Is It Legal to Bet on the Pig Races at the New York State Fair?
It seems like you can bet on everything these days.
Legal online betting took effect in New York at the beginning of the year, and many people started dabbling in it, using popular apps such as FanDuel and DraftKings. And anyone who's familiar with these apps knows you can sometimes make some pretty bizarre prop bets. A prop bet is a wager on something that happens during the competition that isn't tied to the final score or end result. The Super Bowl is full of these -- you can even bet on the color of the Gatorade that gets splashed on the coach at the end of the game.
Horse race betting has been legal in New York state for over a century. Which got me wondering... can you bet on other forms of animal races? What about the famous pig races that happen daily at the Great New York State Fair?
THE STATE FAIR'S "HOLLYWOOD RACING PIGS"
The Hollywood Racing Pigs have been a staple at the New York State Fair for years. They happen three times daily, at noon, 3:00pm and 6:00pm, and each race lasts about 15 minutes.
According to a 2017 article, the pigs are enticed to race with cookies, with Oreos being a particular favorite. The porky athletes are common feeder pigs or pot-bellied pigs, and all racers are around a year old. After they've grown past their racing prime, they're not sent out for slaughter; they go to farms to live out the remainder of their lives.
CAN YOU BET ON THEM?
The short answer is, no. In New York state, it's technically illegal to bet on any animal races that aren't horses. This includes greyhounds (now illegal in every state but two), ostrich racing, etc.
...although, if you find yourself at the Fair watching the pig races, and wanted to place a friendly wager with a buddy... is anyone really going to stop you? Probably not.
So go hog wild... (but be discreet about it.)