Fear not, betting enthusiasts — despite the absence of live racing in MI, you can still engage online! Join us as we uncover the best horse racing sports betting sites in Michigan and dive into the sport's intricacies.

The following factors play a key role in picking the right online horse racing bookmaker.

Race Availability

While most racebooks feature popular races to bet on, some stand out by offering a broader selection, spanning both the US and global circuits. Opting for a platform with a wider array of races allows for more flexibility and opens doors to more betting opportunities.

Bet Types

Online horse race betting in MI is all about exotic wagers, and you can choose some of the following options:

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    Win: Bet on a horse to finish in first place.

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    Place: Select a horse you believe will come in first or second (either place successfully cashes).

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    Show: This bet allows you to pick a horse to finish inside the top three — regardless of whether it places first, second, or third.

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    Exacta: Pick the top two finishers in the correct order.

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    Trifecta: Select the first, second and third-place runners in the exact order.

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    Superfecta: Select the four horses you think will finish first through fourth in order.

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    Exacta Box: Michigan horse bettors are able to pick the top two finishers, but the order does not matter.

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    Trifecta Box: Predict the top three horses, but not in order.

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    Daily Double/Pick 3/4/5: These horse racing wagers allow you to pick (parlay) the winning horse races in consecutive races. They often pay a lot but are very difficult to successfully cash.

Bonuses

Different bookmakers will provide bonuses to new users and some to existing ones. Choosing a site offering a higher bonus with a small rollover is usually the best option. Promotions for existing players, such as money back for each dollar spent, are popular. Risk-free bets can also be provided.

As always, don’t forget to read the terms and conditions when signing up for a promotion to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Horse Racing Odds

The odds can significantly impact potential profits from winning bets, with some platforms offering more competitive odds than others. In the same race offered by two bookies, a horse may carry different odds.

For instance, the same horse may be 4/1 (+400) to win on one platform, whereas on another, it could be 5/1 (+500). Choosing the 5/1 line is clearly the better option if you think the horse will triumph.

We suggest shopping around different sites to ensure you’re getting the best available odds.

Apps

Finding a Michigan horse racing betting site with a mobile app for iOS and Android is vital if you prefer placing sports wagers on the go. This ensures you can participate in the action from anywhere, at any time.

Deposits & Withdrawals

These options usually consist of wire transfer, eCheck, credit card, debit card, and cryptocurrency. Most handicappers prefer a site that works best with their preferred payment method and has fast withdrawals.

Fees

Certain bookies will charge a fee to deposit or withdraw, whereas others are free.

Livestreaming

Livestreaming horse races in HD can also be a key reason to use a specific horse betting site. A few even broadcast on their apps.

Handicapping Tools

Expert picks and handicapping tools can provide bettors with an advantage and extra knowledge. Of course, some platforms are more insightful and in-depth than others.

Usability

Selecting a site with a simple-to-navigate user interface can go a long way when placing bets and researching multiple horses, jockeys, and tracks. Customers should be able to access various areas of the website easily; having a complicated UI can be cumbersome and lead to wasted time.

Rating

When considering horse betting sites, it's crucial to check the customer reviews and ratings, which will be based on factors such as credibility and payout speeds.

The four horse racing and betting sites below are TPP’s top recommendations if you choose Michigan sportsbooks:

TVG

tvg horse racing page screenshot
(Source: TVG)

TVG (Television Games Network) is a household name in horse racing online. The company featured its own network for broadcasting live racing before merging with FanDuel to create FanDuel TV.

The platform is known for providing expert picks and handicapping information. It has an extremely easy-to-use UI and allows users to view bets across 150 tracks around the globe.

TVG is currently offering a promotion where new customers can get up to $200 returned to their account if their first single-horse wager loses. It also provides money back for select major races if your horse finishes on the podium but doesn’t win.

Pros:
  • Employs a 24/7 customer support team
  • Offers excellent bonuses to new players
  • Mobile app allows betting and livestreaming
Cons:
  • Lacks a huge selection of international races

AmWager

amwager horse racing page screenshot
(Source: AmWager)

AmWager became available to the public in 2009, and Michigan legalized the site in 2020. The platform offers free livestreaming and 498 different race grounds to wager on, including up to 1,074 races per day.

