Sports betting is legal in the state of New Mexico and has been since 2018, however, before you get too excited – it’s retail only. You must physically visit one of the state’s retail sportsbooks to place a wager.
If you’re searching for information on online sports betting in New Mexcio, well, we’re still waiting… and for how long remains to be seen. However, if the success of legal online wagering in other states, including some neighbors, is any indication – they’d be wise to get move on.
Despite having no professional sports teams that call New Mexico home, there is still a thriving sporting fanbase. College athletics is popular in the state, as is support for professional and college sports teams from Colorado, which lies to the north, Texas, which lies to the southeast and Arizona, which borders New Mexico on the west. Colorado and Arizona specifically boast thriving online betting markets and could be a model for the future of New Mexico sports betting.
Despite having having no online sports betting, New Mexico still boasts a healthy, yet limited retail-only sports betting infrastructure. There are four retail casinos scattered around their expansive territory that offer excellent in-person betting experiences. Below we’ll breakdown the full New Mexico sports betting market including where you can bet now, and what the future for online betting may look like.
New Mexico Betting Market
New Mexico is the 5th largest state in the United States in terms of area and is 36th in terms of population with just over 2.1 million residents. New Mexico sports betting was quick to capitalize on the Supreme Court opinion and launched in October 2018, soon after they decided to overturn the blanket ban on sports betting across America in 2018.
Known for its diverse landscape, New Mexico is an interesting sociological territory. Despite its expansive rural landscape, its small population density, and its focus on old-fashioned American values, the state has the highest concentration of PhDs per capita in the U.S. It is also birthplace of the nuclear bomb.
New Mexico, known as a Conservative state, was the 6th state in the nation to lift its ban on sports betting, although an all-encompassing platform has yet to become reality. Brick-and-mortar, retail sports betting is currently taking place on its tribal lands.
Mobile sports betting has not yet been legalized but hopes are that evolution of the platform will lead to internet betting coming to the state… eventually.
New Mexico is unique in that it became the first state to take legal sports bets without the state’s legislature licensing and regulating their sports betting platform. More on that later.
New Mexico sports betting general info
As long as you are over the age of 21, you are eligible to place a legal sports bet in the state of New Mexico, at one of its brick-and-mortar facilities. At this time, there are four retail gambling facilities in the state that are set up to take a legal sports wagers. As stated, there is no mobile sports betting provider operating in New Mexico.
All legal gambling in the state of New Mexico is mandated and limited to tribal lands. Working together with state tribes was how New Mexico was able to launch betting so quickly after PASPA was overturned in May 2018. Tribes were able to launch without approval from federal and state regulators thanks to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1998, and specifically its Class III gaming clause that allows for sports wagering.
Pari-mutuel partnerships are permitted in the state. USBookmaking out of Nevada currently runs two of New Mexico’s legal sportsbooks and Caesars has a partnership with another retail facilities.
All non-tribal run gambling in New Mexico is currently illegal, and punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
No betting on in-state college teams
Also important, in-state college teams are excluded from the wagering menu. This means that you cannot bet on any college that is based in New Mexico, including the University of New Mexico, New Mexcio State, and others.
DFS is legal in New Mexico
Of note, DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports) is legal in New Mexico, including the incredibly popular DraftKings and FanDuel platforms that have taken the U.S. legal sports betting industry by storm. With retail betting and DFS already on the menu, expanding to allow online betting in the future would make sense.
Retail Sportsbooks in New Mexico
New Mexico currently has four locations for legal sports betting. As mentioned, it is required that you be on-site to place a sports wager. There is currently no access to sports wagering outside the four retail locations.
Let’s take a brief peek at the four retail settings, from the Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel, which launched on October 16, 2018, to the most recent Inn of the Mountain Gods.
Sanata Ana Star Casino and Hotel
- Sportsbook: Sportsbook at the Star in partnership with Nevada-based USBookmaking
- Grand Opening: October 16, 2018
- Address: 54 Jemenz Canyon Dam Rd, Bernalillo, NM 87004
- 10 Miles north of Albuquerque
- Monday – Friday: 9am – 10pm
- Sat – Sun: 7am – 10pm
Buffalo Thunder Resort Casino
- Sportsbook: Thunder Race & Sportsbook
- Grand Opening: March 2019
- Address: 20 Buffalo Thunder Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87506
- Monday – Thursday: 11am – 10pm
- Friday – Sunday: 11am – 12am
Isleta Resort & Casino
- Sportsbook: Isleta Resort & Casino Sportsbook in partnership with USBookmaing
- Grand Opening: November 2019
- Address: 11000 Broadway Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87105
- Monday – Thursday: 8am – 10pm
- Friday – Sunday: 7am – 11pm
Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino in Mescalero
- Sportsbook: Sportsbook at the Inn in Partnership with Caesars
- Address: 287 Carrizo Canyon Rd, Mescalero, NM 88340
- 3 hours southeast of Albuquerque, just west of White Sands Missile Range
- Monday – Thursday: 11am – 7pm
- Friday – Sunday: 8am – 8pm
Online sports betting in New Mexico
As you have read by now, the New Mexico legal sports betting industry is limited to in-person betting. However, it may not be that way forever. Nevada-based USBookmaking already has a presence in the state, operating two of their four sportsbooks and Caesars also runs a New Mexico sports betting operation. FanDuel and DraftKings are legal DFS providers in the state and will obviously have an interest if and when a mobile platform is legalized.
