HomeHorse Betting in Vermont

Horse betting in Vermont

On this page, you’ll learn the ins and outs of how horse betting will work in Vermont once the state officially legalizes it.

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Horse betting is not currently legal in Vermont. This restriction means that residents and visitors to the state cannot legally participate in betting on horse races within state boundaries, whether at live events or via online platforms.

Despite its popularity in various parts of the United States where it's regulated and legal, Vermont maintains a stance against the legalization of horse betting, aligning with its broader gambling laws that limit the types of gambling activities permitted within the state.

Leading horse betting sites in Vermont

As horse betting is not yet legal in Vermont, there are currently no official horse betting sites operating within the state. However, should legislation change to legalize this form of gambling, a variety of online betting platforms are expected to emerge, offering residents the opportunity to place wagers on horse races both locally and internationally.

No, betting on horse races is not legal in Vermont. The state has stringent laws regarding gambling, which include restrictions on most forms of betting, including horse racing. Unlike some states that have embraced the legalization of horse racing wagering, Vermont has yet to pass legislation that would allow its residents to legally bet on horse races, either at physical tracks or via online platforms.

This means that, for the time being, individuals looking to engage in horse betting must either travel to states where such activities are legal or use offshore betting sites, though the latter can pose legal and security risks. The stance on gambling in Vermont reflects broader gambling regulations, which currently limit legal gambling to a few select forms such as the state lottery and charitable gaming.

How could you place a bet at a Vermont race track?

If betting on horse races were to become legal in Vermont, placing a bet at a race track would be a straightforward process. Here's how it could typically unfold:

  1. Select a Race: First, you would review the race schedule and choose the specific race or races you're interested in betting on. This involves looking at the list of horses, their past performance, jockeys, and any other relevant information provided by the racetrack to make an informed decision.
  2. Choose Your Bet Type: Next, decide on the type of bet you want to place. Common options include win (betting a horse will win), place (betting a horse will finish first or second), and show (betting a horse will finish first, second, or third). There are also more complex bets like exactas, trifectas, and superfectas, which involve predicting the exact order of finish for the top two, three, or four horses, respectively.
  3. Place Your Bet: Approach the betting window and communicate your bet to the teller. You'll need to specify the race number, the horse's number, the type of bet, and the amount you wish to wager. The teller will then issue you a ticket that serves as your official record of the bet.
  4. Watch the Race: After placing your bet, you can watch the race either from the stands or through screens provided at the track. This is not only exciting but also gives you a chance to see how your chosen horse performs in real-time.
  5. Collect Winnings: If your bet is successful, return to the betting window with your ticket to collect your winnings. The amount you win depends on the odds for your horse and the type of bet you placed.

Key things to know before betting on horses in Vermont

Before considering horse betting in Vermont, it's crucial to understand the legal landscape and the basics of horse racing. Here are key points and tips for when betting becomes an option:

  • Understand the Legalities: Betting on horses is currently not legal in Vermont. Engaging in illegal betting activities can lead to legal consequences. Always stay informed about state laws and changes to gambling regulations to ensure that any future participation in betting is legally compliant.
  • Know the Types of Bets: Familiarize yourself with the different types of bets, such as win, place, show, exactas, trifectas, and superfectas. Each bet type has its own level of risk and potential reward. Understanding these can help you make informed decisions and potentially increase your chances of winning.
  • Research Before You Bet: Doing your homework can significantly impact your betting success. Research the horses, jockeys, track conditions, and past performance records. Information like a horse’s performance on different track surfaces or under various weather conditions can be pivotal in making a winning bet.
  • Set a Budget: It's easy to get carried away with betting, so it's important to set a budget and stick to it. Decide in advance how much money you are willing to risk and ensure that it's an amount you can afford to lose. Betting should be entertaining, not financially crippling.
  • Beware of Betting Systems: Many betting systems promise guaranteed returns or increased chances of winning. However, horse racing is unpredictable by nature, and no system can guarantee profits. Avoid schemes that sound too good to be true and bet based on research and informed judgment rather than relying on unfounded systems.
  • Keep Emotions in Check: Betting on horse racing can be thrilling, but it's crucial to keep emotions in check. Don't let a winning streak lead to overconfidence or a loss to desperation betting. Make decisions based on logic and information rather than emotion.

