Wisconsin Race Tracks: Where to Bet on Horse Races in WI

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

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While pari mutuel and simulcast wagering are both legal in Wisconsin, you might be surprised to learn that there are currently no active land-based horse race tracks. This might seem odd, given that betting on Wisconsin horse racing is a popular and legally sanctioned activity. However, while the legal framework is in place, the reality is that the industry has yet to establish a physical presence in the state.

Most Popular Wisconsin Race Tracks

Despite the legality of pari mutuel and simulcast wagering, there are currently no active horse race tracks in the state. Below, you’ll find reviews of some top-notch horse race tracks in neighboring Minnesota, where you can enjoy the experience of live races.

Running Aces

Address: 15201 Running Aces Boulevard, Columbus, Minnesota 55025
Phone: 651-925-4600

Running Aces is your one-stop destination for all things horse racing. Open year-round for simulcasting, it hosts live racing between May and September, with races held 3 days of the week. Whether you’re a fan of Win, Show, Place, Parlay, Quinella, Superfecta, or Hi-5, your betting needs are well catered for.

Running Aces

But that’s not all. Running Aces also features a card room where you can try your hand at games like Mississippi Stud, Blackjack, and poker. For those visiting from out of state, the on-site hotel offers deluxe rooms, room service, an indoor pool, and a complimentary breakfast.

Canterbury Park

Address: 1100 Canterbury Road, Shakopee, Minnestota 55379
Phone: 952-445-7223

At Canterbury Park, live races are hosted between May and September, including the Minnesota Turf Distaff, Northlands Futurity, and Minnesota Derby. Not only that but with simulcast wagering offered all year round, you can bet on your favorite races anytime. Whether you prefer Place, Show, Win, Quinella, Exacta, or Superfecta, Canterbury Park has you covered.

Canterbury Park

On live racing days, enjoy plenty of discounts and offers. Head to the toteboard for all the racing information you need. Admission is just $8 for adults and $6 for children over 6. The fun doesn’t stop there, with a casino featuring card games like Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Blackjack, and Three Card Poker, you’re guaranteed a variety of gambling opportunities.

Simulcast & Off-Track Wagering in Wisconsin

Simulcast wagering is completely legal in the state, allowing you to bet on your favorite races from all around the country. However, while it’s legal, there aren’t many facilities offering this service. In fact, there’s just one simulcast facility for you to enjoy this thrilling experience.

Oneida Casino2020 Airport Drive, Green Bay, WI 54313

Wisconsin Horse Races with Dates

Even though there are no Wisconsin race tracks, that doesn’t mean you’re out of options. You can explore the horse racing scene in neighboring states, like Minnesota, where there are local horse races to attend. So, let’s take a look at a list of upcoming horse races close to Wisconsin.

Horse Racing EventsRacing DatesLocation
Minnesota DerbyMayMinnesota (Canterbury Park)
Dark Star Turf SprintMayMinnesota (Canterbury Park)
Minnesota OaksMayMinnesota (Canterbury Park)
10,000 Lake StakesMayMinnesota (Canterbury Park)
Minnesota Turf DistaffMayMinnesota (Canterbury Park)
North Star State DerbyJuneMinnesota (Canterbury Park)
North Star State FuturityJuneMinnesota (Canterbury Park)
MQHRA Stallion Auction FuturityJuneMinnesota (Canterbury Park)
Canterbury Park Quarter Horse DerbyJuneMinnesota (Canterbury Park)
Minnesota Quarter Horse DerbyJuneMinnesota (Canterbury Park)
Minnesota Quarter Horse FuturityJuneMinnesota (Canterbury Park)

Legal Horse Betting Types in Wisconsin

While you may not find any Wisconsin race tracks for horses, you do have legal options for horse betting. Pari mutuel betting, including simulcast wagering, is completely legal in the state. 

However, if you’re looking for live racing, you’ll need to venture to neighboring states. There, you can dive into a variety of betting types, including Win, Show, Place, Hi-5, Parlay, and Superfecta.

You’ll also have the chance to experience different kinds of horse races such as thoroughbred betting, harness, and quarter horse racing. So, while Wisconsin may not have the tracks, you’re not out of options for experiencing horse racing betting.

Other Forms of Gambling in Wisconsin

Take a closer look at Wisconsin gambling laws and other forms of gambling in the state:

History of Wisconsin Horse Racing

Back in 1987, pari mutuel wagering was legalized, opening up a new avenue for gambling in the state. Despite this, dog racing emerged as the only live racing in the state, while Wisconsin horse racing betting was limited to simulcasts from races held in other states.

When it comes to the lack of Wisconsin horse racing, racing experts point to the inadequate number of gamblers in the state to support both horse and dog racing. Over the years, there have been five pari mutuel Wisconsin race tracks. However, the last one closed its doors in 2009 due to financial losses.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) prohibited sports betting nationwide, except for a few states. Although PASPA didn’t directly impact Wisconsin horse racing, the decline of live racing in Wisconsin and the closure of tracks can be seen as part of the broader context of the challenges faced by the gambling industry under PASPA.

Today, while you can still enjoy horse betting in Wisconsin, it’s a far cry from the live racing excitement found in other states.

Wisconsin Gambling FAQ

Has Wisconsin horse racing been legalized?

As gambling laws in the US vary by state, it’s vital to double-check the local regulations before attempting to participate in any form of betting. Wisconsin horse racing is legal, although there are currently no active horse racing tracks in the state. While you can legally bet on horse races, these are limited to simulcasts from races held in other states.

Can I gamble on horse racing events in other states?

Yes, betting on horse racing events that are being hosted in other states is allowed. This is made possible through simulcast wagering facilities in the state. These facilities broadcast races from other states, allowing you to bet on these races.

What’s the biggest horse race track in Wisconsin?

There are no active Wisconsin race tracks. Therefore, there isn’t a “largest” horse race track in the state. You can still enjoy horse racing by betting on races from other states via simulcast facilities in Wisconsin.

Is online gambling legal for horse races in Wisconsin?

The law in Wisconsin is somewhat unclear when it comes to advance deposit wagering, which is a form of online betting on horse races. The state statutes do not specifically prohibit or authorize online horse racing betting. Therefore, while it’s not explicitly illegal, it’s also not explicitly legal.

What are my horse racing betting options in Wisconsin?

Even though there are no Wisconsin racing events for horses, you still have the option to bet on horse races in other states. This is done through a process called simulcasting, where live races from other locations are broadcast at a local venue. Therefore, while you can’t bet on local horse races, you can still enjoy and bet on horse racing from across the country.

What age can I bet on horse races in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, you must be at least 18 years old to bet on horse races. This age restriction for gambling applies whether you’re betting on races within the state or elsewhere via simulcasting. Always remember to gamble responsibly and within legal limits.

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