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  • Land Based Gambling

    Live Dealer Games
    Regulated Since: 1995
    Gambling Age: 21
    Live Dealer Games
    Sports Betting
    Regulated Since: 2018
    Gambling Age: 21
    Live Dealer Games
    Regulated Since: 1995
    Gambling Age: 21
    Live Dealer Games
    Regulated Since: 2009
    Gambling Age: 18
    Live Dealer Games
    Regulated Since: 1995
    Gambling Age: 18
    Live Dealer Games
    Horse Racing
    Regulated Since: 1946
    Gambling Age: 18
    Live Dealer Games
    Dog Racing

    Online Gambling

    Live Dealer Games
    Online Casino
    Live Dealer Games
    Online Sports Betting
    Live Dealer Games
    Online Poker
    Live Dealer Games
    Online Bingo
    Live Dealer Games
    eSports Betting
    Live Dealer Games
    Regulated Since: 2016
    Gambling Age: 18


    The subject of Gambling in the United States of America is never a straightforward discussion because the legal structure among the various states differs so much. While there are guideline federal laws within the country, the individual states are independently governed and may legalise and outlaw various practices at will, if the voters support the bill.

    New Mexico boasts more liberal laws than many other states in the nation and offers a wide variety of gambling options for players of all types, generating close to $1,000,000,000 in revenues each year. Unfortunately, online casino gambling is outlawed in the region.
    New Mexico has a steeped past in horseracing, which only became properly regulated in 1946. Along with its legalisation, came the introduction of race betting, which was originally done at the track itself. Nowadays, with modern technology, betting on the horses can be done remotely via licensed off-site bookmakers. New Mexico had a monopoly on horseracing in the area until the 80’s when Texas officially regulated the sport and began competing for dominance in the area.

    The gambling climate revolved around horses until the 1990’s when Governor Gary Johnson came into power in the state, living up to his promise at the polls to introduce a state-lottery and giving the native tribes the rights to open tribal casinos on reservations. These compacts got underway from 1995 onwards to the point that there are now 24 tribal operators in the state.

    The state lottery was also introduced in the ‘90s, giving people a legalised gambling outlet and providing the state with an opportunity to boost their coffers. Other charitable gambling can also be hosted by Non-Profit Organisations in the form of Bingo and raffles, but this can only be conducted under strict guidelines.

    The increase in casino gambling eventually took a toll on horseracing in the state, leading to Ruidoso Downs and Sunland Park Racetracks lobbying the government for gambling licenses to operate racinos in the region. For this reason, you can now play slots, video poker, and other arcade type table games at these two racetracks. Racino licensing then followed to 3 more tracks, including Sunray Park, The Downs at Albuquerque, and Zia Park.

    While traditional online casino gambling is outlawed in the state, players over the age of 18 can enjoy Daily Fantasy Sports, as this game is defined as a game of skill under the state’s regulation. It can, therefore, be played online and is offered by prominent fantasy leagues, like FanDuel, DraftKings, Yahoo, and CBS Sports.

    Regular sports betting was also introduced in the state in 2018, making New Mexico the 6th state to legalise the practice, however, it cannot be done online but rather at licensed tribal casinos, instead.


    An outlining law for betting in the state of New Mexico stipulates that unless stipulated otherwise in the legislation, all forms of gambling are illegal in the state of New Mexico. Fortunately, several gambling options have been expressly legalised for entertainment in the region.

    The laws surrounding each form of gambling are strict in New Mexico but vary depending on the form of gaming offered. Hereunder we will summarise the basic laws around each form of legalised gambling:

    • Horseracing: The Pari-mutuel pool betting on horseracing is legal for players aged 18 years and older. The bets can be undertaken either on-site or via regulated and licensed off-track institutions. Internet bets are not legal.

    • Lottery: The state lottery offers weekly draws for players 18 years and over. Gamblers can also purchase scratch tickets from general stores for instant cash win opportunities. Lottery proceeds go towards the state funding of hospitals, educational, facilities, and other similar initiatives.

    • Casino Betting: There are currently 24 legal tribal casinos allowed in-state. These are hosted on reservation land and offer unlimited forms of terrestrial-based casino gaming. This includes slots, video poker, electronic table games, roulette, blackjack, poker, craps, and more. The 5 commercial racinos in New Mexico may likewise offer casino gambling but are limited to video styles games, like slots, video poker, and electronic table games. No person under 21 years old may gamble in this way. Unfortunately for racino owners, the tax rate on gaming is one of the highest in the country, at a rate of 46.25%.

