New Mexico Online Casinos

New Mexico is a big place. It’s the fifth-largest state by area, with more land than other “big” states like Nevada, Colorado, or Arizona. So, although the Land of Enchantment is blessed with numerous casino locations, the lack of online casinos and legal online gambling in the state means that citizens are often tasked with long drives to play casino games. If you’re a New Mexican gambler, it’s understandable if you’re wondering when games like Cleopatra, Wheel of Fortune, roulette, and blackjack might become available on your computer or mobile device.

New Mexico is not home to any legal online casinos, and playing gambling games online is not authorized by New Mexico law at this time. However, there are indications that changes might be coming to New Mexico’s gambling profile sometime soon. There are multiple bills tangentially related to gambling under consideration in the New Mexico Legislature. The important takeaway is that internet gaming is in some lawmakers’ minds in New Mexico, so we cannot count out the possibility of more online gambling in the somewhat-near future.

In the meantime, we want to walk through all the different options that you do have if you live in NM. Although there aren’t as many as you or we would like, you do have some avenues to place a wager, and we’ll tell you how each one works. Finally, if anything starts to move on online gambling in New Mexico, we’ll have it covered, and you’ll be among the first to know.

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Is online gambling legal in New Mexico?

As a general rule, no. Online casinos, sportsbooks, and poker sites are not permitted under New Mexico state law. Now, you might see evidence to the contrary if you search in Google. Some of the sites you might come across will claim to be legal in New Mexico and accept players from NM. However, we want to warn you not to play on these sites. We’ll explain why below.

In terms of the gambling that you can do online in New Mexico, there are a few options. Most of them are more “gamblingesque” than outright wagering, which is probably why they are legal or allowed to be part of the landscape in New Mexico. Nevertheless, there are three main types of betting that are still (mostly) OK in New Mexico.

The first type of gambling that is allowed in New Mexico is online horse betting. Although there is no formal law in New Mexico to permit betting on races around the country, several prominent sites offer services to New Mexicans without incident, including TVG. TVG is a horse betting site par excellence, to be sure, but what really sets it apart is the fact that it is also a 24-hour broadcast network dedicated to horse racing and handicapping. Another type of gambling that just… exists in New Mexico is daily fantasy sports. Although New Mexico law enforcement could tell DFS companies to hit the bricks at any time, DFS titans like DraftKings and FanDuel have operated in the state without incident for many years.

Finally, if you really want to play some casino-style games, you can try some of the sweepstakes or social casino options available in New Mexico. These sites offer you the opportunity to win major prizes without having to risk anything yourself. So, you can try out social casino sites like Chumba Casino and Luckyland Slots, or sweepstakes casinos like Funzpoints. Until New Mexico decides to move forward with online casinos and poker sites, these fun games are probably your best and closest stand-in for replicating the games you love.

Are online casinos legal in New Mexico?

No. Online casinos are not legal to play in New Mexico. If you see a site saying otherwise, do not believe it. Although the sites you see might not be explicitly legal, they come with a host of problems for New Mexicans who choose to play on them.

Can you play online poker in New Mexico?

This question has the same answer as online casinos: no. You cannot play real money poker online in New Mexico unless you use one of the sites we mentioned above (Global Poker), and that’s not a real money online poker site, anyway.

Will New Mexico regulate online gambling in the future?

Maybe, but not right away. It would be inaccurate to say that there is no legislative interest in New Mexico online gambling. There are several gaming-related bills under consideration by the New Mexico Legislature at present. One of them, HB 288, proposes to create a commission to study gaming in all its forms and deliver a report on the same to the appropriate committees. Another, HB 101, would allow for sports betting and place table games at New Mexico racetracks, though there is no provision for online casinos or poker in this bill. The short answer is that it’s not a full-blown storm or anything, but there are a few rumbles of thunder here and there about online gaming in the Land of Enchantment.

Legal online gambling in NM

Real money online casinos and poker sites that you can find in New Mexico right now are based outside the US and operate as unlicensed and unregulated in the state. Every legitimate international company that does business in the US has an American unit that complies with all US law. The sites that you can find for online casino games, online poker, and online sports betting that accept players from New Mexico simply do not.

So, not only is it illegal to play on these sites in New Mexico, it also places you outside of the protections that US law affords you, too. If something were to go wrong or you happened to have a dispute with one of these sites, you might find that your options for redress would be quite limited. Worse yet, the situation we just described is the best-case scenario. Even if the site promotes some sort of regulator or overseeing agency that keeps it honest, there’s no way to verify that the group has any power over the site, is impartial, or isn’t part of the very same organization as the site.

