HomeArizona Horse Betting

Arizona horse race betting

This guide gives you a comprehensive look into Arizona horse race betting and places you can visit in order to wager on horses in Grand Canyon State.

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Arizona is among the few states in the US offering a year-round racing circuit. Arizona law also allows commercial racetrack permittees to petition the Arizona Racing Commission to open OTB sites in the state.

As a result, Arizonans can benefit from simulcast horse racing from OTB sites like bars, restaurants, resorts, hotels, casinos, etc.

Yes, horse betting is legal in Arizona. Arizona conducts thoroughbred and quarter-horse racing year-round. Turf Paradise and Arizona Downs are the primary venues, though Rillito Park also held a few races the last winter.

Due to legislation, horse betting in Arizona is restricted such that online wagering is limited to specific races and hours, whether brick-and-mortar or off-track betting locations.

However, some racetracks that you can bet on include Albuquerque, Arapahoe Park, Parlington, Belterra Park, and Century Mile. Despite live track facilities, Arizonans typically get their horse betting done at off-track facilities such as the tribal casinos.

Different types of horse race bets you can place in AZ

Horse racing has been popular in Arizona for a long time, with Turf Paradise and Rillito Park being the centerpieces. Unfortunately, fans and bettors have to wait for specific meets to enjoy the races. Otherwise, they have to rely on simulcasts to enjoy or bet on the races.

Horse betting in Arizona has brought hundreds of thousands of participants together yearly for wagering. Arizona has only one online legal site for horse betting at the moment. Most horse betting in the state offers horse race bets, such as Straight and Exotic wagers. Furthermore, these are broken down into various bets.

Straight wagers

It is a wager on the win, place, or show. Straight wagers involve positions one, two, and three. A straight wager is easy to understand. The following are examples of straight wagers:

  • Win bet - This is the most common and straightforward wager in horse betting in Arizona. With it, you receive a payout if your chosen horse finishes first place. If your horse wins, you win. And if your horse loses, you lose.
  • Place bet - It gives you a bit of freedom from the win bet since you receive your payout if your horse is first or second in the race. As a result, the payout is sadly smaller because it is easier to cash.
  • Show bet - This is the simplest of the three wagers. You only get your win if your horse becomes first, second or third in the race. It has a higher winning probability compared to the win and place bets.

Exotic wagers

These bet types allow bettors to spread their risks because they involve betting more than one horse. Here, bettors require skills and planning before placing their wagers. Amazingly, the bigger the risk, the bigger the potential reward.

  • Single race - It is among the simple bet types. A single-race bet involves placing wagers on one selection, including an upcoming race or festival. Here, you bet on a specific horse to win the race.
  • Exacta - Exacta requires a bettor to choose the first and second-place predictions for a horse race. The minimum bet one can put in is a dollar. Your runners should be in first and second positions in the correct order.
  • Quinella - A quinella allows the bettor to choose the first and second-place finishers. The good thing with quinella is you don't have to specify the order of the finishers. As a result, this increases your chances of winning the bet.
  • Trifecta - It includes choosing the first, second, and third place winners in the race, just as the name of the bet suggests. Here, the runners must follow the exact order of your prediction.
  • Superfecta - This is about predicting the first four winners who finish the horse races in the order predicted. It is a tough bet to win but has higher odds, therefore, a higher payout if you win.

What is “pari-mutuel betting” in horse betting in AZ?

The term “Pari-mutuel” originated in France, meaning wagering among yourselves. Pari-mutuel, legalized in Arizona in 1935. This was before horse racing was available in 1943. It is a betting type whereby those who have participated in a wager share the amount of payout earned from the winners.

Here, the bettors’ money is in a pool, and they share winnings evenly. The odds in pari-mutuel betting are flexible, unlike other kinds of betting. In this type of bet, bettors place their wagers against each other instead of placing bets against the racetrack.

Physical locations for horse betting in Arizona

Betting in the 21st century has been made easily accessible through online bookies. Still, physical betting locations are operational and relevant in Arizona. The following are the top physical locations for horse betting in the state.

  • Arizona Downs - Formerly known as Prescott Downs. It is located in Prescott Valley, Arizona. Arizona Downs is sixty-three years old since its inception in 1956. Offers a flat course and thoroughbred and quarter-horse racing.
  • Turf Paradise - Turf Paradise is located in Phoenix and is one of the longest meets in the country. The meet begins in late October, running through the first week of May.
  • Rillito Park Race Track - Opened in 1922 and is located in Tucson, Arizona. It is nationally recognized as the cradle for quarter-horse racing. It runs a boutique meet in February and March, with the University of Arizona students under the Race Track Industry Program assisting.


Which horse racetrack is the biggest in Arizona?

Turf Paradise Racecourse is the biggest horse racetrack in Arizona. It opened on January 7, 1956, and is owned by Jerry Simms after he purchased it in June 2000 for $53 million. The racecourse is in Phoenix and comfortably sits on 1400 acres. It has a one-mile dirt oval and a seven-furlong turf oval.

Is horse race betting popular in AZ?

Yes, horse race betting is popular in AZ. Horse racing has long been popular in Arizona, and tracks such as Turf Paradise and Rillito Park Race Track are mainstays. Bettors spend millions of dollars in horse betting every year.