New Mexico Casinos & Local Gambling Laws

New Mexico does not have the richest casino history, but the state’s recent history will be music to the ears of any and all gamblers. There are plenty of different ways by which residents of the state can gamble. If we are being realistic, the American Southwest is one of the best spots in the country for gambling. Most of the states in this region have plenty of casinos, and New Mexico is no different. Whether it be standalone casinos or the massive casino resorts that are becoming increasingly popular, casinos are available in all corners of the state.

As we look forward to the future, the simple fact of the matter is that casinos in New Mexico are likely to grow in number. As tourism in the fascinating desert state grows, so too will the casino industry.

New Mexico Online Casinos

If you participate in unlawful live gambling in New Mexico and you get caught, you’re more than likely to face misdemeanor charges. Nevertheless, it isn’t clear whether this applies to online gambling, as the local gambling laws simply fail to address the issue of internet play.

Since no players have been charged so far there is no legal precedent and New Mexico authorities simply aren’t interested in going after offshore sites’ customers. Most New Mexico gamblers play online without even being aware of the ambiguous nature of the local regulations, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that using offshore sites is perfectly safe, at least for now.

With so many iGaming platforms around it’s fairly natural to feel lost or confused when it’s time to pick the first site that you’re going to play on. Fortunately, making the right choice isn’t all that difficult if you follow a few simple guidelines. If you want to play poker, you should pay close attention to the amount of traffic the site that you’re going to consider receives.

High-traffic sites give you access to bigger player pools, which affects the flow of cash games and tournament prizes. This means that you simply shouldn’t bother with low-traffic poker rooms. If you’re interested in casino games, you should focus on the bonuses and game selection instead.

Whenever you’re dealing with sportsbooks, you should always try to assess the prices, event coverage, and the available pre-match and live in-play betting options.

New Mexico Casinos

Apache Nugget Travel Center and Casino

Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino

Camel Rock Casino

Casino Apache Travel Center

Casino Express

Cities of Gold Casino Hotel

Dancing Eagle Casino and RV Park

Downs Racetrack and Casino at Albuquerque, The

Fire Rock Casino

Flowing Water Navajo Casino

Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino

Isleta Resort and Casino

Nambe Falls Casino

Northern Edge Navajo Casino

Ohkay Casino Resort

Palace West Casino

Route 66 Casino

Ruidoso Downs & Billy The Kid Casino

San Felipe Casino Hollywood

Sandia Resort & Casino

Santa Ana Star Casino

Santa Claran Casino

Sky City Casino Hotel

Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino

SunRay Park and Casino

Taos Mountain Casino

Wild Horse Casino & Hotel

Zia Park Race Track & Black Gold Casino

Gambling in New Mexico

Land-based gambling is quite popular in Mexico and is essentially centered around tribal-owned casinos located in Santa Fe and Bernalillo. Those casinos offer slots and traditional table games – if you’d like to try pari-mutuel wagering, the local racetracks are going to be your best bet.

New Mexico has some charitable gambling events and operates a state lottery, but the local lawmakers haven’t passed any iGaming legislation so far. Consequently, if you want to play online games of chance for real money in New Mexico, your only option is to use offshore sites.

Native American/Tribal Casinos

Native American and tribal casinos are nothing more than brick and mortar gambling sites that are owned and operated by Native Americans. In addition, these casinos are located on sovereign tribal lands. When it comes down to it, the only difference between these types of casinos and the type of casinos you will find in Atlantic City is who owns them. As far as amenities are concerned, you will find anything from hotels, restaurants, shopping, and just about everything else that you would come to expect from large scale casinos.


A racino is a casino that exists at a racetrack—typically a horse or dog track. In New Mexico, racinos are not able to provide a full range of casino games. At the present moment in time, the racinos in New Mexico are able to provide pari-mutuel wagering as well as slot games. This is a bit more liberal than what you will find at other states, but still relatively constricting considering there are quite a few racetracks all over New Mexico.

Commercial Casinos

Approved in 2011, the state of New Mexico is just beginning to see commercial casinos be constructed. These casinos will be complete with a full floor consisting of hundreds of slot games as well as plenty of table games. What’s more, most of these brick and mortar locations will also feature amenities such as hotels and restaurants.

New Mexico Casino History

Though other states near New Mexico have gambling histories that extend back to the 1800s, New Mexico does not. In all reality, there wasn’t much widespread gambling in the state until after World War II. The major reason behind this was due to the fact that New Mexico’s earliest penal code explicitly restricted all types of gambling.

Things began to change in the late 1940s when, in 1947, pari-mutuel gambling was legalized. Unlike what happened elsewhere across the country, the legalizing of pari-mutuel betting caused a boom in the horseracing industry. This went on for a long time, but things changed even further in the 1990s when the state set up a task force aimed at negotiating with the many Native tribes and determining the best route to complete legalization of brick and mortar casinos. In 1988, the Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed, and this brought about many tribes pursuing legal battles in hopes of owning and operating their own casinos.

Though it took almost 5 years, compacts were formed with tribes and casinos began being built. Per the compacts, the Native casinos that opened their doors were able to offer all types of casino games, including slots, table games, and video poker. For a long while, the only casino options were those owned by Native Americans, however that changed in 2011 when it was agreed that non-tribal casinos would also be granted licenses. The state’s non-Native casinos are still in their infancy, but the industry is slowly but surely growing. As we look to the future, it seems as though the brick and mortar casino industry will flourish in New Mexico.

New Mexico Online Gambling FAQ

How Do I Get Started?

Getting started is very easy once you know which site to join. All that’s left is to open a gambling account, transfer some funds to your on-site cashier and verify your account by providing the site’s staff with a photo or scan of some ID document.

How Do I Get My Money if I Win?

The funds tied to your iGaming account remain at your disposal at all times. If you need a payout, all you need to do is open the cashier menu and place an appropriate request, which in most cases will be processed within 24-48 hours.

The default payment method for New Mexico-friendly iGaming sites is a bank wire transfer, so you’re guaranteed to get your winnings within the space of two weeks.

What is the minimum age to gamble online in New Mexico?

18 for offshore gambling sites. The legal age for land-based casinos is different and is actually set at 21.

How do I open an account?

Opening an account requires you to submit a short registration form with some basic personal information. Playing for real money requires an additional identity check.

Where can I open my account from?

You’re free to open your account from anywhere in the United States.

From where can I access New Mexico online gambling sites?

New Mexico-friendly sites can be accessed from anywhere in the US, but you have to remember that local gambling regulations differ from state to state. You should avoid playing from states with strict gambling laws, such as Washington or Utah.

Where can I familiarize myself with the official regulations over gambling in New Mexico?

Reading Section 30 of New Mexico Code is quite likely to provide you with all the information need.

How do I deposit to my online gambling account?

New Mexico gambling sites usually require their customers to deposit via a standard credit card payment.

How do I withdraw my winnings?

Your funds can be transferred back to you via bank wire or via a check by courier.

Is my money safe?

Yes, the sites listed here are 100% safe. Please note that this does not apply to all iGaming sites that accept New Mexico residents, so you should be careful with sites that you aren’t familiar with.

What body regulates gambling in New Mexico?

Various forms of gambling are controlled by four different regulatory bodies: New Mexico Alcohol and Gaming Division, New Mexico Gaming Control Board, New Mexico Lottery and the New Mexico Racing Commission.