Legal Greyhound Betting Guide For 2023
A complete guide to greyhound racing betting legally online in the United States.
Often is the case that you will find exciting, competitive, lucrative sports where you never even expected to see them. This has been the case with greyhound racing for centuries. Yes, greyhound racing is a very old, well established sport across the globe.
And while it may not have the same appeal as horse racing, the genre of greyhound racing is still an extremely competitive and popular niche. At Legal Betting Online, we want to tell you all about greyhound racing, from its legality around America to the different types of bets you can make within the sport.
Our hope is that you end up winning money when betting on the greyhounds. We cannot claim that you will walk away from our resource site as an expert on greyhound racing, but we are sure that you will walk away with more knowledge to help you properly wager on the sport. And it all starts with learning about the legality of betting on the greyhound races in the US.
Is Greyhound Betting Legal In 2023?
When the UIGEA bill passed in 2006, special carveouts were made for both the horse racing and dog betting industry. As a matter of fact, outside of the daily fantasy sports sites that operate within the US, lottery, dog, and horse betting sites are the only exceptions. But that doesn't mean it's illegal to gamble with an offshore racebook site, because it's not! We offer our recommendations on those sites, too, as they are just as reputable as the US-regulated sites and oftentimes offer more lucrative perks for players.
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BetAmerica is a US based company that operates one of a select few online racebooks that can legally accept American players. They are a household name in the industry and are regulated by the state of North Dakota. Players who are physically located in any of the following states are restricted from wagering: Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Virginia, Washington & Washington D.C.
- Accepts USA players from most states
- Bet on horse and dog races
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- Free handicapping info on all races
- Live video streaming of every race
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- Most reputable racebook in the industry
- Racebook only - no sports betting
The following is a list of the most reputable offshore racebooks in the industry. They pay out winnings just as fast if not faster than the US regulated options above and many of them offer some great ongoing promotions and bonuses for loyal players. Most of these sites don't offer wagering on Greyhounds for whatever reason, but they offer a full service sportsbook and horse racebook which gives players a lot more options for betting more than just the dogs.
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Is Betting Greyhound Races Online Legal In The USA?
Believe it or not, greyhound racing is perfectly legal in most US states. This is because, like legal online horse betting, an exception was carved out for greyhounds via 2006's UIGEA, which was a sweeping piece of federal gambling legislation signed into law by George W. Bush. Because of US gambling laws such as the UIGEA, most every form of online gambling was considered to be illegal, primarily because it was too hard for the government to track the money.
And as everyone knows, government takes the business of other people's money very seriously. So, things like poker, online casino games, bingo, etc, were held as illegal. However, state reps and Senators started carving out exceptions for things like greyhound racing, and thus they left it up to the states.
This is where things start to get complex. You see, while online greyhound betting is considered legal in most states, the physical activity of running greyhounds at a live track is something that's only legal in about half the states and currently only takes place in seven states.
This is because the greyhound industry, via on-location races, brings with it the dog breeding aspect, which is a huge hot-button topic. But since Internet gambling brings no such issues, most states allow for legal greyhound wagering via in-state sites that are sanctioned and operated right out of the USA.
State-Based vs Offshore Greyhound Betting In 2023
You have two basic choices when looking for a greyhound website (racebook). You can either choose a state-based site, or you can go with an offshore site. Both of these options are legal for you to choose, and both can be good choices depending on the actual site. So it all boils down to the differences.
For instance, a site located and regulated in the USA may have better payment options for you to try out. It may also be easier to watch the events in live-time, streaming on the PC. Lastly, it will be easier for you to do your homework on the site, looking up licensing and regulation info.
For an international site, based offshore, you can also still get some benefits. For example, there are hundreds more of these racebooks in existence, so it should be easier to find more lucrative bonuses and promotions, if only by sheer number. In fact, every one of the USA friendly online sportsbooks we recommend offer an online racebook. Also, you may find more races, as you might be able to find local races happening at international locations.
