Best North Carolina Horse Racing Betting Sites

Fact Checked by Shannon Lane

The passage of House Bill 347 in June 2023 paved the way for North Carolina sports betting as well as parimutuel horse racing wagers

North Carolina Horse Racing

Best App for Horse Racing in North Carolina

As horse racing apps in North Carolina are still in the process of applying for licenses, we don't know which ones will be approved to come to the state. 

While you  wait for HB 347 to go into effect in January, you can explore North Carolina sports betting apps and more betting options in the state.

Bookmark this page for the latest information on horse racing apps in North Carolina!

Can I Bet on Horse Racing in North Carolina?

No, you can't bet on horse racing in North Carolina yet.

Horse racing bets can not currently be placed on advanced deposit wagering (ADW) sites in the state, but that is set to change on January 8, 2024 when House Bill 347 goes into effect. At that time, betting on horses online via an ADW site will be allowed.

Is Online Horse Betting Legal in North Carolina?

Online horse betting is not legal in North Carolina yet. 

North Carolina has approved horse betting in North Carolina. However, until North Carolina's sports betting and horse racing law takes effect in January of 2024, it remains illegal.

Best NC Horse Racing Betting Apps November 2023

Horse racing betting apps are in the application process with the state of North Carolina. While we don't know for sure what apps will be available, we can assume that many on this list will be licensed in the state.

🏆 Twinspires RacebookBest Overall
🚨 FanDuel Horse RacingBest for New Bettors
⭐️ Caesars RacebookBest for Rewards
🐎 DraftKings HorseBest for Casual Horse Racing Fans
✅ Last Updated:November 29, 2023

Customers have many choices on which ADW to use for betting and watching horse racing. Finding an ADW that offers good promotions and rebates allows customers to maximize their wagering dollars.

Top Horse Racing Betting Apps: Horse Racing Bonuses & Promotions

North Carolina horse racing betting apps are legal, but they will not go live until January 2024 at the earliest. However, based on operators in other states with legal horse betting, these are some of the best NC horse betting apps to expect.

🔥 Coming Soon: North Carolina Sportsbook Promos & Bonuses

Twinspires Racebook

Here’s a breakdown of TwinSpires Racebook, the best horse race betting app for horse racing fans.

🎁 TwinSpires Offer Code$200 Sign Up Bonus
🤝 TwinSpires PartnershipChurchill Downs International & Brisnet.com
📲 Best App FeatureIn Depth Info for Handicapping with Trainer & Jockey Stats
✅ Last Updated:November 29, 2023

Why choose TwinSpires Racebook

TwinSpires is one of the most established horse racing ADWs. Getting started with TwinSpires is easy with multiple deposit options, sign up bonuses, and easy withdrawal options. Betting is available on most tracks in North America as well as international tracks.

  • 📲 App Features: Trainer & jockey combination statistics, previous race replays, detailed horse pedigree info, wagering rebate program
  • 🎁 Promotions: $200 Sign Up bonus
  • ✅ Total States Live: 33 active states
⭐️ Apple App Store Rating4.8 stars
⭐️ Google Play Store Rating4.5 stars
⬇️ Apple Download Size: 83.5 MBs
⬇️ Android Download Size: 14.41 MBs

FanDuel Horse Racing

Here’s a breakdown of FanDuel Horse Racing, the best horse race betting app for new horse racing bettors.

🎁 FanDuel Horse Racing Promo CodeRace of the Day Bet Insurance
🤝 FanDuel Horse Racing PartnershipBreeders' Cup
📲 Best App FeatureEducational Resources
✅ Last Updated:November 29, 2023

Why choose FanDuel Horse Racing

For new players, FanDuel has informational articles on subjects like horse racing odds and bet type. Whether it's a straight bet or exotic wagers that span multiple races, FanDuel has resources covering these topics.