So what will need to happen before online betting can hit New Mexico? Well, first and formost state legislators and local tribes will need to come to an agreement. As we’ve seen in states like California and Florida, it can be tricky for this to happen. Any potential deal for New Mexico online sports betting would need to suit both the state, and the tribes. Seeing as they control all gaming in New Mexico now, this will be difficult to come by.
Potential online sportsbooks in New Mexico
Should New Mexico elect to pursue online sports betting we’d expect to see all major operators. This includes Caesars, which has ties to an in-person facility at the Inn of the Mountain Gods.
Caesars Sportsbook has been in on just about every new and existing legal sports betting jurisdiction in the U.S. market and will be again when New Mexico decides to go online. The provider already runs Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino Sportsbook and has a heavy presence in one of New Mexico’s neighbors, Nevada. Caesars, with both a retail and mobile arm, has made no secret about their expansion desires and is a natural fit for New Mexico sports betting, whether it is brick-and-mortar or internet-based wagering.
FanDuel Sportsbook has a presence in almost every one of the participating U.S. legal sports betting states and holds a significant market share in the entire U.S. legal sports betting market. It is also one of New Mexico’s legal DFS providers. It would be an easy transition to expand their offerings to include New Mexico sports betting, only if mobile wagering is legalized in the state.
DraftKings Sportsbook is another provider that already has a presence in New Mexico, thanks to their DFS platform, which is very popular in the state. The provider is solely dependent on the legalization of mobile sports betting, which seems to be a ways off. But when internet-based sports betting is legalized in New Mexico, DraftKings is sure to be a part of the picture.
MGM Resorts International has been on a global expansion tear has a combination of retail and mobile sports betting that could be attractive in the New Mexico market. MGM and BetMGM specifically also have a strong presence in nearby Nevada, Colorado, and Arizona, making the provider a natural fit to get in on the New Mexico market if and when tribal or state legislators decide to expand their sports betting platform.
Others online sportsbook that could factor in NM
So who else could crash the online sports betting party in New Mexico? Well, we don’t really know. Since New Mexico hasn’t made concrete steps towards legalizing online betting, we have no idea of knowing how many online operators would be available. Those listed above are our best bets, because they’re generally available in all open markets. But, should New Mexico legalize online betting with plenty of licenses up for grabs, expect to see plenty more. Candidates could include:
Popular sports teams in New Mexico
New Mexico does not have any professional teams, but there are surrounding states that have high-profile teams that in-state bettors can focus on.
Neighboring Texas may be the most intriguing as it has high-profile, iconic teams in all of North America’s four major sports. Texas also has yet to launch its own legal sports betting platform. In fact, Texas seems unlikely to launch anytime soon, making hopes for cross-state bettors in New Mexico sky-high. The Dallas Cowboys, Mavericks and Stars, the Houston Texans , Rockets and Astros, the San Antonio Spurs and Texas Rangers are all popular draws in New Mexico
Likewise, neighboring Arizona has the Arizona Cardinals, Diamondbacks and Coyotes as well as the Phoenix Suns of the NBA.
To the north, Colorado has the Denver Broncos and Nuggets as well as the Colorado Rockies and Avalanche.
As mentioned, New Mexico sports betting law prohibits wagering on interstate college athletics. That means bets on the Division I New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies and the state’s Division II college programs is not allowed.
Deposits and withdrawals in New Mexico
Well, there’s not a ton to go over as far as deposits and withdrawals are concerned in New Mexico. Currently, since all betting is done in-person, you need to show up at the casino and place your bets there. There are no accounts, balances, or e-wallets to worry about.
With that said, if New Mexico does elect to legalize online sports betting, we’ll update you accordingly on how and what methods can be used to make deposits to your online betting app. Credit Cards, PayPal, eWallets, eChecks, and more will be commonplace.
