Online Casino and Gambling in New Mexico

The United States of America is constituted of 50 different states, which are each governed independently by the state and the state laws, but under the umbrella of the federal government. As, such, gambling activities are allowed on the discretion of the state, except for internet gambling, which is outlawed on a federal level. A few states have challenged the government on these statutes and have been awarded the license to regulate their own state-regulated online gaming.

Many states still hold a very conservative stance on gambling, while others embrace with open arms as a way to increase revenues for the region. New Mexico is quite open to certain types of gambling, under strict provisions. Players are allowed to freely enjoy gambling at tribal and commercial casinos around the state.

Because gambling laws can be confusing, we have taken it upon ourselves at Casino Tops to provide you with a guide on what sort of gambling is legal and illegal in New Mexico. Be sure to know the laws, so as not to contravene them and have to pay the cost.


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State seal of New MexicoOnline gambling is not legal in the state of New Mexico. The state quotes the federal law amendments of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act when referring to internet gambling. They do this because the state law does not mention online gambling at all. This is probably because the internet was not in existence when the laws were written.

The federal law will always need to be upheld if a state has not made provision for legal online gambling. In the case of New Mexico, this has not been done, therefore the practice remains outlawed.


Land-based casino gameplay is legal at both tribal casinos and commercial casinos around the state. Here, a full allotment of table games, slots, and other games are available for residents to play. Federal laws allowing tribal casinos to operate were established in 1988. These laws have pressured commercial casinos into existence in the state. Currently, there are 9 tribal casinos in New Mexico.

Furthermore, slot games can be enjoyed at horse racing tracks, which have proven very popular amongst New Mexican residents.


Online Poker is illegal under the federal laws, in the same way, online gambling is outlawed.

Live poker can be freely enjoyed at licensed casinos, where poker rooms are very popular. Social poker is tolerated, as long as no one is benefitting from hosting the games and that the stakes are very low.


Online sports betting is illegal in the state of New Mexico, in accordance with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and the Federal Wire Act that prohibits money transfers between residents and betting operators. The tribal casinos have however opened residents up to various forms of sports betting from their facilities. One notable punter is Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel.    

Pari-mutuel betting on horseraces is allowed and has grown in leaps and bound in New Mexico, since its inception in 1947. This should not be surprising, when one takes into account that New Mexico has the highest number of horses in proportion to people, of any other state in the USA.


A recent bill was passed, making Daily Fantasy Sports legal in the state of Mexico, as long as the service provider is licensed and regulated in the state. Both DraftKings and FanDuel are eligible for entertainment in the state.

The decision to legalise Fantasy Sports was based on the findings that the games are based on skill rather than chance.


Lottery and other charitable games, such as Bingo are allowed to be indulged in New Mexico. The state has its own lottery for residents to play but also allows them to enjoy multi-state lottos too.

Many states around the USA are Lottery friendly, as most of the profits are used to benefit the communities in a social way, often ploughing large sums of finance into education and similar initiatives.


The minimum legal age for players wanting to bet on the horses or play the lottery is 18 years of age in New Mexico, while casino players must be at least 21 years of age or older to have a flutter.


All casinos within the state of New Mexico are licensed and regulated by the New Mexico Gambling Control Board. This board controls all forms of betting in the state, including tribal casinos, bingo and raffle, race track betting, and all charitable gaming, such as lotteries etc.


There are a few options for problem gamblers to seek help in the state of New Mexico:

•    The New Mexico Council on Problem Gambling: This is a non-profit organisation that assists the public by providing education, awareness and help on issues relating to problem gambling addictions. Contact them via email on or call them on 505-897-1000.

•    Gamblers Anonymous offers a 12 step support program for those battling gambling addiction. For more information visit, or call 505-260-7272.

•    The Compulsive Gambling Treatment Center: This is a treatment centre where trained therapists and staff assist the gambler in understanding and overcoming their addiction. They can be reached on 505-242-6988NCPG logo

•    The National Council on Problem Gambling is a national helpline that offers free assistance to those in need of support with gambling addictions and other related problems. Professional counsellors are only a phone call away on 202-547 9204. You can also email them for info on


New Mexico is a progressive state when it comes to gambling. Casino games, horse races, lotteries and the like can be accessed by enthusiasts, while online gambling remains an illegal entity.

With the climate in the USA changing regarding the thoughts around internet gambling, it may only be a few years before regulated online casinos are allowed to service domestic clientele. We do not, however, see the chance for international casinos being allowed to attract players from across the ocean.

International casino operators might try and punt online gambling in the USA by alluding to the fact that it is a grey area in the legislation. Be assured, that there is no grey area around internet betting. It is illegal and punishable by the law in most of the USA.