New Mexico has been a rich gambling state ever since it began opening tribal casinos in the mid-1990s.
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Online gambling in New Mexico remains illegal both for casino games and sports betting. Legislation aimed at changing these laws has failed to gain momentum.
The state seems very intent on limiting its New Mexico gambling options to land-based tribal casinos and racetracks. In the meantime, social casinos remain perfectly legal because they don’t technically qualify as gambling.
Top social casinos like Chumba provide players with a number of gold coins and sweeps coins once a player signs up. These are free and don’t require any sort of deposit on the player’s end. Social casinos include online slot machine games based on the same ones you’d play at any land-based casino, as well as online table games like blackjack.
Social casino users can win real money by entering tournaments or playing games with sweeps coins. These contests count as sweepstakes rather than gambling, resulting in real cash prizes and other rewards.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like New Mexico will move to legal online casino gambling or mobile sports wagering anytime soon. That’s why residents looking for online casino action should stick exclusively to social casinos and avoid offshore casino sites.
These illegal offshore casino sites come with plenty of risk. They’re unregulated and can give players trouble withdrawing funds in a timely fashion. Bettors have no recourse to recover those funds should the site get shut down.
The offshore online slot machines and casino games aren’t vetted like the legal versions, so there’s no way of knowing how far the odds are skewed in the house’s favor. And some of these sites are actually an additional revenue stream for organized crime and even shadier dealings.
|Casino||City||Address||Hours of Operation|
|Apache Nugget Casino||Cuba||Junction 537-US, US-550||4:30 a.m.-12 a.m.|
|Billy the Kid Casino||Ruidoso||26225 US-70||10 a.m.-12 p.m.|
|Buffalo Thunder Resort Casino||Santa Fe||30 Buffalo Thunder Trail||Open 24 hours|
|Casino Apache||Mescalero||25845 US-70||Open 24 hours|
|Cities of Gold Casino||Santa Fe||10 Cities of Gold Rd||9 a.m.-12 a.m.|
|Dancing Eagle Casino||Paraje||167 Casa Blanca Rd||Open 24 hours|
|Downs at Albuquerque||Albuquerque||145 Louisiana Blvd||10 a.m.-4 a.m.|
|Fire Rock Navajo Casino||Church Rock||249 Rte 66||Open 24 hours|
|Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino||Mescalero||287 Carrizo Canyon Rd||Open 24 hours|
|Isleta Resort & Casino||Albuquerque||11000 Broadway Blvd||Open 24 hours|
|Northern Edge Casino||Farmington||2752 Indian Service Rd.||8 a.m.-4 a.m.|
|Ohkay Hotel Casino||Ohkay Owingeh||68 NM-291||Open 24 hours|
|Palace West||Albuquerque||2 NM-45||8 a.m.-2 a.m.|
|Route 66 Casino Hotel||Albuquerque||14500 Central Ave SW||Open 24 hours|
|Sandia Casino||Albuquerque||30 Rainbow Rd||Open 24 hours|
|Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel||Bernalillo||54 Jemez Canyon Dam Rd||Open 24 hours|
|Santa Claran Hotel Casino||Espanola||460 N Riverside Dr.||Open 24 hours|
|Sky City Casino||Acoma Pueblo||7 Sky City Rd Dr.||Open 24 hours|
|SunRay Park & Casino||Farmington||39 Rd 5568||11 a.m.-4 a.m.|
|Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino||Sunland Park||1200 Futurity Dr.||10 a.m.-1 a.m.|
|Taos Mountain Casino||Taos||700 Veterans Hwy||8 a.m.-2 a.m.|
|Wild Horse Casino & Hotel||Dulce||13603 US-64||9 a.m.-2 a.m.|
|Zia Park Casino Hotel & Racetrack||Hobbs||3901 W Millen Dr.||Open 24 hours|
This casino property opened in 2004 and features more than 200 slot machines. It’s just off the highway adjacent a travel center and includes a smoke/gift shop as well as other travel amenities.
Billy the Kid Casino includes more than 300 slot machines and is connected to the Ruidoso Downs Race Track. Visitors can also enjoy simulcast racing and additional live events like the All American CowboyFest.
There are tons of options for legal gambling in New Mexico at this property, which is connected to the Hilton Buffalo Thunder and Homewood Suites hotels. The gaming floor has more than 1,200 slot machines and standard table games like craps, roulette and blackjack. There’s also a poker room, horse racing book and 19 Keno games.
