New Mexico was the sixth state in America where people could bet on sports.
History Behind Legal Sports Betting in New Mexico
New Mexico is an anomaly when it comes to legal sports betting in the United States. Legal sports betting in New Mexico began in 2018 when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was struck down by the US Supreme Court.
This was the federal ban on sports betting that was established in 1999. When the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional, many states already had a plan in action to legalize sports betting. New Mexico, on the other hand, did not.
This did not stop tribal casinos from trying to implement sports betting in the state. The first casino to implement legal sports betting in the state was the Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel in Bernalillo, NM. This casino is run by the Tamaya Nation’s Pueblo of Santa Ana tribe.
This news shocked many people around the state because, technically, sports betting is illegal in New Mexico. Despite this, the Tamaya Nation’s Pueblo of Santa Anna tribe found a caveat in the rule.
The tribal contract with the state authorizes all forms of Class III gaming on Indian land in New Mexico. Sports betting can be interpreted as a Class III gaming activity in the Code of Federal Regulations. As long as sports betting was legalized nationally, the Santa Anna tribe had the power to implement it in its casino.
The tribe interpreted the rules and opened the first sportsbook in the state on Oct. 16, 2018. This came five months after the Supreme Court’s PASPA ruling.
Not all tribal groups in the United States that operate casinos have the same leeway as New Mexico tribes. Since sports betting is technically illegal in the state outside of tribal land, there is no mobile betting allowed in the state.
Currently, there are four casinos that offer sports betting in the state. Nineteen other tribal casinos in the state have the ability to open up sportsbooks in the future.
Financial History Behind Legal Sports Betting in New Mexico
It’s very hard to disclose the financial history behind legal sports betting in New Mexico. First, this is because it’s illegal in the state outside of tribal land. Therefore, only tribal casinos have the ability to offer sports betting to people in the state.
Tribal casinos are not forced to reveal their financials for the year to the public. When it comes time to pay taxes, they only have to reveal numbers to the government, and these are kept confidential by the state.
There have been estimates made by economists throughout the country on New Mexico sports betting figures when it comes to potential revenue. It’s important to note that the New Mexico government does not implement any extra taxes for the four tribal casinos that offer legal sports betting.
Since sports betting is assumed to fall under the Class III gaming category, it’s grouped in with that revenue amount when tax season rolls around.
The New Mexico legislature taxes 26% of net winnings from all tribal casinos’ Class III gaming category. This is a pretty standard tax figure for sports betting throughout the country.
A lot of people are missing out on sports betting because it’s only legal on tribal land. This includes the state of New Mexico in tax revenue.
It’s projected that if New Mexico legalized sports betting throughout the state, over $300 million in bets would be placed by people in the state. This would create close to $22 million in revenue for sportsbooks throughout the state. With the 26% tax, the state of New Mexico could receive close to $6 million in taxes.
Even though this is a massive figure for the state, there hasn’t been much action to implement legal sports betting throughout New Mexico. The legislation that has been suggested has been shot down fairly quickly thus far since the PASPA ruling came in 2018.
Sportsbook Apps in New Mexico
Mobile sports betting is not allowed in New Mexico. This is a strong possibility for the future, but as of 2020, no plans have been put in place to implement sportsbook apps throughout the state. Mobile betting would increase state revenue by a massive amount.
New Mexico is a large state; therefore, sports betting is not accessible to everyone in the state.
Only four casinos offer sports betting in New Mexico. Sports betting is a massive business throughout America and generates revenue every single day.
New Mexico is missing out and losing money to illegal offshore betting sites because of its refusal to legalize mobile betting.
If mobile betting was legalized, the state’s agreement with tribal nations would need to change. Despite this, tribal nations could get in on mobile betting and increase their revenue as well. They have put up a fight at times, though, as state casinos have attempted to legalize mobile betting in New Mexico.
The tribes in New Mexico create a lot of hurdles for proponents of legal mobile betting in the state. Tribal nations view sports betting as a way to attract people to their properties.
They use sports betting as a hook to get people to gamble throughout their casino, stay in their hotels, and utilize their amenities. For this reason, tribes have put up a fight in the state when mobile betting has been discussed.
In the western portion of the country, mobile betting is not very popular amongst state lawmakers. If New Mexico began the process of legalizing mobile betting in 2021, it would become the farthest state west to legalize online gambling.
Many believe that this is wishful thinking. The tribal casinos own and have a lot of power in New Mexico’s gaming economy. If proponents in the state legislature can find a way to convince tribes to allow online gaming, the state could see over $300 million more in bets placed by residents of the state.
Land-Locked Locations to Bet on Sports in New Mexico
Only four casinos offer legal sports betting in the state of New Mexico. These are all tribal casinos. The state could see additional sportsbooks in 19 other tribal locations, which have the ability to implement it under the interpretation of Class III gaming.
