North Carolina Horse Race Betting – When Can I Place Bets on Horse Racing?

North Carolina’s sports betting law also permits parimutuel horse race betting.

There has been off-track simulcast horse race wagering at tribal casinos in North Carolina since 2019, but until now, that’s been the extent of horse race betting in the state. North Carolina has no live thoroughbred horse racing tracks or other off-track betting facilities.

With the launch of North Carolina online sports betting and horse race wagering, here is an overview of what horse race betting will look like in North Carolina. It includes everything you need to know about account wagering with the country’s top horse race betting site and how to get in on the action yourself.

Online Horse Race Betting in North Carolina

The new law says licensed operators can offer online horse race betting starting sometime in the first half of 2024. Since it’s already in 23 other states, you can expect the FanDuel Racing horse racing simulcast app and website to bring licensed online horse race betting to North Carolina.

It’s account betting with FanDuel Racing, so you must sign up for an account before placing bets. But once you have an account, you can make deposits and withdrawals in and out of it, look through the race menu on FanDuel Racing and watch and bet on races online.

FanDuel Racing’s race menu lists everything by track and upcoming post time. You simply click on a particular race to view bet types, horses and the latest odds. You can add single bets to your slip or place exacta, trifecta and superfecta bets. Plus, if it’s available at race tracks, you’ll find it on FanDuel Racing, which means there is usually multiple betting, such as the Daily Double, Pick 3, Pick All and more.

Opening Your FanDuel Racing Account

It appears you will need to be at least 21 to open a FanDuel Racing account and bet on horse races online in North Carolina. To open the account, you’ll need to provide FanDuel Racing with some personal information.

Once you complete the registration process, you can deposit money into your account with most debit and credit cards or cash through the PayNearMe service at 7-Eleven, CVS and Family Dollar stores. Other deposit methods may also be available, and you should be able to withdraw your money the same way you deposited it.

One unique feature to FanDuel is its shared wallet. Available in nine states, the shared wallet allows players to use the same account to bet on FanDuel Sportsbook and FanDuel Racing. It remains to be seen whether the feature will come to North Carolina.

Betting On Horse Races In Person In North Carolina

Pari-mutuel simulcast horse race betting has been legal at North Carolina tribal casinos since 2019. There is off-track simulcast horse race wagering at the two Caesars Sportsbook locations inside Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River. Plus, you can bet on simulcast horse races at the Catawba Two Kings Casino sportsbook.

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort
777 Casino Drive, Cherokee, NC 28719

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel
777 Casino Parkway, Murphy, NC 28906

Catawba Two Kings Casino
538 Kings Mountain Blvd., Kings Mountain, NC 28086

Betting On Horses With Licensed North Carolina Online Sportsbooks

The same new law allowing you to bet on horse races online in North Carolina will also let you bet on sports. North Carolina will see the launch of the state’s first online sportsbooks sometime in the first half of 2024. Some of these online sportsbooks will take bets on horse races as well.

You need to check with a sportsbook to see whether it participates in the same pari-mutuel wagering available at North Carolina tribal casino sportsbooks and online horse race betting apps such as FanDuel Racing and TVG. If not, the odds paid may not be as favorable, and there could be a cap on longshot payouts.

Some of the top horse racing betting apps that could launch in North Carolina:

  • FanDuel Racing
  • DraftKings’ DK Horse
  • Caesars Racebook
  • BetMGM Horse Racing
  • NYRA Bets
  • TwinSpires Racing
  • 1/ST BET

Horse Racing Odds

You can look at the morning odds on every participating horse in any race in the US at FanDuel Racing. The horse and jockey records, the trainer’s reputation and public perception are all taken into account, giving you an idea of who the favorite and longshots are in every race.

However, the morning odds are just estimates. Bet on a horse and win, and you’ll get paid at the post-time odds set once all the betting is done and the race begins, not the morning odds. Tracks determine post-time odds by looking at the amount bet on each horse in relation to the other horses in that race. A lot of betting drives the odds down. Little to no betting moves the odds up.

The odds when you place a bet on a horse do not matter. The amount of money bet on the different horses in the races up until the race starts is what matters because that’s what determines the odds you’ll get paid if you win.

Types of Horse Race Bets

Here’s a look at the basic horse race bets that will be available online in North Carolina:

Win: Pick a horse to win and get paid if you pick the right horse at the post-time odds set once all the betting is done and the race starts.

