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Sports Betting – New Mexico

No, but retail sports betting is.

New Mexico sports betting is legal.

New Mexico was the sixth state in the US to offer legal sports betting inside its borders. NM sportsbooks opened on October 16, 2018, with the Santa Ana Star. However, their process to launch is much different than in other states. Rather than through the use of legislation, this casino simply claimed it had the right to host sports betting. Without any challenge from the NM government, sports betting in NM opened on the fly. After a few unchallenged months, the Pojoaque Pueblo tribe opened their own sportsbook.

Bets on horse racing are allowed for New Mexico residents, but only on races that take place outside the state.

But the rise of legalized online sports betting might be closer to a reality in New Mexico as more states – including bordering state Arizona – have passed laws allowing for the placing of mobile bets within their respective states, and as younger people are finding new ways to enjoy wagering bets outside of the walls of casinos, state lawmakers and experts have said. Legalized sports betting would also open the door for the state’s five racetrack casinos to benefit monetarily after years of decline in races, breeding and revenue.

While the state could legalize sports betting unilaterally and potentially lose out on revenue sharing from tribal casinos, the road to legalized sports betting across the state would mean navigating a number of barriers, including the re-negotiating of tribal gaming compacts – last updated in 2015 – and new and approved legislation that benefits all sides.

“I think there’s the political will to amend the gating humpbacks to allow sports betting simply because they weren’t contemplated when the latest compacts were negotiated,” said Sen. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque.

However, legalizing online sports betting is complicated. Negotiations with tribes on gaming compacts would likely need to happen before any legislation or go-ahead is approved, Maestas said. If the state were to legalize online sports betting without negotiations, it could affect revenue sharing that the state gets from tribal casinos.

Hopefully, online betting in NM can gain traction in 2024.

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