New Mexico counts itself among the wide majority of US states that have legalized most forms of gambling. The state did this recently, which is why you can now enjoy poker, lottery, horse racing, or charitable gambling without thinking about its legality.
However, when it comes to online casinos, the situation is, unfortunately, not the same. Like many other states with land-based casinos, all of which belong to specific tribes from the state, there has been a lot of pushback by the tribes that enjoy this monopoly.
We’ll explain everything mentioned above in this piece, so keep on reading to learn all about the legality of online casinos in the state of New Mexico.
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The first form of legal gambling in New Mexico came about in 1947 when the lawmakers legalized betting on horse races. In time came new laws, and in 1990, the Gaming Regulatory Act was introduced and tribal casinos were legalized.
Beside certain tribal casinos being opened on several locations, the state finally allowed a single commercial casino to be established in Albuquerque in 2011. Sports betting was shortly legalized as well, but the Supreme Court overturned the law in 2018. However, tribal casinos were all along immune to these laws, and they were always allowed to offer sports betting.
Unfortunately, none of these laws and changes account for online gambling in New Mexico. But what does this mean?
In essence, the law doesn’t cover online gambling, which means that it’s neither legal nor illegal. We won’t bore you with the sections of the state law that mention online forms of gambling; we’ll only explain what they mean. The state has the right to pursue a person or organization if they offer online gambling activities. The law doesn’t explicitly state that the practice is illegal, but it doesn’t promote it either.
The good thing about all of this is that New Mexico doesn’t prosecute people who play online gambling games. The state doesn’t even go against the operators. What’s more, they turn a blind eye to that practice. By the time this article was written, there were no cases of the state prosecuting a person or an offshore organization for offering or participating in online gambling activities.
Since the law is murky, no one offers online casino games in the state, and if you want to play these games from the state of New Mexico, you will have to join an offshore online casino that caters to New Mexicans. If you decide to do this, you can feel safe knowing that neither the state nor the federal state will try to charge you a fine or put you in jail for playing online casino games.
As no one offers nor plans to offer online gambling games in New Mexico, this will remain the only way for you to play online casino games with real money. If you don’t want to use real money, you can always use the services of social casinos, which are permitted and available in the state.
We would love to tell you that there are plans for the state of New Mexico to legalize online casinos, like many other states are probably going to do very soon. Unfortunately, the reality is that this is unlikely to happen anytime soon.
New Mexico lawmakers and the state government have no plans for making online gambling legal even though there is a large number of players in the state. Judging by the fact that the state decided to go backward with sports betting by making it illegal once again for everyone except tribal casinos, it’s unlikely that they will make online casino games legal. That’s because sports betting has been easier to sell to local lawmakers in other states, while online casino games are much harder to get past their scrutiny.
All in all, for now, and in the days to come, you can only enjoy playing online casino games in offshore casinos. However, you can also opt for land-based casinos, which is precisely what we’ll talk about next.
When it comes to land-based casinos, tribal casinos dominate the gambling landscape. They also play a large part in the state’s economy, as New Mexico has grown into the state with one of the highest per capita gambling markets in the United States. On top of that, pari-mutuel horse tracks are also legal as of late, and there are already plenty of so-called racinos across the state.
Unlike other states, tribal casinos are mostly located close to major population centers and not in rural areas, making finding and reaching them much easier.
As it’s not in the tribal casinos’ interest, there aren’t many other land-based casino options in the state. However, this doesn’t mean much for regular players. You’ll get plenty of options regardless, because there are more than 20 tribal casinos in the state.
Here’s a quick overview of them all:
|Apache Nugget Travel Center and Casino||US Highway 550|
Dulce, NM 87529
|130 slots, bingo|
|Black Mesa Casino||25 Hagen Road|
Algodones, NM 87001
|600 slots, 10 table games|
|Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino||30 Buffalo Thunder Trail|
Santa Fe, NM 87506
|1,200 slots, 18 table games, race betting, sportsbook|
|Casino Apache Travel Center||25845 US Highway 70|
Mescalero, NM 88340
|380 slots, 10 table games|
|Cities of Gold Casino Hotel||10-B Cities of Gold Road|
Santa Fe, NM 87506-0938
|576 slots, bingo|
|Dancing Eagle Casino and RV Park||166 Casa Blanca Road|
Casa Blanca, NM 87007
|584 slots, bingo|
|Fire Rock Navajo Casino||249 Route 118 East|
Church Rock, NM 87311
|740 slots, 10 table games, bingo, sportsbook|
|Flowing Water Navajo Casino||2710 US highway 64|
Waterflow, NM 87421
|120 slots, sportsbook|
|Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino||287 Carrizo Canyon Road|
Mescalero, NM 88340
|840 slots, 35 table games, poker room, bingo, sportsbook|
|Isleta Casino & Resort||11000 Broadway SE|
Albuquerque, NM 87105-7469
|1,700 slots, 25 table games, poker room, bingo, sportsbook|
|Northern Edge Navajo Casino||On N36, 1 mile west of NM-371|
Farmington, NM 87401
|750 slots, 10 table games, poker tables, blackjack tournaments|
|Ohkay Casino Resort||Highway 68|
San Juan Pueblo, NM 87566
|700 slots, 5 table games, bingo|
|Palace West Casino||State Road 45|
Isleta, NM 87105
|Route 66 Casino Hotel||14500 Central Avenue|
Southwest Albuquerque, NM 87121
|1,700 slots, 40 table games, poker room, bingo|
|Sandia Resort & Casino||30 Rainbow Road Northeast|
Albuquerque, NM 8711
|1,750 slots, 52 table games poker room, bingo, live keno|
|Santa Ana Star Casino||54 Jemez Canyon Dam Road|
Santa Ana Pueblo, NM 87004
|1,458 slots, 42 table games, poker room|
|Santa Claran Casino||460 No. Riverside Drive|
Espanola, NM 87532
|750 slots, 10 table games|
|Sky City Casino Hotel||Interstate 40, Exit 102|
Acoma Pueblo, NM 87034
|669 slots, 10 table games, bingo|
|Taos Mountain Casino||700 Veterans Highway|
Taos, NM 87571-0777
|200 slots, 4 table games|
|Tesuque Casino||7 Tesuque Hill Rd|
Santa Fe, NM 87506
|750 slots, table games|
|Wild Horse Casino & Hotel||13603 US Highway 64|
Dulce, NM 87529
|190 slots, live blackjack|
No, the law somewhat prohibits it, but mostly ignores it. Everyone can play in offshore casinos without the fear of being punished because the state has never charged anyone for this.
The minimum gambling age is 18 for horse racing and the lottery. It’s 21 for casino gambling.
No, the state is unlikely to make it legal any time soon, as there are no plans concerning this issue.
Online sports betting was once again made illegal in 2018. Only tribal casinos can offer sportsbooks.
The state doesn’t specifically prohibit it, but it doesn’t allow it either. You can only play online poker in offshore casinos if you’re based in New Mexico.