    While smoking is banned in public places in New Mexico, this does not apply to Casino operations, where smoking cigarettes is legal on the gaming floor.

    • Charitable Gambling: Only federally registered Non-Profit Organisations may offer charitable gambling but under strict stipulations. They may offer Bingo or Raffles if Raffle prizes do not exceed $75,000 without express permission from the governor’s office, and bingo and raffles can only be held once a month or four times a year. Participants must be 18 years or older. The only concession on this form of gaming is for retirement homes, who may hold bingo nights as often as they wish. Raffle prizes may not consist of alcoholic beverages.

    • Sports Betting: Sports betting was legalised in 2018 and are only available at licensed tribal casino venues for players 21 years and older. Unfortunately, no bets may be made via the internet and all players must place their bets in person at the casino, itself.

    • Daily Fantasy Sports: Daily Fantasy Sports are allowed in-state, as New Mexico law does not identify them as gambling mechanisms, but rather as games of skill. There is an age restriction of 18 years on play.

    Underaged gambling is illegal, but minors cannot be prosecuted if found guilty of this offence, instead the state will lay charges against the operator offering them the entertainment, who will be liable for penalties if they willingly let minors gamble, or are found negligent in checking their IDs, etc.


    All gambling in the state of New Mexico is regulated and overseen by the New Mexico Gaming Control Board and supported by the Licensing Board division. While the Gambling Control Board are active watchdogs over the industry, the licensing board has the task of reviewing all applications submitted by entities and individuals seeking licensure within the state for casinos gaming, bingo, and raffles.

    The Licensing Board will:

    • Verify all information furnished by applicants and undertake background checks on companies, organisations, and individuals involved. These checks will include thorough financial background inspection and criminal background checks.
    • Process applications for review and presentation to the board for approval.
    • Review and approve Bingo and Raffle applications themselves.

    It is made clear throughout the licensing procedure that it is the individual applicant’s burden to prove their qualification to hold a license, permit, or certificate. A zero-tolerance attitude is shown for those who miss the mark.

    There are various licenses available in the state when it comes to gambling, including:

    • Corporate business license
    • Non-Profit Gaming
    • Key and Affiliated Persons License
    • Key and Affiliated Persons in Non-Profit gambling

    By a glimpse of the above licenses, it is immediately discernible that it is not only the organisation that must be certified to offer betting games, but each staff member involved in a managerial function, or host function at any game, including cashiers. Thorough background checks on all individuals involved ensures that the risk of unethical and illegal practice is kept to a minimum, at least. Provisional licenses are initially awarded to individuals, pending further outcomes and final certification.

    In addition to licensing it is the duty of the Control Board to ensure that all betting houses, casinos, etc, practice responsible gambling protocols so that residents of the state are protected wherever possible. It is here that problem gamblers can submit their names for game exclusion in the state or seek help for compulsive/problem gambling.


    What types of gambling are available in New Mexico?

    Land-based gambling operations such as Indian casinos on reservations, racinos, lottery, bingo, and horse racing can all be enjoyed with ease.

    Is online gambling for real money allowed in New Mexico?

    No. All forms of online gambling are illegal in NM.

    Is Charitable gambling legal in New Mexico?

    Yes, registered Non-Profit organisations can apply to hold bingo tournaments and raffles.

    Can online casinos outside of New Mexico state be utilised?

    No. Any form of online gambling that occurs within New Mexico is illegal.

    What's the legal minimum age for gambling in New Mexico?

    While casino gaming and sports betting hold an age restriction of 21 years old, all other forms of betting require a participant to be 18 years or older.

    Who regulates gambling activities in New Mexico?

    The New Mexico Gaming Control Board oversees all forms of gambling in New Mexico.

    Is Sports Betting allowed in New Mexico?

    Yes, betting on sports can only be conducted at tribal casino facilities in the state.

    Are daily fantasy sports sites legal in New Mexico?

    Yes, Daily Fantasy Sports are legal in New Mexico as they do not fall under the definition of gambling under state legislature.

    Can I bet on horse racing in New Mexico?

    Yes, horse racing is legal in New Mexico, both on-site and via simulcast.

    Can I smoke while playing at tribal casinos?

    Yes. Laws that ban smoking in public places do not apply to tribal casinos.

    Casinos and Gambling Facilities in New Mexico

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