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Legal Sports Betting in New Mexico

US Betting Report
Santa Ana Star Casino

Sports betting in New Mexico is legal and the state marks the 6th state to offer legalized sports betting – but where can you place sports wagers legally in New Mexico in 2021?

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New Mexico lawmakers have yet to pass a sports betting bill to legalize the activity within the state since PASPA was repealed in May of 2018. Yet, on October 16, 2018, the Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel booked its first sports bet, making the state the 6th to offer legalized sports betting. Santa Ana Star, operated by the Pueblo of Santa Ana, now offers visitors a sportsbook. The tribal casino is located near Albuquerque, N.M. All bets must be placed on-site.

Ever since Santa Ana Star opened the first sportsbook in New Mexico, other tribal gaming centers have followed their path. You can now also place wagers on sports at the Hilton Buffalo Thunder Sportsbook, The Sportsbook at the Inn of the Mountain Gods, and the Isleta Resort and Casino Sportsbook.

More are expected to launch, but an official launch date for each tribal casino in New Mexico is at the discretion of that tribe.

The Navajo Nation has announced that they plan on bringing sports betting to their three New Mexico casino locations. 

Tribe officials are in the process of interviewing Las Vegas-based sports wagering suppliers so lookout for sportsbooks in Northern Edge Casino, Fire Rock Navajo Casino, and Flowing Water Navajo Casino in the near future.


How is legalized sports betting in New Mexico possible?

The move by the Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel was made through a pre-existing gaming compact with the state. The New Mexico tribal compacts permit “any or all forms of Class III Gaming,” a classification in the federal regulations that includes sports betting and pari-mutuel wagering.

Even though the tribal gaming compact between the state and tribes does not mention sports betting directly, tribal casinos within New Mexico can reap the benefits because the compact indeed covers Class III gaming, which under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, encompasses sports wagering. The compact is valid through 2037.

Will sports betting outside of tribal casinos be permitted?

While tribal casinos can offer land-based sports betting with no questions asked by the state government, the tribal compact does not cover online sports wagering in New Mexico. That amenity would have to come by way of a bill passing through both legislative chambers and approval from the governor.

State lawmakers can do that, now that PASPA doesn’t stand in their way, so it’s more so just a matter of whether or not they want to. To date, no online sports betting bills have been introduced in New Mexico.

Can I bet online?

The short answer is no.

Sports betting is currently limited to on-site wagering only at tribal casinos that have chosen to open sportsbooks, being that online gambling and sports betting itself remain illegal elsewhere under New Mexico law.

New Mexico Sports Betting FAQs

What is the legal sports betting age in New Mexico?

You will have to be 21 years old or older to bet on sports in New Mexico. All New Mexico sportsbooks are all located inside of tribal casinos so if you are underage you more than likely not even be allowed inside of the sports betting area.

What is the closest sportsbook to Albequerque, N.M.?

Isleta Resort and Casino is only a 15-minute drive away from Albuquerque, New Mexico, making it the closest sportsbook to the city.

Is there a sportsbook in Santa Fe, New Mexico?

Buffalo Thunder Resort Casino is located 18-minutes north of Santa Fe. It is the closest sports wagering option for people in the Santa Fe region.

How many New Mexico sportsbooks are there?

At this time there are only four sportsbooks in New Mexico. Including the Santa Ana Star, there is also The Sportsbook at the Inn of the Mountain Gods, Hilton Buffalo Thunder Sportsbook, and the Isleta Resort and Casino Sportsbook.