Race books

What is a race book

Race book Overview

The destination of all horse betting fans is the race book. Operated by bookmakers (bookies), race books differ in their style and operation; like the Nevada race books, the British race books, and the internet race books.

Race books and Bookmaker (Bookie) Details

Race books & the bookmaker (bookie): Wondering what a race book is? Well, a race book is a place where you have have to  drop in, if you want to gamble, and wager on horse racing. If you are placing bets on other sport events you will head for a sportsbook. There are plenty of race books and sportsbooks on the internet and in places where it is not prohibited. But some countries do not allow betting. If you plan to bet on a prominent event, you will get more wagering options. It is here that a bookmaker, bookie, or turf accountant (maybe a person or an organization) takes and plays bets, and may pay for the winnings, depending on the nature of the bet, the odd. Bookmaking may be legal or illegal, and may be a regulated thing. In UK it was illegal at times. It is illegal in most of the US (Nevada is an exception). Bookmakers were traditionally located at racecourses; but with TV coverage, and legal permission, race books have shifted to casinos and betting shops almost in every country. In the UK however, the bookmakers still often take the trouble of operating from the racecourse; chalk out the odds on boards, and use tic-tac to signal them to their staff & other bookies. On the finish of the event, the winning bets are paid; else it is paid if it is played long enough to become official. Otherwise bets are returned (definitely go through the race book rules before you play). The volume of betting of a race book varies throughout the year.

Odds: History: Athletic Publications Inc. first published and distributed odds to bookmakers throughout the country with the help of telegraph and the telephone. That was in the 1930s. The founder of  Athletic Publications Inc., Leo Hirschfield, worked with a dedicated team of handicappers, who analyzed machups and also studied newspapers of all major cities of the country. The company took a leading role in providing odds and prices, before disappearing. Today, race books obtain opening prices from big brands like Las Vegas Sports Consultants, besides other race books and betting exchanges. Nowadays odds are updated constantly in realtime so the the race book will be able to make a profit no matter what the outcome of a race is.

UK race books: UK has several large betting shop companies, which are also  race books. Those bookmakers offer a large variety of bets, including bets on horses and of course football, cricket, rugby and many other things (mainly sports).

(Continental) European Race books: There are some on horse racing specialized race books in Europe. One example is Germany, here race books are permitted, but sportsbooks are prohibited (however there are a couple of exceptions, for companies with licenses from the former German Democratic Republic). In other countries bookmaker companies or individual bookmakers offer horse racing odds besides other events. In Europe it is especially popular to bet on football (US: Soccer), still there are lots of race books around and enough opportunities to bet on horse racing. But keep in mind race books are not legal in every european country. 

Net race books: Internet race books deal with more gamblers than traditional race books, and offer a wider range of games, like poker, bingo and casino. They also offer cheaper prices or bonus. Though these sites are governed by the law, yet there are examples of fraudulent operators, so be sure to check the company before you play. A big advantage of internet race books is that you are able to compare odds easily in front of your computer. You may then choose the race book that offers the best odds, be sure to also check out the odds the betting exchanges are offering.

Nevada race books: Betting is illegal in most parts of US, except Nevada, where there are avout 150 licensed race books in the casinos. Since many of these race books are under the same parent organization, they offer the exact same prices and odds, which seasoned gamblers are not happy with. They want more choices and better price deals. In the 1950s, when the first race books opened, they were called turf clubs; and had a separate entity from casinos of Nevada. Casinos and turf clubs had a mutual agreement that they will not step into each other’s business, and carry on business separately. It is not the same now. In the modern casino race books, you will find all modern facilities, like many large television screens, betting windows, places to sit and relax and watch the race, computerized odds board.

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