Photo credits: Photo by Pardeep Bhakar on Unsplash

We live in a digital world where online sportsbooks are popping up quicker than a horse finishes a race. The market is flooded with new bookies that are trying to build their reputation and handing out hard-to-believe bonuses.

However, online sportsbooks also have a dark side. Not all of them are legitimate and trustworthy. Some people who haven’t learned much about ethics, create online sportsbook lookalikes, without obtaining the proper licenses, and shut down their operations overnight vanishing with your deposited money.

Quite a scary scenario, right?

Well, in order to prevent such things from happening, you need to take your time and do your research before choosing an online horse betting website. The horse racing betting industry isn’t only dark and negative. There is a replant of legitimate online sportsbooks that are transparent with their services and will keep your personal and financial information safe at all times.

So, how can you find a legit online horse racing betting website?

How to Spot Trustworthy Horse Racing Betting Platforms

Even though fakes or illegitimate platforms are getting better, you can still spot such platforms from a mile away. You just need to do some research for 10 minutes and the answer will be right in front of you.

Most people make the same mistake of jumping on a platform after seeing an attractive ad, without knowing anything about the brand. – Rule 1: Don’t ever deposit money on a platform that you know nothing about.

Here are some things you need to check first:

Legitimacy Licensure

The most important thing you should check at the beginning is if the platform holds a valid license from a recognized authority.

Some of the most popular online sports betting licenses are:

  • UK License: Regulatory Body – British Gambling Commission
  • Malta: Regulatory Body – Malta Gaming Authority
  • Curacao: Regulatory Body – Curacao Gambling Authority

If the website has a license from a no-name regulatory body or doesn’t have a license at all, it is a red flag and you should avoid that website.


This is a common practice, that is easily done even by non-legitimate websites. You need to make sure that your data is safe by checking whether or not the website has SSL encryption. This means that the company cannot access your data since it is encrypted.


One of the best checks that you can do about a sports betting website is to check its reputation online. Trustworthy websites have built quite a reputation in the industry, and new websites have struggled to do so.

However, just because the website doesn’t have a strong reputation online, it doesn’t mean it is a scam. Maybe we are talking about a new company that just entered the betting scene. With that said, new companies usually mean more risk of fraud or scams.

So, if you want to pick a safe sportsbook, stick with the biggest brands in the industry like TwinSpires.

User Reviews

Another effective way to check if a sportsbook is legitimate is by going through online reviews. In today’s global scene, it is pretty impossible to hide something.

So, instead of getting into the fire, check what other people went through and what was their experience like. Reviews are pretty effective in detecting a scammy website, especially if you dig deeper into gambling forums.

People highlight all the positive and negative sites about online sportsbooks, that are not publicly shown on their website. So, this should be one of your first steps before jumping on the betting train.

Other Features to Consider

Any racebook worth its salt offers more than just bets. It’s about the experience, the support, and the community. Here’s what to watch for:

  • Responsive Customer Support: Like a trusty stable hand, customer support should always be there to assist, 24/7.
  • Variety of Betting Options: From win, place, and show, to more exotic bets, diversity is the spice of life—and betting.
  • Bonuses and Promotions: Everyone loves a freebie or a good deal. Look out for sign-up bonuses and loyalty programs, but read the fine print!

Mobile Friendliness

In today’s fast-paced world, being able to place a bet from your phone is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity. Ensure the platform’s mobile experience is smooth, and swift, and doesn’t make you want to throw your phone at the wall in frustration.

Flexibility and Security

A racebook should offer a variety of payment options—credit cards, e-wallets, and perhaps even cryptocurrency for the modern bettor. Each transaction should be swift, secure, and as easy as feeding a carrot to your favorite thoroughbred.

Final Words

Picking the right sportsbook for placing horse racing bets all comes down to research. By following some of the things we mentioned in this article you’ll be able to pick the right one that is trustworthy and will keep your funds and information secure.

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