Washington Race Tracks: Where to Bet on Horse Races in WA

Learn about Washington's race tracks and legal horse race betting options

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In this article, we will delve into the legal landscape of Washington horse racing betting. Both wagering on live horse races and simulcast races are perfectly legal in this state and regulated by the Washington Horse Racing Commission, which ensures a fair experience for all.

Most Popular Washington Race Tracks

Emerald Downs

Address: 2300 Ron Crockett Drive, Auburn, Washington 98001
Phone: 253-288-7000

Emerald Downs is one of Washington’s premier race tracks. Each year from May to September, you can enjoy horse races including the renowned Washington Oaks, Emerald Distaff, and Longacres Mile Stakes. The racetrack, a mile long, caters to various bet types such as Win, Show, Place, Daily Double, Trifecta, Pick 6, and Daily Double.

Your racing experience begins on Saturdays and Sundays in May, extending to include Fridays from June onwards, and even the occasional Monday afternoon race.

Emerald Downs

Daily simulcast wagering admission is free and located on the fifth floor, allowing you to enjoy races from all over the country. General admission on Fridays is just $5 and $10 on weekends for adults, while children’s admission is $5 and those under five enter free.

Emerald Downs also offers a range of dining options across three levels, and seating options include 5th-floor tables with individual television monitors, outdoor reserved boxes, and suites. For additional entertainment, there’s an arcade underneath the grandstand, and casino gambling is available.

List of All Washington Race Tracks

Explore the details of Emerald Downs, the last remaining operational horse racetrack in the state.

RacetrackAddressPhone NumberBetting Allowed?
Emerald Downs2300 Ron Crockett Drive, Auburn, Washington 98001253-288-7000Yes

Simulcast Wagering in Washington

Experience horse racing without leaving your county with simulcast wagering, a legal and widely accessible option in Washington State. Each county is permitted to host one off-track betting facility, bringing the races closer to you. State law ensures these facilities are at least 20 miles away from the actual racetrack, making it convenient for residents across the state. Explore our comprehensive list of all simulcast wagering locations in Washington and find the one nearest to you.

Betting LocationAddress
A & C Tavern3249 Perry Avenue, Bremerton, WA 98310
Casino Caribbean Kirkland12526 NE 144th Street, Kirkland, WA 98034
Casino Caribbean Yakima1901 Boggess Lane, Yakima, WA 98901
Angel of the Winds Casino3438 Stoluckquamish Lane, Arlington, WA 98223
Northern Quest Casino100 North Hayford Road, Airway Heights, WA 99001
Sports Page6 South Cascade, Kennewick, WA 99336
7 Cedars Resort and Casino270756 Highway 101, Sequim, WA 98382
Fortune Casino Lacey8318 Quinault Drive, Lacey, WA 98516
Hollywood Cardroom16716 Aurora Avenue North, Shoreline, WA 98133
Bub’s Pub Sports Bar & Grill1326 Harrison Avenue, Centralia, WA 98531
Silver Star Saloon6718 NE Fourth Plain Boulevard, Vancouver, WA 98661

Popular Horse Races in Washington with Dates

Here is a list of the major horse races that take place throughout the year in Washington, complete with dates, so you can plan your schedule accordingly.

Horse RacesRacing DatesWhere to Bet
Emerald DistaffAugustEmerald Downs
Muckleshoot DerbyAugustEmerald Downs
Longacres Mile StakesAugustEmerald Downs
Washington OaksAugustEmerald Downs
Gottstein FuturitySeptemberEmerald Downs

Types of Legal Horse Betting in Washington

In Washington, you have a variety of legal horse betting options. At Emerald Downs, the only live thoroughbred racetrack in the state, you can place Show, Win, or Place bets, predicting if a horse will finish first, second, or third.

You can also venture into Exacta, Trifecta, or Superfecta bets, predicting the top two, three, or four finishers in exact order. For more excitement, try the Daily Double or Pick 6, predicting winners of consecutive races. Pari mutuel wagering is also permitted.

Even though live racing is limited to thoroughbred betting, you can bet on quarter horse racing and harness racing at simulcast wagering locations, expanding your betting opportunities.

Other Types of Gambling in Washington

Take a closer look at everything there is to know about Washington gambling laws and other forms of gambling in the state:

History of Washington Horse Racing

Washington horse racing has a rich history, dating back to 1872 when it was first permitted. It took a significant turn in 1933 when pari mutuel betting on horse races was legalized. The industry further evolved in 1981 with the authorization of simulcast wagering on national and regional races.

In 1987, a pivotal year for the industry, legislators passed a bill to authorize racetracks to send and receive simulcast signals for live races outside of Washington State. This was the same year that satellite broadcasts of live horse races were authorized to off-track betting locations.

The industry continued to modernize with the authorization of single-card simulcast wagering in 1998 and full-card simulcast wagering in 2001. You may also recall that in 2004, placing bets on Washington horse racing online was legalized, and off-track betting satellite facilities were authorized to operate year-round.

In 2005, the industry took another step forward with the permitting of advance deposit wagering. However, the industry faced a setback in 2020 when Sun Downs, one of the state’s racetracks, closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The track had intended to return in 2021 but instead offered its grounds as a COVID-19 vaccination center. Unfortunately, Sun Downs failed to renew its liability insurance in time for the 2022 season and again in 2023, leading to its permanent closure.

Despite the closure of Sun Downs, the impact of the PASPA: Sports Protection Act on the Washington State horse racing industry cannot be understated. The repeal of PASPA in 2018 opened up new opportunities for legal sports betting, including horse racing, and has played a significant role in shaping the industry’s future.

Washington Gambling FAQ

Is it legal to bet on Washington horse racing events?

US gambling laws by state vary, so it’s important to understand the laws in your home state. In Washington, betting on horse races is perfectly legal. You can place your bets at Washington race tracks, off-track betting satellite facilities, and even online, thanks to the legalization of internet horse racing betting in 2004.

Can I bet on horse races from other states?

Yes, you can bet on horse races from other states. This is made possible through simulcast betting facilities, which allow you to wager on live races happening outside of your state. You can enjoy horse racing from across the country right from the comfort of your local betting facility or online platform. Always ensure you practice responsible gambling.

What’s the biggest of all Washington race tracks?

The biggest and only horse race track in Washington is Emerald Downs. It’s the premier venue for thoroughbred racing in the state, offering live Washington racing from April through September. The track is a one-mile (1.6 km) oval, and the facility has a capacity of 15,000 spectators.

Is online horse racing betting legal in Washington?

Yes, online horse racing betting is legal in Washington. You’re allowed to place bets on horse races through licensed online platforms. However, it’s important to make sure that the platform you choose is licensed and regulated for betting in Washington to ensure you’re betting legally and safely.

How can I bet on Washington horse racing events?

You can bet at Washington race tracks in person, and use simulcast wagering to bet on races happening in other locations. Advance deposit wagering is another option where you fund an account in advance and use those funds to place your bets. Lastly, you can also use licensed online betting platforms, which offer the convenience of betting from the comfort of your own home.

What’s the minimum age for betting on horses in Washington?

The minimum gambling age for betting on horse races is 21 in the state. This means you must be at least 21 years old to place a bet on Washington horse racing, whether it’s at a racetrack, through simulcast wagering, advance deposit wagering, or online betting platforms.

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