Place: Pick a horse to win or finish second, and if you’re right, you’ll get paid at the post-time place odds set once all the betting is done and the race starts. Place odds pay a little less than win odds because there are two ways to win.

Show: Pick a horse to finish first, second or third. If you’re right, you’ll get paid at the post-time show odds set once all the betting is done and the race starts. Show odds pay less than win and place odds because there are three ways to win.

Exacta: Pick two horses to come first and second in that order. Exacta odds pay more than win odds because you must pick the first- and second-place horses in the correct finishing order.

Trifecta: Pick three horses to come first, second, and third in that order. Trifecta odds pay more than win and exacta odds because you must pick the first-, second- and third-place horses in the correct finishing order.

Superfecta: Pick four horses to come first, second, third and fourth in that order. Superfecta odds pay more than win, exacta and trifecta odds because you must pick the first-, second-, third- and fourth-place horses in the correct finishing order.

Boxing

You can box exacta, trifecta and superfecta bets. That means placing more bets on the same horses covering all combinations of finishing orders. You’ll get paid at the same odds if one of your bets wins, but boxing a bet means increasing the size of your bet.

Wheeling

You can wheel exacta, trifecta and superfecta bets. That means keying on one horse and its finishing position and placing more bets with different combinations of horses and finishing positions surrounding that horse. You’ll get paid at the same odds if one of your bets wins, but wheeling means a much larger bet size.

Pari-mutuel Betting

Pari-mutuel betting is a pooled betting system. Every dollar bet on every different bet type available for a horse race goes into a separate pool. The track takes a piece and pays out the remainder to winners based on how much was bet on each horse compared with the others.

FanDuel Racing’s New Player Promo

Sign up for a new account, deposit with FanDuel Racing and get a bet insurance welcome bonus. Right now, that means a site credit refund of up to $20 if you lose your first bet. It could be the same or more when FanDuel Racing launches in North Carolina in 2024.

You can get the bonus offer by registering for an account and making a deposit. FanDuel Racing will run additional contests, money-back specials, betting insurance, and win bonus promos throughout the year.

Horse Racing In North Carolina

The Pinehurst Harness Track in Pinehurst has been around since 1915 and is the oldest equestrian facility in the state. The 111-acre harness track is mainly a winter training center for Standardbred horses. Still, it has run the Spring Matinee Harness Races at the historic Pinehurst Harness Track annually for what’s coming up on 75 years. Right now, there’s no betting.

There’s also the Carolina Horse Park in Raeford. It’s North Carolina’s premiere equestrian center, but outside of the annual Stoneybrook Steeplechase, it’s mostly horse jumping and horse trials, not racing, and certainly not betting.

However, the new law allowing online horse betting in the state does include a provision to enable live horse racing and betting in North Carolina. This law could possibly be the beginning of North Carolina’s first horse race track.

Watching Live Races Online

FanDuel Racing lets you bet on races and watch to see whether you win. The FanDuel Racing app hosts live streams of most US and international races. The streams are free for FanDuel Racing account holders.

Horse Race Betting For Beginners

Horse race betting is all about fun. Never bet more than you can afford to lose; it’ll never get too serious. Keeping these three tips in mind should help increase your level of fun:

  • Bet straights: Bets on horses to win, place or show are the easiest to win. These bets are straightforward, and while only the longshots pay out big sums, a win is a win and always more fun than a loss.
  • Bet minimums: Placing $1 and $2 minimum bets on a few horses in select races ensures you won’t get hurt too badly if you lose. If the small wins don’t add up to enough to make it fun for you, try placing exacta, trifecta and superfecta bets to go after longer odds.
  • Bet on a budget: Set limits and stick to them. Ensure you only bet what you can afford to lose, and give up once you hit that limit. Horse racing should be entertainment. A slight loss can be considered part of its cost, and any winnings are just a bonus.
About the Author

Tyler Andrews

Tyler is the Managing Editor for NCSharp.com, covering sports, sports law, and gambling for the Tar Heel State. He has also covered similar topics for PlayTexas, PlayGeorgia, PlayCA, PlayFlorida, PlayOhio, and PlayMA. Tyler’s current focus is North Carolina’s pathway to gaming legalization.