New Mexico bettors will find plenty of slot machines, video poker options and table games like roulette, blackjack and Texas Hold ‘Em at this property located on the Mescalero Apache Reservation. Smokey B’s Grill is the lone food option and open from 7 a.m.-1 a.m.
This hotel and casino in New Mexico offers a variety of slot machines and daily bingo games with payouts up to $10,000 for the jackpot game. Check for daily promotions such as Senior Thursday and Guest Appreciation Day.
The Dancing Eagle gaming area includes slot machines and daily bingo games, with free Players Club membership and additional promotions. It is part of a larger travel center that includes an RV park, grocery store, gas station and more.
The Downs offers live horse racing in New Mexico as well as simulcast betting. The gaming area includes more than 700 slot machines and runs promotions like slot tournaments and the virtual Downs Derby. Dining options include the upscale Crown Room as well as a food court.
The gaming area at this New Mexico casino has classic table games like roulette, blackjack, Spanish 21 and craps. First Rock Navajo Casino also has more than 1,100 slot machines as well as bingo games. Cheii’s Restaurant and a food court are available for dining on property.
Visitors to this expansive New Mexico casino resort have plenty of options on and off the gaming floor. The casino includes a full sportsbook for legal sports betting in New Mexico, tons of slot machines and table games like roulette, craps, blackjack, Let it Ride and baccarat, bingo, a poker room and more. There’s also a championship 18-hole golf course, seven restaurants and a full spa.
Located just a few miles south of downtown Albuquerque, the Isleta is a large resort property with more than 1,700 slot machines and tons of table games like blackjack, roulette, high card flush and more. It also includes a sportsbook, poker room, bingo and 18-hole golf course.
This Navajo casino has plenty of options for gambling in New Mexico. More than 750 slot machines line a gaming floor that also includes blackjack, roulette and min-baccarat. Gamers can also fuel up at the Cedar Bow restaurant and food court.
This stay-and-play casino includes 700 slot machines, along with electronic table games like blackjack and poker. It also has a buffet, cantina, coffee shop and the Double O Bar and Nightclub for the after-hours crowd.
This is the only non-smoking casino in New Mexico, located just south of its affiliate Isleta Resort. The Palace West is a much smaller environment with bar service and a variety of slot machines.
This large property includes a full sportsbook for legal sports wagering, more than 1,300 slot machines and table games like craps, blackjack and roulette. The hotel has 154 rooms and suites while dining options include a buffet and sports bar.
The Sandia Casino resort is a full package for gamblers, with a massive offering of more than 1,750 slot machines and a solid offering of table games. Stay-and-play packages, including rounds at the 18-hole Sandia Golf Club, are readily available.
The gaming floor at this hotel property includes more than 1,600 slot machines, table games like craps, roulette, blackjack, high card flush, and a sportsbook. Additionally, the Santa Ana Star has a bowling alley, comedy club and six restaurants including Juniper Steakhouse and the Feast Buffet.
The 27,000 square-foot gaming floor has more than 650 slots and video gaming machines with plenty of high-stakes options. There’s also the Grill at Santa Claran and a coffee shop. The 122-room hotel includes spaces for large group meetings.
Gaming options at the Sky City Casino include slot machines, table games like roulette, blackjack and craps and a 375-seat bingo hall. The hotel has plenty of options for rooms and suites and includes a pool, gym and RV park.
The Sunray offers live horse racing and simulcast betting to complement its gaming area. The casino has more than 400 slots and video poker machines, as well as the Sportz Arena for food and drinks.
The racetrack hosts an annual Sunland Derby Day with more than $1.4 million in prize purses. The casino area includes slot machines and electronic table games, while the 78-room hotel has four restaurants.
This New Mexico casino in the heart of Taos has more than 200 slot machines as well as video poker and keno. There’s an extensive Buffalo Rewards Club for frequent guests and Sluggers Diner is open Monday-Saturday.
The Wild Horse has a variety of options with slot machines and electronic gaming. There’s also a full hotel and shopping area for stay-and-play gamblers.
This expansive casino property in Hobbs, has more than 750 slot machines and electronic games. The horse track has plenty of betting windows for quick, easy wagers, while dining options include the Centennial Steakhouse and Turf Club Restaurant.
It’s impossible to tell because legal online gambling in New Mexico isn’t coming anytime soon.
Should the state ever move in that direction, it seems likely the existing tribal casinos and pari-mutuel racinos would have first crack. New Mexico has limited all gambling options in the state to these entities and would likely stand by that if they ever decide to change their gambling laws to allow legal online gambling.
