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New Mexico Casinos & Gambling

New Mexico Regulated Gambling:

Pari-Mutuel Betting 1938

Charity Gaming 1978

Lottery 1996

Tribal Casinos 1999

Gambling Age in New Mexico:

Charity Gaming/Lottery/Pari-Mutuel Betting 18+

Tribal Casinos 21+

New Mexico Casinos:

Tribal Casinos 24

Racinos 5

New Mexico

New Mexico Gambling Overview

New Mexico is amongst the youngest states, only joining in 1912. It’s a quirky state where there are more cows than people and more Ph.Ds per capita than any other US state.

Most gambling in New Mexico is prohibited, except for tribal casinos, pari-mutuel horse racing, a state lottery, and bingos & raffles (charity gaming). A statute in 1997 established the New Mexico Gaming Control Board as the regulatory body for racetracks and charity gaming.

Although commercial sports betting has not been legalized in New Mexico, some tribal casinos do offer sportsbooks. These casinos argue that sports betting falls under Class III Gaming.

Gambling over the internet is unlawful, including online casinos, online poker, and online sports betting. There are no laws for fantasy sports contests, but the hobby is tolerated by the state.

State Lottery

The New Mexico Lottery falls under the New Mexico Lottery Act. The state lottery is a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL). This means that players (18+) from New Mexico can participate in interstate lottery draws, including Mega Millions, Powerball, et cetera. Tickets can be purchased from any authorized retailer.

The state offers several local draw games, including Roadrunner Cash, Pick 3, Lucky Numbers Bingo, and Quicksters. Scratch tickets can also be purchased in the state.

Charity Gaming

Regularly scheduled games of chance conducted by qualifying organizations require a license as per The Bingo and Raffle Act. Here, qualifying non-profits across New Mexico may offer bingo, raffle tickets, or pull tabs.

Qualifying non-profits include religious, patriotic, educational, or public-spirited entities. Individual prizes on raffles may not exceed $75,000. Bingos or raffles cannot be held more than once every three consecutive months or four times per year. Some non-profit organizations may also offer slot machines.

Pari-Mutuel Horse Racing

New Mexico statutes §60-1A-1 thru §60-1A-30 NMSA 1978 regulates live and simulcast horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering at licensed venues. These venues (licensed tracks) may also offer slot machines that fall under the Gaming Control Act. Horse racing and pari-mutuel activities are regulated by the New Mexico Racing Commission.

Sports Betting

New Mexico land-based or online sports betting is not explicitly legal. A legislative loophole has made Class III tribal casino sportsbooks tolerated. The Pueblo of Santa Ana tribe has exploited this to offer a sportsbook of its own. Some other casinos have followed suit, but not all casinos provide a retail sportsbook. Gambling on in-state college teams is not permitted.

Land-Based Casinos & Racinos

Pueblos and tribes entered into State Compacts with New Mexico may offer a sportsbook, casino-style gaming, including hundreds of slot machines, video poker, table games, bingo, and more.

Tribal Casinos Address Website
Apache Nugget Travel Center and Casino @ Hwy 550/537 – Cuba, NM 87013
Black Mesa Casino 25 Hagan Road – San Felipe Pueblo, NM 87001
Black Mesa Casino (Slot Stop (located inside the Black Mesa Travel Center) 25 Hagan Road – San Felipe Pueblo, NM 87001 n/a
Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino 30 Buffalo Thunder Trail – Santa Fe, NM 87506
Casino Apache Travel Center 25845 US Highway 70 -Mescalero, New Mexico 88340
Cities of Gold Casino 10-B Cities of Gold Road – Santa Fe, NM 87506
Dancing Eagle Casino I-40, Exit 108 – Casa Blanca, NM
Fire Rock Casino 249 East Historic Highway 66 – Church Rock, New Mexico 87311
Flowing Water Casino 2710 US Highway 64 – Waterflow, New Mexico 87421
Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino Apache 269 Carrizo Canyon Rd. – Mescalero, NM 88340
Isleta Resort and Casino 11000 Broadway SE – Albuquerque, NM 87105
Jake’s Place 68 Cities of Gold Road, Suite C – Santa Fe, NM 87506
Northern Edge Casino 2752 Navajo Route 36 – Fruitland, New Mexico 87416
Ohkay Casino (Highway 68) 2 miles North of Espanola – San Juan Pueblo, NM 87566
Palace West Casino @ The Y intersection of Coors & Isleta Rd. – Albuquerque, NM
Route 66 Casino 14500 Central Avenue – Interstate 40 Exit 140
Route 66 Casino Express 14500 Central Avenue – Albuquerque, New Mexico 87121 n/a


