New Mexico Casinos – Best Places to Gamble in NM
Gambling has been legal in New Mexico since 1947 when lawmakers made it okay to bet on horse races. Then in 1990, the government signed agreements with the local tribes after the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed, allowing for tribal casinos to be established. In 1995, the first tribal casinos were opened.
That same year, the governor signed a bill that allowed for a state lottery to be launched, and in 1996, it joined the Multi-State Lottery Association. One non-tribal casino was allowed to open in Albuquerque in 2011.
New Mexico was one of the first states to allow legal sports betting when the Supreme Court overturned the ban on it in May 2018. The tribal casinos were already allowed to offer this type of gambling.
According to the official definition, gambling involves making a bet where something of value is at stake. Engaging in unlawful gambling or entering a gambling establishment with the intent to gamble is a petty misdemeanor and could result in up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $500.
The legal age for gambling in New Mexico is 18 for the lottery and horse racing, and 21 for casino games. The laws covering most gambling-related matters can be found in New Mexico Statutes 30-19-2, et seq. and 60-1A-1, et seq.
List of Top Gambling Venues in New Mexico
|Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino||1200 Futurity Dr, Sunland Park, NM 88063||www.sunland-park.com|
|Zia Park Casino Hotel & Racetrack Hobbs||3901 W Millen Dr, Hobbs, NM 88240||www.ziaparkcasino.com|
|Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino Mescalero||287 Carrizo Canyon Rd, Mescalero, NM 88340||www.innofthemountaingods.com|
|Isleta Casino & Resort Albuquerque||11000 Broadway Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87105||www.isleta.com|
|Northern Edge Navajo Casino Farmington||2752 Indian Service Rd 36, Farmington, NM 87401||www.northernedgecasino.com|
|Ohkay Casino Resort Ohkay Owingeh||68 NM-291, Ohkay Owingeh, NM 87566||www.ohkay.com|
|Tesuque Casino Santa Fe||7 Tesuque Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87506||www.tesuquecasino.com|
|Santa Claran Hotel & Casino Española||460 N Riverside Dr, Española, NM 87532||www.santaclaran.com|
|Sun Ray Park & Casino Farmington||39 Rd 5568, Farmington, NM 87401||www.sunraygaming.com|
|Taos Mountain Casino||700 Veterans Hwy, Taos, NM 87571||www.taosmountaincasino.com|
|Route 66 Casino Albuquerque||14500 Central Ave SW, Rio Puerco, Albuquerque, NM 87121||www.rt66casino.com|
|Sandia Casino Albuquerque||30 Rainbow Rd, Albuquerque, NM 87113||www.sandiacasino.com|
|Santa Ana Star Casino Bernalillo||54 Jemez Canyon Dam Rd, Bernalillo, NM 87004||www.santaanastar.com|
|Sky City Casino Acoma Pueblo||7 Sky City Rd drive, Acoma Pueblo, NM 87034||www.skycity.com|
|Flowing Water Navajo Casino Shiprock||2710 US-64, Shiprock, NM 87420||www.flowingwatercasino.com|
|Fire Rock Navajo Casino Church Rock||249 U.S. Rt. 66, Church Rock, NM 87311||www.firerockcasino.com|
|Dancing Eagle Casino Paraje||Exit 108, 167 Casa Blanca Rd I-40, Paraje, NM 87007||www.dancingeaglecasino.com|
|Cities of Gold Casino Hotel Santa Fe||10 Cities of Gold Rd Santa Fe, NM 87506||www.citiesofgold.com|
|Casino Apache Travel Center Mescalero||25845 US Highway 70 Mescalero, NM 88340||www.casinoapachetravelcenter.com|
|Buffalo Thunder Casino & Resort Santa Fe||30 Buffalo Thunder Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87506||www.hiltonbuffalothunder.com|
|Billy the Kid Casino Ruidoso Downs||26225 US-70, Ruidoso Downs, NM 88346||www.raceruidoso.com/billy-the-kid-casino|
|Route 66 Casino Hotel Albuquerque||14500 Central Ave SW, Rio Puerco, Albuquerque, NM 87121||www.rt66casino.com|
|Black Mesa Casino Algodones||25 Hagen Rd, Algodones, NM 87001||www.blackmesacasino.com|
|Downs at Albuquerque||145 Louisiana Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87108||www.abqdowns.com|
Related reading: New Mexico online casinos
Best Casinos in New Mexico
1. Sandia Resort & Casino
Sandia Resort & Casino is a premier gambling and entertainment destination located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The venue opened its doors in 1994 and has since become one of the most popular casinos in the state. The resort and casino complex covers over 140,000 square feet and features a variety of gaming options, dining establishments, and luxurious amenities.
