New Mexico Sports Betting

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At the time of writing, it is legal to bet on sports in New Mexico, but only in the tribal casinos. As we speak, the state hasn’t passed any sports betting legislation but it is still possible to partake in legalized sports betting.

In May 2018, the SCOTUS overruled PASPA – Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which overturned the federal ban on sports betting. This meant that it was down to each individual state as to whether or not they wanted to make retail and online sports betting legal. However, although no bill has yet to be passed, Ana Star Casino & Hotel started to offer sports betting at its tribal casino.

So, officially New Mexico hasn’t begun to legalize sports betting but it is still possible in Santa Ana Star tribal casino and now a number of other tribal casinos. They claim to be able to legally offer a casino sportsbook because of its previous gaming agreement with the state. So, because its availability isn’t legislatively driven, it differs slightly from other states.

So, although there are legal sports betting sites within the state casinos, there are no online sports betting sites available legally within the state. As it stands, the state has almost 30 tribal casinos all of which can take bets from anyone aged 21 or older – whilst at the property. This is not being contested and it looks as this will remain the status quo in the state for the time being.

Is Sports Betting Legal in New Mexico?

Although there is no official law permitting sports betting in New Mexico, when PASPA was overturned, it wasn’t long until the Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel. just outside Albuquerque opened a sports betting facility – and started taking wagers in October 2018. So, the only New Mexico sports betting sites are those within casinos.

However, this lack of legislation means that the state is restricted to betting on sports only in-person. As such, any New Mexico resident is completely reliant on the state’s tribes that run the casinos to make their bets. Indeed, as it stands, New Mexico doesn’t even assess any extra tax on their sports betting.

As of the end of 2019, another four tribal casinos started offering in-person sports betting:

  • Buffalo Thunder
  • Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino
  • Isleta Resort & Casino
  • Route 66 Casino

New Mexico Sports Betting Casinos

Here are some of the current New Mexico casinos that do or can offer sports betting.

  • Location Partner
  • Santa Ana Star Casino USBookmaking
  • Buffalo Thunder Casino Casino & National Sports Book Management
  • Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino William Hill
  • Isleta Casino & Resort USBookmaking
  • Route 66 Casino TBD
  • Sandia Casino TBD
  • Sky City Casino TBD
  • Sun Ray Park Casino TBD
  • Sunland Park Racetrack TBD
  • Taos Mountain Casino TBD
  • Wild Horse Casino TBD
  • Kicks 66 TBD
  • Camel Rock Casino TBD
  • Dancing Eagle Casino TBD
  • Fire Rock Casino TBD
  • Flowing Waters Casino TBD
  • Nambe Falls Casino TBD
  • San Felipe Casino TBD

How to Choose a New Mexico Betting Sites

There is no way to enjoy legal sports betting online, so you need to go to one of the tribal casinos. Obviously, the most obvious factor to affect your choice will be location and convenience. However, here are some of the other factors you need to consider if possible.

Sports and Betting Odds

One obvious area you should look at is whether or not the casino offers betting on the sports and events you are interested in. All of them will offer the major sports leagues. However, they may not all offer options such as horse racing, UFC or soccer. If you do find a casino that offers your sports choices, you then have to see how generous their odds are compared to other casinos.

Free Bets and Bonus Offers

Some casinos might even offer bonuses and promotions to attract you into their casino rather than the competition. Generally, we would always recommend looking at any terms and conditions attached to these offers before accepting. This is usually something more likely to be offered by online sportsbooks, but if there is a promotional idea used by a casino, they are certainly worth looking at in more detail.

Customer Service

Customer service is just as important at land-based retail sportsbooks as at online sportsbooks. When you try out a new casino for sports betting in New Mexico they need to make it an easy and enjoyable experience – both when making bets and when claiming your winnings.

Sports and Markets Available at New Mexico Casinos

Generally, every casino sportsbook will offer the major sports, events and leagues to bet on. So, whatever casino you try out, you will likely be able to find odds and markets for NFL betting, NBA betting, NHL, MLB and even college football and basketball.

That being said, although they will offer bets on NCAA events, they will not offer wagers on any New Mexico college teams or NCAA games held in the state.

Mobile Betting in New Mexico

At this point in time, mobile sports betting is not available at any of the New Mexico sports betting casinos. There may be a point in time, where online betting could be legalized but the process for this hasn’t even started as yet. Not only would a new law need to be introduced but the state agreement with the Indian tribes would also need amending.

Gambling in New Mexico Timeline


New Mexico started taking pari-mutuel bets when La Mesa Part opened in Raton


State Governor Bruce King set up a task force to discuss gaming contracts with the Pueblo of Sandia and Mescalero Apache Tribes.


State Governor Gary Johnson signed gaming compacts with New Mexico tribes – and the state’s first land-based casino opened its doors, the Cities of Gold. That was also the year New Mexico approved the state lottery.


