Sports Betting Now Operational in New Mexico, Tribal Sportsbook Opens

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On Tuesday, the first legal sports betting occurred in New Mexico at the tribal Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel. Partnered with USBookmaking to open the state’s first sportsbook, the initial bets were placed shortly after noon in Bernalillo, just outside of Albuquerque. New Mexico is now the sixth state in the United States with legal sports gambling.

This occurrence was possible due to New Mexico’s tribal gaming compact of 2015, which expires in 2037. In it, there is nothing that would prevent any tribal casinos in NM from offering sports gambling. The Pueblo of Santa Ana tribe used this compact’s verbiage as permission to successfully launch a sportsbook, and it looks like this is just the start for other tribes across the country to offer sports betting as well, as long as they have compacts that have similar wording.

What this all means is that the only place in New Mexico for bettors to place sports wagers in the state is at the Santa Ana sportsbook.

Online and Mobile Gaming

At this point, there is no legislation that would allow bettors to place bets online or with their mobile devices with the Santa Ana Star Sportsbook. From page 28 of the Compact:

“In the event that internet gaming is authorized within the State, the State and the Tribe agree that they will reopen good faith negotiations to evaluate the impact, if any, of internet gaming and consider adjustments to the Compact. The parties understand and agree that it is not possible to determine at this time what, if any, adjustments to the Compact would be necessary.”

What Type of Sports Betting is Offered?

Besides most traditional card and dice games, the casino, operated by the Tamaya Nation, can now boast of offering live wagering on college and professional sporting events. Its sportsbook is operated by USBookmaking.

Hours and Services

The sportsbook will be open Monday through Friday from noon until 8:00 pm, and on weekends from 7:00 am until 10:00 pm. During off hours, there are two self-service kiosks and four betting stations available for those bettors looking to place wagers.

Are There any Sports Betting Restrictions?

Customers are not permitted to bet on any local teams, including New Mexico State and the University of New Mexico games, no matter where they take place. According to an article by Play USA, the casino-hotel’s CEO John Cirrincione, made the following comments about these restrictions:

“Although we believe there would be interest in betting on local teams, we believe it best not to take bets on those teams.”

Who Governs the Sports Betting?

According to an article published by Albuquerque Journal, the press secretary for the Office of the Attorney General, the tribe’s gaming regulatory commission will govern sports betting at Santa Ana Star. Further, he said:

“We will closely monitor NM tribal gaming compacts and work with the legislature for proper statutory and regulatory oversight to require responsible gaming and enhanced integrity to create an even playing field for all.”

Rick Rockwell

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

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