Casino Gambling in New Mexico

New Mexico Casino Guide

Facts About Gambling & Online Casinos in New Mexico

New Mexican laws state that horse racing is legal and licensed tracks are authorized to have slot machines on the premises. The only legal casinos are those set up on tribal grounds. Tribal casinos in New Mexico are all allowed to have both slots and casino-type games. Any other establishment offering things like bingo and raffles must be for a charitable cause.
With a good portion of New Mexico’s land belonging to Native Americans, the number of casinos within the state is staggering. The states views on Internet gambling are not as welcoming, however. Per the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, the state makes it clear that they prohibit any form of online gambling in New Mexico. Sports betting is also illegal under 28 U.S.C.A. 3702.

History of Gambling in New Mexico

Everything relating to the tribal casinos in New Mexico owes itself to a U.S. Supreme Court case that happened in 1987. It was that battle that led to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act that permitted Native Americans to open casinos on their land. Two years later, the governor of New Mexico created a group who would work out gaming compacts with two tribes. While these compacts were created, the governor refused to sign them, and he lost the next election. Under the new governor, 13 compacts were signed and created a revenue-sharing plan between the tribes and New Mexico.

Fast forward to 2015 and there are 11 tribes that own casinos in New Mexico. There are also a number of race tracks that came into play after the passage of pari-mutuel horse racing in 1946. Laws in the 1990s were changed to allow race tracks to offer slot machines. Without this law change, racetracks were facing extinction following the arrival of the state’s first casinos.

Age Restrictions for Gambling in New Mexico

Unless you are 21, don’t expect to get to gamble in New Mexico casinos. Those who are 18, 19, and 20 are restricted to the state’s lottery, horse betting, and bingo games.

New Mexico’s Casino Gambling Outlook

With tribal casinos in New Mexico struggling to see eye to eye with the state, it’s unlikely that any focus will move to legalizing online casinos in New Mexico. Some tribes have solid compacts in place, but others, particularly the Fort Sill Apaches are in the middle of a legal battle to get the current governor to sign the compact. In the meantime, the Nambe Pueblos were given permission to build their first casinos, so players will soon have a new venue to explore.

Local Casinos

Casinos in New Mexico range from racetrack casinos to tribal casinos. Here’s a current list of New Mexico casinos.

• Downs at Albuquerque
• Ruidoso Downs/Billy the Kid Casino
• Sun Ray Park & Casino
• Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino
• Zia Park Casino, Hotel, & Racetrack
Tribal Casinos:
• Apache Nugget Travel Center and Casino
• Buffalo Thunder Resort Casino
• Camel Rock Casino
• Cities of Gold Casino and Sports Bar
• Dancing Eagle Casino
• Fire Rock Navajo Casino
• Inn of the Mountain Gods/ Casino Apache Travel Center
• Isleta Resort Casino
• Northern Edge Navajo Casino
• Route 66 Casino
• Palace West
• Sandia Resort & Casino
• San Felipe Casino Hollywood
• Santa Ana Star Casino
• Santa Claran Hotel Casino
• Sky City Casino Hotel
• Taos Mountain Casino
• Wild Horse Casino