Gambling in New Mexico
Sports Legal Since: 2018
Daily Fantasy Legal Since: 2016
Casino Illegal
Poker Illegal
Lottery Legal Since: 1995

Guide to Online Gambling in New Mexico: The Best New Mexico Gambling Sites for 2019

New Mexico Daily Fantasy Sports

Participating in daily fantasy sports has been legal in New Mexico since 2016, when House Bill 314 was signed into law. This allowed New Mexicans over 18 years of age to take part, and also includes a number of responsible gambling caveats that allow players to self-exclude upon request. House Majority Leader, Nate Gentry, was responsible for filing the bill, which he said was specifically aiming to protect consumers and clarify the legal grey areas that had previously been in place around the activity. Here are the best New Mexico Daily Fantasy Sports sites:

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Gambling Laws in New Mexico

The gambling laws in New Mexico are clear about what is and isn’t legal to do in the state. This is something of a welcome change, as many other states have fairly confusing gaps in the laws that leave a lot up to interpretation. However, this article makes it very clear what types of gambling you can and can’t do in the state. There are legal forms of daily fantasy sports betting online, though that is about as far as the laws extend in terms of internet gaming. The rest of the gambling options are strictly restricted to land-based outlets, most of which are owned and operated by the state’s native American tribes.

What’s most interesting are the details to the very newly passed sports betting laws. The laws allow some native American tribes to offer a sports book, which has kicked off with the Santa Ana Star. Any forms of sports betting online remains completely illegal. However, these laws were created after the state legalized daily fantasy sports, which is entirely online. The disparity between on- and off-line laws is somewhat confusing, though perhaps leaving out the provisions for online sports betting is how the sports betting laws were able to pass so surprisingly quickly.

New Mexico Sports Betting

New Mexico became the sixth state to offer sports betting when it legalized an on-site option in late 2018. However, this is purely limited to placing bets at the Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel. People wishing to place a bet may do so between 12pm and 8pm on weekdays, or between 7am to 10pm on weekends. Outside of those hours are a few betting stations and kiosks where wagers can be placed. Online sports betting is still illegal in New Mexico, and this seems unlikely to change in the near future, with the legislation clearly banning it.

New Mexico Casinos

Casino gambling in New Mexico is illegal online and in land-based locations, except for in racinos and Native American tribal casinos. These were legalized in 1995, at the same time as the Lottery, effectively kick-starting the state’s main gambling attractions. Now, there are around 30 locations that New Mexicans can visit, the majority of which are the tribal casinos. The biggest location is arguably the Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel, which also added sports betting to its portfolio in late 2018.

New Mexico Poker

Poker is only legal inside licensed locations in New Mexico, which includes many of the tribal casinos and poker rooms. Some are more poker-heavy than others, though, with the Santa Ana Star only offering some Texas Hold’em options while the Inn of the Mountain Gods has a dedicated poker room open every day, as well as its own tournaments in both Hold’em and Omaha. There are plentiful places New Mexicans can go to play poker, which is good as all forms of online poker are banned in the state.

New Mexico Lottery

With the signing of Senate Bill 853 in 1995, the New Mexico Lottery was officially legalized and has continued to operate successfully to this day. The Lottery profits are predominantly used to fund college scholarships, with the NM Lottery reporting more than 116,500 scholarships offered since 1996. As a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association, it offers games including Powerball, Mega Millions, Hot Lotto, and a collection of different scratch cards and instant win games. Only players over 18 may participate in lottery games. Tickets may be purchased in one of many bricks-and-mortar locations, as no lottery tickets are sold online.

History of Gambling in New Mexico

New Mexico got off to a strong – and early – start with gambling legislation in 1946, when it legalized pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing. After that, though, the gambling laws were rather stagnant for around half a century. Then, in a flurry of activity in the 90s, the state added casinos, racinos and a state lottery to its legal gambling options. There is more detail about the history of gambling in New Mexico in the table below.

New Mexico Gambling History
1946 Pari-mutuel horse racing wagers are legalized in New Mexico and the La Mesa Park in Raton opens.
1995 The New Mexico Lottery is allowed.
1995 Native American tribes are allowed to run casino operations within the state.
2009 Legal Bingo gets given the green light
2016 New Mexico bill passes, legalizing daily fantasy sports.
2018 A new racino is planned.
2018 Sports betting is legalized in a surprise move, going live at the Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel.

New Mexico State Facts

The southwestern state of New Mexico, also known as the Land of Enchantment, has been represented in many different ways through the media. The wholesome outlook of the state through the eyes of the Wildcats from High School Musical is slightly undermined by the Walter White’s more gruesome experience in Breaking Bad, for example. When it comes to the state’s gambling laws, there is another imbalance between the legality and regulations of the land-based casinos and lottery, when compared to the bans on most forms of online gambling.

Facts About New Mexico
Population 2,088,070
Min. Income/month $1,300
Offline Location Sandia Resort and Casino
Commissioner
Languages English 69.7%, Spanish 28.5%, Navajo 3.5%, other 4.1%
Local Team
Tax Authority
State Law https://www.nmgcb.org/regulations
Winning Tax 6%
State Website www.newmexico.gov
Famous Gamblers There are no famous gamblers from New Mexico

Gambling Age in New Mexico

There are different gambling ages for players in New Mexico, depending on the type of gambling that is taking place. For example, pari-mutuel wagers on horse racing and purchasing tickets to the New Mexico Lottery or scratch off cards is restricted to those over 18. The same age restriction also applies to those wanting to play daily fantasy sports. However, those wanting to play poker or enter one of the tribal casinos for other types of table and card games will need to be over 21.

  • Online Gambling Age:
    Horse racing and lottery is restricted to residents over 18 while casino players must be over 21.
  • Alcohol Age
    The legal age for possession and drinking alcohol is over 21.
  • Weed Age
    Only medicinal marijuana use is legalized in New Mexico.

Responsible Gambling and Addiction Prevention

The New Mexico Council on Problem Gambling (NMCPG) is responsible for the majority of the services offered to those seeking help or prevention from gambling addition in the state. It is funded by a combination of contributions from the various types of gambling outlets in the state, each of which are required to spend no less that a quarter of one per cent of their revenues on programs for helping problem gamblers. The service offers a helpline as well as outpatient counselling for problem gambling.

Upcoming Regulation and Expected Changes

With daily fantasy sports legalized for a few years now and sports betting recently joining it, it seems unlikely that there are many changes to the gambling laws in the state to come in the near future. Much of the legislation to date has focused on the land-based operations, though, so the next way the state could open up its options would be to begin investigating online options. This, however, seems unlikely, though with the surprise move to regulate sports betting dropping in late October, it seems anything could be possible. Keep an eye on this page for the latest updates.

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