At the end of the day, the type of site you choose is up to you. What we suggest is that you allow Legal Betting Online to do the homework on the sites and to point you in the right direction. You get the final say on whichever site you end up going with, but we will make an effort to lead you to a great home for your gambling.
What to Look For in a Quality Racebook for Greyhounds
No matter the avenue you decide to explore here, either going with our suggestions or branching out on your own, there are certain things that you should be looking for in a quality racebook. The site on which you choose to play will go a long way to determining whether you win or lose, or whether you can place the types of bets conducive to winning. Some of the things you should be looking for in a quality racebook include:
- A wide assortment of greyhound races, preferably offered to you in streaming format
- A long list of betting options, like the ones we have listed above
- A lot of people gambling so that the pooled money is always solid
- A strong security presence so you know you're safe when playing there
- A great customer support staff that can handle your inquiries
- A range of payment options that cater explicitly to you
- A high payout rate, showing the racebook is really fair when people win
- A great reputation with its customer base, e.g. forums, social media, etc
- A solid software platform that runs smoothly on any of your devices
- A lucrative bonus and promotions structure that gives you extra cash
With so many different sites out there today you can choose from, it should not be hard to find one that matches all of this criteria. You simply have to look around to find one, or you can simply follow our lead and allow us to point you in the right direction of a great racebook. That's what we're here for, after all: To be your eyes and ears, guiding you through the steps and helping you win cash money.
How States Handle Their Greyhound Legislation
The facts here can seriously confuse anyone unversed in the political double-speak and typical gambling lingo found via state legislation. We will decode it for you the best we can, and we hope you see that it breaks down to simplistic things. For instance, let's first start with live racing.
Dog racing is illegal in 38 states. That's right; a lot of states have banned the physical sport. And even in some states where it isn't illegal per the letter of the law, like Kansas and Oregon, they have still shut down all dog tracks. The issue here is that too many people were complaining about dogs being treated poorly.
You can find legalized on-location greyhound races in these states: Texas, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa and Arizona. However, if you look more closely at their specific laws, you will see that even some states—like Arizona, oddly enough—that have on-location greyhound betting have actually opted out of Internet-based gambling.
Speaking of Internet gambling, only a few states ban this. Virginia, the Carolinas, Maryland, Washington State, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Mississippi and Missouri opted out of legalized online gambling, but in every other state it is 100% legal.
Yeah, as you can see, it can be confusing. Greyhound racing is treated as two separate sports based on whether it's online or on location. And some states that ban it online allow it on-location, and vice versa, and some states don't give it much thought at all.
It can be a lot to take in, but look at it this way: You can gamble on greyhound racing, even from a state where it is banned online, so long as another site accepts you. As long as you find a legal location for gambling, you can bet there. Our US state gambling guide goes into specific laws that apply to each state and also offers a list of legal greyhound betting sites available to players from any particular locale.
Reasons States Aren't Thrilled About Greyhound Racing
In less than a ten-year period, the state of Massachusetts alone received over 800 complaints to the Humane Society about the living conditions of dogs. Reports were coming out that dogs were kept in cages for 20 hours a day, not allowed to roam around.
And for decades there have been reports about rampant breeding of greyhounds leading to slower dogs that owners don't want being abused, killed, or sold off via puppy mills. While some of these reports may be exaggerated, the objective reality is that puppy mills and the like do exist, and that complaints were actually filed, followed up on, and viewed as credible by many states who acted to ban on-location racing.
There has been a dark cloud of rumors surrounding horses, too. For decades now, even showcased on nationally broadcast networks like HBO, reports have been flying out about the ill treatment of horses: Breeding too many of them, shipping them down to Mexico for food, and everyone knows about the old "glue factory" saying.
However, Americans' love affair with dogs and horses aren't even similar. All dogs to go heaven, as the movie says. In a recent poll on Fox News, roughly a quarter of people polled said they would rush back into a burning building to save their pet dog, and save that dog instead of an actual person!
