Categories: Casino

Second New Mexico Casino Launches Sportsbook, Still No Sports Betting Bill

There are now two fully operating sportsbooks within casinos in New Mexico, despite the state not actually having any sports gambling legislation. The first sportsbook opened last October, while the second one has just recently opened up to sports bets.

The PASPA Decision

In May last year, the Supreme Court overturned PASPA, or the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act 1992. This 26-year-old law banned sports betting outside of Nevada. Overturning it meant that states could make their own laws surrounding sports betting.

Several legal experts in New Mexico believed that the state would first have to legalize sports gambling before sportsbooks could begin operations, and they expected there would be a rush to legislate sports gambling shortly after the ban was lifted in May 2018. Surprisingly, there wasn’t much focus on that issue at all. And, there still isn’t.

Sports Betting in New Mexico

There were no sports betting bills submitted this session. Despite that, a second casino in New Mexico, Buffalo Thunder, announced it was opening a sportsbook to take wagers on pro and collegiate sports. The Santa Ana Star Casino was the first, having launched in October. Other casinos will most likely follow very shortly.

According to Alfred Mathewson, a New Mexico Law professor, not much attention has been paid so far to sports betting by lawmakers. Of other casinos opening sportsbooks, Mathewson made the following statement:

“It would not surprise me at all if others did follow suit particularly if things continue to go slow and there’s no objection.”

The two operators are working under the assumption that sports gambling is legal because it is a “Class III” game, allowable under the tribe’s compact with the New Mexico Gaming Control Board.

If the state decides that sports betting is not, in fact, a Class III game, it could end up with a long and expensive court battle and would require changes to the compact with local tribes. This might not be the battle-to-the-death that the state wants. In 2018, the state took in over $71 million in revenue from casinos.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham didn’t speak one way or the other about sports betting, but did mention that they will be taking an in-depth look at it. She believes that any activity having an impact on the economy should be examined in more detail to assess the pros and cons. As for sports betting, it will definitely become a point of contention in the near future once more revenue is generated from this gambling activity.

Share
Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site.

Recent Posts

  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

China’s Gambling Laws Are Getting Even Stranger

China is known for having some of the most restrictive gambling laws in the world. This week, the government here… Read More

April 23, 2019 3:29 pm
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

Two Sports Betting Bills Going to Governor’s Desk in Montana

By the end of the week, before the Easter holiday weekend, Montana’s Senate approved SB 330, making that two sports… Read More

April 22, 2019 4:23 pm
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

ESSA Wants New Zealand’s Online Gaming Market to Open

Despite having a huge number of gambling fans, New Zealand has yet to regulate its internet gaming market. ESSA, the… Read More

April 18, 2019 10:53 pm
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

Pennsylvania Sports Betting Revenue Finally Increases

Pennsylvania legalized sports betting more than 16 months ago. Until very recently, this industry has been hugely unsuccessful. Pennsylvania sports… Read More

April 18, 2019 4:20 pm
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

Indiana Sports Gambling Bill Will Not Include Online Betting

Indiana legislators are still working on the details of S 552, a sports betting bill that has passed another legislative… Read More

April 18, 2019 4:11 pm
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

Internet Gambling in Pennsylvania Launching in July

News is coming out that internet gambling in Pennsylvania will finally launch this summer. It’s a huge development for this… Read More

April 18, 2019 3:52 pm