  • 📲 App Features: Horse Betting 101, race analysis, expert picks
  • 🎁 Promotions: Race of the Day Win Bet Insurance
  • ✅ Total States Live: 10 active states

🔥 Learn More: FanDuel Sportsbook North Carolina Promos

⭐️ Apple App Store Rating4.6 stars
⭐️ Google Play Store Rating4.7 stars
⬇️ Apple Download Size: 42.3 MBs
⬇️ Android Download Size: 42.6 MBs

Caesars Racebook

Here’s a breakdown of Caesars Racebook, the best horse racing sportsbook for rewards.

🎁 Caesars Racebook Promo Code100% First Deposit Match up to $500
🤝 Caesars Racebook PartnershipNYRA Bets
📲 Best App FeatureRewards Program
✅ Last Updated:November 29, 2023

Why choose Caesars Racebook

If you prefer bonuses and rewards that translate to real life experiences, than Caesars Racebook might be the choice for you. They offer rewards that can be used towards hotel stays, dining, and even tickets to shows.

  • 📲 App Features: Easy deposit options, Ceasars Rewards, over 300 tracks offered
  • 🎁 Promotions: 100% deposit match up to $500 for first time users
  • ✅ Total States Live: 18 active states

🔥 Learn More: Caesars Sportsbook North Carolina Promos

⭐️ Apple App Store Rating3.0 stars
⭐️ Google Play Store Rating4.2 stars
⬇️ Apple Download Size: 5.4 MBs
⬇️ Android Download Size: 5.4 MBs

DraftKings Horse

Here’s a breakdown of DraftKings Horse (known as DK Horse), the best horse race betting app for casual fans.

🎁 DK Horse Promo Code100% Deposit Bonus up to $250
🤝 DK Horse Racebook PartnershipTwinSpires
📲 Best App FeatureTwinSpires User Interface
✅ Last Updated:November 29, 2023

Why choose DK Horse

With DK Horse being powered by TwinSpires, it's an excellent opportunity to take advantage of DK Horse's larger first deposit promotions without having to learn a completely new platform. The app offers all the same detailed handicapping statistics that comes with being under the TwinSpires umbrella.

  • 📲 App Features: Race Replays; Pedigree, jockey & trainer stats; First deposit bonus
  • 🎁 Promotions: 100% first deposit bonus up to $250
  • ✅ Total States Live: 17 active states

🔥 Learn More: DraftKings Sportsbook North Carolina Promos

⭐️ Apple App Store Rating4.6 stars
⭐️ Google Play Store Rating3.9 stars
⬇️ Apple Download Size: 87.1 MBs
⬇️ Android Download Size: 87.1 MBs

Live Horse Racing Tracks in North Carolina

There aren't any horse racing facilities in North Carolina currently, but there is a push within the state to explore creating a state racing commission and opening a thoroughbred racing facility. The closest thing currently operating in the state is the historic Pinehurst Harness Track, which operates primarily as a training facility for harness racing horses.

The Pinehurst Harness Track is the oldest continuosly operating horse sports facility in the state. Wagering isn't offered on any races at Pinehurst, and it's used mainly as a training facility for standard breeds. 

  • 📬 Address: 200 Buelah Hill Road South, Pinehurst, NC 28734
  • 📞 Phone: 910-420-1628

North Carolina Horse Racing Events to Bet On

Currently, there are no racing facilities that offer wagering operating within the state. However, with the passage of NC House Bill 347, talks of opening a facility have been reignited, so we could see some pop up soon!

North Carolina Horse Racing Betting

While no facilities offer horse racing that can be wagered on, North Carolina is geographically situated near other states that do offer horse race betting on live racing. Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia all have live racing available to wager on most ADW's. 

US Horse Betting

Even without live horse racing in the state, there's plenty of nationally significant racing on which NC residents can wager. Starting in 2024 horse racing bettors will be able to wager on the Kentucky Derby and other Triple Crown races

The Kentucky Derby is just the beginning of high-stakes horse racing that culminates the first weekend in November with the richest weekend in horse racing: The Breeders' Cup.