The site features a plethora of bet types, including ABC, conditional betting, exchange pools, Dutch wagering, and colossus jackpots. One feature we found extremely helpful was its built-in fair value exacta calculator, which enables players to view exacta bets that have been highly or lowly bet on in relation to the win pool.

Pros:
  • Advanced handicapping tools provide live stats
  • The website updates faster than most competitors
  • A live ticker showcases recently cashed bets
Cons:
  • Customer support isn’t available around the clock
  • Novices might find it tricky to navigate

NYRA Bets

nyra bets horse racing page screenshot
(Source: Nyra Bets)

NYRA (New York Racing Association) became available in Michigan in 2021 for customers who are 21 years old and over. The website is known for its many bonuses throughout each month and allows its horse racing enthusiasts to livestream in high definition.

Users earn points for every dollar wagered on the site, which has a clean-looking UI that is simple to filter through. So, whether you’re looking to place a bet or see expert picks, a quick click can take you to your desired destination.

One unique aspect of this platform is its paid contests. You can pay a fee to sign up for live competitions against other players, and if you pick the right horses, you can win a prize on top of the winning tickets.

Pros:
  • Customer service is available via live chat
  • UI can be customized to your liking
  • You can livestream multiple races simultaneously
Cons:
  • The age restriction is set to 21+
  • App crashes more often than its competitors'

TwinSpires

twinspires horse racing page screenshot
(Source: TwinSpires)

TwinSpires has been in business for over 100 years and is an official partner of Churchhill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby.

Launched in Michigan in 2021, TwinSpires features both an online casino and sportsbook. Another benefit of using the site is easy access to expert picks for popular events, displayed in the center of the landing page.

Furthermore, free games with prizes, such as weekend leaderboard challenges and first-race contests, are posted almost every month.

Pros:
  • Covers racing in the US and internationally
  • Customers can stream live races and replays
  • Leaderboard events offer additional prizes
Cons:
  • Credit and debit card deposits incur fees
  • Smaller deposit bonus compared to other bookmakers

The four best horse racing and betting sites in Michigan also feature mobile apps, which we review below.

TVG

This seamless mobile app allows Michigan bettors to stream TVG and TVG2, handicap and place wagers while on the go. Apple and Android users can download it directly to their devices and track their wagers in real-time.

TVG’s app boasts past performance data, so customers can select their horses wisely using tools such as expert analysis, numberFire picks, and updated news about each runner. The promotions page is also easily accessible, making finding suitable bonuses hassle-free.

AmWager

AmWager is also available for iOS and Android users, although you have to visit the site and log in to your account in order to download the app to your device. The application allows you to place bets and view promos similar to the desktop site.

The company is currently offering a 100% first deposit bonus match of up to $150 for new users who deposit and spend $150. To receive the credit, simply place $150 worth of bets in the first 30 days.

NYRA Bets Michigan

The NYRA Bets mobile app boasts one of the better UIs on the market, with its bold letters, lime green background, and sharp font making things pop. Your balance is visible at the top, and a large “Add $” option is used to deposit.

You can conveniently scroll through a list of races and quickly select horses. The platform is the official app of Belmont Park, Saratoga and Aqueduct. Customers can also livestream in HD and watch replays or live shows from their phones.

TwinSpires

The TwinSpires horse race betting app, which has a 4.8/5 rating on the Apple Store as of February 2024, allows you to wager, view live odds, stream, and watch replays on your devices. It also features a “FAST Wager Pad”, where multi-leg bets can be created on a single screen.

Race day news and results are swiftly updated to keep you informed in real-time. Moreover, free handicapping information and expert analysis are available, along with giveaways and weekly bonuses.

The operator is currently offering a $200 sign-up bonus for new accounts. Once registered, if at least $800 is spent within the first 30 days, two $100 bonuses (totaling $200) will be awarded in promotional funds for every $400 wagered. The bonus will be reflected in your account within 10 business days after you have spent the $800.

