Why can't I bet on Horse Racing at Sportsbooks
Horse Racing Betting has long been legal in many states across the USA. However, those opposed to gambling were able to successfully ban bookmakers at the turn of the 20th century, which led to the introduction of the pari mutuel wagering system in 1908.
The pari mutuel system is the primary reason you can bet on Horse Racing and that it has flourished across the system. In parimutuel wagering all bets of a particular type are combined into one pool, and bettors aren’t vying against the “house,” as the odds are determined by what their fellow bettors do (i.e. how much money is wagered on a particular horse or combination).
This is why sports betting and betting on Horses are seen as two separate divisions. Two completely different betting systems - one has been legal for over 100 years - and the other has only recently been legalized in many states.
One day you may well be able to bet on Horses at Sportsbooks. With the flotation of the idea of Fixed Odds betting on Horses being talked about in New Jersey, should that get introduced then the path will be clearer for bets on the Kentucky Derby being taken at in-person and online Sportsbooks but until that happens - we’ll continue to have two different places and websites to place bets on sports and horses.