UK Horse Betting

The UK is home to some of the best turf horses in the world, and some of the best turf racing. Royal Ascot brings the British Royal Family out to enjoy racing; the races with massive fields of horses are always exciting and lucrative betting opportunities. 

Plus, the UK has it's very own version of the Triple Crown with the 2000 Guineas Stakes, The Epsom Derby, and St. Leger Stakes.

Types of Horse Racing for Online Betting

While the main focus of racing in the United States is thoroughbred horse racing, there are other types of racing that provide fun options for watching and wagering. 

Centered mostly in Europe, jump racing provides the excitement of thoroughbred turf racing with the added fun of hurdles. 

Another popular type of racing is harness racing, where the horse pulls a cart or "sulky" with a seated pilot and features a rolling start.

Thoroughbred Racing

Thoroughbred racing is what most people think of when asked to picture a horse race. Thoroughbred racing, by far, is the most widely covered and feature's races that have become a piece of Americana, such as the Kentucky Derby. 

Thoroughbred racing is action packed and high drama, with the possibility of large and lucrative payouts. On average, there's thirty minutes between all the races at a track. With multiple tracks running at once, there's the possibility of action every minute of the day.

Jump Racing

While it's not unique to UK horse racing, jump racing is primarily takes place in the UK and combines the excitement of thoroughbred racing with hurdles that each horse has to navigate. 

Because of the time difference, UK jump racing primarily happens in the morning hours in the United States and provides a fun wagering opportunity in the early half of the day. Spills are common, adding an extra layer of suspense for bettors. 

Harness Racing

Those unfamiliar to harness racing might be reminded of scenes from Ben-Hur and Roman chariot races. The driver sits behind the horse in a wheeled cart referred to as a "sulky," and the horse pulls the driver and sulky around the track. 

Harness racing features dramatic closing moves with horses dropping in from the clouds. With most harness racing in the United States occurring in the evening, it provides a fun nighttime wagering opportunity for bettors. 

Best Horse Races To Bet Online

In the United States, the Triple Crown races and Breeders' Cup weekend are the most popular days of racing. These events feature very well-funded parimutuel pools with large payout possibilities. 

There are also promotions like bonus bets from most ADWs that allow bettors to maximize their wagering dollars.

Betting On The Triple Crown Races in 2024

The Triple Crown is the test of a champion and features three races at three different tracks. The Kentucky Derby (May 4, 2024 at Churchill Downs), the Preakness Stakes (May 18, 2024 at Pimlico Race Course), and the Belmont Stakes (June 8, 2024 at Belmont Park) will captivate horse racing fans all season long.

A horse winning all three, and therefore winning the Triple Crown, is regarded by some as the most difficult feat in all of sports. Before American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018, no horse had won a Triple Crown since Affirmed nearly four decades earlier in 1978.

Kentucky Derby

The "Run for the Roses," held annually on the first Saturday of May, provides some of the most well-funded betting pools of the year. 

Kentucky Derby futures let bettors try to pick the winner of the Derby months in advance, which can add a long-term element of suspense. In the most recent years, the Derby has been won by longshots with $2 win bets returning $32.42 (Mage in 2023) and $163.60 (Rich Strike in 2022).

Preakness Stakes

The middle jewel of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes id always run with a possibility that a this could be the year we see another Triple Crown winner. 

Over the last ten years, the average $2 win payout was just over 4-1, and the exotic wagers such as $1 Trifecta and Superfectas have on occason paid over five figures.  In 2019 when War of Will won the Preakness, the $1 Superfecta paid $51,924.

Belmont Stakes

Regarded as "the true test of a champion," the one-and-one-half mile race at Belmont Park is the longest race of the Triple Crown series. 

