Sports betting in New Mexico continues to operate in a legal gray area. While sports betting is not technically legal, the state’s tribal casinos began accepting sports bets in 2018 after they interpreted it to be legal under their gaming compacts with the state.

Retail sports betting is now available at five tribal casinos in New Mexico. However, online and mobile sports betting are not yet legal in the state.

Here’s everything you need to know about online sports betting in New Mexico.

Details About Sports Betting in New Mexico

  • Santa Ana Star Casino took New Mexico’s first sports bets in 2018 despite the fact that the state had not yet legalized sports betting.
  • Sports betting in New Mexico continues to operate in a legal gray area; tribal casinos offer retail sports betting under their tribal gaming compacts with the state.
  • While retail in-person sports betting is available in New Mexico, there are currently no online or mobile betting options. Tribal casinos could potentially launch betting apps that are explicitly geofenced to their casinos, but none have done so yet.
  • Five tribal casinos in New Mexico currently accept sports bets from residents and visitors. This number may increase, as the Navajo Nation is reportedly interested in launching sports betting at their casinos in the state.
  • Similar to sports betting, daily fantasy sports (DFS) apps are neither explicitly legal nor illegal based on legislation. Nevertheless, major DFS platforms such as DraftKings and FanDuel continue to offer DFS contests to residents in the state.
  • In addition to sports betting, horse racing is also available in New Mexico at five race tracks. While these tracks also include casinos, they are owned by tribes and unable to offer sports betting.
  • New Mexico residents should be wary of unlicensed offshore sportsbooks that claim to operate legally in the state, as they are not legal and do not offer consumer protections to bettors. This means they could refuse to pay out winning bets or prevent you from withdrawing your funds, and you would have no recourse.

Recent Sports Betting News in New Mexico

Given the lack of availability of online and mobile sports betting in the state, New Mexico’s sports betting market is fairly small compared to other states with legal sports betting. Because bettors can only place wagers at a handful of tribal casinos, the industry remains rather stagnant. Here are some of the most recent updates regarding sports betting in New Mexico:

  • January 2021: New Mexico lawmakers introduce HB 101, which would legalize sports betting and card games at the state’s five race tracks. The bill would also legalize sports betting, allowing racinos and the state’s tribal casinos to introduce sports betting apps.
  • Jan. 16, 2020: The Navajo Times reports that the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise is hoping to launch sports betting at its casinos in the near future. The Navajo Gaming Enterprise has three casinos in New Mexico, meaning the total number of retail sportsbooks would increase to eight.
  • 2019: Although New Mexico doesn’t introduce any bills to legalize sports betting, it does introduce a bill to prevent the New Mexico Lottery from launching its own sports betting platform. However, this legislation does not pass.
  • Oct. 16, 2018: The first legal sports bet is placed in New Mexico at the Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel sportsbook.

Online Sports Betting Apps Available in New Mexico

Currently, there are no online sports betting apps available in New Mexico. Online and mobile sports betting is not yet legal in the state, and none of the tribal casinos that offer retail sports betting have launched mobile apps.

Residents and visitors who want to place bets on sports will have to visit one of the following five casinos:

  • Hilton Buffalo Thunder Casino (Santa Fe)
  • Inn of the Mountain Gods (Mescalero)
  • Isleta Resort & Casino (Albuquerque)
  • Route 66 Casino (Albuquerque)
  • Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel (Bernalillo)

The Navajo Nation is also expected to launch sports betting at its three casinos in the near future, which would give bettors more options to choose from when placing wagers.

If HB 101 is successful, online sports betting may be introduced — the bill includes provisions for online and mobile sports betting as well as the expansion of retail sports betting to the state’s five racinos.

Daily fantasy sports apps are a popular alternative to traditional sports betting in states that don’t have legal online sports betting. These apps allow users to build fantasy sports teams and compete against other users in daily or weekly contests for cash and other prizes. These apps often operate in a legal gray area, as they walk the line between being skill games and games of chance.

Like sports betting, daily fantasy sports apps are neither legal nor illegal in New Mexico. As a result, platforms such as DraftKings and FanDuel do accept entries from individuals in New Mexico.

How to Place Responsible Sports Bets in New Mexico

As sports betting continues to expand in New Mexico, it’s important for bettors to understand how to place responsible sports bets. While sports betting can be a fun form of entertainment, it can also lead to problem gambling and gambling addiction.

To reduce the impact sports betting has on your personal and professional life, keep these responsible gambling practices in mind:

  • Never place bets while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Set and stick to a reasonable gambling budget to minimize the financial impact of losses.
  • Don’t chase your losses.
  • Take breaks from gambling or quit altogether if it’s starting to impact other aspects of your life.
  • Stop gambling and seek help immediately if you think you may be addicted to gambling.
  • Avoid unlicensed sports betting platforms that claim to operate legally in New Mexico.

Problem gambling is a serious issue that can negatively impact your mental health, personal relationships, career, and financial well-being.

If you believe you may be addicted to gambling, contact the National Council on Problem Gambling Hotline at 1-800-522-4700 for assistance.

New Mexico Sports Betting FAQs

Editor’s Note: Information accurate as of July 2022.


How old do I have to be to bet online in New Mexico?

Online sports betting is not currently legal in New Mexico. If it’s legalized, you’ll have to be 21 or older to bet online because that’s the legal gambling age in the state.


Do you need to be a resident of New Mexico to place bets online?

No, you won’t need to be a resident of New Mexico to place bets online. If online sports betting is legalized, you will need to be located within state lines when placing bets.


Who regulates the online sportsbooks in New Mexico?

Online sportsbooks are currently not legal in New Mexico. If they do become legal, regulation will likely fall to the New Mexico Gaming Control Board.


Is it safe to use online sportsbooks apps in New Mexico?

No, it’s not safe to use online sportsbooks apps in New Mexico, as there are currently no licensed sports betting platforms available in the state.