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New Mexico

While sports betting is legal in New Mexico, there are some strict restrictions surrounding the topic. As it stands, bettors can only place legal wagers at the five tribal casinos in the state, and there are no online betting options.

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All legal ways to bet on in New Mexico

Is online sports betting legal in New Mexico?No
Is in-person sports betting legal?Yes
Is daily fantasy sports legal?Yes
Is betting on college sports legal?Yes, with restrictions
Is horse racing betting legal?Yes
Is greyhound betting legal?No
Is political betting legal?No
Is eSports betting legal?No

The rules regarding betting on college sports in New Mexico can be a tad bit confusing. There are two major college programs in the state, New Mexico State and University of New Mexico, and the ability to bet on these teams varies by tribal casino. While there are no specific rules regarding the matter, some tribal casinos, like the Santa Ana Star Casino, prohibit wagers on in-state colleges, while other casinos will accept bets on them.

Outside of retail sports betting, residents or tourists of the Land of Enchantment can also download and use daily fantasy sports apps or place bets on horse races either in person or online. Some of the apps for these markets include PrizePicks, Fliff, and TVG.

Online sports betting in The Land of Enchantment

The state of New Mexico and its local tribes entered a standard gaming compact back in 2001. It wasn’t until 2015 that this gaming compact would need to be renegotiated and signed, which allowed for 14 of the 17 gaming tribes in the state to offer Class III Gaming. No one would know it at the time, but this new gaming compact would eventually lead to legal sports betting in New Mexico.

Three years after this new gaming compact was signed, the Supreme Court overturned PASPA, which put the legalization of sports betting into the hands of individual states. Instead of the state government taking the initiative, the Pueblo of Santa Ana Tribe opened the state’s first sportsbook in October 2018. While there was no sports betting bill in place, the tribe felt they could open this sportsbook since the gaming compact they signed said nothing about not being able to offer sports betting.

The Santa Ana Star Casino remained the only legal place to make a sports wager for seven months, and when other tribes realized the state was not stepping in to stop them, more sportsbooks started to pop up.

Since 2018, lawmakers in the state have made one full-fledged effort to get a sports betting bill passed. In 2021, HB 101 was introduced, and if passed, it would have legalized sports betting both online and in retail form at the state's five racinos.

Despite its great promise, this bill died in the House Education Committee. Since then, there have been no bills regarding the actual legalization of sports betting; instead, lawmakers have proposed studies to determine how profitable the market could be. Unfortunately, none of these proposals have been passed, and a groundbreaking change is unlikely to happen in 2024.

Sports betting and gambling legislation in NM

Bettors must be at least 21 years old to place a legal sports wager in New Mexico. This is one of the lone gambling rules that applies to all five tribal casinos and race tracks in the state. As we’ve noted with betting on college sports, there are other restrictions that vary by tribal casino.

Due to the fact that there are no legal sports betting apps available in the state, bettors also do not have the option to utilize remote registration. Since sports betting is legal through gaming compacts, there is no regulatory body that oversees the market, as each tribal gaming commission regulates its own operation. The US Bureau of Indian Affairs is the group in charge of all gaming tribes throughout the country.

Since there are no mobile sports betting apps in New Mexico, it would only make sense that online casinos and online poker remain illegal in the state. While these markets would be nice additions to the state's betting landscape, the focus right now seems to be on mobile sports betting. So even if mobile sports betting ever sees the light of day, that is not a guarantee that iGaming will as well.

Are online casinos legal in New Mexico?No
Are retail casinos legal?Yes, with restrictions
Are social sportsbooks legal?Yes
Are sweepstakes/social casinos legal?Yes
Is online poker legal?No
Is the lottery legal?Yes
The launch date of sports betting in New Mexico?October 16, 2018
How many legal sports betting apps are there in NM?0
How many legal retail betting sites are there in NM?5
Is remote registration allowed?No
Legal age for sports betting in New Mexico?21+
New Mexico's tax rate for betting/gambling winnings6%
Who regulates sports betting in New Mexico?Tribal Gaming Commissions

Most recent updates from the NM sports betting scene

  • December 8, 2023: Several sportsbooks, including Superbook and Caesars Sportsbook, are facing scrutiny due to reports of suspicious betting activity on the UNLV football game against New Mexico. The line quickly moved from the Rebels being 9-point favorites to as high as 16½ before UNLV's 56-14 victory on November 4th.