Gambling enthusiasts will find over 2,300 slot machines, including popular titles such as Wheel of Fortune, Buffalo Gold, and Lightning Link. Table game enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of options, including blackjack, roulette, craps, and baccarat. The casino also has a separate poker room with 15 tables that host daily tournaments and cash games.
In addition to the gaming options, Sandia Resort & Casino boasts a luxurious hotel with 228 rooms and suites. The rooms are equipped with modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and in-room safes. The hotel also has a full-service spa, fitness center, and outdoor pool with private cabanas.
The dining options at Sandia Resort & Casino are varied and cater to different tastes and budgets. The resort features six restaurants, including Bien Shur, a fine-dining establishment that offers panoramic views of the Sandia Mountains, and Thur Shan Buffet, which serves a variety of dishes from around the world.
2. Route 66 Casino Hotel
Route 66 Casino Hotel is another popular casino and hotel located on the historic Route 66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The venue opened in 2003 and has since become a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The complex covers over 50,000 square feet and features a variety of gaming options, dining establishments, and a luxurious hotel.
Gaming enthusiasts will find over 1,700 slot machines, including popular titles such as Buffalo Gold, Lightning Link, and Wheel of Fortune. Table game enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of options, including blackjack, roulette, craps, and baccarat. The casino also has a separate poker room with 10 tables that host daily tournaments and cash games.
In addition to the gaming options, Route 66 Casino Hotel features a luxurious hotel with 154 rooms and suites. The rooms are equipped with modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and in-room safes. The hotel also has a full-service spa, fitness center, and indoor pool with hot tub.
The dining options at Route 66 Casino Hotel are varied and cater to different tastes and budgets. The complex features six restaurants, including Thunder Road Steakhouse & Cantina, a fine-dining establishment that offers a selection of steaks, seafood, and Mexican cuisine, and Buffet 66, which serves a variety of dishes from around the world.
3. Isleta Resort & Casino
Isleta Resort & Casino is a popular destination for locals and tourists, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The venue opened in 2000, covers over 300,000 square feet, and includes a variety of gaming options, dining establishments, and a luxurious hotel.
Gaming enthusiasts can choose from over 1,700 slot machines, including popular titles like Buffalo Gold, Lightning Link, and Walking Dead. Table game enthusiasts will appreciate the variety of options available, including blackjack, roulette, craps, and baccarat. Additionally, the casino has a separate poker room with 8 tables that host daily tournaments and cash games.
The luxurious hotel at Isleta Resort & Casino includes 201 rooms and suites equipped with modern amenities like flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and in-room safes. Guests can also take advantage of the full-service spa, fitness center, and outdoor pool with private cabanas.
Isleta Resort & Casino has six restaurants, each offering a variety of dishes to cater to different tastes and budgets. Embers Steakhouse, a fine-dining establishment, provides a selection of steaks, seafood, and other American cuisine. Tiwa Restaurant & Lounge serves a range of dishes from around the world.
4. Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino
Located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino is a luxurious resort and casino that opened its doors in 2008. The complex spans over 70,000 square feet and features a variety of gaming options, dining establishments, and a lavish hotel, attracting both locals and tourists.
The complex features seven restaurants, including Red Sage, a fine-dining establishment that provides a selection of steaks, seafood, and other American cuisine. The Turquoise Trail Bar & Grill serves a variety of dishes from around the world, catering to different tastes and budgets.
With over 1,200 slot machines, including popular titles like Lightning Link, Buffalo Gold, and Mighty Cash, gaming enthusiasts can enjoy a range of options. Table game enthusiasts will appreciate the variety of options available, including blackjack, roulette, craps, and baccarat. Additionally, the casino has a separate poker room with 10 tables that host daily tournaments and cash games.
The luxurious hotel at Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino consists of 395 rooms and suites equipped with modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and in-room safes. Guests can also enjoy the full-service spa, fitness center, and outdoor pool with private cabanas for a relaxing stay.
5. Sky City Casino Hotel
Sky City Casino Hotel is a popular casino and hotel located in Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico. The venue opened in 1999 and has since become a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The complex covers over 64,000 square feet and features a variety of gaming options, dining establishments, and a comfortable hotel.
Gaming enthusiasts will find over 650 slot machines, including popular titles such as Buffalo Gold, Lightning Link, and Lock It Link. Table game enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of options, including blackjack, roulette, and craps. The casino also has a separate poker room with 5 tables that host daily tournaments and cash games.
The dining options at Sky City Casino Hotel are varied and cater to different tastes and budgets. The complex features three restaurants, including the Huwak’a Restaurant, which serves a variety of American and Southwestern cuisine, and the Haanu Snack Bar, which offers quick bites such as burgers, sandwiches, and pizzas.
New Mexico Gambling Revenues
New Mexico’s gambling industry generates millions of dollars in revenue each year. In fact, according to the New Mexico Gaming Control Board, the state’s casinos and racetracks brought in over $1.2 billion in revenue in the fiscal year 2021. This money is generated through a variety of games, including slot machines, table games, and sports betting.