The easiest and best bet for beginners is the show bet, requiring your chosen horse to secure a position within the top three for a successful wager.

Show, place, and win bets are considered straight bets and are the simplest to make. More complicated bets, such as trifectas and daily doubles, have higher payouts but are less likely to hit.

The State of Michigan closed its last live race track, Northville Downs (which first opened in 1944), on February 10, 2024. Located in Detroit, it featured simulcast races and a restaurant.

Since it closed, all uncashed tickets can be mailed to Northville Downs, 47526 Clipper St., PO Box 701220, Plymouth, MI 48170, for patrons to collect their winnings. Tickets are good for 60 days after the last day of the race.

Michigan state law requires all online horse racing betting websites and apps to be licensed through the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

Since Northville Downs shut down on February 10, 2024, there aren’t any more Michigan horse racing tracks, nor any off-track betting locations in the state.

All Detroit horse racing betting must be performed online. Detroit's commercial casinos have retail sportsbooks but do not allow pari-mutuel horse racing betting.

The following historic racing events aren’t located in Michigan but will be heavily bet online on Michigan racebooks.

Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is arguably the most iconic horse race in history. The prestigious event, which features three-year-old thoroughbreds, is held on the first Saturday in May at Churchhill Downs race track in Louisville, Kentucky.

It is the first leg of the Triple Crown, and the distance run by its contestants is 1.25 miles. The winner receives a blanket of red roses and $3.1 million.

It is famous for its fierce competition and distinctive traditions, such as mint juleps, fancy hats, and outfits.

Breeder’s Cup Classic

The Breeders' Cup Classic is a prominent thoroughbred race nicknamed “the ultimate challenge” because it is run on a challenging 1.25-mile dirt track. The horses in the race are often a mix of experienced older horses and up-and-coming three-year-olds.

It is held in late October or early November and is a leg in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The 2024 edition will feature a total purse of $6 million, with the winner set to receive over $3 million.

Preakness Stakes

The second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, is a race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses. Known as “The Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown”, it is held on the third Saturday of May at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.

Horses run 1 3/16 miles on flat dirt to determine a winner. Last year, the champion received $900,000 (60% of the total purse).

The 2024 purse has yet to be announced.

Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes is the third and final race of the Triple Crown and is referred to as the “Test of the Champion” due to its grueling 1.5-mile length. It is considered unpredictable because many Kentucky Derby and Preakness champions have fallen short in the event.

The purse of the 2024 race, held on June 8, will be $2 million. Because of its host, Saratoga, this year’s edition will be 1.25 miles. The race started in 1867 and isn’t being run at Belmont Park (hosted since 1905) due to the track undergoing renovations.

Online wagering on winning horses can be tough, but with this guide, you’ll understand the basics and know what to look for when selecting a racebook. All four betting options reviewed by our experts at ThePuntersPage are reputable and provide plenty of handicapping tips to help prepare you for race day.

  1. 1.

    Horse Racing Annual Reports: Horse Racing Revenues in MI

  2. 2.

    National Council on Problem Gambling: Help for Problem Gamblers

  3. 3.

    MI Legislature: Michigan Legislature: Legal Files Related to Betting

  4. 4.

    Michigan Gaming Control Board: Official State Authority

Yes, online horse betting is legal in Michigan.

Yes, MI horse betting is safe as long as you’re betting on a regulated site licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. All four mentioned in this article are licensed.

TVG, Amwager, NYRA bets, and Twinspires are among the best and most reputable horse racing betting sites in Michigan.

You must be at least 18 or 21 to bet on horses online in MI. The age requirement varies on the operator, so make sure you check this before starting your online betting experience.

WRITTEN BY Lawrence Smelser View all posts by Lawrence Smelser

Whether it's dissecting the latest player stats or offering insightful commentary on emerging betting markets, Lawrence delivers sharp analysis with a dash of wit. His expertise and coverage extends across many sports leagues, such as the NFL, NBA, PGA Tour and international soccer, ensuring readers receive well-rounded insights from a global perspective.

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