New Mexico Sports Betting Laws
The actions of the Navajo Nation were technically legal under current state law. Article 19 Section 30-19-1 defines gambling in the state and the article goes on to describe what types of gambling are prohibited. The law fails to mention sports betting, but does mention that the only people that are allowed to operate casinos in the state are Native American tribes because of their compact with the state. The compact allows those tribes to carry Class III games such as blackjack, poker, craps, slot machines, and more. When the Navajo Nation introduced their sportsbook, they interpreted the compact in a way that classified sports gambling as a Class III activity.
The New Mexico state government was not able to argue this matter which is why the sportsbook continues to take in bets. While many assumed that other tribes would take the same route, they have instead waited for new legislation to possibly appear and clear the air. The state laws failing to mention sports betting is also another reason why many people use online offshore sportsbooks without being penalized for doing so. These sites are housed outside of the US and therefore outside the jurisdiction of the state government as well so they are unable to stop them from serving players in New Mexico.
The Legality Of Sports Betting In New Mexico
The legality of sports betting in New Mexico continues to be a heated discussion since there has been no official legislation authorizing the activity in the state for either online or land-based sites. Other entities are now vowing to get a piece of the industry, but some state officials want to keep any potential sportsbooks in the hands of the state’s Native American Tribes. House bill NM H 441 was recently introduced as a means to keep the state’s lottery out of the sports wagering discussion. The New Mexico Lottery Board voted to approve a betting game that would involve the outcome of a sports match, but this bill came as means to shut that possibility down.
All that said, it doesn’t matter that much, since you can legally use an offshore betting site. Given that it is already not a criminal act for an individual bettor to wager on sports in the state, these sites are effectively also legal. This is because they operate outside of the scope of the US legal system and are entirely under the sole legal jurisdiction of their home countries. As long as the US doesn’t have an active trade embargo against the country where your sportsbook of choice is based, you are perfectly eligible to use that site to place real-money wagers and receive real-money payouts.
Where To Legally Bet On Sports In New Mexico
As of now if you are looking for a land-based sports betting site in N.M, you only have one option and that is the Santa Ana Star, which is located shortly outside of Albuquerque. If you are living in the state but are too far from driving distance to this casino you still have the option to go online and find reputable sportsbooks located overseas. They will have all the same odds as any land-based sportsbook and often times have more. Still, if you prefer the physical sports wagering experience, we’ve provided the exact address of where to do so below.
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Legal Age To Bet On Sports In New Mexico
Even though there is no law that specifically states this, the legal sports betting age in New Mexico is assumed to be 21 because that is the age required by the state’s only sportsbook. When it comes to gambling on sports online, many of the top betting sites will allow players as young as 18 to create an account and start wagering. However, it is always advised to stick with the highest gambling age required by the state, and in New Mexico’s case, it is safe to assume that is 21.
New Mexico Sports Betting FAQ's
Are Online Sportsbooks Safe To Use If You Live N.M.?
Yes, but only if those online sportsbooks are located overseas. If you physically located in New Mexico and you tried to use an online betting site that was based in another state such as Nevada, you would be violating federal law. But, if you choose a website that is based in another country, neither state law or federal law can touch you.
Has Any Been Arrested For Sports Betting In New Mexico?
The simple answer is no. When it comes to gambling at an establishment that is not on tribal land or taking in sports bets yourself than you may be charged with a misdemeanor or further penalized. But, if you are simply placing bets at the Santa Ana Star or using online offshore sportsbooks than you should be fine. There have been no arrest records found for sports bettors that have used either of these two options.
What Is The Difference Between Land-Based and Online Sports Betting Sites In New Mexico?
As of now, there is only one Land-based sportsbook in New Mexico so the differences are very noticeable. For starters, those that live in the Southeastern parts of the state will have to take a long trip towards Albuquerque just to place a wager no matter how small the wager is. The Santa Ana Star does not offer mobile betting on-site or off-site. To counter that, online sports betting sites will allow New Mexico residents to wager as much as they like no matter where they are. You could be driving through a dessert, but as long as you have an internet connection you will have access to even more odds and more wagering types than any land-based sportsbook in N.M.
Can I Bet From My Mobile Phone In New Mexico?
Yes, but mobile betting sites in New Mexico are not run through the state’s casinos and can’t be found on the Appstore or Google play store. Instead, bettors will simply have to go to the online offshore sportsbooks they normally go to and download their apps straight from their sites. It is an easy process and gives you the chance to bet on the New Mexico Lobos on both your smartphone or tablet.
Do Legal N.M. Online Sportsbooks Have Live Betting?
They sure do. Legal online sportsbooks in New Mexico offer live-betting for most of the biggest games across the country. This means that even though you might be betting from New Mexico and the game is located on the east coast, you’ll still be able to get continuously updated odds you can bet on as the game unfolds. The Santa Ana Star sportsbook also offers in-game wagering and has several self-service betting kiosks that are available even after the sportsbook closes. When trying to place live bets you have to be quick so having this ability at the Santa Ana Star is certainly a game changer for any bettor.
Betting On Horse Racing In New Mexico
When trying to figure out the legality of betting on horse races in N.M., most answers can be found in the New Mexico Horse Racing Act, §60-1A-1 thru §60-1A-30. This act outlines who can apply for a horse track license and what that license will allow them to do. Each of the tracks are allowed to off pari-mutuel wagering onsite. NM HB 232 was the House bill that would’ve granted N.M. residents the ability to place wagers on live and simulcast races outside the tracks but that legislation failed to pass. The New Mexico Racing Commission is the agency that is tasked with regulating and overseeing the state’s tracks to ensure that they are complying with these laws.
New Mexico is home to multiple nationally recognized race tracks including Sunray Racecourse and Downs at Albuquerque. Sunray Racecourse has been in operations since 1959 and is often regarded as stepping stone to many jockeys’ careers. In order to bet on horses at these courses, you must be 18 or older. This does provide some type of wagering opportunity for residents in New Mexico that are not old enough to bet on sports quite yet. The courses also offer simulcast wagering so that you can bet on the ponies even they aren’t racing in New Mexico. Unfortunately, the race tracks are the only places you will be able to physically bet on horses. If you want to place some pari-mutuel bets but can’t make it to a race track you can still head to an offshore sports betting site, since the best ones also offer comprehensive racebooks.
The Status Of Daily Fantasy Sports In New Mexico
Even though the New Mexico Fantasy Contests Act failed to pass back in 2016, it has not affected the ability for players in the state to join major DFS sites. The failed bill essentially left the industry unregulated but that has not stopped major DFS sites like DraftKings and FanDuel from accepting New Mexico Residents. Residents are able to form leagues and create their own fantasy contests while the state does not collect any tax revenue from the activity. There have been no bills introduced since then to change that fact, so players have enjoyed winning money through these sites without having to worry about being penalized for doing so. However, if you were planning on starting your own league, make sure that all the players are preferably living in New Mexico. If they lived in Arizona or a select number of other states they will not have access to any major DFS site.