If New Mexico ever passes legislation to legalize online gambling, casino apps would most certainly follow. Online casino apps are increasingly popular in states where online gambling is legal. They provide the full casino experience from your cell phone and are easy to download.
Once a player has installed the online casino, they immediately have access to online slots and table games like blackjack and roulette at their fingertips. Popular operators like Caesars, BetMGM, 888casino, William Hill and others have partnered with land-based casinos in other states to provide these apps for easy legal online gambling access.
While New Mexico online gambling hopefuls might be kept waiting for a while, the following online casino games would be available as soon as the regulatory process is completed.
These work just like the land-based casino slot machines. The only difference is you’re pressing a button rather than pulling a lever and your favorite machine is always open, with no waiting required.
Social casinos are rich with online slot options and serve as a valuable alternative.
Online roulette is even easier to play than the land-based version. No reaching over the table to place chips or fighting for room at the wheel. Simply click your bets on red/black, even/odd, high/low or individual numbers and watch the virtual wheel spin.
Online poker remains illegal in New Mexico. Online poker sites are similar to land-based poker rooms at various casinos with one key difference – you can’t actually see anyone at the table. That means you can’t read faces or pick up on verbal or physical tells.
Instead, online poker requires careful monitoring of betting patterns in order to get a feel for the different types of players at the table.
New Mexico has a thriving state-run lottery game, but tickets can only be purchased at retail locations. Online lottery is still illegal. These online lottery games work just like the ones you’ll find at said retail stores. Once a player signs up through the state-run lottery site, they can purchase tickets for a number of different games to try and hit the jackpot.
Just like online poker, online blackjack is still illegal in New Mexico. It’s a popular game in states with legal online gambling because it’s so similar to the land-based version. The odds remain the same on every card combination and you can wager just like you would at a land-based casino.
The pros for online blackjack include quick hands with no one else at the table and the ability to practice and understand how to bet various scenarios in a short period of time.
Even some states with legal online gambling fail to offer live dealer games, so it’s hard to say if they would be available should online gaming come to New Mexico. These games work just like online blackjack and roulette but feature a live dealer handing out cards in front of a camera at a control center.
There’s no major benefit here unless you really prefer the optics of a real person turning cards instead of a computer, and options are limited across the country.
Top online casinos continue to add payment options, making things much easier on players in states where this is legal. Should online gambling in New Mexico ever join the group, they can expect the same variety.
PayPal is accepted at most top online casinos and is very easy for those who have accounts. Simply transfer money from your PayPal balance to the online casino and you’re all set. New PayPal users can create an account in a matter of minutes and follow the same steps.
The Play+ card is a similar alternative and serves as an online gift card of sorts. Players first transfer funds to the Play+ card and then deposit to the online casinos using that Play+ balance.
Debit/credit cards are accepted at most social casinos, but some users still have problems with declined payments even in states with legal online gambling. Policy varies at different banks, so consult yours if you run into any problems using this as your preferred method.
Bank transfers and Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments are also accepted at most legal online casinos and social casinos.
Some social casinos like Chumba also accept a variety of e-wallet payments like Skrill. This is an easy additional step in which users first add their deposit funds to the e-wallet, then pay at the casino sites using their e-wallet accounts.
If legal online gambling ever comes to New Mexico, players should make sure to check out a few options and see which type of bonus offers and promotions they can claim.
Some sites offer matched deposits for first-time users and double the size of the initial deposit by up to $500 or more. It basically doubles your bankroll from the get-go, though some will require the player to wager a certain amount before they can access the bonus funds.
Free spins are good for online slot machine enthusiasts. These are basically tokens that players can use for free credits at the slot machine. Any winnings will go directly to the account, while losing spins won’t cost the player anything.
Refer-a-friend bonuses let players benefit from bringing new users to the online casino. The new player would enter a code while registering and the referring player will then receive free play funds in their account. Some of these might require the new player to wager a certain amount before the other can access the funds. With all bonuses, be sure to read the terms and conditions.
Gambling was illegal across New Mexico in the pre-World War II era. That all changed when the state legalized on-track pari-mutuel betting in 1947. The first legal horse races were held at what is now called Ruidoso Downs Race Track and the industry continues to thrive.
That remained the only legal gambling option prior to the 1995 New Mexico Lottery Act, which began the state-run lottery program that now generates around $40-60 million in annual revenue.
The Federal Government legalized tribal casinos in 1987, and New Mexico tribal casinos followed in 1996 after years of negotiations.