  • November 2, 2023: BetMGM launches its sports betting services in New Mexico, marking its 28th market entry and expanding its customer base. The retail sportsbook is located at Isleta Resort & Casino in Albuquerque and entertains a new audience.

  • July 26, 2023: Elys Game Technology expands its presence in the United States by agreeing to power a new retail sportsbook at Santa Claran Casino Resort in Española Valley, New Mexico.

In-person sports betting sites and locations

Tribal casinos and commercial racinos are spread all throughout the Land of Enchantment, but only five of those tribal casinos have decided to offer legal sports betting to their customers.

Just because there are just five locations now does not mean that number can’t increase over time. Each tribal casino in the state is under a gaming compact that allows Class III gaming, which includes sports betting, so if another location wants to offer legal sports betting at some point, they would be able to.

Retail Sportsbook

Location

Buffalo Thunder Casino

30 Buffalo Thunder Trail, Santa Fe

Inn of the Mountain Gods

287 Carrizo Canyon Rd, Mescalero

Isleta Resort & Casino

11000 Broadway Blvd SE, Albuquerque

Route 66 Casino

14500 Central Ave SW, Rio Puerco, Albuquerque

Santa Ana Star Casino

54 Jemez Canyon Dam Rd, Bernalillo

Sports betting in neighboring states

A resident of New Mexico has a 50/50 chance of finding legalized sports betting when crossing the state's border. If they end up in Colorado or Arizona, they will find a wide range of legal mobile betting apps along with retail casinos that offer sportsbooks.

At the same time, if they end up in Texas or Oklahoma, they will find even fewer betting options than the ones offered in New Mexico. In order to find out more about why TX and OK have been unable to legalize sports betting, you can click the state’s name in the box below.

StateOnline sports bettingRetail sports bettingDFSHorse Race betting
ColoradoLegalLegalLegalLegal
OklahomaIllegalLegal (restricted)LegalLegal
TexasIllegalIllegalLegalLegal
ArizonaLegalLegalLegalLegal

Potential sports betting revenue impact on New Mexico's economy

Many times, when a state’s government has little involvement in gambling or sports betting, the state’s reports regarding handle, revenue, and tax income are not available. That is the exact case right now in New Mexico, as we have no data to report for those categories. For as long as the Land of Enchantment keeps sports betting limited to tribal casinos, this will likely remain the case.

The tax rate for tribal casinos in New Mexico varies based on their adjusted net revenue. For example, from 2018 to 2030, if a casino makes between $40 and $80 million in revenue, it is subject to an 8.75% tax rate. That number could either go up or down depending on which revenue bracket the casino falls into during a given year.

Some states that either have no sports betting or have it in a limited capacity will run studies to estimate how much the state will make from sports betting, and while NM has tried to get proposals passed that would allow these studies, they have been unsuccessful.

New Mexico - Some commonly asked questions (FAQ):

Are there any legal restrictions in NM’s sports betting landscape?

The most significant restriction on bettors in New Mexico is that they cannot use mobile betting apps and must place all legal wagers at a retail location.

How profitable has sports betting been for New Mexico?

Due to the fact that sports betting is run through tribal casinos in New Mexico, we do not have data regarding how profitable the matter is.

What is the biggest sports rivalry in New Mexico?

The Rio Grande Rivalry is the infamous rivalry between the University of New Mexico Lobos and New Mexico State Aggies.

What is the number one sports-related mascot in NM?

The discussion about the number one mascot in the state of New Mexico is always a heated argument over Lobo Louie or Pistol Pete.