing looking to stay strong for many years to come.

Since then, many prominent sites have hosted horse racing events in Texas, including Bandera Downs, Gillespie County Fairgrounds, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, Manor Downs, Retama Park, Sam Houston Race Park, and Trinity Meadows Raceway. Many of these permanent parks are simulcast venues, offering simulcast wagering on races being held at other tracks.

Texas Sports Betting Updates

  • May 2022 – BetMGM partnered with the Houston Astros, one of the first major U.S. sportsbook deals in the Lone Star state.
  • June 2022 – A ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court prevented Texas from banning tribal-ran e-bingo. 
  • July 2022 – Opposing groups from Congress –including Texas legislators– came together to request the Department of Justice to take action against offshore sportsbooks for better regulation of online sports betting sites. 
  • August 2022 – The Texas Sports Betting Alliance begins working to prepare for the 2023 legislative session, with their main focus being translating the importance of legalized sports betting in Texas.
  • January 2023 – The legislative session for 2023 opens and Senate Joint Resolution 17 (SJR-17) is proposed. This resolution proposes to create a Texas Gaming Commission to regulate gambling in the state.

Other Types of Gambling in Texas

As with all of our top-rated horse racing betting sites, the operators will also provide online casino games and bingo games, betting on all types of sports, and other markets to gamble on for the opportunity to earn a little extra cash. Specific sites will restrict customers in reference to their geolocations, but most of them will allow Texas locals to place real money wagers at their casino, sportsbook, or racebook.

Online casinos at offshore sportsbooks provide all of the classic games such as blackjack, poker, and slots, with online sportsbooks supplementing leagues throughout the world like NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, EPL, UFC, PGA, and many more.

The Top Online Horse Race Betting Site in Texas

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and many sports bettors will argue their favorite racebook. However, based on our extensive research and reviews, BetOnline is an impeccable racebook as they provide exceptional quality horse racing betting service.

Is horse racing betting legal in Texas?

Horse racing betting is legal in Texas but only for in-person bettors placing wagers inside one of Texas’ racetracks and is of the legal gambling age of 21. Texas online horse racing betting hasn’t been legalized in the Lone Star State, but locals can legally place online bets through one of our highly-rated offshore sportsbooks.

What is the big horse race in Texas?

The Lone Star Derby is the most notable horse racing event in Texas. The American flat thoroughbred horse race for three-year-olds is held annually at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie.

Are there horse races in Texas?

Yes, horse racing events are held for twelve months of the year at one of Texas’ racetracks. Lone Star Park, Retama Park, and Sam Houston Park all host horse racing seasons with events during the summer and winter months.

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