New Mexico Legal Sports Betting Overview
|NM Sports Betting Law Details||Status|
|📆 Retail Sports Betting Launch Date:||October 16, 2018|
|📆 Online Sports Betting Launch Date:||N/A|
|✅ Licensed Sportsbooks:||Hilton Buffalo Thunder Casino, Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino, Isleta Resort & Casino, Route 66 Casino, Santa Ana Star Casino (all retail only)|
|💵 Legal Wagering Options:||Futures, moneylines, parlays, point spreads, same game parlays, teasers, totals|
|🔞 Legal Gambling Age in NM:||21+|
|🏈 Sports to Bet On:||NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, MMA, tennis, golf, boxing, motorsports, cricket, European soccer, college sports (no in-state teams at some sports betting venues)|
|🏦 Permitted Banking Options:||MasterCard, PayNearMe, Visa, cash at betting windows or kiosks|
|⚖️ New Mexico Gambling Regulator:||New Mexico Gaming Control Board|
New Mexico Sports Betting Summary
New Mexico sports betting is not legal statewide, but five tribal casinos have launched retail sportsbooks under compact law. These tribal casinos follow the rules of a gaming compact signed in 2015, which allows tribes to operate games of chance, including sports wagering. The first NM retail sportsbook opened at the Santa Ana Star Casino on October 16, 2018, and made New Mexico the sixth state to accept sports bets after the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). Three more retail sportsbooks may launch soon, as the Navajo Nation is interested in introducing sports betting at its casinos.
Read our complete guide to learn more about sports betting in New Mexico. You’ll find the latest details on legislation, the requirements for placing legal bets, and the locations of retail sportsbooks in the Land of Enchantment.
New Mexico Online Sportsbooks Summary
Although online sports betting is currently unavailable in New Mexico, the five tribal casinos operating retail sportsbooks could launch geo-restricted apps for use on tribal land. This has been done in Washington, where Snoqualmie Casino launched a sports betting app in December 2021. However, as of August 2022, no operators have introduced an app in NM. No statewide online sportsbooks can launch until legislation changes so, for now, you can only wager in person in New Mexico.
No form of online gambling is legal in New Mexico following the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act of 2006 (UIGA). However, you can play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games powered by operators like ESPN, Boom, Yahoo!, FantasyDraft, DraftKings, and FanDuel. You can also visit neighboring Colorado and use one of 26 online sportsbooks, which include major US operators like BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel. Alternatively, you can travel to Arizona, where Barstool Sportsbook, Hard Rock Sportsbook, Unibet, and WynnBET are among the 18 legal online betting options.
How to Place a Bet in New Mexico
Until online sports betting is legalized, you must visit one of the five tribal casinos in New Mexico and place wagers in person. Read our step-by-step guide below to place your first wager at a retail sportsbook:
Research the bets you plan to make before you arrive at the sportsbook. The more research you do, the greater your chance of placing winning bets.
Decide which of the five retail sportsbooks you want to visit. All sportsbooks are located within tribal casinos across the state.
Once you’re inside the sportsbook, head to a betting window or a betting kiosk. Pick your bet and decide how much money you want to place on the wager.
Check your selection one final time before you place your bet. Once a bet is placed, there are no refunds, so ensure your selections and the betting odds are correct.
After you've placed your bet, you will receive a betting ticket. Make sure you keep this ticket safe, as you will need this to claim your payout if your wager wins.
If your bet wins, return to the betting window with your ticket to claim your winnings.
Banking Methods Available in New Mexico
New Mexico sports betting is limited to retail sportsbooks located within tribal casinos. This means you must make all payments in person at the sportsbook. You can pay directly in cash or use bank cards like Visa and Mastercard. Some sportsbooks also accept PayNearMe cards. You can top these up at local grocery stores such as Walmart and CVS.
If online sportsbooks are legalized and launch in New Mexico, they will accept payments from e-wallets like PayPal. Online banking methods such as online bank transfer and Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments will also be available.
Who is Eligible to Bet in NM?
You must be at least 21 years old to place a sports bet in New Mexico. You must bring a valid photo ID when visiting a retail sportsbook to prove your age. In addition, any individual listed below is prohibited from sports betting:
Athletes, coaches, or members of any professional sports team.
Referees for professional and college sports leagues.
Individuals with the professional authority to influence players.
Individuals with a stake in a sports team.
Individuals employed by organizations with licensing from the New Mexico Gaming Control Board, including key staff, owners, directors, and officers.
Individuals with access to non-public information about a sports team (e.g., player medical records).
