New Mexico may be known more for chilies than for legal gambling. That’s OK. Because New Mexico is far from being a dry state despite its climate. New Mexico is the land of Enchantment and the land of 21 tribal and 5 commercial-based racetrack casinos. The state has a lottery system, legal track betting, pari-mutuel betting locations, and charitable gaming offerings. Most recently, New Mexico became the 6th state to welcome legal sports betting into its borders.
New Mexico Legal Gambling History
New Mexico hasn’t been a state for long compared to others in the Union. In 1947, the state had made pari-mutuel horse race betting legal. After the 1988 Indian Regulatory Gaming Act, New Mexico’s tribes began to open their casino doors as soon as 1995. The very next year, in 1996, New Mexico began to offer a state lottery.
Once PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Participation Act) was lifted in 2018 at the federal level, it had left the door wide open for New Mexico’s tribal casinos to offer their physical sportsbooks. This is because sports betting falls under Class III betting, which the state’s recognized tribes were already authorized to offer, pre-PASPA.
Casino owners, citizens, and lawmakers all seem to be a bit disinterested if anything to get things going on the online gambling front. Only one such attempt has been made so far in the form of a bill to allow daily fantasy sports into the state. Needless to say, the bill didn’t make its way through and without so much as an afterthought or any other post-attempts having been made. Currently, New Mexico law doesn’t cite online gambling, making it perfectly legal for its residents to play at offshore sites without worry or fear of prosecution.
New Mexico Gambling Legal Status
New Mexico is interesting for several reasons, one of which being that it welcomes people of any age to its bingo tables. Yes, you can play bingo in the state of New Mexico legally regardless of how old you are. The lottery in New Mexico and race track betting are different, however. Players need to be at least 18 years of age to play either.
For those 21 and up in New Mexico, you are welcomed to lay down wagers at any of the states 21 tribal casinos or one of its 5 race track casinos, where slots, poker, blackjack, and table games are available.
Most recently, sports betting was made legal in the state of New Mexico. This has made New Mexico the 6th state to welcome sportsbooks and sports betting.
There is nothing specific written in New Mexico state law regarding online gambling. However, it’s not offered because it hasn’t been regulated. But because nothing is on the books about it, New Mexicans wanting to wager at offshore sites are within the law to do so. See what states do offer regulated online gambling.
New Mexico Legal Land-Based Casinos
New Mexico is home to 21 tribal casinos. This is a lot compared to the population size of the mostly rural state. It is also home to 5 race track casinos, or racinos. Casino gambling in New Mexico offers players a range of slots, poker, and table games.
New Mexico Legal Daily Fantasy Sports and Sports Betting
Because of the wording of the legislation, sports betting is only offered at physical casino’s sportsbooks and not online. There is no indication that it will be any other way for the near future. But like everything else in the world, it’s all moving online. I’m guessing it will only be a matter of time before New Mexico gambling does too.
Daily fantasy sports are illegal in New Mexico with only one attempt having been made to-date towards its legalization. This took place back in 2015 and was shot down. Whether daily fantasy sports or other online forms of gambling will be offered in New Mexico anytime soon is uncertain.
New Mexico Legal Gambling FAQ’s
What can I legally gamble on in the state of New Mexico?
- Land-based casino gaming at the state-tribal casinos.
- Sports betting at physical sportsbook locations.
- State education lottery including scratch-offs.
- Race track betting and race track casinos
- Bingo and charitable games.
- New Mexicans can gamble online at offshore sites.
Unlike other states, bingo is open to players of any age.
The NM lottery and race betting is 18 and up to play.
Casino and sports betting is allowed for those 21 years of age and older.
Will we see some of New Mexico’s legal gambling options make their way online soon?
There doesn’t seem to be any push for it. Conversely, there doesn’t seem to be any resistance to it either. New Mexico is a state that could certainly use the revenue. Because there is nothing in New Mexico state law that cites online gambling, residents can play at offshore sites and still be within the law.