Though New Mexico has been a slow adopter of gambling throughout its history, it was quick to start accepting sports bets after the U.S. Supreme Court overruled PASPA in 2018. For a long time, horse racing was the only form of gambling available in the state. That changed in 1995 when a state lottery was created and tribal casinos were approved. Online sports betting in New Mexico has not yet been legalized, but residents can freely enjoy Daily Fantasy gameplay at their leisure.
Gambling Laws in New Mexico
As opposed to many states, which have been actively fighting towards legalizing sports gambling by introducing bill after bill to their respective congresses, New Mexico had a fairly easygoing approach to the matter. In October 2018, an established casino, the Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel near Albuquerque, cited a clause in the state’s gaming laws to prove New Mexico sports betting was not technically illegal. They used this as justification to take their first bet, becoming the sixth state in the nation to introduce legal sports betting.
- We closely follow local news in New Mexico including the Albuquerque Journal and the Santa Fe New Mexican to provide you with the latest gambling developments, fast.
- We aren’t only experts in sports betting, we have dedicated teams across the gambling industry including for casino games such as slots and have created an online roulette guide.
- We quickly update you on changes in New Mexico’s betting laws by keeping up with the New Mexico Gaming Control Board and the New Mexico Legislature.
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Most Popular Sports in New Mexico
New Mexico might not have any major league professional sports teams of its own, but it certainly boasts an impressive array of minor league and college teams, particularly in baseball. Soccer, indoor football and swimming are also fun pastimes for residents of the state.
Here are the most popular sports and resulting betting markets in New Mexico:
Baseball – Albuquerque Isotopes
New Mexico’s pride and joy, sports-wise, are the Albuquerque Isotopes, a minor league baseball team in the Pacific Coast League, affiliated with the Colorado Rockies. They notably play their home games in one of the country’s most elevated stadiums, Isotopes Park which reaches 5,100 feet above sea level! That training has added up: the team has won three division titles in its short history.
Soccer – New Mexico United
Relatively new to the New Mexico sports scene but already making waves is New Mexico United, a professional soccer team playing in the USL Championship league. They, too, play at Isotropes Park and their first game, in March 2019, was attended by nearly 13,000 fans.
Football – New Mexico Lobos
Representing the University of New Mexico, the Lobos compete in the highest subdivision of College Football. Playing their matches in front of a huge Dreamstyle Stadium crowd, the team have struggled recently to cement their status in the division and have been suffering under the intense level of competition. They currently hold a bowl record of (.346).
Basketball – New Mexico Lobos
The University of New Mexico basketball team is the biggest team in the state for college sport, they have successfully cemented their status in this division as one of the leading state college teams. With a stellar record for the past season and pushing several players into the NBA over recent years, they are really a safe bet for New Mexico betting fans.
Local History of Sports Betting
Since New Mexico’s gambling industry has been slow to form relative to the rest of the nation, it was a bit of surprise when they announced their first legal sports book in fall of 2018. An already existing law was cited as evidence that sports betting was not outlawed outright. The striking down of PASPA cleared the way for future development in sports betting, though it has been indicated that bets will not be permitted on University of New Mexico and State University games, and the state has yet to see an online sports betting bill.
|1946||New Mexico enters the gambling scene with horse racing legalized.|
|1995||Half a century later, New Mexico makes its first move towards expanding gambling with the introduction of a state lotto.|
|1995||Tribal casinos are also approved this year, paving the way for in-person sports betting down the line.|
|2016||DFS games are allowed in New Mexico.|
|2018||The Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel announces it will take sports bets, citing an already existing clause in the state’s gaming compact. Sports betting begins, though only in-person.|
Legal Online Sports Betting Age in New Mexico
Though you can bet at the horse tracks and buy lotto tickets at the age of 18, New Mexicans must reach the age of 21 in order to participate in casino gambling of any kind. That includes sports betting, which is currently only offered in premises at casinos. It remains to be seen how the age might fluctuate if online betting is introduced, but it will likely follow the 21 year age trend.
Sports Betting Age
Is Online Sports Betting Legal Outside of the State?
After a federal ruling strictly prohibited any form on online sports betting in the U.S. in 2006, many states rallied against it, notably New Jersey and Delaware. However, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down PASPA in 2018, paving the way for all states to introduce new sports betting laws. New Mexico quickly followed suit, but unlike Montana and Indiana, it has not made any moves to legalize online sports betting.
Taxes on Your Winnings: Do You Have to Pay Anything?
It is not certain whether New Mexico will ever decide to apply taxes on money coming from online gambling wins. This is because the entire industry is not yet legal. Our assumption is that once the regulatory system changes and online betting becomes monitored and legit, the state will apply a certain percentage, just like almost everywhere in the world. This is not necessarily a bad thing, since the money that NM will raise from these taxes can go for improvements not only in the gambling niche but in the entire state in general. You can always turn to the NM Taxation and Revenue Department if one day you have questions or doubts about the taxation in the state.
Upcoming Regulation Changes in New Mexico Betting Law
While quick to adopt sports betting on premises at casinos, New Mexico legislators have yet to introduce any bills that would expand betting into online or mobile platforms. It is unfortunate, but might just be a side effect of the state’s relatively slow expansion of its gambling industry in general. That means those laws are probably just around the corner, as has been the trend with many other states since PASPA was overruled in 2018, where we can see more and more states seeking online sports betting options.