Racinos – horse racing tracks that can provide electronic gaming – were first legalized in 1998 as the Sunland Park and Ruidoso Downs racing tracks fought for more options once the tribal casinos were built.
The Santa Ana Casino Star Casino & Hotel opened the state’s first retail sportsbook in 2018 just months after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act and gave states the option to legalize sports gambling.
New Mexico unexpectedly takes its first sports bet, becoming the sixth state to do so and the first state to take a legal wager without a formal act from the legislature.
State officials formally regulate bingo for prizes, becoming one of the most recent states to oversee the games that are now commonplace across the country.
Motivated by the growth of Native American casinos, state officials approve five racinos, a major development in a state without many significant gaming options.
Nearly a decade after federal rules opened up casino gambling options on tribal lands, New Mexico’s first tribal gaming centers begin opening their doors. More than 20 such casinos open in the next 20 years.
New Mexico approves a state-sanctioned lottery, becoming one of the more recent lottery adopters in the nation and breaking nearly half a century without any significant gaming authorizations.
Pari-mutuel horse track wagering is legalized.
Santa Ana Casino built its sportsbook and began taking bets in 2018, despite the fact that New Mexico had passed no such laws legalizing the practice in the state.
Because New Mexico didn’t have any laws on the books specifically prohibiting sports betting, it has since been interpreted that retail sportsbook betting is protected as tribal casino gaming. Several other tribal casinos followed suit and built their own sportsbooks in the following months, though other retail sports betting options are not available.
It seems the state is perfectly content only allowing sports betting at land-based tribal casinos for now. This remains true to a pattern of protecting and limiting gambling practices to existing tribal casinos and racinos, so legal online sports gambling probably won’t be on the way anytime soon.
Daily Fantasy Sports are legal in New Mexico. No one has challenged the assertion of popular fantasy sports operators like DraftKings and FanDuel that they run games of skill rather than gambling, and they are free to take cash entry fees across the state.
Pari-mutuel horse racing betting was the first form of gambling legalized in New Mexico. It’s been thriving since the mid 1940s and currently includes six racing tracks across the state. Four of them operate as racinos, with additional electronic gaming options in the casino area.
Simulcast betting is also available for off-track wagering at these sites. Off-track horse betting is the only form of legal online gambling in New Mexico.
If New Mexico ever moves to legal online sports betting, online sportsbooks and apps for mobile betting will soon follow. Based on other states and New Mexico’s gambling history, we can assume these online options would first be available and perhaps limited to partnerships with existing tribal casinos.
Popular online sportsbooks like DraftKings, William Hill, PointsBet, 888sport, Caesars, BetMGM, Sugar House and FanDuel are among the most popular online sportsbooks in states where the practice is legal. All of the above and others would surely look to move into New Mexico if possible.
Almost every sport is currently available for legal sports betting in New Mexico at several tribal casino sportsbooks. The exception is in-state college athletics; you can’t wager on games involving the New Mexico Lobos or the New Mexico State Aggies.
Legal sports gambling options in New Mexico include the following:
Off-track horse race betting is currently the only option for legal online gambling in New Mexico, though social casinos are legal, too.
The legal gambling age in New Mexico is 18 for horse racing and lottery. The legal age for casino gaming is 21.
Casino licenses in New Mexico are limited to the state’s tribal casinos and racinos.
Tribal casino gambling, sports gambling at tribal casinos, pari-mutuel horse racing, off-track betting, lottery and Daily Fantasy Sports are legal in New Mexico.
No, visitors and tourists would be good to go for online gambling in New Mexico if it goes live, but it must be done within state borders. Casinos and sportsbooks would use geolocation software to ensure that bettors were in the state.
Social casinos are a great alternative to illegal offshore casinos, and many sites advertise for top social casino sites like Chumba. And real money casino site advertising in New Mexico is an offshore and unregulated site that should be avoided.
Gamblers in New Mexico can place wagers at tribal casinos, sportsbooks at tribal casinos, six horse racing tracks and retail locations where lottery tickets are sold.
Off-track betting is legal in New Mexico, but all other forms of online sports gambling remain prohibited.
Regulation for online gambling in New Mexico would likely go to the New Mexico Gaming Control Board.
Yes, any legal online casino sites or sportsbooks would be heavily regulated and therefore safe to deposit funds and input personal information such as your Social Security number to register.
Gambling winnings in New Mexico are taxed at a rate of 6% by the state, plus you will owe federal taxes at a rate determined by your tax bracket.
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