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New Mexico Gambling Laws

Maybe you’re heading out to Ruidoso Downs for a day playing the ponies or placing $20 into your office March Madness pool. Or maybe you’re hosting your buddies for a poker night or on your way to Sandia for more serious Blackjack action. The Land of Enchantment’s gambling laws cover all of these activities, and make some of them illegal. This is a basic overview of gambling laws in New Mexico.

Gaming Law in New Mexico

State gaming laws regulate both legal and illegal conduct, from casinos and other gaming venues like card rooms, to dog and horse tracks. New Mexico’s gambling laws allow some betting on horse racing and casinos on Native American land. Bookmaking is illegal, but senior citizen bingo is allowed.

New Mexico Gambling Statutes

New Mexico gambling statutes are highlighted below.

Code Section

New Mexico Statutes 30-19-2, et seq.: Gambling;

New Mexico Statutes 60-1A-1, et seq.: Horse Racing Act


Making a bet; entering or remaining in a gambling place with intent to make a bet or play a gambling device.

Horse Racing/Off-Track Betting

New Mexico Statutes 60-1A-15: Pari-mutuel Wagering Authorized

Licensed horse racing; on-track pari-mutuel wagering.

Dog Racing/Off-Track Betting

Not specified.

Casinos Allowed?

New Mexico Statutes 30-19-1: Gambling Definitions

Gambling places illegal, except as pursuant to Indian Gaming Compact.

Other Kinds of Gambling-Related Activities Allowed or Banned

Commercial gambling; permitting premises to be used for gambling; dealing in gambling devices; bookmaking; bribery of contest participants; accepting anything of value on the basis of results of a race, contest or game of skill or chance illegal. Manufacturing and exporting of gambling devices; senior citizen bingo, permitted. Minors not allowed to play bingo.

A state’s gambling and gaming laws can cover everything from office betting pools and basement poker games to racetracks, casinos, and all the way up to state lotteries. Most states also have government divisions or gaming commissions that oversee industry practices like licensing casinos and their employees and regulating the games and finances. State jurisdictions have also created strict zoning ordinances to separate casinos and racetracks from residential areas and schools. The federal government also regulates gambling establishments on Indian reservations via the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

More Resources for New Mexico Gambling Laws

State gambling laws and gaming restrictions can vary, and aren’t always the easiest to understand. For additional articles and resources on this topic, you can visit FindLaw’s section on Gaming Law. If you would like legal assistance with a gaming or gambling matter, you can consult with a New Mexico gaming law attorney.

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