The world’s beleaguered horse racing tracks got a major boost this week when financial giant JP Morgan Chase announced that it will allow the use of its credit cards for online pari-mutuel wagering. The move, which was praised by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), is expected to open a whole new world of wagering opportunities for the bank’s 80 million credit card holders.

In practical terms, yesterday’s announcement means that online sportsbooks that offer horse racing are now authorized to accept online deposits from holders of JP Morgan Chase-issued credit cards under the 7802 merchant authorization code.

For punters, this means depositing money at sites like Churchill Downs just got a whole lot easier.

According to the NTRA, advance deposit wagering is the fastest growing segment of the U.S. pari-mutuel wagering market and this move is likely to boost that segment even further. Even better, the new credit card rules will be in place before the Triple Crown race series begins this spring.

Efforts to bring credit cards back into the wagering fold were spearheaded by Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), who also serves on the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee and is Co-Chairman of the Congressional Horse Caucus.

NTRA President and Chief Executive Officer Alex Waldrop thanked Barr for efforts and praised the new rules as, “…a major victory for our industry and one that would not have come about without the efforts of Rep. Andy Barr and his staff.”

Rep. Barr was effusive in praising the move saying:

I am delighted that this latest move by Chase will have a positive economic impact on Thoroughbred racing and breeding in Kentucky and across the nation. I have appreciated working with the NTRA and Chase to make this development possible and look forward to continuing our efforts on behalf of Kentucky’s signature equine industry.

While the move is certainly good for the horse racing industry, there was scant mention of what the ease of credit card deposits will mean for the nation’s problem gamblers or what this could mean if the Supreme Court okays regulated sports betting in the spring.


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