- It’s legal! Place your sports bets, but only at three locations at the moment.
- No online sports betting except via offshore online sites.
New Mexico has followed the path to legalization unlike any other state. In fact, they didn’t really need to follow any path. They went a head and DID IT!
Top 3 New Mexico Sportsbook Online
New Mexico Sports Betting Legality
As soon as the PASPA which prevented sports betting around the country was overturned, New Mexico casinos went straight into developing sports betting operations. And NO they did not stick up their nose and renege against the state laws like Uber. They were law abiding, so they say.
You may be thinking that this is impossible. For many states in the US (in fact all of them besides New Mexico) required their state constitution to be amended. State laws govern the legality of gambling and therefore many lawmakers are enjoying this busy period of work, except for those in New Mexico who have nothing to do.
That’s right. No law amendments were required in New Mexico to permit native American casinos from operating a sports book. The laws that govern native American casinos is actually held in a binding agreement called a Tribal Compact with the New Mexico Gaming Control Board.
Back in the time, when native American casinos were being established across the states, Tribal Compacts were created which outlined what types of real money gambling were permitted. These Compacts were usually with the Federal and State Governments and most have the same terms and conditions. The actual law is the Indian Governing Regulatory Act (IGRA), which enshrines the Compact in law.
Most Compacts break down the types of gambling into three categories, Class I, II and III.
Class III gaming is usually defined as Las Vegas style gaming which normally includes real money slot machines. Most states which have a Compact with their native American tribes do not allow Class III gambling at the casinos. But New Mexico is the exception.
The New Mexico the compact terms and conditions are extremely complicated and unique. In general they permit Class III gambling. The native American casinos firmly believe that Class III gaming permits sports gambling!
Thus after the PASPA was overturned in May 2018, the native American casinos in New Mexico could (in theory) immediately begin running sportsbooks open to the public.
Real money sport bets could be wagered without the need for any law amendments.
Where are the Sportsbooks in New Mexico
The first sportsbook to open to the public was at the Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel. They partnered with USBookmaking from Las Vegas. They offer betting touch screen kiosks and betting windows. Real money sport bets are capped at a maximum of $200.
The second sportsbook to open was at Buffalo Thunder Casino. They have a very nice sports bar with multiple TV screens and a huge variety of betting options available at the betting windows.
The third to open is at the Navajo Tribe casinos.
They hope to open their sportsbook before the NCAA March Madness begins having missed the NFL season.
New Mexico Online Sports Betting
Unbeknownst to many, online sports betting has been occurring for many years. New Mexico sports betting turnover for 2019 was $21 million, wagered via online sport betting sites. These online sport betting sites are offshore and are open to accepting US players.
Is this illegal?
It is a gray area. The current state laws do not clearly articulate whether gambling offshore online is illegal or not. Therefore, you will find many online sports books (and online casinos) accepting US players from states that have ambiguous gambling laws – New Mexico is one of those states.
Is it dangerous?
There are two aspects to this question.
Firstly, will you get caught or fined?
I highly doubt it. Till this day, there has been no precedence of anyone being charged with breaking the law for playing at offshore online sports betting books or offshore online casinos.
Secondly, are offshore sports betting books trustworthy and reliable?
Very much so. They have been operating in the market for many years and sports betting is a clear cut outcome (when compared to online casino games). It’s therefore extremely difficult to argue that an outcome of a sports bet is wrong.
How can I find an online Sports Book?
The most popular offshore sports book is Bovada. It is the largest and has a long standing history of operating a sports book for US citizens.
Do NOT place a bet at an unlicensed sports book operating offshore. Unlicensed sportsbooks may not be reliable. Although they may offer great Welcome Bonuses, their promise to pay any winnings may be empty. Keep with the trusted, big brand names.
New Mexico Sport Bars
New Mexico have some of the best sport bars in the country. You will find they have many of the chain sports bars but also unique independently owned ones. It’s the independent sport bars which I find to be the best.
Sammy C’s Rock n’ Sports Pub & Grille
Gallup, New Mexico
If you love your basketball, whwther it be NBA or college, you name it, you will need to come to Sammy’s. Like a mini museum of sport and rock artefacts you will be entrenched in history. Previously awarded the “Best Sports Bar in New Mexico” there is a massive projector to watch all the big games! This is a hard core fans dream come true. The food is awesome, burgers, hot dogs, steak and salads.
The Game Sports Bar & Grill
Las Cruces, New Mexico
This bar pays homage to the New Mexico State University Aggies. With walls painted red and white and lots of memorabilia dedicated to the Aggies, interspersed with TV screens, AND 42 beers on tap. The staff are helpful and friendly, and food is top notch. What is not to love?
Billy’s Sports Bar & Grill
Ruidoso, New Mexico
For the race track lovers, Billy’s at Ruidoso Downs is awesome. Watch the ponies race around the track while you dine on prime ribs, pizzas and crunchy fries. 10 TVs are spread around the sports bar to keep up with all the other sport action happening around the world.
Popular New Mexcio Sport Bets
- NFL – New Mexico has no NFL teams.
- NBA – New Mexico has no NBA basketball teams.
- MLB – New Mexico has no Major League Baseball teams.
- NHL – New Mexico has no NHL ice hockey teams.