The sports betting industry was thrown a curveball when the Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel in Bernalillo, New Mexico, opened its sportsbook for business on Oct. 16, 2018. The casino is operated by the Tamaya Nation’s Pueblo of Santa Ana tribe. The news came as a surprise because sports betting — whether in brick-and-mortar locations or online — actually remains illegal elsewhere in the state. However, the state’s tribal compact appears to authorize “any and all forms of Class III gaming” on Indian lands within the state. Sports betting appears to be defined as a Class III gaming activity in the Code of Federal Regulations, section 502.4.
New Mexico sports betting status
The wording in New Mexico’s 2015 compact with 18 of the tribes located within its borders implies a degree of permissiveness not necessarily found in the tribal compacts of other states. Those agreements typically enumerate which Class III gaming activities tribes within the jurisdiction can offer. The lack of specificity naturally appears to leave the door open for the state’s 17 other tribes to also open sportsbooks if so inclined. Meanwhile, New Mexico has yet to even introduce any type of sports betting legislation for consideration.
New Mexico Sports Betting FAQ
Is sports betting legal in New Mexico?
According to the interpretation of current law, single-game sports betting is currently not legal in New Mexico outside of tribal casinos.
Where can I bet on sports in New Mexico?
Sports bets can presently only be placed at the sportsbook located within the Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel in Bernalillo.
Can I bet on my mobile device?
Current laws limit sports betting to the on-site sportsbook at Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel. However, mobile wagering is certainly a possibility in the future.
How can I deposit and withdraw money on sports betting sites in New Mexico?
There is no mobile wagering currently available in New Mexico. All sports betting is exclusively available on-site at Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel at this time.
How old do I have to be to bet on sports in New Mexico?
One must be 21 years of age to enter Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel, which houses the state’s only sportsbook. Consequently, you must be 21 years of age or older to place a sports bet in New Mexico.
Which local sports teams in New Mexico can I bet on?
The Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel and operator USBookmaking have made the decision not offer wagering on any local teams at this time.
Can I get into trouble for placing bets with unregulated online sportsbooks in New Mexico?
With sports betting now legalized in the state, there is likely to be a precipitous drop in residents patronizing unregulated sportsbooks. However, as a practical matter, doing so won’t lead to any legal complications for the individual.