Available betting markets in NM
At New Mexico’s retail sportsbooks you can place bets on a wide variety of markets. All major sprots are on the table, plus plenty of niche matchups or events taking place the world over.
Examples of the types of sports that New Mexicans can bet on include:
- Basketball (NBA and International)
- NHL (NHL and International leagues)
- Combat Sports (MMA and Boxing)
- Soccer (MLS and most International leagues)
- NCAAF (excluding New Mexico teams)
- Minor league sports
Just keep in mind that you can’t bet on New Mexico college teams.
Current betting options
The New Mexico sports betting industry isn’t lacking markets. The state’s sportsbooks offer all of the typical sports betting opportunities that other states do. The one drawback with a retail-only platform is that bettors aren’t able to shop around for the best odds. New Mexico’s sportsbooks don’t post their odds on the internet, which forces bettors to accept the odds of the physical sportsbook they are visiting.
Included on the New Mexico bet type list are:
- Moneyline – sometimes called a “Win Bet.” Simply picking the winner of a given game/match. Payouts will vary depending on oddsmakers interpretation of the favorite and underdog. The underdog will always pay more than a favorite.
- Spread – oddsmakers determine how many points a favorite should win by, or a loser should lose by. If the favorite wins by that amount or more, or “covers the spread,” that bet wins. If the underdog either wins outright or loses by less than the Spread, or “covers the spread,” that bet cashes.
- Over/under – otherwise known as the “Total.” Oddsmakers determine how many points/goals they think will be scored in a game/match. Bettors wager on whether the combatants exceed or go “over” that amount or fail to reach the predetermined points output or stay “under” the predetermined “Total.”
- Prop bets – bets on things that don’t necessarily determine the outcome of a game. It can range from how many points an individual player will score, to the more whacky. Examples include the duration of the National Anthem, or the color of Gatorade poured on a winning coach’s head.
- Futures – bets in the outcome of a “Future” event. Examples include the eventual winner of a certain league or a conference within that league, or the MVP of that league.
- Live/in-game bets – increasingly popular bet type in which wagers are taken after a contest has already started. It allows bettors to place a bet on the ebbs and flows of a game or match. Examples include the winner of an MMA contest after the first round of action, or how many points a team will score after the first quarter of action.
- Parlay – combining two or more bets into one. They can be bets from games in the same league, different sports or even wagering opportunities within the same game (a moneyline and Over/Under or prop bet combination for example).
Marqueee sports betting events in New Mexico
The brick-and-mortar casinos in New Mexico are also resort destinations, which means that in-state betting can be a destination. Boasting the nicest, most expansive, and modern resort properties in the state, casinos tie together betting and holidays in the New Mexico market.
Of course, the Super Bowl is an enormous betting event in New Mexico. Horse racing at Ruidoso Downs and Sunland Park are also huge betting draws.
NCAA’s New Mexico Bowl (assuming it doesn’t involve a New Mexico state team), and Sandia Speedway are also popular sports betting draws for the New Mexico sportsbook industry.
New Mexico betting recap
New Mexico was one of the first states to adopt a sports betting platform after the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn its blanket ban on sports betting in May 2018, but it has been slow to adapt to the changing landscape of the industry. The lack of a mobile sports betting focus has created an “arrested development” feel for the overall New Mexico sports betting scene.
There has been some momentum toward adopting a mobile sports betting platform in the state, but a renegotiation of the state’s tribal compacts will have to come first… and that takes time.
History in New Mexico has shown that there hasn’t been much of an appetite to accelerate any talks toward this end. Four retail-only sportsbooks will have to do for now in New Mexico with the hope of finally, one day, evolving a sports wagering industry to allow for a mobile platform.
New Mexico sports betting FAQ
Is sports betting legal in New Mexico?
Yes! Sports betting IS legal in New Mexico, but… only in-person betting is permitted. Unfortunately online sports betting is not.
Is online sports betting legal in New Mexico?
No it isn’t. Sadly the New Mexico legislature has yet to approve legal online sports betting. However, at least there’s retail betting to fall back on!
How many retail sportsbooks are open in New Mexico?
Currently there are four. They are located at the Santa Ana Star Casino, Buffalo Thunder Casino, Isleta Casino, and the Mountain Gods Casino.
What sports can I bet on in New Mexico?
All major sports leagues globally are available to wager on in New Mexico. The biggest include the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and NASCAR, among others. Popular international leagues like the EPL are also available to wager on.
Is it legal to bet on college sports in New Mexico?
Yes. But… betting on college teams that are located in New Mexico is currently prohibited. So, you can bet on any college game, as long as a New Mexico team is not involved.