The state passed legislation to allow up to five horse racing licenses. This led to the creation of New Mexico’s first state-run racetrack casinos.


In July, the state enacted the ‘Bingo and Raffle Act’, repealing its former bingo law. This new legislation permits organizations to get licenses to run bingo and raffles for charity. It also reduced New Mexico’s existing tax for these activities.


New Mexico voted in a bill to legalize online daily fantasy sports. It also set the industry’s regulations and guidelines.


After PASPA was overturned, The Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel took its first sports wager in October. This year the New Mexico Racing Commission decided to grant an extra horse racing license, which would create a sixth racetrack. However, in December it tabled the decision.


In August, the New Mexico Racing Commission decided not to grant a sixth horse racetrack and casino license.

Legal betting Locations in New Mexico

These are the locations in New Mexico with casinos for sports betting:

  • Santa Fe – The Hilton Buffalo Thunder Casino
  • Mescalero – The Inn of the Mountain Gods
  • Albuquerque – Isleta Resort & Casino and the Route 66 Casino
  • Albuquerque – Route 66 Casino
  • Bernalillo – Santa Ana Star Casino

There is the possibility of an extra three casinos in the near future as another tribe, the Navajo Nation, is looking to include sports betting.

These all offer sports betting on all of the top sporting events as well as more niche sports including tennis, MMA and golf.

The Most Popular Sports to Bet on in New Mexico

There aren’t any major league sports teams that are resident in New Mexico, so home support would go to local college teams. However, that isn’t available at all casino sportsbooks in the state.

The majority of legal sports betting casinos will not take wagers on New Mexico State and the University of New Mexico – although this is available at the Isleta Resort.

However, because there is no official legislation, this decision is made by the casino and not the sportsbook operator.

As is the case with all states in the US, NFL betting is the most popular – with most residents splitting loyalties between the Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans. NBA betting is also very popular.

Daily Fantasy Sports in New Mexico

Daily fantasy sports betting in New Mexico isn’t explicitly legal or illegal. As such, some operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel do accept players from within the state.

Horse Racing Betting in New Mexico

Horse racing in New Mexico is legal and there are currently five active racetracks:

  • Ruidoso Downs: Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and Casino
  • Sunland Park: Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino
  • Farmington: Sunray Park and Casino
  • Albuquerque: The Downs Racetrack and Casino
  • Hobbs: Zia Park Racetrack and Casino, owned by Penn National

Although all of these tracks have their own casinos, the casinos don’t yet have the option to add sports betting because these are not owned or operated by state tribes.

There is only one racino license available in the New Mexico state law.

Recent New Mexico Sports Betting History

The history really began in 2018 when PASPA was overruled. This quickly led to state tribal casinos offering sports betting in their properties, despite no official law having been passed. This means that New Mexico was officially the sixth state to offer some form of sports betting. In October that year, the New Mexico state lottery announced that it would also allow players to bet on parlays of at least three results.

In 2019 no official bills were proposed to legalize sports betting but there were bills put forward to stop the state lottery from launching sports betting – but these efforts failed.

In 2020 there were reports that the Navajo Gaming Enterprise was working towards launching sports betting. The Navajo currently have three casinos in New Mexico.

New Mexico Sports Betting FAQ

Is Sports Betting Legal in New Mexico?

Not officially. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t legally bet on sports. Tribal casinos in the state can offer sports betting because the law doesn’t specifically illegalise sports wagering.

Where Can I Bet on Sports in NM?

The only legal way to bet on sports in New Mexico is via tribal casinos – although not all offer the option. Currently, five tribal casinos offer sports betting and the Navajo Nation is also in the process of adding sports betting to its three casinos.

Can I Use My Phone to Bet on Sports in New Mexico?

No, currently online sports betting and mobile sports betting in New Mexico isn’t legal. There is also no progress with this either. No legalization on sports betting has even been attempted, which means that even making sports betting in casinos isn’t ‘official’. Until they think about introducing some sort of legal framework, there will be no legal way to offer mobile sports betting. The only feasible option is for tribes to launch an app that would only take bets whilst the punter is located in the casino, but that doesn’t seem worth it.

Can I Bet on Local New Mexico Sports Teams?

There are no professional major sports league teams in New Mexico – only college teams. And whether or not you can bet in the University of New Mexico or New Mexico State depends on the casino – some allow it whilst others don’t.

Is Offshore Online Sports Betting Legal in New Mexico?

No, it is not legal for any online sports betting site that hasn’t been regulated within the state to offer sports betting to any resident of New Mexico. You can only legally play at a sportsbook that has been licensed within state jurisdiction. These are the only ones that offer you protection. Offshore betting sites are not licensed, regulated and may not provide a trustworthy service.

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