Is Online Sports Betting Legal in New Mexico?

Legal sports betting has arrived at New Mexico.
Even though there are now no options to set bets online, players in NM can bet on sports in person at the Santa Ana Star Casino just 10 miles outside of Albuquerque.
More and more US states are legalizing sports gambling and New Mexico is getting in on the action. With one tribal casino already accepting stakes, and more expressing interest in doing the same, we all expect the state to take steps towards greater widespread legalization in 2019.
In this comprehensive guide to legal sports gambling in New Mexico we’ll take a close look at the recent laws at the state and that which we expect to happen in the not too distant future. We are going to explain where in New Mexico you can make bets and what sports you can gamble on.
Ultimately, we’ll learn more about the daily fantasy sports gambling situation in the state and answer a few of the most frequently asked questions concerning New Mexico sports gambling.
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New Mexico Sports Betting at a Glance
New Mexico has become the sixth state to legalize sports gambling since the 2018 US Supreme Court decision to strike down a federal ban online sports gambling that was in effect since 1992. New Mexico joins Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey, Nevada, and West Virginia within their first wave of countries to provide legal gambling options.
New Mexico’s situation is unique, however. Unlike the other states on that list, New Mexico saw a tribal casino begin taking bets on sports prior to any official state legislation had been passed.
The Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel, situated on the land of the Pueblo of Santa Ana Tamaya Nation tribe admitted its earliest bets in October of 2018. The compact which New Mexico has with the tribe allows all kinds of gambling which meant it was free to provide sports gambling after the US Supreme Court decision.
The state of New Mexico has not formally introduced laws to legalize sports betting but most industry experts believe it’ll happen soon since sports betting is already available from the state through the casino.
The Current Online Sports Betting Situation in New Mexico
There’s a lot going on in New Mexico sports gambling and We Would like to highlight a few key facts before we get into more detail:
Just one casino offers sports betting and currently doesn’t have cellular or internet wagering.
There are rumors that a 2nd tribal casino, the Inn of the Mountain Gods that’s operated by the Mescalero Apache tribe, even in Ruidoso, will open an additional sportsbook at 2019.
Pueblo of Santa Ana Gaming Regulatory Commission will oversee all sports betting activity.
Operations will be managed by Las Vegas-based USBookmaking.
First betting limits are $5 minimum, $500 maximum per bet.
No wagering permitted on New Mexico or New Mexico State NCAA sports.
If you haven’t heard, the recent Supreme Court decision was a complete game-changer in the United States sports gambling industry.
What exactly happened and how does this affect New Mexico?
In May of 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of an appeal by the state of New Jersey that sought to overturn a quarter-century old ban on sports gambling. That law, known as the skilled and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), essentially prohibited sports betting everywhere in the USA except for Nevada.
Getting rid of PASPA gave each nation the opportunity to make its own laws on sports gambling to choose if it should be allowed and in what form. Four nations united Nevada straight off the bat. New Mexico, being the sixth in the nation, has gone about it in another way than all of the rest.
Due to a loophole in their streamlined with local tribal bands that neither prohibits or sanctions legal sports gambling, the Santa Ana tribe could and has lawfully established sports gambling on its land in an unheralded method. Details of said loophole can be seen in the section below.
New Mexico Sports Betting Laws Summary
The biggest gap between New Mexico and other nations is a particular part of the arrangement that the nation made using the Pueblo of Santa Ana Tamaya Nation tribe regarding gambling.
It states that all Class III gambling is allowed which includes both sports gambling and pari-mutuel wagering.
A direct transcript in the countries that are compact:
The Tribe may conduct, only on Indian Lands, subject to each of the terms and conditions of this Compact, any or all forms of casino-style gaming, including but not limited to slot machines and other kinds of electronic gaming devices; all types of blackjack, poker and other casino-style card games, both banked and unbanked; roulette; craps; keno; wheel of fortune; pai gow; and other matches played casino configurations; and any form of a lottery.