Domesticated, and with the moniker of man's best friend, dogs are treated by many Americans like a legitimate part of the family. Government knows what a hot-button topic this is, and so too do we. We are not comfortable getting into all of these things. It is nasty stuff to think about. However, we want to give you the most accurate picture possible on why government is so strict against on-location racing, though not on online racing.
With greyhound racing on the Internet, it falls under the "out of sight, out of mind" principle. State politicians aren't receiving scathing letters from the ASPCA or the Human Society or PETA. Parts of the industry may still need some cleaning up, but politicians are not necessarily worried about this form of betting over the 'Net.
The Basics For Betting On Greyhounds In 2023
Because greyhound betting is pari-mutuel betting and not specifically commercial betting, more states and the federal government are inclined to allow it to take place. A pari-mutuel bet is when all the money collected from wagers is pooled together. So, say you have 50 people placing bets on greyhounds, and they each bet $10.
Some will win, most will lose; that's just how betting works. And even if a higher percentage win, they're probably winning low pots because they bet with favorites. The winners will be paid from the remainder of the $500 collected, after the track/site takes it cut via the vig.
Another interesting aspect of pari-mutuel wagering is that the odds are not fixed ahead of time. They are set in advance, but they usually don't stay that way. Instead, odds will typically adjust based on which way the action is flowing. For instance, if dog X is 20:1 but suddenly people start wagering on X to win, the odds are going to adjust and dog X may end up becoming the favorite. In sports, while lines and odds do change, they're typically not changing in real-time and will take days to switch up.
Because gamblers are not competing against the house, as with blackjack or roulette, pari-mutuel gambling isn't considered on the same level as commercial gambling. This means you have an advantage, at least in the sense that the house does not. The house never "wins" with a pari-mutuel bet per se; instead they take their vig via a percentage and end up clearing money every time someone bets. You're betting against the public at large and the odds of the dogs on the track.
Different Types of Greyhound Bets to Make
Our advice to all greyhound gamblers: Read up on these types of bets before you go out and put your money down. The more you know about betting and the genre in general, the better your odds are of actually winning money. Here are a few types of greyhound bets you can make on reputable racebooks:
- Straight, Single or Win bet – this type of bet is the simplest. If the dog on which you bet is the first to cross the finish line, you win.
- Place bet – when you bet on a dog to place, you are betting if your dog finishes in first or second place. Outside of the top two, you lose the bet.
- Show bet – with this bet, your dog needs to finish within the top-three dogs in order to "show" on the leader boards. It doesn't pay as much as a straight win bet, but it is a popular type of bet to place.
- Across the Board bet – with this type of bet, you are making three bets on one dog: Win, place and show. You have three ways to win here, but winning first wins you all three bets (win, place and show), while taking second gives you the first two, and third gives you only the show.
- Quinella bet – this is when you select correctly the first two dogs to cross the finish line, regardless of order. Pick the right two dogs to finish first and you win.
- Perfecta/Exacta bet – this bet is when you select the first two dogs to cross, but you do so in exact order; e.g. Dog X finishing first and dog Y finishing second.
- Trifecta bet – with a trifecta, you are betting on the exact order of the dogs that will finish in the top three places in the race.
- Superfecta bet – a very risky bet, this is where you would bet on the order of the top four dogs to place in a single race.
- Twin Trifecta bet – this is when the wager is pooled on two races, with a winning trifecta in race one giving you a ticket for race two. Of course, this is a pooled bet where a few gamblers are playing trifecta cards.
- Tri-Super bet – close to a twin trifecta, this bet happens when you win a trifecta and trade in that ticket for a Superfecta ticket in the following race.
- Daily Double bet – this is a bet where you select, in advance, the winners of two consecutive races.
- Parlay bet – a parlay, which is a very common term, is a multiple bet where you make simultaneous selections on two or more races, where you also intend on pushing the winnings from your first race (potentially) to another race.
- Pick 3, 4, 6 bets – these bets are when you select accurately the winners of the number of consecutive races; e.g. pick 3 and you must pick all 3 winners, etc.