New Mexico

Until 1990, gambling in New Mexico had a long history of horse racing, but little else. The 1990’s brought sweeping change when Governor Gary Johnson took office. Johnson initiated legalized Tribal and Commercial Casinos, Racinos, and created a state lottery.

New Mexico gambling laws now offers a suite of gaming options, including horse racing online, lottery, poker, and charitable gambling.  The state has even explored legalizing online gambling options.

In November 2018, one of New Mexico’s tribes began offering legal sports betting and the state is now looking to follow up with full legal sports betting for all tribal and commercial casinos across the state.

New Mexico Casino Gambling

There are 24 Tribal casinos and two commercial New Mexico casinos currently operating in the state. These New Mexico casinos offer popular casino games like slots (almost 18000 slots are offered in the state), video poker, and almost table games (including blackjack, live poker, craps) all approved by the New Mexico Gaming Control Board.

Smaller New Mexico casinos may also offer only video poker and slot games, and of course one casino famously offers sports betting.

As more casinos take up sports betting for their clientele to enjoy, we shall let you know.

Online Casinos in New Mexico

New Mexico does not license, authorize, prohibit or regulate online casinos. The State Government currently has new agreements between the Tribal Casinos and the State need to be negotiated around sports betting keeping them occupied and online casino legislation is not high on the list of priorities.

New Mexico’s gambling laws are not required to determine a specific position on online casinos, as anything not covered off under the laws as a legal form of gambling in New Mexico is considered to be illegal;

“Internet gambling is expressly prohibited by Federal law. This falls under 31 U.S.C.A. §5361, Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. The State of New Mexico, and the New Mexico Gaming Control Board do not regulate, license, control or in ANY way sanction, endorse or approve any Internet or on-line gambling, betting activity, wagering or any aspect thereof. Any statement, reference or opinion to the contrary is wrong. Such activity is strictly prohibited and not authorized, approved or sanctioned in any manner by New Mexico regulatory authorities.”

For the time being, online players can legally gamble online on horse and greyhound racing, and play real money DFS competitions in the state without running afoul of New Mexico’s laws.

We recommend to all New Mexico’s online players to meanwhile stick to DFS real money online betting options and online horse and greyhound racing betting ONLY (not illegal in New Mexico) and to refrain from playing ANY online casinos (either off-shore or U.S-based online casinos) until legalization of online casinos takes place in the state of New Mexico.

Poker in New Mexico

In New Mexico, Live Poker can be enjoyed at Tribal and Commercial Casinos. Video Poker betting options are also available across New Mexico’s casinos.
Note – social poker games are expressly prohibited under New Mexico law and harsh penalties can result if charged. Best avoided.

Poker Rooms

You can play a number of poker games at New Mexico’s Poker Rooms in Commercial and Tribal Casinos, including No Limit Hold’em, Omaha, Pot Limit Hold’em, NL Texas Hold’em, Tournaments, Omaha Hi-Lo, Limit Hold’em, Crazy Pineapple etc.

Online Poker Laws

Online Poker is prohibited in New Mexico and no law is on the books for discussion in the State Legislature. Please see the above section ‘Online Casinos in New Mexico’ for a full explanation.

  • Tribal and Commercial Casinos and racetracks employ more than 12 000 people in New Mexico.
  • Gambling supplied more than $156 million for state’s budget income in 2017 and annually provides New Mexico with revenue streams to fund improvements in education, day-care and health programs, veteran’s care, policing, fire protection and many parks, roads, bridges among other infrastructure projects.
  • New Mexico’s extensive and powerful Tribal Casino industry has created hundreds of jobs and an overall increase for First Nations people living on Tribal lands.
  • Legal gambling in a regulated and licensed legal gambling industry provides greater player protection and security for gamblers in the state of New Mexico.

Protections from illegal gambling operators are enshrined under New Mexico law through legal gambling guidelines and regulations.

History of Online & Land-Based Gambling in New Mexico

1946; Horse Racing Betting legalized in New Mexico.

1978; Charitable Bingo legalized in the state of New Mexico.

1995; New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson signs agreement with 13 Tribes to offer Native American Casinos in the state.

1996; State Lottery begins in New Mexico with ‘scratch-off card’ method and later extended to include Powerball and all the major inter-state lotteries. Lottery ticket profits go to fund educational scholarships and other charities.

1997; New Mexico Gaming Control Board created by State Statute and first funded and began work a year later. The Board takes over the administration of betting in New Mexico’s Horse Racing Gambling Industry.

Early 2000’s to present; Tribal Casinos and the State of New Mexico in an almost continual disagreement on the ‘revenue-sharing’ model of the original tribal compact agreements.

2011; First Non-Tribal Commercial Casino in New Mexico approved for downtown Albuquerque.

2018; Legal Sports Betting begins with the Pueblo of Santa Ana Tribal Group taking sports bets at the group’s Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel.

2019?; Legal Sports Betting Expected to begin across the state’s range of Tribal and Commercial Casinos.

Click Here for More information about about sports betting in New Mexico

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