Finally, and probably most importantly, is the effectiveness of the site’s security measures. Remember; you are going to have to volunteer your personal and financial data to any online gambling site in order to play, or else you won’t be able to move money into and out of your account. A weak security system from your chosen site might make you a primary target, despite the best wishes of the online gambling site runners.

In short, you’re taking on an awful set of risks if you try to play through an offshore online casino in New Mexico right now. Your best options are social or sweepstakes casinos like Chumba Casino and Funzpoints, or some of the other sites where you don’t have to spend any money to win prizes. Be smart. It’s not worth it for whatever few hundreds of bucks you might gather from that offshore site.

Who oversees gambling in New Mexico?

The New Mexico Gaming Control Board. Although online gambling remains illegal under New Mexico law, any movement toward legality would undoubtedly place the NMGCB as the regulator. Every bit of legal gambling in New Mexico runs through this agency.

What is the legal gambling age in New Mexico?

For casinos, the legal gambling age is 21. For racinos, bingo, and lottery, it’s 18. For the most part, it’s safe to assume that any expansions into online gambling will involve a 21 or older requirement. In other states, the gambling age has almost always been set at 21 unless there is no precedent or tradition of requiring players to be 21 to gamble. Since New Mexico casinos require you to be 21, there’s no reason to think online gambling would not have the same requirement.

Responsible gambling resources

Unfortunately, where there is gambling, there is problem gambling. Fortunately, New Mexico takes gambling addiction seriously. There are several resources available to New Mexicans who find their gambling habits out of control or on the path to being out of control.

The first resource you should try is the New Mexico Council on Problem Gambling. This nonprofit group is the state affiliate of the National Council on Problem Gambling and provides resources for both sufferers of gambling addiction and those seeking education about the issue. You can be connected with trained counselors any day of the week, any time of day by calling 1-800-GAMBLER or 1-800-572-1142. In addition, you can reach out to the national organization at 1-800-522-4700. The NCPG also maintains a live chat function, if you prefer to get in touch without having to talk to someone.

Another excellent place to find help is the Responsible Gaming Association of New Mexico. Since tribal casinos are not subject to the regulations or programs in the state itself, the various casinos have banded together to form their own response organization for problem gambling at their properties. Like the NMCPG, the RGA maintains a helpline at 1-888-696-2440.

No matter what avenue you take, there are treatment services available to you through the New Mexico Compulsive Gambler Treatment Fund. You can receive a referral for counseling and attend counseling sessions at no cost to you, regardless of your level of need. All New Mexicans are able to take advantage of this service, so a lack of funding or insurance does not have to stand in your way from getting on the road to recovery.

You can also meet with one of several gambling addiction support groups that meet in New Mexico on a regular basis, including:

Finally, there is a self-exclusion list upon which you can apply to be placed if you know that any other interventions are not going to change your behavior. Self-exclusion bars you from setting foot in gambling locations covered under the agreement and renders it a crime if you continue to trespass. The NMGCB maintains the list for all gambling that occurs inside New Mexico. Placement on the list keeps you from gambling inside New Mexico for a year, five years, or permanently. Because self-exclusion is such an extreme option, it cannot be done on your behalf. Only the gamblers themselves can self-exclude.

The bottom line is that there are plenty of ways that you can curb your addiction and address the problem gambling in your life in New Mexico. Make sure to take advantage, and call anytime of day to begin your journey towards a cleaner life.

Types of legal gambling in New Mexico

New Mexicans are no strangers to in-state gambling options. There are plenty. Ever since the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act became the law of the land in 1988, federally recognized Native American tribes have had the ability to negotiate compacts with the state government to offer gambling in tribal lands. There are, in fact, 23 different tribes that qualify, but only 13 have gone through the procedures and opened gambling locations. Nevertheless, there are two dozen venues across the state that call themselves casinos. In addition, New Mexico is home to five racinos, which feature live racing, simulcast racing, slot machines, video poker, and table games. You can also bet on horse races online and participate in daily fantasy sports contests. New Mexico is also a lottery state, with both scratchers and draw games available for play. Finally, there are numerous charitable gaming outlets across the state.

New Mexico’s offering of legal gambling options far surpasses its large neighbor to the east, Texas. Oddly enough, though, there is one significant form of gambling that is legal in Texas but illegal in New Mexico: home poker. New Mexico gambling law is written quite broadly, as is the case in most states. However, unlike other states, including gambling-hostile Texas, no exception or exemption exists for New Mexico residents under Chapter 30 of the 2020 New Mexico Statutes. Thus, you cannot host your buddies for a poker tournament in New Mexico, even if it’s for a marginal amount of money. Save your poker dollars to play in one of the casino poker rooms.