With or without a Triple Crown contender, the New York leg of the series provides the same deep pools as the other two races. Even with heavy favorites producing low payoffs four of the last 10 years, the average win payout for that time frame is 4.5-1 with most recent winner Arcangelo paying 7-1.

Breeders' Cup World Championships

The Breeders' Cup is like Super Bowl of horse racing. Horses ship to the United States from all over the world for races that offer purse money over $1M. A win in the Breeders' Cup could mean a lucrative breeding deal for owners.

But the Breeders' Cup is much more than just one race. The Breeders' Cup is a weekend of racing with 14 races of $1M purse stakes over the course of the first Friday and Saturday of November. Wagers that span multiple races, such as the Pick 6, can result in life changing payouts of staggering amounts of money. Three times since 2000 the Breeders Cup Pick 6 has paid over $1M dollars: $2.68M in 2003, $1.45M in 2006, and $1.84M in 2009.

British Triple Crown Races

While an American Triple Crown winner is rare, winning the British Triple Crown of the 2000 Guineas, the Epsom Derby, and the St. Leger Stakes is even rarer still. The last horse to win all three was Nijinsky in 1970. These races provide interesting types of wagers not seen in the United States, such as Omni and Swinger bets.

2000 Guineas Stakes

The first leg of the British Triple Crown series for three-year-old horses will run May 4, 2024 at the UK's Newmarket Race Course. The race spans one mile and is on the turf, unlike the American Triple Crown races. 

At 7/2, 2023's winner Chaldean was the shortest priced winner since 2018. Since 2004, 60% of the 2000 Guineas Stakes winners have paid greater than 5-1.

Epsom Derby

Also known as "the Derby," the Epsom Derby was first run in 1780. Going one-and-one-half miles over the turf, the distance is the same as America's Belmont Stakes. This is a race with a recent history of horses winning with long odds. The average winning odds over the last ten years were 12-1, with a 40-1 winner in 2017 (Wings of Eagles).

St. Leger Stakes

Spanning one-and-three-quarters miles over on the turf at Doncaster, the St. Leger Stakes is the final jewel of the British Triple Crown—and a true test of endurance. While the last 10 years' winners have been short priced, you can occasionally find value with exotic wagers like Exactas and Trifectas, as well as British Omni and Swinger bets.

Popular Horse Racing Betting Types

Wagering on horse racing gives bettors many options in finding value and making their bets as efficient as possible. With single-horse wagers, wagers on multiple horses, and wagers on multiple races, each race can be approached in a unique way.

Single Horse Wagers: Win, Place, Show

The most simple horse wagers are single horse wagers to win, place, or show

Win

Easily the most simple to understand, a win bet is a wager on a horse wins the race. In parimutuel wagering, the odds are dependent upon the money wagered on other horses in the win pool. With fixed odds, they are the odds set by the racebook.

Place

A place bet is a wager that a horse finishes second place or better in a race. The horse does not need to finish in second exactly to win money, just second or better. Calculating place bets can be tricky with parimutuel wagering pools because the payout is dependent on who else finishes in the top two as well as the amount of money wagered in place pool on both.

Show

A show bet is a wager that a horse finishes third or better in a race. Like the place bet, calculating the exact payout can be difficult because it's dependent on the top three finishers in the race and the amount wagered. While likely one of the safer bets in horse racing, show bets are typically the lowest ROI wagers of the single horse wagers.

Win/Place & Win/Place/Show

A popular way to play one horse wagers is to bet into multiple pools at once with a Win/Place bet and an across-the-board Win/Place/Show bet. Across-the-board bets can add a level of insurance where a bettor can still turn a profit for the entire wager without winning the race, though the downside is that it can dilute profit of a winning horse by spreading money into multiple pools.

Multi-Horse Wagers

Multi-horse wagers typically are the highest-paying wagers for a single race. They are won by picking horses to finish in the correct position for up to five positions depending on wager type. Not only are there multiple multi-horse wagers available, but there are also multiple ways to bet each multi-horse wager with straight wagers and box wagers.