Different types of bets you could place on horses in VT

When/if horse betting becomes legal in Vermont, enthusiasts will have access to a variety of bet types, each offering different strategies and potential rewards. Here’s an overview of the different bets you could place:

  • Win: A win bet is the simplest form of horse racing betting, where you wager on a horse to finish first. If your chosen horse wins the race, you collect your winnings based on the odds at the time of your bet. This type of bet is straightforward and easy for beginners to understand, but it requires a good judgment of the horse's capabilities and conditions on the race day.
  • Place: When you place a bet on a horse to "place," you're betting that it will finish either first or second. This bet offers more flexibility than a straight win bet, as your horse can come in either of the top two positions for you to collect. While the payouts for place bets are lower than win bets, they offer a higher chance of winning, making them appealing to those looking for a balance between risk and reward.
  • Show: A show bet broadens your chances of winning further, as you win if your selected horse finishes in any of the top three positions. This type of bet is even less risky than a place bet, but as a result, the payouts are generally lower. Show bets are ideal for conservative bettors who prefer steady, albeit smaller, returns.
  • Exacta: An exacta bet takes the challenge up a notch by requiring you to predict the first and second place horses in the exact order. This bet offers significantly higher payouts than win, place, or show bets due to the difficulty of accurately predicting the top two in order. It's a popular choice for more experienced bettors looking to capitalize on their knowledge of the horses and the race conditions.
  • Trifecta: A trifecta bet pushes the prediction challenge even further, requiring you to correctly identify the first, second, and third place horses in their exact finishing order. The complexity of nailing the top three finishers in order significantly increases the potential payout. Trifecta bets are highly appealing to seasoned bettors who are willing to take on more risk for the chance of a larger reward.
  • Superfecta: The superfecta is one of the most challenging bets in horse racing, where bettors must predict the exact order of the first four horses to finish. Due to the difficulty of accurately selecting the top four in order, the payouts for superfecta bets can be exceptionally high, making it an attractive option for bettors looking for big wins.


Can you bet on horses on Vermont sportsbooks?

No, you cannot bet on horses on Vermont sportsbooks as horse racing is not currently legal in the state.

When will you be able to bet on horses online in Vermont?

There is no specific timeline for when online horse betting will become legal in Vermont. Legalization would require legislative action to change current gambling laws, a process that can be unpredictable and time-consuming.

Are there any responsible gambling guidelines for horse betting in Vermont?

As horse betting is not currently legal in Vermont, there are no specific responsible gambling guidelines for it within the state.

Are winnings from horse betting subject to taxation in Vermont?

Yes, winnings from horse betting will be subject to taxation in Vermont, as they are considered taxable income by both the federal and state government.

How can I watch live horse racing events in Vermont?

Vermont does not host live horse racing events, so watching them in-person within the state is not an option. However, you can watch live horse racing events through online streaming services or apps provided by tracks and betting sites that offer live broadcasts, assuming these become accessible with legal changes in the future.

Are there age restrictions for participating in horse betting activities?

Yes, there are age restrictions for participating in horse betting activities. In the United States, the legal age for betting on horse races typically ranges from 18 to 21 years old, depending on the state's gambling laws.

What is the Vermont Horse Racing Commission, and what is its role?

The Vermont Horse Racing Commission is a regulatory body responsible for overseeing and regulating the horse racing industry within the state of Vermont. Its role includes ensuring the integrity of horse racing, enforcing racing rules and regulations, licensing, and overseeing betting activities related to the sport.