Are there casinos in New Mexico?

Yes. There are both casinos and racinos located in New Mexico. The casinos are all tribal locations and operate on tribal lands. They offer a full suite of gambling games, including slots, casino games, and poker rooms.

The racinos, on the other hand, have live and simulcast wagering on horse races available. In addition, they are permitted to offer slot machines, video poker, and electronic table games. Although there has been some movement in the New Mexico Legislature to allow true table games at the tracks, nothing is certain yet. Nevertheless, there are more than two dozen casino or racino locations in New Mexico. See below to find the contact information about the venue nearest to you.

NameAddressPhone NumberType of PropertyTribe/OwnerLive Poker? (Y/N)
All-American Ruidoso Downs & Billy the Kid Casino26225 US-70, Ruidoso Downs, NM 88346(575) 378-4431RacinoAll American Ruidoso Downs IncN
Apache Nugget Travel Center and CasinoJunction 537- US, US-550, Cuba, NM 87013(575) 289-2486CasinoJicarilla Apache TribeN
Black Mesa Casino25 Hagen Rd, Algodones, NM 87001(505) 867-6700CasinoSan Felipe PuebloN
Casino Apache Travel Center25845 US Highway 70, Mescalero, NM 88340(575) 464-7059CasinoMescalero Apache TribeN
Cities of Gold Casino Hotel10 Cities of Gold Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87506(505) 455-4232CasinoPojoaque PuebloN
Dancing Eagle Casino167 Casa Blanca Rd, Paraje, NM 87007(505) 552-7777CasinoLaguna PuebloN
Fire Rock Casino249 U.S. Rte 66, Church Rock, NM 87311(505) 905-7100CasinoNavajo NationN
Flowing Water Casino2710 US-64, Shiprock, NM 87420(505) 368-2300CasinoNavajo NationN
Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder30 Buffalo Thunder Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87506(505) 455-5555CasinoPojoaque PuebloY
Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino Apache287 Carrizo Canyon Rd, Mescalero, NM 88340(575) 464-7059CasinoMescalero Apache TribeY
Isleta Resort and Casino11000 Broadway Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87105(505) 724-3800CasinoIsleta PuebloY
Jake's Place68 Cities of Gold Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87506(505) 455-4200CasinoPojoaque PuebloN
Northern Edge Casino2752 Indian Service Rd 36, Farmington, NM 87401(505) 960-7000CasinoNavajo NationY
Ohkay Casino Resort Hotel68 NM-291, Ohkay Owingeh, NM 87566(505) 747-1668CasinoOhkay OwingehN
Palace West Casino2 NM-45, Albuquerque, NM 87105(505) 848-1930CasinoIsleta PuebloN
Route 66 Casino Hotel14500 Central Ave SW, Rio Puerco, Albuquerque, NM 87121(505) 352-7866CasinoLaguna PuebloY
Sandia Casino30 Rainbow Rd, Albuquerque, NM 87113(505) 796-7500CasinoSandia PuebloY
Santa Ana Star Casino54 Jemez Canyon Dam Rd, Bernalillo, NM 87004(505) 867-0000CasinoSanta Ana PuebloY
Santa Claran Hotel Casino460 N Riverside Dr, Española, NM 87532(877) 505-4949CasinoSanta Clara PuebloN
Sky City Casino Hotel7 Sky City Drive, Acoma Pueblo, NM 87034(505) 552-6123CasinoAcoma PuebloY
Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino1200 Futurity Dr, Sunland Park, NM 88063(575) 874-5200RacinoStan FultonN
Sunray Park & Casino39 Rd 5568, Farmington, NM 87401(505) 566-1200RacinoKenny KendrickN
Taos Mountain Casino700 Veterans Hwy, Taos, NM 87571(575) 737-0777CasinoTaos PuebloN
Tesuque Casino7 Tesuque Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87506(800) 462-2635CasinoTesuque PuebloN
The Downs at Albuquerque145 Louisiana Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87108(505) 767-7171RacinoPaul Blanchard/Bill Windham/John S. TurnerN
Wild Horse Casino and Hotel13603 US-64, Dulce, NM 87528(575) 759-3663CasinoJicarilla Apache TribeN
Zia Park Casino Hotel & Racetrack3901 W Millen Dr, Hobbs, NM 88240(888) 942-7275RacinoGaming and Leisure Properties, Inc.N