Exacta

Wagering on two horses to finish first and second is known as an exacta bet. A bettor can pick a single horse in the two positions as straight wagers, which require that the horses finish in that exact order to win. Bettors can also pick multiple horses in first and second with total wagers increasing as they include additional horses. 

An exacta box allows a bettor to pick two or more horses. It wins if the two horses included in the ticket finish in first and second without picking the exact order. The price of an exacta box wager is dependent on the number of possible combinations wagered. Exactas are the only multi-horse wagers that show probable payouts for all of the possible combinations of first and second place finishers.

Trifecta

The trifecta can lead to very lucrative payouts with a lower base wager amount. Like an exacta, a trifecta can be won as a straight wager by picking the exact order of the first three horses. 

Like the exacta box, a trifecta box wager can be made with three or more horses and doesn't require picking the exact order. While tracks provide accurate probable payments for possible winning combination for exactas, they do not do the same for a trifecta's combination of three horses and other multi-horse wagers.

Superfecta

Multi-horse wagers don't stop with just the horses that finish in first, second, or third. The superfecta is a wager on the first four horses to finish a race. Like all other exotic wagers, they can be bet straight or as box wagers. The base wager amount for superfectas is typically the lowest at $0.10, but can yield some of the largest payouts in a day of racing. However, they can also be very difficult to win.

Super Hi-5

Was picking first through fourth place not exciting enough for you? Then try the Super Hi-5! 

As the name would suggest, the Super Hi-5 wager is picking the first five finishers of a race in order. Not every track offers a Super Hi-5, and the base wager is usually higher than that of a trifecta or superfecta. One of the perks of the Super Hi-5 is that the wagering pool will carry over and build in the next race if no one wins it, leading to possibly larger payouts over the course of a day of racing.

Multi-Race Wagers

Some of the best payouts in horse racing from multi-race wagers. A multi-race wager is won by picking the winner of two or more consecutive races.

Daily Double

Spanning two consecutive races, the daily double is the most basic of multi-race wagers. Like multi-horse wagers, they can be played straight with one horse in each race, or "leg," in the daily double. Daily doubles can present tremendous value and can pay more-than-win odds in a mechanical parlay of two win bets. 

Similar to exactas, tracks and ADWs will show probable payouts for each combination of winners.

Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5 & Pick 6

The daily double isn't the only opportunity for multiple race betting at the track. A track may offer horizontal longer multi-race wagers such as a Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, or Pick 6. A winning ticket, especially in the longer wagers, can pay a life changing amount of money. 

However, they pay very well because they can be expensive bets to make and difficult to get right. With multiple horses in each leg of a ticket, the price can balloon quickly.

Pari-Mutuel vs Fixed Odds Wagering

Wagering on horse racing is typically done one of two ways: fixed odds wagering and pari-mutuel wagering. 

While fixed odds wagering is typically against "the house," pari-mutuel wagering is betting against other bettors.

Pari-Mutuel Wagering

In pari-mutuel wagering, odds will fluctuate as more people bet money into the respective pools. Payouts are calculated by dividing the losing wagers and subtracting the "takeout," the percentage of each wager pool total the track keeps.

Winning horses pay the odds they reflect when the race closes at post time. The morning line odds are the track line-maker's best estimation of each horse's closing odds. As opposed to fixed odds wagering, pari-mutuel wagering is more similar investing in the stock market. The markets move from the time the race opens for wagering and closes for wagering. 

The upside is that your odds can move in your favor from the time you made the wager. Of course, the inverse of that would be the downside.

Fixed Odds Wagering

Fans of sports betting or casino gambling may be more familiar with fixed odds wagering. With fixed odds wagering, gamblers are betting against "the house" with odds set by the racebook. While some states require fixed odds horse betting in their state, the majority are pari-mutuel.