Here are the four land-locked locations where sports betting is available.
Santa Ana Star Casino operated by USBookmaking
This was New Mexico’s first sportsbook in the state. It offers free bets to loyal bettors at its book. Casino reward points can transfer into its sportsbook.
Its team is happy to help people who want to place bets with a real person. It also has five kiosks where you can place a bet without seeing a teller.
The sportsbook isn’t a great place to view the game, but you’re able to collect your winnings through the mail, which is a nice feature of this book.
Buffalo Thunder Casino operated by Casino and National Sportsbook Management
This book was the second brick-and-mortar location in New Mexico. It has great amenities in its book that go beyond betting capability.
Players can place all types of single, parlay and prop bets while enjoying the game. It has a full-service bar with a state-of-the-art television board that gives the book a sports bar feel.
Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino operated by William Hill
This book is operated by William Hill, which is a top-tier betting company in the United States. Its selection of games and bet types is unlike any of the other books in the state.
In the sportsbook, it has 12 43-inch LED televisions with high top seating, so you’ll always be able to find a good seat. You’re only able to place a bet with a teller Thursday through Monday, but its kiosks are open every day of the week 24/7.
Isleta Casino and Resort operated by USBookmaking
Players are only able to bet at Isleta sportsbook in kiosks, so this is a great book for experienced bettors. It has a ton of big-screen televisions, but it lacks player support.
Despite this, if you’re familiar with sports betting, this is a great place to get in on the action.
Sports Teams to Bet on in New Mexico
Players will have trouble finding a professional sports team to bet on in the state. There are no well-known professional franchises located in New Mexico.
However, the United Soccer League, which is the second-ranked sanctioned soccer league in the country, does have one team that plays in New Mexico.
This is New Mexico United. It was only founded in 2018, so this is a relatively new franchise.
A sportsbook may allow betting on the United, but it depends on the popularity of the league. Even though the USL is professional soccer, it’s still not a mainstream league.
New Mexico does have two colleges that participate in NCAA Division I athletics: The University of New Mexico Lobos and the New Mexico State Aggies.
You’re unable to bet on these teams at some of the sportsbooks in the state. This is left up to the individual tribe, but there are a few that allow betting on New Mexico college teams.
The University of New Mexico plays in the Mountain West Conference. The football team has struggled since 2016 when it went 9-4. The Lobos haven’t had a winning season since that year.
The men’s basketball team has been around the .500 winning mark in recent seasons.
The New Mexico State Aggies football program is an independent. This allows them to play whoever they want every season.
They’ve had a lot of tough opponents in recent years, including Alabama, Ole Miss, Washington State, Minnesota and BYU. This has caused them to struggle, but it presents local bettors with a lot of chances to bet an underdog.
The basketball program participates in the Western Athletic Conference. The Aggies are a powerhouse in the conference but have struggled in the NCAA Tournament against tougher competition.
FAQ for Betting in New Mexico
Is sports betting legal in New Mexico?
Sports betting is only legal in tribal casinos in New Mexico. Currently, four casinos offer sportsbooks.
The New Mexico state legislature has not legalized widespread sports betting. It’s only available in tribal areas because it’s included under the Class III gaming agreement.
Is mobile sports betting available in New Mexico?
There are currently no legal mobile sports betting options available in New Mexico. Sports betting is illegal in New Mexico outside of tribal casinos.
There are many proponents in the New Mexico State legislature that want to legalize mobile betting apps. Despite this, the legalization process has proven to be very difficult.
Many legislators have the goal of having a serious discussion of legalizing sports betting in 2021.
Where can I bet on sports in New Mexico?
There are currently four casinos where you’re able to bet on sports in the state. These are the Santa Ana Star Casino operated by USBookmaking, the Buffalo Thunder Casino operated by Casino and National Sportsbook Management, the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino operated by William Hill Isleta Casino, and the Isleta Casino and Resort operated by USBookmaking.
What types of bets can a player place at land-locked sportsbooks?
This varies depending on the sportsbook, but all books allow bettors to wager mainstream sports. You’re able to place single bets, parlays, teasers, and props.
The books include all the traditional betting options like the moneyline, spread, and over/under.
Can I bet on New Mexico college teams?
This varies depending on the sportsbook. The state leaves the decision up to the individual casinos, so some books allow betting on the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State teams.
What’s the legal age requirement for sports betting in the state?
You must be 21 years of age to place a bet in New Mexico.
Is sports betting safe?
Yes, betting with legal books is a very safe way to wager sports. Illegal offshore books don’t have the same reputation. Therefore, always bet legally if you’re in New Mexico.