Details of the present standing are as follows:
First state to carry bets with no official state legislature regulating sports gambling.
Tribal-State compact lets all types of Class III gaming.
Sports gaming and pari-mutuel wagering are contained in Class III gaming.
Betting on all significant sports and NCAA with the exception of faculty teams in New Mexico.
No alcohol will be served at the sportsbook
Sportsbook open Noon to 8pm on weekdays; 7am to 10pm on weekends.
Must be 21 years old to gamble everywhere in casino.
The Annals of Online Sports Betting in New Mexico
If you love gaming New Mexico has been a wonderful place to live for quite a while, since the late 1940s in fact. There are both tribal and state-based casinos in addition to many horse racing tracks.
New Mexico’s situation is interesting because of their innovative method of overturning old regulations and laws. Let’s take a look at some of the most historical gambling minutes from the state’s past.
1947 — Legalization of horse racing. First legal Pari-Mutuel Horse race gambling starts at Hollywood park — now known as Ruidoso Park.
1978 — Charity gambling and bingo legalized for seniors to get smaller stakes. Not for benefit of organizers.
1988 — Governor refuses to sign prices for 1988 Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Loses subsequent election.
1990 — New officials of state government re-negotiates compacts with Native Tribes,
1995 — Tribal compacts eventually become law. New casinos established. Horse racing paths allowed to incorporate slot machines as part of the bargain so as to compete with casinos.
1995 — New Mexico lottery created.
2011 — Albuquerque Downs Casino opens, becoming the very first non-tribal casino.
October 16, 2018 — The first legal sports wager is put in New Mexico in the Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel sportsbook.
The very first bet was a $30 moneyline wager placed on the Houston Astros to defeat the Boston Red Sox. The ticket dropped.
Even though New Mexicans have enjoyed a more progressive stance on gaming as a whole in recent decades, these new developments are sure to bring much more local interest. Considering that the casino and sportsbook stay private and possessed by the tribal nation, it’s unknown what type of earnings will go to the state.
Tax revenue and public need are the two largest factors which push state lawmakers into actions and New Mexico appears to have both of them coated.
Which Online Sports Betting Sites are Legal in New Mexico?
You cannot make any sports bets online in New Mexico, yet. For that reason there are currently no online sportsbooks offered from the state.
The next is by the tribal/state compact and indicates that online gambling is a chance but might require the state to legalize online gaming and make a change to the compact:
«In the event that internet gaming is authorized within the State, the State and the Tribe agree that they’ll reopen decent faith negotiations to evaluate the impact, if any, of internet gaming and consider adjustments to the Compact. The parties agree and understand that it is not feasible to determine at this time what, if any, alterations to the Compact would be necessary.»
Right now there’s only the option to place stakes in person at one of the four kiosks within the Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel sportsbook.
There are just two self-service kiosks available 24/7 and clerks are available to carry your bets from noon to 8pm on weekdays and from 7am to 10pm on weekends.
It’s still unknown when and if online betting on sports will be available in New Mexico but for this very first sportsbook already running the future seems bright.
Sports gambling, specifically online sports betting, is a massive money maker and New Mexico is poised to reap the benefits if they proceed with legalization in 2019.
What Sports Could You Bet on Online in New Mexico?
In the Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel sportsbook you can bet on all major sports and many popular non-marquee sports. It’s possible to bet on NCAA sports with the exception of games which involve New Mexico-based collegiate teams.
So unfortunately for fans of the New Mexico University Lobos or the New Mexico State Aggies, watching the match without betting on it will have to suffice.
Betting options include but are not limited to:
Football CFL
NCAA matches that don’t include New Mexico teams
Minor league sports
How to Bet on Sports Legally in New Mexico
To place sports bets in the Santa Ana Star sportsbook you have to be of legal gaming age which is 21.
Since they do not have nor function through a mobile app, it is not necessary to register for an account in order to place a bet. If they do introduce a cell option, just stick to the sportsbook program’s directions to set up and fund your account.
