New Mexico online sports betting laws
Sports betting does take place in New Mexico, but only in a handful of tribal casinos. This is because the state has not yet passed enabling legislation to authorize sports betting – which means that this is not an option for commercial operators. However, the tribal-state gaming compact allows for sports wagering. Therefore, once The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act or PASPA was ruled unconstitutional, tribal operators were free to launch sportsbooks at tribal casinos.
Administrative law and government relations attorney
Jennifer has a degree in Journalism from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C, in 2005. She's been living in Las Vegas helping clients in the casino and gaming industry, as well as other regulated businesses, across Nevada for over 15 years.
She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and books on US gaming law, including most recently, The Law of Regulated Gambling: A Practical Guide for Business Lawyers, American Bar Association (2020), and That (Expletive) Broad: Women Who Broke Barriers in the Casino and Gaming Industry (2020).
Is sports betting legal in New Mexico?
Yes, New Mexico sports betting is effectively legal, but only in a few tribal casino locations.
Is online sports betting legal in New Mexico?
No. There are no licensed online sports betting operators in New Mexico, although efforts are under way to change that.
How old do I have to be to place a bet in New Mexico?
You must be 21 to gamble in New Mexico in a tribal casino – which is your only current option for sports betting.
Go in person to one of the casinos with a live sportsbook.
Sign up as a customer – you’ll need ID and proof you’re over 21.
Check out the markets and start betting.
The legal situation surrounding New Mexico sports betting is a little unusual. When the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was ruled unconstitutional in 2018, it was the cue for states to pass legislation to authorize sports betting if they wished.
New Mexico has not yet passed any such enabling legislation, yet sports betting is legally available in the state. This is because the wording of a 1988 agreement, under which a compact was signed with native American tribes in the state, specifies that sports betting, among other activities, is allowed. This agreement, combined with the repeal of PASPA, encouraged some of the 24 tribal casinos in New Mexico to launch sportsbooks. As it stands, five have gone live. It will be a surprise if others do not follow in their tracks.
Currently, there is no provision in New Mexico law that would authorize online sports betting. However, early in 2021 a bill, HB101, was launched. This bill would legalize sports betting at the state’s five racetracks and would also open the door to online sports betting. It remains to be seen whether or not this bill will pass.
Yes they are. All forms of gambling winnings are treated as taxable by the IRS. It is worth keeping an exact record of your winnings – and your losses – for the purposes of your annual tax return. If your winnings exceed a certain threshold – for sportsbooks this is usually $600 – the casino should issue you with a form W-2G. You should keep this, because a copy is also sent directly to the IRS, which will match what they have been told with your submitted tax return.
There are many wagering activities in New Mexico that you can enjoy from the age of 18. They include Daily Fantasy Sports, the lottery, video slot games, and pastimes like bingo. However, to participate in New Mexico sports betting you need to be physically present at a casino sportsbook, and the minimum age for people to attend a casino in the state is 21.
With no such thing as New Mexico online sports betting, the only way to place a wager on your favorite team or athlete is to go to a casino. There are five tribal casinos in the state that currently offer sports betting facilities. Unless you go there in person, you will not be able to bet on sports in the state.
Because there is no state regulation over sports wagering, there are no state-wide provisions either allowing or banning wagering on college sports in the state. At this time, it appears that some of the tribal casino sports books allow wagers on state teams, such as the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State, while others do not.
Like all other US states, New Mexico does not allow wagering on the outcome of elections, domestic or foreign, or on any other political event.
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) offerings have not been explicitly authorized or regulated under New Mexico state law – but at the same time neither has the activity been specifically outlawed and no legal action has been taken by the state against DFS operators. As things stand, all the leading DFS operators offer games to people aged 18 or over in New Mexico, which has a population of just over two million.
College fantasy sports are particularly popular in New Mexico, which has no pro sports teams in the top level of the big four sports. However, those nationally popular sports – football, basketball, baseball, and hockey – have many fans in New Mexico who enjoy playing DFS games.
There’s no NFL side based in New Mexico, but the state does have two top-class Division 1 NCAA outfits. The New Mexico Lobos and the New Mexico State Aggies draw significant support from across the state and, with betting on college sport allowed in most casinos here, fans can back them with money too.
It is encouraging to see that, even though the New Mexico sports betting scene is an extremely limited one, there are plenty of measures in place to ensure the activity is carried out responsibly.
Betting on sports is a fun, relaxing leisure activity for the vast majority of people, but for a small minority it can get out of control and cause financial and health issues.
The New Mexico Gaming Control Board has a series of resources on its website, including:
Twenty questions you should ask yourself to see if you have a problem.
Advice on self-exclusion from betting premises and websites.
Links to the Compulsive Gamblers Treatment Center in Albuquerque NM.
It’s also worth checking out the website of the Responsible Gaming Association of New Mexico. This provides practical help and resources including:
A Gambling Help Line available 24/7.
Monthly webinars for treatment providers.
Early intervention treatment centers available to all residents of New Mexico.
The state governor signs tribal-state gaming compacts with the tribes of New Mexico, which leads to the state’s first land-based casino being set up. The wording of the compacts allows for the tribes to engage in Class III gaming, which includes sports wagering. However federal law, in the form of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), stands in the way.
After PASPA is struck down, New Mexico tribal casinos begin offering sports betting, with the first wager struck at the Santa Ana Star Casino in October.
New legislation is introduced that would expand the scope of New Mexico sports betting, including allowing online wagering for the first time.
Five out of the two-dozen tribal casinos in the state currently offer sports betting facilities. It is likely that more will join them in the future.
|Casino/Retail Sportsbook||Retail Sportsbook Partner||Address|
|Santa Ana Star Casino||USBookmaking||54 Jemez Canyon Dam Road, Bernadillo NM 87004|
|Hilton Buffalo Thunder Casino||National Sports Book Management (NSBM)||20 Buffalo Thunder Trail, Santa Fe NM 87506|
|Inn of the Mountain Gods||William Hill||287 Carrizo Canyon Road, Mescalero NM 88340|
|Isleta Resort & Casino||USBookmaking||11000 Broadway Southeast, Albuquerque NM 87105|
|Route 66 Casino||The Book||14500 Central Avenue SW, Rio Puerco, Albuquerque NM 87121|
No. There are no licensed online sports wagering sites in New Mexico. Although sports betting is legally offered by a small handful of tribal casinos in New Mexico, the state has not yet authorized online sports wagering – and the odds seem long against it doing so any time soon, despite attempts to get legislation passed.
The only place you can currently enjoy legal New Mexico sports betting is in one of the small number of tribal casinos that have launched sportsbooks. However, you may only wager in person at the casinos because there are no authorized online sports betting sites in the state.
Yes, it does. A small number of tribal casinos have set up sportsbook operations since PASPA was struck down in 2018.
No. There are no licensed operators currently offering online sports betting in New Mexico.