News

Horse Racing Coronavirus
Mar 2020
14

The Show Must Go On: Get Your Sports Fix With Horse Racing

by Jen Perkins in News category

Was your favorite sport put on hold indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic? You’re not alone – but fortunately, there still is an option to watch professional athletes compete and even get some wagers in on the action.

Horse racing is still taking place across the country, and with the Triple Crown season underway, there’s no better time to start playing. As an added bonus, you can watch live streaming video and place bets from the comfort of your own home.

COVID-19 Effect on Sports

The Covid-19-related cancelations and postponements of pro and collegiate sports is a serious blow to players, fans and bettors. The thought of a March without Madness is unthinkable, and missing the playoff pushes in other pro leagues means many fans will be left with a lot of free time this spring.

At the time of this writing, the NBA and NHL are postponed, the NCAA March Madness tournament is canceled, and the MLB season will likely be delayed, with Spring training games officially over.

While no one knows how long the suspended sports season will last, it is safe to say that it likely will be several weeks at a minimum before we have our usual favorite distractions.

Has COVID-19 Affected Horse Racing?

Horse racing has been impacted by the current pandemic, but not to the extent of other major sports. Many racetracks have elected to host live racing but will restrict access to the track to licensees and employees only. Most races in the country will be run without a live crowd to reduce major gatherings of people and reduce the risk of community spread of COVID-19.

At this time, several smaller tracks have canceled racing days or postponed part of their meet. If you live in an area with a track, check with your local facility before planning a day at the races.

How can they afford to do keep running? A vast majority of revenue generated in horse racing is through simulcasting – when a track accepts wagers on its signal from another location. Most tracks send and receive all other tracks’ signals, so horse races can be wagered on from other racetracks, casino sportsbooks and online.

While it is more lucrative for a track to have people onsite to bet on the live product (in addition to secondary revenues from admission, concessions, etc.), the show can go on without the fans attending in person.

How to Watch

You can watch live horse racing and replays in several ways:

First, check your local NBC or NBCSports affiliate. On weekends, especially leading up to the Kentucky Derby, there is sometimes national television coverage of major stakes races.

If you have cable or satellite, check to see if you have the horse racing channel TVG. TVG (and TVG2) covers live horse racing from tracks across the country and around the world. In addition to live races, programming includes analysis and selections, interviews with trainers and jockeys, and previews of major races.

TVG is also an advance deposit wagering (ADW) company, so you can use TVG.com to bet on all races from your phone, tablet or computer. You can watch live streaming video of all races through their app or website, as well as replays.

Even better, you can add TVG as a Roku channel and stream the TVG signal if you’ve cut the cord on cable or satellite or if the channel is not part of your current content package.

TVG is not the only ADW that offers live streaming video – no matter who you sign up with, free live streaming video is available on all major online wagering sites, including xpressbet.com and twinspires.com

How to Wager

You can use TVG.com, Xpressbet.com, or Twinspires.com to create a free and legal account to enjoy online betting on horse racing. Pro tip: sign up at all three and take advantage of each site’s sign-up offer.

If you live in a state where ADW wagering is legal, you can be online and wagering in a matter of minutes. All ADWs offer ways a variety of ways to deposit money into your account, from connecting your bank account, credit cards, PayPal, or with cash using your local convenience store.

Once you open and fund your account, the choice is yours. North American racing takes place all day and evening, 364 days a year. In addition, you can play some of the best international content available late at night, including races from Dubai, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

How to Make Money

The best part of online horse race betting is that you can start off in the black: all ADWs offer a sign-up offer or bonus for new customers. After you have an account, you can continue to take advantage of special offers and bonuses at different tracks.

The top three ADW sites are each offering generous sign-up offers:

At Xpressbet, use promo code 100BONUS when you sign up for a new account and earn a $100 bonus as you wager. Xpressbet is part of the same family as Santa Anita and Gulfstream, though like all ADWs, they carry races from all over the country.

Twinspires.com is perhaps the most well-known ADW thanks to its iconic logo and parent company, Churchill Downs. Twinspires also offers a $100 sign-up bonus, redeemable after you have placed $500 in wagers.

A third option is TVG.com, the betting site of the television channel mentioned above. TVG.com boasts a user-friendly product and daily picks and tickets from their on-air analysts, so if you need a little help, you can play the expert tickets yourself to get you started.

TVG has a different way to welcome new players to their site. When you sign up, use promo code WINTER. After you make your first win bet, for up to $200, TVG will refund your bet if you lose. If you win, you keep what you make, but it is a risk-free way to make your first bet and get you started on their site.

Is it Legal?

Yes! Betting on horse racing across state lines is protected by the Interstate Horse Racing Act of 1978. This act explicitly outlines the process required for legal wagering on horse racing across state lines; without the act, it would violate the Wire Act.

The IHRA was amended in 2000 to include language that allowed for online or telephone wagering on horse racing as well. Horse racing is an explicitly legal form of online wagering with a federal act to support it.

There is a caveat, however. It is up to each state to decide if they want to allow online wagering in this state. Luckily, online wagering is legal in all but a dozen or so states. You can check your own state when you visit an online wagering provider website.

What Should I Bet?

We have many previous posts about how to make various bets, from win wagers to Pick 6 tickets to learn how to bet and more importantly, how to make money betting.

This time of year is the annual Road to the Roses, with stakes races every weekend as the field is narrowed down for the Kentucky Derby. There are many stakes races on the schedule for Derby preps as well as older horses, including:

March 21-22

Back-to-back Kentucky Derby preps anchor multiple stakes race cards with the Louisiana Derby (G2) at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, Louisiana and the Sunland Derby (G3) in New Mexico.

March 28

One of the best races of the month is the Florida Derby (G1), a major Derby prep that has produced multiple recent Kentucky Derby winners. The Florida Derby is the feature race with six other stakes at Gulfstream Park. If New York racing interests you, play ten different stakes races at Aqueduct on the same day

April 4

Settle in for a massive day in horse racing: three Derby preps take place across the country, each with other multiple graded stakes on the cards. Tune into Santa Anita for the Santa Anita Derby (G1), Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky for the Blue Grass Stakes (G1), and Aqueduct for the Wood Memorial (G1). There are 20 stakes races across the country on this day, including 14 graded stake events.

Remember, there is racing every day and evening in addition to these major events. Open a free account and get to know a new sport from the comfort and safety of your own home while we ride out the spring.

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