When you place a bet at any of the three NYRA racetracks - Aqueduct, Belmont Park or Saratoga Race, you are betting against everyone who is making the same type of wager in the same race, whether they are on-track patrons or participating in the wagering process from simulcast sites across the nation. The racetrack simply deducts a percentage from each dollar wagered for payment of purses, expenses and state taxes. Unlike casino gambling, where you are betting against the house, Thoroughbred racing is a "parimutuel venture."
Pierre Oller introduced "parier mutuel" in his native France in 1865 meaning "mutual stake" or "betting among ourselves." As this form of wagering was adopted in England it became known as "Paris mutuals," and soon thereafter "parimutuels." Pari-mutuel odds reflect how much is wagered on each horse or combination relative to the size of the mutuel pool.
You must be 18 or older to wager at NYRA racetracks.
Takeout (percentage of each dollar wagered retained by racetrack)
• 15 percent – Pick 6 (non carryover pools)
• 15 percent – Pick 5
• 16 percent – Win, Place, Show
• 18.5 percent – Exacta, Quinella, Daily Double
• 24 percent – Trifecta, Superfecta, Grand Slam, Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 6 (carryover pools)
The New York Racing Association, Inc. is not responsible for ticket sales not completed before mutuel machines are locked. No adjustments, including cancellations, will be made after the customer has left the window. IRS taxable tickets cannot be cashed for guests who do not provide evidence of a social security number and a picture ID.
New York State Gaming Commission Pari-Mutuel Rules
To obtain rules for all the bets offered at NYRA racetracks visit the NYS Gaming Commission Rules page.
In the Pick four there is a mandatory daily payout of the entire pool.
In the Pick Five, in the event there are no tickets with five winners, there is a carryover of 100% of the net pool into the next day of the meet. The Early Pick Five will carryover into the Early Pick 5 and the NYRA Bets Late Pick 5 will carryover into the NYRA Bets Late Pick 5.
In the Pick Six, in the event there are no tickets with six winners, there is a carryover of 75% of the net pool into the next day of the meet. The remaining 25% of the net pool is distributed as a consolation payout.
All multi-leg wagers with a carryover provision will have a mandatory payout on the last race day of the calendar year – December 31, 2017.
Winning pari-mutuel tickets from all races conducted at Aqueduct, Belmont, Saratoga or any simulcast track NYRA offers wagering on must be presented for payment on or before March 31 of the following year and can be cashed during normal business hours. You cannot cash winning NYRA mutuel tickets at any OTB.
Aqueduct Business Hours: Monday - Sunday from 11 a.m. to end of Simulcasting Programming.
Winning NYRA mutuel tickets may also be sent by certified or registered mail to the address listed below and must be received by NYRA no later than March 31 of the following year. In accordance with NYSRWB rules, NYRA must be in possession of these tickets no later than March 31 of the following year in order to be eligible for payment. Therefore, tickets mailed with an earlier postmark but received by NYRA after March 31st will not be processed. Please allow sufficient time to make certain that NYRA is in receipt of your ticket(s) before this deadline. Please send ticket (make a copy of your tickets for your records) along with your name, address, and contact number.
Address via USPS (certified or registered mail)
New York Racing Association
Attn: Mutuel Department
PO Box 90
Jamaica NY 11417
Address via *courier (FedEx,UPS, etc.)
Attn: Mutuel Department
110-00 Rockaway Blvd.
Jamaica NY 11420
* This is the physical address for NYRA.
It is advised that you keep copies for your records.
For winnings that exceed 300-1 odds - more than $600 - the Internal Revenue Service requires that a W2-G Tax Form is completed. This form requires two proofs of identity: 1, Copy of Drivers License or State issued photo ID; and 2, Copy of Social Security Card or a card that establishes your identity and includes your social security number. All winnings subject to reporting and/or withholding as described in IRS form W2G will be administered in accordance with applicable IRS code.
Pari-mutuel tickets not cashed within 10 days of purchase that have a value of $300 or more must be redeemed at IRS-designated mutuel windows. The patron needs to provide a name, home address, date of birth and social security number. This requirement is part of a new rule that was opposed by The New York Racing Association, but still implemented by the New York State Racing & Wagering Board. Please note that unless the payout on the ticket is 300-1 or higher and in excess of $600, the patron’s information will not be reported to the IRS. The same requirements apply for tickets cashed by mail that meet these parameters.