Individuals that have voluntarily excluded themselves from gambling activities.
Individuals prohibited from betting on a state or federal level (e.g., due to criminal history).
Latest New Mexico Sports Betting Updates
Current Sports Betting Status in New Mexico
Sports betting is offered in New Mexico by the state's tribal casinos. The first legal bet in the state was accepted on October 16, 2018. As of August 2022, five tribal casinos offer retail sportsbooks. The Navajo Nation has confirmed an interest in introducing sports betting at three of its casinos. You can wager on many professional sports and some college sports. However, every retail sportsbook has different regulations for college sports.
Timeline for Sports Betting in New Mexico
January 2020: The Navajo Nation states its interest in launching sportsbooks at three tribal casinos in New Mexico. Discussions are held to find sportsbook partners for casinos at Fire Rock Navajo Casino, Flowing Water Casino, and Northern Ridge Casino.
November 4, 2019: The Pueblo of Isleta becomes the fifth tribe to launch sports betting as its retail sportsbook opens in partnership with USBookmaking at the Isleta Resort & Casino.
August 29, 2019: Owned by the Pueblo of Laguna, the Route 66 Casino opens a sportsbook in partnership with the Las Vegas Dissemination Company.
July 25, 2019: The Mescalero Apache Tribe opens a sportsbook at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino in partnership with William Hill, which now operates as Caesars in the US.
March 11, 2019: The Hilton Buffalo Thunder Casino, owned by the Pueblo of Pojoaque, is the second New Mexico tribal casino to open a sportsbook, partnering with National Sports Book Management.
March 4, 2019: The House passes HB 441. While the bill progresses no further, the New Mexico Lottery Authority stops its attempts to launch a parlay betting game.
January 31, 2019: Representatives Jason C. Harper, Matthew McQueen, and Rod Montoya introduce HB 441 to the House. The bill aims to stop the New Mexico Lottery Authority from launching a parlay betting system.
October 31, 2018: The New Mexico Lottery Authority decides to move forwards with plans to integrate a sports parlay game into its offerings.
October 16, 2018: The Pueblo of Santa Ana-owned Santa Ana Star Casino launches its retail sportsbook in partnership with USBookmaking and accepts the first legal bets in New Mexico. This makes NM the sixth state to accept bets after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) was struck down.
October 9, 2018: USBookmaking announces a partnership with the Santa Ana Star Casino to launch a retail sportsbook. Sports betting will operate under the regulations of the Class III tribal gaming compact.
May 14, 2018: The US Supreme Court strikes down PASPA. This gives each state the right to legalize sports betting.
June 2015: Lawmakers and tribes agree to an amendment of the Tribal State Class III gaming compact. The new wording includes sports betting as a type of Class III gambling.
New Mexico Sports Betting Background
New Mexico has a long history of horse racing, passing the Horse Racing Act in 1933 to legalize racing and pari-mutuel betting. Five active horse racetracks also operate on-site casinos.
After the US Supreme Court overturned PASPA, tribal casinos moved quickly to launch sports betting. The Pueblo of Santa Ana opened the first sportsbook, and further betting locations were launched by the Pueblo of Pojoaque, the Mescalero Apache Tribe, the Pueblo of Laguna, and the Pueblo of Isleta. The state became the sixth in the US to accept wagers following the PASPA decision. However, no state legislation was passed to allow betting. Instead, amendments made to the Tribal State Class III gaming compact in 2015 allowed the tribes to launch sportsbooks.
Future of New Mexico Sports Betting
While tribal casinos accept sports bets under the 2015 tribal gaming compact, lawmakers haven't signed statewide sports betting into law. Furthermore, state legislators have opposed any legal changes to regulations, passing HB 441 in 2019 to block the New Mexico Lottery from offering sports betting via a parlay game. No legislation has gained any traction in recent times.
The Navajo Nation has indicated its enthusiasm for opening sportsbooks at its three New Mexico casinos: Fire Rock Navajo Casino, Flowing Water Casino, and Northern Ridge Casino. After helping launch the Navajo Nation’s retail sportsbooks in Arizona, Navajo Nation Gaming CEO Brian Parrish says he wants a sportsbook where you can “walk up to windows and place your sports bets in person” in NM. Additionally, the tribe is looking to bring a betting app to its tribal reservations. The tribe has a ten-year partnership with Hard Rock Digital and has successfully launched its online sports betting app in Arizona. According to Parrish, the “third phase” of its plan is to “roll out that mobile app” on reservation land, as would be the case in New Mexico.