Sandia Casino Tramway Road and Interstate 25 Exit 234 – Albuquerque, NM 87113
Santa Ana Star Casino 54 Jemez Canyon Dam Road – Bernalillo, NM 87004
Santa Claran Casino Hotel 419 North Riverside Dr. – Espanola, NM 87532
Sky City Casino Interstate 40, Exit 102 – Acoma, NM 87034
Taos Mountain Casino Main Pueblo Road – Taos, NM 87571
Tesuque Casino 7 Tesuque Rd – Santa Fe, NM 87506
Wild Horse Casino and Hotel US Hwy. 64 Jicarilla Blvd – Dulce, NM 87528


Racetrack casinos are available at 5 locations, offering slot machines at their sites. However, table games are not permitted.

Racinos Address Website
The Downs Racetrack & Casino 145 Louisiana Blvd. NE – Albuquerque, NM 87108
Zia Park Racetrack & Casino 3901 W Millen Dr, Hobbs NM 88240
Ruidoso Downs Race Track 26225 U.S. 70. – Ruidoso Downs, NM, 88346,
Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino 1200 Futurity Dr. – Sunland Park, NM 88063
Sunray Park & Casino 39 Road 5568 – Farmington, NM 87401

New Mexico Gambling History

Under a 1978 Act, the racing commission was created to regulate pari-mutuel wagering. The Horse Racing Act (HRA) was enacted in 1938.

In 1990, New Mexico Gov Bruce King entered into negotiations with the Pueblo of Sandia and Mescalero Apache Tribe to enter into State Compacts. This resulted from the enactment of the IGRA (Indian Gaming Regulatory Act) of 1988, categorizing gaming into three classes: I, II, or III.

Although an appointed task force presented the governor with two Class III gaming Compacts, Gov King refused to sign them. In 1994 he was replaced by Gary Johnson, who was considered a more pro-tribal-state Compact.

In 1995, the state signed 13 nearly identical compacts with San Juan, Pueblos of Acoma, Laguna, Isleta, Sandia, Pojoaque, Santa Ana, San Felipe, Taos and Tesuque, Santa Clara, and the Jicarilla & Mescalero Apache Tribes. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court of New Mexico rules that Gov Gary Johnson had no authority to enter the state into Compacts.

By 1999 the Compact Negotiation Act of New Mexico formalized the process for negotiating state-tribal Compacts. By 2001 gaming compacts were signed with all but the Pojoaque (issues resolved in 2005) and Mescalero (signed in 2004).

In 1996, the New Mexico Lottery was established after Senate Bill 853 was signed into law by Gov Gary Johnson in April of the previous year.

In August 2018, New Mexico saw its first sportsbook offered at a tribal casino. HB101 was introduced on January 19, 2021, but died in committee. It would have expanded gambling to allow online sports betting and retail sportsbooks at racinos. Additionally, poker, craps, and blackjack would also have been available at racetrack casinos.

New Mexico Gambling FAQ

Does New Mexico allow pari-mutuel wagering?

Yes, pari-mutuel wagering at the state’s 5 live racetracks is permitted.

Does New Mexico have a state lottery?

Yes, Mexico has a state lottery offering scratch tickets and lottery draws.

Does New Mexico have legal sports betting?

Sports betting has not been legalized in New Mexico state. Still, some tribal casinos provide sports betting, believing their Class III license gives them legal standing. Online sports betting is strictly prohibited.

Does New Mexico have land-based casinos?

Yes, New Mexico has 24 Class III tribal casinos offering Vegas-style games. Some of these casinos also provide sportsbooks.

Are fantasy sports contests legal in New Mexico?

New Mexico does not have any laws on fantasy contests, so they are technically not legal. However, fantasy contests are tolerated in New Mexico since they are considered a game of skill. Indeed, many of the biggest fantasy contest operators, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, accept players from New Mexico.

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