The New York Racing Association is now calculating its pari-mutuel pools using a Net Pool Pricing model effective immediately. The 30 percent withholding tax on foreign winning pari-mutuel wagers was recently eliminated by the United States to enable the large amount of money wagered outside the country to be commingled. The change in pricing models permits countries such as Canada, England and others to commingle wagers into New York pools despite different legal deductions, takeouts, breakage and currency.
Net Pool Pricing allows each participating jurisdiction to abide by its mandated takeout rates without affecting the remainder of the network. For example, if a wagering site has a higher takeout than the host track, its payouts are lower. Conversely, a wagering site offering a lower takeout distributes higher payouts than the host track.
For New York fans, Net Pool Pricing will affect the way prices are calculated, but there will be no changes in prices under single-priced pools such as Win, Exacta, Trifecta and Pick Six. But, in multi-priced pools such as Place and Show, longshots may pay a little more while favorites may pay a little less. Fans will no longer be able to calculate prices from the pools listed on the toteboard because of the additional international variables that affect the algorithm.
Net Pool Pricing has been used successfully for years. American customers betting on the 1996 Breeders' Cup at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto received mutuel information calculated by Net Pool Pricing. Woodbine, Arlington Park, and Emerald Downs have already moved to the Net Pool Pricing model.
The 30 percent withholding tax on foreign winning pari-mutuel wagers was eliminated by the United States to enable the large amount of money wagered outside the country to be commingled. For further expansion to occur, one of the requirements is to change to the tote calculating package that is most commonly used in the United States. This upgrade to Net Pool Pricing (NPP) enables U.S. tracks to deal with foreign tax rates and currency values.
Net Pool Pricing allows each jurisdiction participating in the pool to offer different retention rates (also known as takeout rates) than the host track should they elect or be regulated to do so. For example, if a participant chooses to use a higher takeout than the host track, they will have proportionately less weighting in the commingled pool than wagers with a lower takeout rate. Therefore, jurisdictions using a higher retention offer a lower payout to their customers and the remainder of the network is not affected. This also would work the other way should the participant use a lower takeout, and their respective prices would be higher than the host track.
Q: Why is NYRA changing to Net Pool Pricing in order to commingle wagers from Canada?
A: Since some countries such as Canada have different legal deductions, takeouts, breaks and currency, Net Pool Pricing is needed to combine their wagers and accurately calculate prices throughout the network.
Q: Will changing to Net Pool Pricing affect the way prices are calculated?
A: Yes, the algorithm used to calculate the prices is different under Net Pool Pricing. You should see little to no changes in prices under single priced pools such as Win, Exacta and Trifecta. Longshots tend to pay a little more and favorites tend to pay a little less in multi-priced pools such as Place and Show.
Q: Why can’t I hand calculate the prices from the pool values on the tote board?
A: Since Net Pool Pricing uses a complex algorithm to calculate the prices there are many other variables that affect the calculation of the price which are not displayed on the tote board.
Q: Has Net Pool Pricing Been Proven to Work?
A: Yes, Canadian racetracks have been using Net Pool Pricing since the Breeders’ Cup was hosted by Woodbine in 1996. Customers betting on Woodbine in the U.S. have already been exposed to this calculation method. Many states have since adopted Net Pool Pricing in their regulations including the RCI Model Rules.
Q: Is Net Pool Pricing more susceptible to minus pools?
A: Due to the nature of the algorithm used in Net Pool Pricing on a split pool such as Place or Show, a heavy favorite will not drive the value down on the remaining runners as much as it does using the standard pricing method. This may result in the favorite paying $2.10 and the other horses paying more, which is generally more favorable to the betting public. The negative break is then attributed to the wager and that association who bet down the favorite.
Q: How can pools from two different currencies be merged together?
A: Net Pool Pricing allows for pools in different currencies to be merged together by applying a daily exchange rate before the foreign currency enters the pools and again to the prices before being paid to the public.
$2.10 to 9.99 payoff, break to 10 cents; $10 to 49.99 payoff, break to 20 cents; $50 to 499.99 payoff, break to 50 cents; $500 and up, break to $1.00.
For more information visit the Betting FAQ page.
Gambling Problems? The New York Racing Association encourages responsible wagering. If gambling is a problem for you or someone you care about, help is available 24 hours a day. Call toll-free 1-877-8-HOPE-NY