Fixed odds bettors don't have to deal with wild fluctuation like pari-mutuel pools do when money floods in on a horse. Fixed odds bettors can also easily exploit long initial odds at the time they placed the wager, meaning if a horse at a long price is bet down to the favorite, they still will be paid the long odds.

North Carolina Horse Racing Betting Tips and Trends

When horse betting, it's essential to thoroughly research the form, track conditions, and jockey performance to make informed wagering decisions.

1️⃣ Racing Programs

The racing program is the most basic level of information someone can acquire for a race card for the day. Horses are listed by race number along with jockey information, results of their last three races, and other details. Most handicappers rely on more in-depth past performance data from services like the Daily Racing Form or brisnet.com.

2️⃣ Watch the Odds

Horse racing odds can change quickly, all the way until the time where horses break from the gate. Watching odds movements can clue you in to who the betting public likes (also known as the "market movers"). In addition to odds, watch the probable payouts for daily doubles, because they can signal a last-minute favorite in the current race or favorites for the next race.

3️⃣ Past Performances

It's essential to remember when studying a horse's past performance that you are wagering on how the horse will run today, not how it ran in the past.

However, past performances can help you notice patterns in performance or training technique that might indicate a horse is ready to perform at the top level. 

4️⃣ Favorite Does Not Guarantee a Win

There is no such thing as a sure thing in horse racing. There are too many variables and things that can go wrong in the course of a horse race, and mid priced horses beat heavy favorites often. Statistically, the favorite will only win 3-4 races out of every 10.

5️⃣ Bonus Offers

Racebooks will typically offer various promotions through the month, with customized promotions for big days on the racing calendar—ranging from waiving deposit fees, money-back specials, exacta insurance, or cash bonuses for wagering handle. Always keep an eye out for any new promotions, and always read the terms & conditions.

6️⃣ Jockey Experience

You cannot overlook the impact that jockeys have in horse racing. They're forced to make split-second decisions that will impact the final result of a race. While past performance is no guarantee of future success, a "hot jock" can greatly improve a horse's chances of winning.

How Do You Register For Online Horse Racing Betting Sites in North Carolina?

Mobile horse wagering from home has never been easier. 

For the traditional desktop user, you'll have the full functionality of the ADW's website with a larger screen for watching races with more display options.

Wagering using racebook apps on a smartphone makes the sport even more accessible anywhere, anytime. All of the key functionalities are available on the app, including race replays, handicapping information, live odds, will pays, and probable payouts. Some promotions might be available to only players who claim on the racebook app.

To register for any ADW racebook app, follow these steps:

  1. ✅ Download the app from Apple App Store or the Google Play store.
  2. ✅ Click "Sign Up."
  3. ✅ Input personal information for registration.
  4. ✅ Claim any sign-up promotions.
  5. ✅ Fund your account.

Deposit & withdrawal are common concerns with betting online. However, most ADW apps now have multiple instant ways to deposit and speedy withdrawal processing.

Most apps offer deposit directly from your bank account via ACH, credit or debit, or from third party payment apps such as PayPal, Venmo, or Apple Pay. Funds are typically processed quickly. Withdrawals can be paid with the same options. Most sites will try to process a request within 24 hours or on the following business day.

Getting Started with North Carolina Horse Racing Betting Sites

When January 8 rolls around, North Carolina residents will be able to take part in safe, legal horse betting online—just in time to build a bankroll for the Kentucky Derby! 

With sign up promotions from most sites, new North Carolina bettors can take advantage right away. You'll have your choice of horse racing betting sites, giving you access to every track covered, the full wager menu, and live streaming right to your phone! 

North Carolina Horse Racing Betting Sites FAQs

Author

Chase Sessoms is a professional American thoroughbred horse racing handicapper and content creator. He's the host of The Notorious OTB podcast on The Sports Gambling Podcast Network, and has been the cohost of horse racing shows on AmericasBestRacing.Net as well as HorseRacingNation.com.

Cited by leading media organizations, such as:

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