- Santa Fe
- 121,589 sq mi
Looking for the best casinos in New Mexico? Look no further!
New Mexico is one of the states in America that offers people a wide range of gambling options to choose from. The state boasts 26 commercial casinos as well as pari-mutuel and lottery establishments to pick between so there is surely something for all kinds of gamers. The gaming facilities are to be found all across the state, but bear in mind that the most are to be found in Santa Fe. The largest of all New Mexico casinos is named Sandia Casino, which boasts a massive 30 real table games and 1,600 machines in total. The great thing about the larger casinos like Sandia Casino is the fact that there is also plenty more to enjoy, such as fine dining options, entertainment and a deluxe hotel.
Do try and take some time out from your busy schedule and first find out what you need to know about New Mexico casinos so that you find the ones which can provide you with the best gaming experience. Our compiled list of the best casino and gaming establishments in New Mexico will help you to reach the right decision, but first, we urge you to take a look at the brief history of gambling within this state.
History of gambling in New Mexico
To break it down, New Mexico has gone through three significant stages of gambling. The first, known as the pre regulatory phase, began at the beginning of the state and carried on through the 20th century. The second phase, known as the ‘pari-mutuel’ stage, from 1940 – 1980, was dedicated to horse racing. The third phase was known as the massive expansion phase, which was when the state lottery was introduced.
Today, there are a host of commercial casinos all around, and if you are in the state and wish to game and hopefully make some money while you are here then choose from our comprehensive list and get going right now! We would suggest first making sure to check up on the casino’s website before journeying there, just to make sure that the establishment has absolutely all you could possible require.
New Mexico Gambling Laws
Gambling in New Mexico had been banned for a long time, and some changes happened only in 1947 when the betting on horse races was legalized. It eventually gave way to a booming racing industry. As for the casinos, theirs sudden growth started in 1995 when Governor Gary Johnson signed the 13 gaming compacts with the Native American tribes. After that traditional casino games were legalized – table games, slots and poker tables. In 2011, the first commercial casinos got their licenses on non-tribal lands as well.
There are 23 legal casinos in New Mexico – both tribal and commercial. All casinos offer a wide range of table games and slots. In addition, slots may also be played in racetracks found within the state. Some of the more popular casinos in the state are Apache Nugget and Fire Rock Navajo. Only those aged 21 and above are allowed to enter and play.
There is currently no specific law that states whether or not online gambling is legal in New Mexico. But it’s important to remember that all types of gambling are illegal in this state unless specifically authorized by state statute. So, online gambling is prohibited.
It is illegal to bet on any other form of sport, both professional and amateur except horse racing. It is allowed on the licensed tracks, as long as the pari-mutuel method is used. Horse racing is quite famous in this state, popular racetracks include The Downs Racetrack and Casino, as well as Zia Park Racetrack. Only people aged 18 and above can bet on these races.
Racinos are the licensed tracks that include racing and some casino games (slots). The license for them is issued under the Gaming Control Act. There are five racinos in New Mexico, including Ruidoso Downs and Billy the Kid Casino and Sunland Park Racetrack. These gambling facilities pay the state 26% of their net win.
Quite popular among the players, the state lottery in New Mexico includes both interstate games and draws for its residents: Monopoly, Mega Million, Powerball, Hot Lotto and others. Gamblers must be at least 18 years to participate.
Bingo and Raffle
State laws allow certain types of charitable gambling, if they are conducted by a “qualified organization”. The New Mexico Bingo & Raffle Act lists the various types of “qualified organizations” that can raise money through a bingo or raffle. The Native American tribes can also run high stakes bingo games. It’s interesting to know that New Mexico laws have no age limit for entering a bingo hall or playing bingo.
Live poker can be enjoyed at all licensed casinos. Though there is no mention of social poker games under the law, there have been no reports regarding in-house games being busted.