Games at New Mexico casinos and racinos

With so many different places to play in New Mexico, there are a host of game options at your disposal. Depending on the location, you can find any number of the types of games listed below. However, before you set out for your favorite casino or racino, it’s a good idea to check the website or call ahead and make sure that your preferred game is there. Here are the games that you can find at New Mexico casinos:

  • Slots
  • Video poker
  • Blackjack
  • Craps
  • Roulette
  • Pai Gow Poker
  • Heads Up Hold’em
  • High Card Flush
  • Bingo
  • Live Poker
  • Spanish 21
  • Baccarat
  • Three Card Prime
  • Electronic Table Games
  • Sports betting (tribal casinos only)

New Mexico sports betting is legal at a few tribal casinos via the tribes’ compacts that allow them to offer wagering on sporting events.

Horse racing in New Mexico

Legal horse racing in New Mexico has an illustrious, if short, history. The first mention of a horse race occurred in 1938, albeit without wagering. The first pari-mutuel wagers happened in the mid-forties at La Mesa Park in Raton and at Albuquerque. However, the horse racing industry in New Mexico suffered in the ensuing decades, leading to track closures and, eventually, the introduction of slot machines and electronic table games.

The conversion to racinos worked, and the number of horse tracks in New Mexico has stabilized to five in the state. Table games are not permitted at New Mexico racinos at this time.

Is horse betting legal in New Mexico?

Yes. Pari-mutuel betting became legal in New Mexico in 1947. There are five live racing venues in the state. The facilities also allow for simulcast wagering. In addition, online horse betting is permitted in NM. However, interestingly enough, off-track betting is not allowed under New Mexico law, and there is even a New Mexico Supreme Court decision affirming this prohibition.

New Mexico gambling history

New Mexico’s legal gambling history is short but distinguished, much like the history of New Mexico’s statehood itself. The first truly legal bit of gambling in the state did not show up until the late 1940s. However, the ramp-up in the past three-quarters of a century has been nothing short of impressive. Here are some key dates in New Mexico gambling history:

1947

The New Mexico Legislature makes pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing legal. Almost immediately, tracks at Raton and Albuquerque open for business. However, the industry’s run is anything but smooth in the ensuing decades. Many tracks, including the first track in the state, La Mesa Park, close down. Despite these challenges, horse racing continued to limp along and, after a key change to the law in the 1990s, stabilized to the point where it stands today.

1988

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act becomes law and makes it possible for any federally recognized Native American tribes to offer gambling on tribal lands — potentially. Each tribe must first reach an agreement with their respective state governments to do so, known as a compact. The state is under no obligation to come to the bargaining table about this issue, but the lure of tax revenue is usually enough of a siren call to bring the state around. However, it is another 10 years before compacts with 13 New Mexico tribes pass through a series of legal hurdles to become law.

1994

New Mexico voters approve New Mexico Proposed Amendment 8, Lottery and Gaming as a constitutional amendment to permit lottery sales and play inside New Mexico. The vote is fairly close, at 54% to 46%, but is definitive and paves the way for scratchers and draw games. The enabling legislation passed the following year, and the first lottery tickets went on sale in New Mexico in April 1996.

1997

Alongside the legalization of casino gaming, the legislature also permits the introduction of slot machines and other electronic gambling devices at the state’s five racetracks. The move provides a desperately-needed boost of revenue for the ailing horse racing industry in New Mexico, which had been suffering through declining revenues and had seen several of its tracks close in recent years. The allowed devices include electronic table games, such as blackjack and roulette, which are not typically found at the state’s tribal locations. However, true table games remain the sole province of the casinos themselves.

2018

New Mexico became one of the earliest states to welcome sports betting inside its borders after the fall of the federal ban on wagering in April 2018. However, the Land of Enchantment’s entry into this club is the most inadvertent. The Pueblo of Santa Ana Tribe moves forward with a sportsbook at its Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel in October 2018. The tribe’s compact allows for any and all Class III gaming, so the sportsbook opened legally despite some grumbling from the state Legislature.

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Bart Shirley

Bart Shirley is a senior evergreen content writer for PlayUSA. He’s been writing and reporting on the gambling industry since 2013. Prior to working for PlayUSA, Shirley was a feature writer for QuadJacks, a site covering issues in poker. He also writes for BonusCodePoker, a poker satire site that lampoons the lighter side of card games. Shirley is a graduate of the MBA program at Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business and has a degree in English from Texas A&M University. He grew up in Houston, TX, and lives in Katy, just west of Houston. Shirley is also a former high school teacher. He is married, has one daughter, and practices Brazilian jiu jitsu in his spare time.

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