New Mexico Sports Betting Locations
There are 23 tribal casinos in New Mexico and, as of August 2022, five of these locations offer retail sports betting. Three more casinos, owned by the Navajo Nation, have indicated an interest in offering sports betting in the future. There are also five racinos, but these locations are not permitted to provide sports wagering.
Santa Ana Star Casino
Address: 54 Jemez Canyon Dam Road, Bernalillo, NM 87004
Phone Number: (505) 867-0000
The Santa Ana Star was the first casino in New Mexico to open a retail sportsbook on October 16, 2018. The sportsbook offers markets on NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and college sports, although bets on in-state collegiate teams are not accepted. You can place sports bets at ticket windows with sportsbook staff or at betting kiosks. You can place a bet with a sportsbook staff member and use your Star Rewards card to qualify for Hall of Fame free bets. The hotel has over 200 rooms available with several dining options, including the Juniper Steakhouse.
Hilton Buffalo Thunder Casino
Address: 20 Buffalo Thunder Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87506
Phone Number: (505) 455-5555
Operator: National Sports Book Management
The Thunder Race & Sportsbook at Hilton Buffalo Thunder Casino opened on March 1, 2019 and is run by National Sports Book Management. The sportsbook offers state-of-the-art big game wagering facilities and a full-service bar area with seating available for over 100 people. Wagers can be placed on the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, tennis, golf, and MMA. Alongside the sportsbook, the casino offers 61,000 square feet of gaming space, a golf resort, a spa, and a variety of restaurants.
Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino
Address: 287 Carrizo Canyon Road, Mescalero, NM 88340
Phone Number: (575) 464-7059
Caesars provides odds for the sportsbook at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino, with excellent betting lines available on NFL player props. The sportsbook has 12 wide-screen TVs and has been completely renovated to offer high-top seating, ensuring a great view from anywhere on the floor. In-play betting is available from betting kiosks, and helpful staff members are available should you have any queries. This four-star mountain resort is located on the Mescalero Apache reservation and offers views of the surrounding area, as well as a championship golf course. You can get food at Wendell's Steak and Seafood or drinks at the Big Game Sports Bar.
New Mexico Land-Based Casinos
|Isleta Resort & Casino||11000 Broadway Boulevard S.E., Albuquerque, NM 87105||(505) 724-3800||USBookmaking|
|Route 66 Casino||14500 Central Avenue S.W., Rio Puerco, Albuquerque, NM 87121||(505) 352-7866||Las Vegas Dissemination Company|
New Mexico Lottery Locations
The New Mexico Lottery launched in 1995, and you can purchase tickets at 1,100 retailers across the state. The New Mexico Lottery Authority regulates the New Mexico Lottery.
In 2019 the New Mexico Lottery Authority voted for an expansion to the lottery product to allow parlay sports betting in lottery locations across the state. This proposal resulted in lawmakers creating HB 441, opposing the proposed expansion. The House voted HB 441 through, and the New Mexico Lottery Authority's expansion plans were shelved. As of August 2022, no further attempts to bring sports betting to lottery locations have been made.
Off-Track and Stadium Betting Locations
The only places you can wager on sports in New Mexico are retail sportsbooks at tribal casinos. There is no wagering at stadiums. Horse racing in New Mexico is overseen by the New Mexico Horse Racing Commission, which enforces laws enacted in the Horse Racing Act of 1933. This includes licensing and regulating pari-mutuel betting in the state.
There are no off-track betting (OTB) locations, but you can place pari-mutuel bets on live and simulcast races at each of the state's five racinos:
|Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and Casino||26225 US-70, Ruidoso Downs, NM 88346||(575) 378-4431|
|Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino||1200 Futurity Drive, Sunland Park, NM 88063||(575) 874-5200|
|Sunray Park and Casino||39 Road 5568, Farmington, NM 87401||(505) 566-1200|
|The Downs Racetrack and Casino||145 Louisiana Boulevard N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87108||(505) 767-7171|
|Zia Park Racetrack and Casino||3901 W. Millen Drive, Hobbs, NM 88240||(888) 942-7275|
New Mexico Responsible Gambling Resources
New Mexico National Council for Problem Gambling – Collates problem gambling resources from across the state and provides a 24/7 live chat and helpline. (800) 522-4700
Responsible Gaming Association of New Mexico – Provides resources and problem gambling support, including a treatment program and counselling for problem gamblers’ families. The organization also has a 24/7 helpline. (800) 572-1142
Gamblers Anonymous – Organizes meetings across New Mexico for problem gamblers to find support and share their experience. It also provides a treatment program. (855) 222-5542
The New Mexico Gaming Control Board operates a statewide self-exclusion program that prohibits you from visiting any licensed gaming facility. As a part of the tribal gaming compacts, this self-exclusion means you can be blocked from visiting retail sportsbooks at tribal casinos. Sportsbooks are also expected to employ other responsible gambling measures, like training staff to deal with problem gambling and offering betting limits.
