Casino Gambling in New Mexico

New Mexico Casino Guide

There's something big happening in New Mexico for online gambling players. No, it's not the addition of another land-based casino - after all the state already has two dozen of them, plus five racinos. It's the negotiation of a state compact that could alter the fate of legal online casinos in New Mexico, at least as far as regulating and licensing them go. There's a lot to the story here, so read on for the full dealabout how players in Albuquerque and Las Cruces get their game on.

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New Mexico Stats
  • Population: 2,085,538
  • Land Size: 121,298 sq. miles
  • Population 18+: 75.1%
  • Gambling Age (Casinos): 21
  • Gambling Age (Lottery): 18
  • Number of Casinos: 24
  • Nickname: Land of Enchantment
New Mexico Random Facts
NM Random Facts
  • Santa Fe is the United States' highest capital city in terms of elevation
  • New Mexico offers a mix of casinos and racinos
  • Home of the world's largest hot air balloon festival

Zoom in by state:

Top New Mexico Casinos

Sky City Casino

Interstate 40, Exit 102
Acoma, NM 87034

Isleta Resort and Casino

11000 Broadway SE
Albuquerque, NM 87105

Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino

30 Buffalo Thunder Trail
Santa Fe, NM 87506

Camel Rock Casino

17486A Highway 84/285
Santa Fe, NM 87504

Taos Mountain Casino

Main Pueblo Road
Taos, NM 87571

History of New Mexico Gambling

New Mexico Casinos

The end of World War II ushered in an exciting era of gambling in New Mexico. But not in the form of casinos. Back then, it was all about horse racing, and the sport thrived for a good four decades. But when horseracing opened up in nearby Mexico, and when offtrack betting made it possible to bet on horses outside of New Mexico, the local racetracks suffered (much like many land based casinos suffer at the hands of New Mexico online casino sites).

The Governor at the time, however, refused to sign the state compacts. That pretty much cost him re-election and a new Governor took office, ushering in an era of negotiations with the Native Americans in 1995.

Here's how fast the Native Americans were able to make things happen. In a matter of months of signing a compact, the Pojoaque tribe purchased an old school, converted it into a casino, and opened its doors to the public. A large casino usually takes years to build. The timing of this, however, was more on par with building an online New Mexico gambling site.

This was great for New Mexico gambling fans, but not great news for the racetracks. So horseracing lobbyist got the government to allow slot machines in racetracks. Today, you'll find a mix of racinos and Native American casinos operating in harmony, and providing a great opportunity for New Mexico Internet casino players to take their game offline.

Local Casino Venues

There are five legit racinos in New Mexico and 24 Native American casinos. The Native American casinos offer all sorts of gaming. That includes slots and table games like Blackjack, Roulette, and Craps. The racinos offer slot machines in addition to racetrack betting, but table games aren't available at any of the properties. Those who want to bet on horses and play casino table games at the same time are better off firing up a horse betting site and a New Mexico online casino on their PC or Mac.

Casino Gambling Age Restrictions

To legally gamble at the state's racinos or the Native American casinos, state law dictates that you must be 21 years old. To play the lottery, you only have to be 18 years old. Some New Mexico casino online players believe the 18+ requirement that's advertised on many Internet gambling sites in New Mexico applies to them. However, the lower age only applies to the states where the gambling age is more liberal.

The State of Online Gambling in New Mexico

There's a new tribal compact under negotiations with the Navajo Nation that could spell trouble for New Mexico online gambling legislation. Apparently the law includes language that would permit the tribe to hold back any slot machine revenue it generates from its land-based casinos if the government regulates online gambling in New Mexico. The ban also includes poker.

If the compact gets signed with that stipulation, it's unlikely that we'll see regulated New Mexico gambling online legislation anytime soon. But that's not a big deal for most casino players in New Mexico. Online gaming sites based offshore are open to players in Rio Rancho, Sante Fe or anywhere else in New Mexico 24/7 today, and New Mexico players can enjoy games now, even without government regulation.

The Future of New Mexico Casino Gambling

It'll be interesting to see how the government reacts to the anti-online gambling compact. If it gets signed, the possibility of any online casino legislation will come to a halt. But the future of land-based casino and offshore New Mexico online gambling sites will continue to flourish no matter what happens.

Gambler's Note: New Mexico casino laws are always changing. The information on this page is for informational purposes only. Always consult New Mexico state law and local regulations before playing at an New Mexico online gambling site.

State Gambling Resources

Responsible Gaming Association of New Mexico

Take an assessment test to see if you have a gambling addiction; then determine a course of treatment with numerous 12-step programs and beyond.

National Council on Problem Gambling

This site has many self-help resources for anyone who's concerned about their own, or a loved one's, gambling addiction issues.
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