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Gambling in New Mexico

Following new interpretations of the law, people can now enjoy sports gambling at several casinos in New Mexico. However, the Land of Enchantment has some way to go before it fully catches up with some of the other US states. We will hopefully see lawmakers introduce new bills to legalize different gambling practices soon.

Following new interpretations of the law, people can now enjoy sports gambling at several casinos in New Mexico. However, the Land of Enchantment has some way to go before it fully catches up with some of the other US states. We will hopefully see lawmakers introduce new bills to legalize different gambling practices soon.

Available in this state

How to Bet on Online Sports in New Mexico

Currently in New Mexico, people can only enjoy sports betting at brick-and-mortar casinos, while many other states have begun to introduce sports betting laws. This is due to the Supreme Court’s 2018 over-ruling of the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). By removing PASPA’s controls, state governments were able to take control of their own regulations regarding sports betting. New Mexico, for now, has not introduced any bills that would allow it.

However, the federally recognized tribes of the state have found a way around these restrictions. The Pueblo of Santa Ana Tamaya Nation has an agreement with the state government that allows them to offer all Class III gambling on their land. This includes sports betting and pari-mutuel wagering. The first legal sports bet in New Mexico was a $30 Moneyline wager for the Houston Astros to beat the Boston Red Sox. The player placed this bet on October 16, 2018, at the Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel Sportsbook.

If you wish to sample sports betting in New Mexico, you will have to go to one of the casinos that also offer sportsbooks onsite. In addition to the Santa Ana Star Casino, you can now also head to the Buffalo Thunder Casino, the Inn of the Mountain Gods, and the Isleta Resort & Casino. You need to be 21+ to enter the casino and place a sports bet.

Many other tribes are also looking to introduce sports betting to their casinos in New Mexico. Online gambling, however, is a little further away. There is no current legislation to introduce online sports betting in the Land of Enchantment. If legislators bring forward a bill, it will also require some new discussions with the tribes to work out how it would affect their deals.

If lawmakers introduce a new bill discussing an expansion of sports betting and its presence online in New Mexico, you will be able to follow its progress on this page.

Are There Online Casinos in New Mexico?

As with online sports betting in New Mexico, the state also restricts online gambling at casino websites. For now, anyone who wants to gamble in the state will have to head to one of the brick-and-mortar casinos. You must be 21+ to enter a casino in New Mexico.

The tribes of the state own the casinos in New Mexico after the Mescalero Apache Tribe and the Pueblo of Sandia wanted to run resorts and casinos on their land in 1990. They reached a Class III agreement with the state, but then-Governor Bruce King refused to sign. He then lost the gubernatorial election in 1994, and his opponent and successor Gary Johnson signed these deals in 1995. The agreements formally came into play in 1997, meaning players can indulge in over 20 casinos throughout the state. There are no commercial casinos owned by non-tribal companies, however New Mexico’s small population means that these 20 casinos are more than enough.

Whether you wish to visit casinos with sports betting venues in New Mexico or one of the others, you will find slots, table games, and anything you could want from a casino. There are also several “racinos” where you can indulge in pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing alongside other games.

The government has made no moves to legalize online casinos and gambling in New Mexico, though there is always the chance that they might introduce something. Players should always avoid overseas sites that claim to allow NM and American players as there is no guarantee that these sites are safe to play at. With more tribal casinos opening sportsbooks, it might prompt the New Mexico government to consider legalizing online play too. You will be able to follow any updates on this page, as and when they occur.

Online Poker Laws in New Mexico

As with play at internet casinos in NM, online gambling in the form of real money poker is illegal. The State of New Mexico Gaming Control Board has power of the online gambling regulations and they have not yet introduced any licenses for online poker. Residents in NM will instead have to visit one of the brick-and-mortar casinos around the state if they wish to play a few hands. Most of the casinos offer some sort of live poker and may also host tournaments and other opportunities to win a larger prize.

Just as with online casinos, some sites claim to offer online poker to those in New Mexico. These overseas sites are not safe as the state doesn’t regulate them. In addition to potentially being illegal, they might also attempt to withhold any winnings you might have, and they may even steal your sensitive data. Playing at any unregulated site like this simply isn’t worth the risk.

If a new bill for online gambling in New Mexico that has provisions for poker appears, you will be able to find out more about it on this page.

Are Daily Fantasy Sports Sites Legal in New Mexico?

Daily fantasy sports in New Mexico exist in a gray area. There are no state laws to explicitly ban or legalize fantasy games, with many of the major operators offering their products within the state. In 2016, House Majority Leader Nate Gentry introduced HB 314, or the Fantasy Contests Act, however, this bill’s progress was indefinitely postponed. The conversation surrounding fantasy sports has not yet resurfaced in the Land of Enchantment and so it is unlikely that lawmakers will address this gray area any time soon.

If you want to try fantasy sports, you can participate in contests at FanDuel and DraftKings, amongst other popular providers. With that being said, LegalBetting recommends that players do not do so until legislators formally introduce laws. It will always be better to wait until some form of regulations and restrictions are in place for your protection. If lawmakers bring forward new legislation, you will be able to find out more about it on this page.

Playing the State Lottery in New Mexico

The state brought in the New Mexico Lottery in 1996. You can play several daily draw games including Roadrunner Cash that has a jackpot starting at $25,000. Players can also take part in the multi-jurisdictional games of Lotto America, Powerball, and Mega Millions.

You can buy tickets from retail locations all around the state, but you must be 18+ to do so. The lottery is currently not available to play online but players can check the winning numbers on the official website or on the lottery’s app. They can also sign up for a free My Rewards account which allows them to enter second-chance drawings and exclusive offers.

What Else to Know About Gambling in New Mexico

Like in many other states, the New Mexico Lottery gives some of its revenue to state projects, such as education. It has currently raised more than $843.9 million for education in New Mexico and 122,652 students have received help from these scholarships. Students can use the  scholarships at 25 colleges and 4 tribal colleges throughout the state of New Mexico.

When it comes to gambling in New Mexico, the state does not permit people to bet on in-state college teams. Gamblers can bet on NCAA teams in other states, but currently can’t place bets on any within state borders.

All casinos in New Mexico need to pay a tax to the state based on their net proceeds. The state taxes charitable gaming at 10% and other operators 26% per month.

The Future of Gambling in New Mexico

In New Mexico, online gambling might seem like it is a long way away, but changes might be easier to introduce than they first appear. With sportsbooks opening in many casinos throughout the state, this might motivate legislators to consider introducing legislation targeting online play.


Some forms of gambling in New Mexico are legal. You can play slots and casino games at one of the regulated casinos around the state. You can also place sports bets if one of these casinos has a sportsbook onsite.

You must be aged 21+ to enter a casino in New Mexico.

In New Mexico, online gambling in all forms, including sports betting, is currently illegal.

FanDuel’s fantasy sports games are not illegal in New Mexico, but there are also no laws that legalize them. You cannot use FanDuel’s online sportsbook in New Mexico as online sports betting has not been legalized.


Jennifer Marsh

Jennifer is constantly on the lookout for the latest updates on US gambling legislation. She has a soft spot for blackjack and poker, but spends a lot of time writing about other facets of the online gambling world as well.

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