What is lay betting in horse racing?

Lay betting is essentially a bet that a certain outcome won’t occur.
Say you have a strong opinion that the 6-5 favorite in a race is past his prime and is being overbet. You could lay a bet that the horse won’t win and essentially play the role of bookmaker. If the horse does win, you pay. If he loses, you collect.
In lay betting practiced overseas your liability isn’t limited as it is when you bet on a horse. Say the 6-5 shot begins to drift up in the odds as many in the crowd come to the same conclusion as you. By the time the gates open, the horse is now 3-1. If he wins, you are suddenly responsible for paying three times the amount of your original stake.
Lay betting is not widely available in the U.S. In fact, the only place for bettors to do it legally, as far as I know, is in New Jersey using Betfair’s exchange wagering system. In that system, you would decide what odds you would be willing to offer that the 6-5 favorite won’t win and hope a backer of the horse would accept your proposition.
Apart from that, some offshore websites that accept wagers from U.S. players offer lay betting.


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