The Santa Ana Star has a committed sportsbook that has 24/7 betting kiosks and live cashier clerks working from noon to 8pm on weekdays and 7am to 10pm on weekends.
Putting bets with the kiosk or directly at the cashier is simple. All you need to know is the game that you want to wager on, the type of wager you want to create and how much you would like to wager. Either enter the info using a kiosk or tell the clerk.
In any event you will receive a betting slip which you can use to redeem your payout when the bet is a winner.
Is Betting on Fantasy Sports Legal in New Mexico?
Yes, betting on daily fantasy sports betting is legal in New Mexico.
It’s legal for individuals in New Mexico to play all the significant DFS sites including DraftKings and FanDuel.
Locals may rest assured that playing DFS for real money is safe and secure as DFS wagering is overseen by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and the US Gambling Commission.
What’s the Future of Online Sports Betting at New Mexico?
Technically speaking, we’re halfway there since sports betting is offered in the country, albeit in person. That is a good first step.
Although New Mexico has taken an alternate path to lawful sports betting, the simple fact that it exists in the nation is good reason to believe it will expand and increase over time.
If and when this does occur we shall certainly see mobile and online sports gambling available from the state.
What happens during 2019 will be very telling as far as what we can expect along with the sportsbook at the Santa Ana Star Casino.
We know that another casino, the Inn of the Mountain Gods, in Ruidoso, is anxious to join the mix. Another casino sportsbook would only add momentum to what is already building.
There are more steps involved with making online sports gambling legal. The present legislation might need to be altered and the tribal compacts in the country is going to need to be renegotiated. Check back on this page soon for any developments as they happen.
Recap: Legal New Mexico Sports Betting Arrives
The improvements in New Mexico have revealed a new way that sports gambling may become available in other states, even though those states have not passed pro-sports gaming laws.
People in New Mexico are already enjoying live legal gambling on tribal land and experts predict the state government will be taking a serious look at an official piece of legislation in 2019.
Similar to any other state questioning whether or not to create a sports gambling industry New Mexico is going to get a harder and harder time ignoring the opportunity as neighboring countries begin generating substantial revenue.
With New Mexico’s unique circumstances it is going to have the ability to observe how nicely sportsbooks do inside its own borders and use that information to make a decision on expanding state-wide laws.
If you reside in New Mexico, be sure that you bookmark this page and wait for major developments that either help or harm the nation’s chances of introducing more betting options.
To find out more about different parts of the country, read our guides to legal US sports gambling for each state.
New Mexico Online Sports Betting FAQs
Is sports gambling legal in New Mexico?
Yes, but only at one particular casino. New Mexico is exceptional compared to other nations because while the government has not legalized sports betting, a legal loophole at the tribal-state compact enables it in tribal casinos.
Where can I bet on sports in New Mexico?
Currently the only place in New Mexico to lay down a sports stakes is in the Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel sportsbook. However, there are rumors of another tribal casino opening that the sportsbook of their own in 2019.
Should we see this happen in the coming year we would logically deduce that more tribal casinos will follow lawsuit later.
What sports can I wager on in New Mexico?
You can gamble on almost any sport from North America and around the world such as NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA golf, NCAA football and basketball, MMA, football, CFL, NASCAR, tennis and plenty of minor league sports.
The only major exception is that betting on NCAA games which involve New Mexico schools isn’t allowed.
What sports are illegal to wager on in New Mexico?
Betting on high school sports isn’t allowed. Wagers can be drawn up on NCAA sports with the exception of neighborhood New Mexican schools.
Is it illegal to bet using offshore sports betting websites?
While US law does not make betting with offshore sportsbooks explicitly illegal, we don’t recommend it. We propose using the authorized and licensed options available to you. At New Mexico right now that means betting in person in a tribal casino. Soon this may also include non-tribal sportsbooks and online choices.

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