Horse Racing in Massachusetts: Quick Facts
You may have heard of major horse race events like the Kentucky Derby. There are, in fact, many horse races that take place frequently all around Massachusetts. Here are some quick facts about horse race betting in The Bay State, though you'll find information on Massachusetts betting promos farther down.
|✅ Is Betting on Horse Racing Legal?||Yes, Since 1934|
|📲 Total Betting Apps:||10+ Apps|
|🐎 Total Racetracks:||2 Currently Operating|
|🔞 Legal Gambling Age:||18+|
|🏛️ Horse Betting Regulator:||Massachusetts Gaming Commission|
|📞 MA Problem Gambling Helpline:||1-800-327-5050|
Can You Bet on Horse Racing in Massachusetts?
Yes, as long as you are of the minimum legal gambling age, betting on horse races is legal and available to all residents of Massachusetts. Horse race betting can be done in person at one of the race tracks scattered across the state, or online using a betting website or mobile app. This is the similar to Massachusetts sports betting apps, online betting sites and in-person betting at retail sportsbooks.
What is the Legal Gambling Age for Massachusetts Horse Racing?
The legal betting age for betting on a horse race in Massachusetts is 18 years. This applies to any wager on a race, whether it be in-person or online. Racetracks are careful to verify a bettor's identity and age before they are allowed to wager. Online websites and mobile apps also utilize age verification methods to guarantee all users are legally eligible to bet. If you're 18 years old or older, you have nothing to worry about.
Best Horse Racing Betting Apps & Sites
Of the many horse racing betting apps available to those in Massachusetts, we've narrowed in on three of our all-time favorite apps. These mobile apps are free and easy to download, providing a great way to bet on horse races without needing to be physically at the racetrack.
TwinSpires Horse Racing Betting App
TwinSpires is a well-known app among horse race bettors across the country. Owned and operated by Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby, it is one of the best-rated horse betting apps on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. TwinSpires is an app purely dedicated to horse betting and has designed its interface accordingly. From expert picks to weekly bonuses that all users can access, TwinSpries makes it easy to make the most of any wager.
FanDuel Horse Racing Betting App
If you're an avid sports bettor in addition to a horse race bettor, chances are you're already familiar with FanDuel Massachusetts. FanDuel is a top-tier sportsbook that includes the option to bet on horse races across the country. FanDuel has an excellent reputation for providing a reliable and intuitive betting experience. If you enjoy betting on sports in addition to horse races, this is a great option for you. FanDuel is currently available in 19 states across the country.
Caesars Horse Racing Betting App
Caesars is among the most popular sports betting and horse racing apps out there. Much like FanDuel, Caesars Massachusetts offers both sports wagering and horse race betting conveniently located all in one platform. On Caesars, you'll have no problem finding upcoming horse races to bet on. Caesars also has one of the best promotional programs of any betting app in the country, with fantastic welcome bonuses and ongoing promos.
Massachusetts Horse Racing Tracks
Nothing quite compares to the excitement of going to the racetrack and placing a wager on horse races in-person. In Massachusetts, there are currently two racetracks that frequently host events:
- Suffolk Downs
- Plainridge Park
There's also Raynham Park, which hasn't offered live racing in over a decade, but could offer horse racing in the future.
Is Horse Racing Betting Legal at Racetracks?
Yes, betting on horse racing at the racetrack has been legal for nearly 90 years in Massachusetts. You can bet on races in person as long as you are at least 18 years old.
Suffolk Downs Horse Racing Track
Suffolk Downs is a great destination where you can watch and bet on horse races. At the moment, Suffolk Downs only offers simulcasting. The last live races occurred in 2019, but they might resume in the future.
- Address: 525 William F McClellan Hwy, Boston, MA 02128, United States
- Schedule Simulcasting: 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM Wednesday - Sunday
Plainridge Park Horse Racing Track
If you're looking to watch live horse races in Massachusetts, Plainridge Park is the place to go. During the racing season from April to November, live harness races are hosted three to four times a week.
- Address: 301 Washington St, Plainville, MA 02762, United States
- Schedule Live Harness Racing: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday
- Schedule Simulcasting: 12:00 PM - 9:00 PM Monday - Sunday
Raynham Park Horse Racing Track
Once upon a time a popular greyhound racing track, Raynham has not hosted races in over a decade now. That being said, there have been discussions around Raynham securing a new sports betting license, which could open the door to horse racing in the future.
How to Bet on Horse Racing: Wager Types
When it comes to actually betting on races, there are a few different wager types you need to be aware of. The first, most classic wager type is single-horse betting. Following this you have multi-horse and multi-race betting, where bettors have the chance to bet on multiple horses or multiple races at once for a chance to earn a larger payout.
Within each of these options, the bettor can pick a win bet, show bet, or place bet. A win bet means the chosen horse must finish first, whereas a winning show bet is achieved if the chosen horse finishes first place or second place. Place bets, finally, require the chosen horse to finish in first place, second place, or third place.
Single Horse Wagers: Win, Place, Show
As the name implies, single-horse betting entails placing a wager on just one horse in a race. The specific position the horse finishes will determine if you win or lose the bet.
- Win: If you choose a win bet, the horse must finish in first place.
- Place: A place bet will be successful if the horse finishes in first or second place.
- Show: For a show bet, the horse can place first, second or third.
A multi-horse bet entails placing various wagers on multiple horses in the same race. Depending on the order the horses finish, you have the chance to receive a lucrative payout.
- Exacta: Pick two horses that you believe will finish first and second, in the correct order.
- Quinella: Choose the horses you think will finish in first or second, but the order does not matter.
- Trifecta: Predict the first, second, and third-place horses in a race, in the correct order.
- Superfecta: Pick the first, second, third, and fourth-place horses in the correct order.
Unlike the previous example of betting on multiple horses in a race, a multi-race wager is where bettors wager on consecutive races.
- Daily Double: Correctly predict the winner of two consecutive races for a winning bet.
- Pick 3: Choose the winning horses for three consecutive races in a day.
- Pick 4: Pick the race winners for four consecutive races.
- Pick 5: Choose winning horses for five races in a day.
- Pick 6: You can probably guess by now, a Pick 6 requires the bettor to correctly predict the winning horses for six consecutive races.
Fixed Odds vs. Pari-Mutuel Betting
The main difference between fixed odds and pari-mutuel betting is in how the odds and final payouts are determined. With fixed odds, the odds are set prior to the start of an event, meaning that the potential profit can be easily calculated. Pari-mutuel betting, on the other hand, determines odds based on the total number of wagers, with the payout being distributed among bettors.
Massachusetts Horse Racing FAQs
Yes, horse racing is legal in Massachusetts. The first horse race in the Bay State took place at Suffolk Downs in 1935. Suffolk Downs, located in East Boston, is still in operation to this day.
Betting on horse races has been legal in Massachusetts since 1934. It was shortly thereafter that the first racetrack in the state, Suffolk Downs, was constructed. Nowadays, it is legal to bet on races both in-person and online.
The legal betting age for horse races in The Bay State is 18 years. This requirement applies to both in-person wagering at racetracks and online betting on websites or horse race betting apps.
There are two horse racing tracks, Suffolk Downs and Plainridge Park, that are currently operating in Massachusetts. Raynham Park, a historic staple for dog racing, has not hosted horse races in over a decade, but this could change in the future.
Stefan Krysa is a freelance sports writer based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Born in the U.S. and raised in Canada, he is an avid sports fan, and is committed to providing up-to-date information regarding sports betting in Massachusetts for BetMassachusetts.com.