NM Tribal Casino Partners with USBookmaking for Sports Betting
On Monday, USBookmaking announced it has entered into an agreement with the Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel, a New Mexico tribal casino near Albuquerque. Officials at the casino say that it will start to offer sports betting next week with the services provided by USBookmaking.
The conditions under which this agreement has been made may very well be a precedent-setting advancement of the sports betting industry; sports betting isn’t legal in New Mexico. This will be the second state tribal casino to go ahead with plans for sports betting by saying that sports betting is allowable under the current compact with the state. The other tribal casino operation that is making plans for the same is Inn of the Mountain Gods.
Elsewhere in the U.S., two tribal casinos owned by the Choctaw Indians began offering sports betting. This, however, is slightly different in that Mississippi has legalized sports betting.
Sports Betting in New Mexico
As of right now, there is no legal sports gambling in New Mexico. The state Lottery was looking into allowing new games based on sports results, but the state lottery wouldn’t become a sportsbook.
Stakeholders in New Mexico’s horse racing industry have indicated they want to be able to offer sports betting at racetracks in the state; it is very likely they will now put pressure on officials to push sports betting legislation in 2019. This will have more chances of happening if the attorney general’s office agrees that sports betting at tribal casinos is allowable under the state’s compact with the tribal gaming operations.
The State’s Attorney General
Sports Handle reportedly called the media spokesperson for the New Mexico Attorney General’s office to ask about the deal. David Carl said he wasn’t made aware of any plans to start sports wagering in the Land of Enchantment but he would be preparing a statement regarding the opinion of the attorney general on its legality by Tuesday.
More Details About USBookmaking
The Las Vegas-based company’s CEO Vic Salerno has been in the race and sportsbook industry for 40 years. He was the chairman and CEO of American Wagering, Inc. until it was sold to William Hill in 2012. At that point, he became Chairman of the Board of William Hill US until early 2016. In a company statement, Salerno said,
“We have found that there is tremendous demand for a Nevada-style retail sportsbook operation in a multitude of casinos throughout the U.S. We specialize in the ability to get to market quickly and operate efficiently.”
Santa Ana Star Casino
USBookmaking says that the Santa Ana Star operation is in the top three New Mexico casinos when it comes to annual revenue. It’s located about 10 miles north of Albuquerque in Bernalillo. The casino was founded by the Tamaya Nation at the Pueblo of Santa Ana. It opened in 1993
Inn of the Mountain Gods
The Inn of the Mountain Gods is a casino/resort in Ruidoso, about three hours southeast from Albuquerque, owned and operated by the Mescalero Apache Tribe. An unnamed source cited by Sports Handle has apparently said that the sports book there will be run by IGT. Nothing further is known about how that will work.
Mobile Betting Off Tribal Land
It’s not clear yet if the compact between the state and the tribe will allow for mobile betting off tribal land. This most likely would require some legislation within the state for mobile sports betting to be available outside of the venue or tribal lands.
With that said, this is a groundbreaking partnership for the state of New Mexico. It could also end up setting a precedent for tribes in other states.
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