Facts About Online Racebooks
Should you place your horse racing wagers at a U.S. brick and mortar racebook or online? In the old days, online race wagering wasn’t really an option you wanted to consider. Today, betting online is secure, quick and competitive.
The Difference Between Land Based and Online Racebooks
There really isn't any difference in the payouts between a U.S. racebook and an online racebook. Any solid online racebook - BookMaker and Bodog and Bovada come to mind - will base their payouts off the track's payout information.
You do want to check this, because some online racebooks will just make up their own odds, which treats horse racing more like a slot machine than a race. Just like in the real world, when you place a wager at an online racebook, your final payout won't be known until the race is won.
Online racebooks aren't connected to the Pari-Mutual system, so they do have a lot more to lose or gain with the outcome of races. All online racebooks impose betting limits. Usually these limits are high enough to satisfy most horse bettors. But, if you're a larger player ($10,000+ per race), check with the online racebook's limits before jumping in.
Rebates and Rewards Programs
In this category, online racebooks win hands down. In recent years, some U.S. sportsbooks have started offering rebate and rewards programs to horse racing bettors, but they tend to offer less than online racebooks.
There's also the problem of finding them to begin with. Generally, you won't see huge neon signs telling you about the rebate and/or reward program at U.S. racebooks. Yet, online racebooks tell you, because it's a selling tool.
Another problem the U.S. racebooks face is the hassle of you getting your reward. First, you need to get a rewards card. Then you need to remember to give it to the teller each and every time you wager on the horses. If you forget, you just lost cash and/or rewards.
When you wager online, that stuff is all done for you automatically. You also don't need to travel to the racebook to collect. This is a huge feature of online racebooks. It's so darn convenient. Why would bet offline?
I've seen some U.S. racebook rebate programs that only offer 1%. Sure, that's better than nothing, but it doesn't even begin to stack up against online racebooks, like BookMaker, who gives 2-8% back.
If you're the type of horse bettor that plays $10 on the Triple Crown and never plays again until the next Triple Crown, it might not matter too much. But, if you're even the most casual of horse racing bettors, it pays to play online.
It's free money in your pocket. Think of it this way. If your rebate is 8%, you're getting a free wager every 12 bets - assuming they are all the same amount. That free wager just might turn into the big one.
Cash Deposits and Security
U.S. racebooks have one major advantage over the online racebooks. You don't need to make a deposit or set up an account to play. You could walk up to any U.S. racebook with just $2 in hand and make a wager.
On the other hand, if you want to wager online, you'll have to set up an account and make a deposit first. And making that deposit can be a burden to some - thanks to political pressure.
Security is a big issue online. Two secure racebooks come to mind - Bodog and BookMaker, which is owned by BetCRIS.com. The U.S. racebooks have the avantage of being tangible of sorts. You're standing in their building and you get your money instantly - and you can hold that money.
With an online racebook, there has to be a degree of trust. First, you make a deposit, which is usually much more than you plan to bet initially - so you don't have to keep depositing and risk missing out on winners. Next, when you win, you need to trust that the racebook will pay you. Bodog and BookMaker are solid in this department. Finally, you need to wait for your money when you withdraw.
Online racebooks like Bodog and BookMaker have helped reduce the advantage that real-world racebooks have in this area. They both are secure. They both pay out their winners. And they both pay out quickly.
Really, once you get accustomed to playing online, you won't want to play any other way.
Online Wagering Wins
Given all the stuff we just talked about, I think it's clear that wagering online is the best route for horse players. Once you find a secure and solid racebook - like Bodog or BookMaker - you're all set.
I've mentioned Bodog and BookMaker often in this article, because they are solid names in the business. Many racebooks have come and gone. These two treat horse players right. They both payout on-time always.
BookMaker has a great deal going right now for horse players. They are giving horse players a 20% bonus. Not only that, but they have a great rewards program for horse racing. Bet over there and you could earn up to 8% of your cash back.
Bodog has to be one of the most respected sportsbooks in the business. Their racebook interface is outstanding. It's so easy to use. Right now, Bodog is giving a 10% free cash bonus to all new accounts. It's worth the few minutes to go and signup now.
There are many other racebooks online - just check the search engines. However, the two I mentioned are the only two I feel comfortable recommending. I know these two racebooks and trust them.
Betting on horse racing online is the way to go. You get the best of both worlds - real racebook action with bonuses that brick and mortar racebooks can't even begin to offer horse racing bettors.
Give it a try. You'll be hooked and you'll be glad you did it. Betting the horses online is so much better than being stuck in line at a U.S. racebook, missing post time and watching your horse win the race - and maybe missing out on that big payday.