Teams to Bet on in New Mexico
With a population of just over two million people, it’s not a surprise there are no major league teams based in New Mexico. It also appears unlikely any expansion franchises will spring up in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, or Rio Rancho. However, as New Mexico is surrounded by states that play host to major league teams, NM sports fans are spoiled for choice. Here are the franchises from Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah that they can get behind:
|Arizona Cardinals (NFL)||Denver Broncos (NFL)||Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA)||Dallas Cowboys (NFL)||Utah Jazz (NBA)|
|Phoenix Suns (NBA)||Denver Nuggets (NBA)||Houston Texans (NFL)|
|Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)||Colorado Rockies (MLB)||Dallas Mavericks (NBA)|
|Arizona Coyotes (NHL)||Colorado Avalanche (NHL)||Houston Rockets (NBA)|
|San Antonio Spurs (NBA)|
|Houston Astros (MLB)|
|Texas Rangers (MLB)|
|Dallas Stars (NHL)|
Minor League Sports
Taking their name from a fictional baseball team that features in the TV show The Simpsons, the Albuquerque Isotopes are a Triple-A affiliate of the MLB’s Colorado Rockies. The team's mascot, Orbit, is a red, orange, and yellow alien. Since their formation in 2003, the Isotopes have won three Division Titles but no League Titles.
For New Mexico-based football fans, the Duke City Gladiators are a team to get behind. The Gladiators have competed in the Indoor Football League since 2020. Previously they played in the Champions Indoor Football league, which they won in 2018 and 2019. The Gladiators' home games are played in the 8,000-capacity Rio Rancho Events Center.
Anyone that follows ice hockey can get behind the New Mexico Ice Wolves, a junior team playing in the North American Hockey League South Division. The Ice Wolves were founded in 2019 and played the 2020/21 season in Texas to comply with COVID-19 regulations.
New Mexico Lobos: University of New Mexico Lobos has 16 varsity teams that play in the Mountain West Conference. The Lobos have won three National Championships, two in cross-country and one in skiing. Their football team has a fierce rivalry with the University of Arizona’s Arizona Wildcats and the New Mexico State Aggies, known as the Rio Grande Rivalry. Their most famous football alum is NFL Hall of Famer and legendary Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.
New Mexico State Aggies: Representing New Mexico State University, the Aggies have 16 varsity teams, made up of six men's teams and ten women's teams. They currently compete in the Western Athletic Conference but are transferring to Conference USA from 2023. Cheered on by their mascot 'Pistol Pete,' the Aggies have made 19 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament appearances, with a Final Four appearance in 1970. Home basketball games are played at the 12,500-capacity Pan-American Center.
There are no professional women's sports teams in New Mexico. New Mexicans can get behind the Lobos and the Aggies women's basketball teams, both of which have had NCAA Tournament appearances. There are also two WNBA teams in neighboring states to support: the Dallas Wings, in Texas, and the Phoenix Mercury, in Arizona.
How Does New Mexico Compare to Other States?
The sportsbooks in New Mexico are provided with markets by brands like USBookmaking and New Sports Book Management and include a variety of betting options for the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. You'll also find betting lines for niche sports like MMA and NASCAR. College sports betting is available with many sportsbooks, but each casino has different regulations. For example, the Santa Ana Star Casino does not allow betting on in-state college teams.
More markets would be available if online sports betting was legalized, including wagering on major junior ice hockey competitions. In addition, online sportsbooks offer more niche sports than retail betting locations like cycling, lacrosse, and table tennis.
Competitive Odds & Prices
Odds for retail sportsbooks are provided by brands operating across the US, including Caesars and USBookmaking. Caesars operates in 17 legal betting states and offers the same betting odds in every jurisdiction. While New Mexico bettors won't get Caesars' offers like boosted odds because online sports betting is unavailable, its betting lines are very generous. Its player props for major leagues like the NFL provide great odds.
Aside from Caesars' involvement with the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino, there aren’t any top US sportsbooks operating in New Mexico. When more of the biggest betting brands are available, it create a more competitive market, providing better odds for bettors. If online sports betting is legalized, more operators will look to launch in NM.
