Here’s a form that you’ll need to fill out to place a bet in a horse race. You won’t need to do this if you’re betting on sport other than horse racing (e.g. football, tennis, golf), but it never hurts to be on the safe side.
The form, which is officially known as a ‘Horse Racing Form’, is published by the New York–based National Council on Addictions (NCA). You can fill it out at any horse racing venue in America with a wager of any size, and the form is required by state and federal governments to settle bets placed in horse races. It is also used to collect stats on wagers and racehorses.
Why Are Horse Racing Forms Considered Mandatory?
In the United States, state and federal governments have classified any wagering activity as ‘betting’ and said wagering is considered a “public welfare’.’ So, while it’s not a crime to place a wager on a sporting event, it is a crime not to fill out the form. As such, it is considered a legal and binding contract, and the information you provide on the form will be used against you in a court of law (although, hopefully, not in a court of horses).
Since the NCA’s inception in 1921, it has advocated for stronger regulations relating to horse racing. According to the NCA, the “purpose of the forms is to provide a means for the industry to keep accurate records and promote honesty and transparency.”
Even those who place minimal bets regularly may wonder why they’re required to fill out a form in the first place. The reason is that a great number of voters – more than half of all US adults – regularly place daily wagers on horse races. Because sports betting is such a common activity in the United States and because of the various federal and state laws that regulate it, nearly all states require some form of a sports betting slip. Some states, like New York, even require both an official receipt and a sports betting slip when they are filled out online or by telephone. In other words, the betting slip is probably the most important document in the entire gambling ecosystem, as it is the source of all statistical information regarding wagers and horse races, and it is the primary source of evidence should you lose or dispute a wager with a sportsbook or online casino.
The Different Kinds of Horse Racing Forms
There are three basic types of horse racing forms:
- The Daily Form: Typically used in offices to settle bets for the day. Must be submitted to the host by noon to ensure it is processed in time for the start of the race. This form can also be used for telephone betting if you call the office and place your wager before the race begins.
- The Wager Sheet: A worksheet used to track bets for a specific race or series of races. The information must be entered before the start of the first race and is used to calculate the winnings or losses for the day. This form is also available online through a secure website and can be accessed from any device.
- The Betting Slip: The most common form of a horse racing slip. Used to record bets for individual horses or for syndicated bets. This form can be found at tracks across America and is also available through online casinos and sportsbooks.
Each state may have additional forms, but these are the three most common ones. You must complete and submit a horse racing form in order to settle bets on horse races in the United States. In case you’re wondering, the NCA also issues a Form E for Employees, which is used to track gambling activity among casino employees. Finally, if you’re interested in filling out a form for fun, you can find the Official Form on the NCA website.