Tribal casinos have no obligations to report earnings from sports betting, and the gaming compacts signed with the state mean sports betting tax is not published.
The population of New Mexico (2.1m) is similar to West Virginia's (1.8m), and neither state has any major league franchises. Online and retail sports betting are legal in West Virginia. As of June 2022, West Virginia has handled $1.5 billion in sports bets, with sportsbooks taking revenue of $117,285,971. The state has taken $11,728,597 in taxes from a tax rate of 10%. New Mexico can expect similar revenue and tax numbers if, like WV, it legalizes online sports betting.
New Mexico sports bettors have to pay tax on sports betting winnings. You must declare all gambling winnings to the IRS. For any winnings over $600, you must complete a W-2G form. Sportsbooks can withhold up to 25% of winnings for tax purposes. Sports betting winnings must be included in your state income tax return, with tax rates varying from 1.7% to 5.9%.
Every sportsbook also needs to pay an excise tax of 0.25% of a monthly betting handle, no matter where it operates. This is laid out in the Internal Revenue Code, which also requires operators to pay $50 for every employee involved in taking wagers.
Who Oversees Sports Betting in New Mexico?
The New Mexico Gaming Control Board is the overall authority for gambling in the state. However, sports betting has not been legalized statewide and operates under tribal gaming pacts signed in 2015. While the New Mexico Gaming Control Board enforces responsible gambling measures like its self-exclusion program, sportsbooks are overseen by tribal gaming regulators. Every tribe has its own tribal gaming authority, which enforces different rules. This is why sportsbooks in the state have different rules, with some prohibiting college sports betting on in-state teams.
- Is betting legal in New Mexico?
Lawmakers have not formally legalized retail and online sports betting across New Mexico, but you can visit one of five retail sportsbooks at tribal casinos in the state and place wagers. These bets are allowed under the terms of the gaming compact signed in 2015.
- Who governs sports betting in New Mexico?
The New Mexico Gaming Control Board oversees sports betting in NM, including enforcing responsible gambling regulations. However, retail sportsbooks are also governed by tribal gaming regulators.
- How old do you have to be to bet in New Mexico?
You must be at least 21 years old to place sports bets in New Mexico. When betting at a retail sportsbook, you will be asked to prove your age with a valid photo ID.
- When did sports betting launch in New Mexico?
The Santa Ana Star Casino sportsbook accepted New Mexico's first sports bets on October 16, 2018. USBookmaking operates the sportsbook.
- Where can I bet on sports in New Mexico?
You can only bet at retail sportsbooks at five tribal casinos in New Mexico. These are available at the Hilton Buffalo Thunder Casino, Inn of the Mountain Gods, Isleta Resort & Casino, Route 66 Casino, and Santa Ana Star Casino. There are no legal online sportsbooks in NM.
- Are sportsbooks in New Mexico safe?
New Mexico sportsbooks are regulated by tribal gaming regulators, which make these operators comply with strict policies. These include safety and fairness measures, along with adhering to the New Mexico Gaming Control Board's responsible gambling measures.
- Do I have to pay taxes on betting winnings in New Mexico?
Yes, you must declare all your gambling winnings from sports betting in New Mexico to the IRS and complete a W-2G form if you win more than $600. In addition, you must include your gambling winnings when paying state income tax. This varies between 1.7% and 5.9% in NM.
- Can you play DraftKings in New Mexico?
DraftKings sportsbook isn’t available in New Mexico, as online sports betting isn’t legal in the state. However, DraftKings’ Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games are available in NM, while you can travel to neighboring Arizona or Colorado to bet with the operator.
- Can you play FanDuel in New Mexico?
You can't use FanDuel in New Mexico as online sports betting isn't legal. You can play FanDuel's Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games in New Mexico. Meanwhile, their online sportsbook is available legally in neighboring Arizona and Colorado.
- Can you play BetMGM in New Mexico?
- Can you play Caesars in New Mexico?
No, you can't bet with Caesars sportsbook in New Mexico. However, Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino's sportsbook is operated by Caesars and offers the sportsbook's odds to bettors.
- Can you play TwinSpires in New Mexico?
No, TwinSpires is not available in New Mexico. TwinSpires is in the process of shutting down its online sportsbook, so NM sports fans aren’t missing out.
- Which sportsbooks will be available in New Mexico in the future?
The Navajo Nation is considering launching three retail sportsbooks at its tribal casinos in New Mexico. Currently, big US brands have no plans to launch in NM, particularly with online sports betting being illegal.