The revenue generated from gambling is allocated in a number of different ways. First and foremost, a portion of the revenue goes towards paying the salaries of casino and racetrack employees. Additionally, the state of New Mexico receives a percentage of the revenue in the form of taxes. These taxes are used to fund a variety of programs, including education, healthcare, and infrastructure.
Another portion of the revenue generated from gambling goes towards supporting local communities. For example, some of the revenue may be used to fund public projects like parks or libraries. Additionally, some of the revenue may be donated to local charities or non-profit organizations.
Indian Gaming Tribes in New Mexico: History, Quarrels, and Current Status
New Mexico has a rich history of Indian gaming tribes. These tribes have been operating casinos and gaming facilities since the 1990s, and they have contributed significantly to the state’s economy. Currently, there are 14 Indian gaming tribes in the state, each with its own unique history and culture.
The Indian gaming tribes in New Mexico have not always had smooth sailing. In the early 2000s, there were several quarrels between the tribes and the state government over the legality of certain gaming activities. These disputes were eventually resolved through negotiations and legal agreements.
Despite these quarrels, the Indian gaming tribes in New Mexico continue to thrive. They have invested heavily in their gaming facilities, and many have expanded into other areas, such as hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The revenue generated by these facilities has been a significant source of income for the tribes and has helped to create jobs and boost the local economy.
Here is a list of all Indian gaming tribes in New Mexico:
- Acoma Pueblo
- Jicarilla Apache Nation
- Mescalero Apache Tribe
- Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo
- Picuris Pueblo
- Pojoaque Pueblo
- Sandia Pueblo
- Santa Ana Pueblo
- Santa Clara Pueblo
- Taos Pueblo
- Tesuque Pueblo
- San Felipe Pueblo
- Isleta Pueblo
- Zia Pueblo
The History of Gambling in New Mexico: A Look Back at the State’s Love for Gaming
- Gambling has been a part of New Mexico’s culture for centuries. Native American tribes have a long history of gaming in the state, and they still operate casinos today. In fact, New Mexico was one of the first states to legalize Native American gaming in 1988 with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
- In the early 20th century, gambling was legal in the state but heavily regulated. Horse racing was the most popular form of gambling at the time, and it was regulated by the New Mexico Racing Commission. The first racetrack in the state, Sunland Park Racetrack, opened in 1959 and is still in operation today.
- In the 1930s, the state allowed “social” gambling in private homes, but this was largely unenforced. However, by the 1950s, organized crime had taken over much of the illegal gambling in the state, leading to a crackdown by law enforcement.
- It wasn’t until 1995 that the state authorized non-Native American casinos. The first of these casinos, the Cities of Gold Casino in Santa Fe, opened in 1998. Today, there are over 20 non-Native American casinos in the state, including several in the Albuquerque area.
- In addition to casinos, the state also allows for various forms of gambling, including lottery games and bingo. The New Mexico Lottery was established in 1996 and has since raised over $840 million for education in the state. Bingo is also popular in the state, with several venues offering games throughout the week.
- Despite the legalization of gambling, the industry has faced challenges in the state. In 2015, the state legislature proposed a bill to raise taxes on non-Native American casinos, which would have severely impacted their profitability. The bill was ultimately defeated, but it highlights the ongoing debate over the role of gambling in New Mexico.
- One area where gambling has faced particular challenges is sports betting. While several states have legalized sports betting in recent years, New Mexico has not. However, some tribal casinos in the state have begun offering sports betting under the premise that they are allowed to offer any form of gaming that is legal in the state.
- Today, gambling remains a significant part of New Mexico’s economy. In 2019, the industry generated over $1.8 billion in revenue and supported over 16,000 jobs in the state. While there are ongoing debates about the role of gambling in society, it is clear that the industry will continue to play a significant role in New Mexico’s culture and economy for years to come.
Understanding Gambling Taxes in New Mexico: What You Need to Know
If you are a resident of New Mexico who enjoys gambling, it is important to understand the state’s gambling tax laws. In New Mexico, gambling winnings are subject to both federal and state taxes. The state tax rate is 6%, and this applies to all gambling winnings over $600 in a calendar year. If you win $600 or less, you are not required to report your winnings to the IRS or pay any taxes on them.
If you have won more than $600 in gambling winnings in a year, you will receive a W-2G form from the casino or other gambling establishment that you won the money from. This form will show the total amount of your winnings, as well as any taxes that were withheld. It is important to keep this form for your records, as you will need it when you file your taxes.
If you are a nonresident of New Mexico but you won money gambling in the state, you will still be subject to New Mexico’s gambling tax laws. However, you may be eligible for a refund of some or all of the taxes that were withheld. To claim this refund, you will need to file a New Mexico income tax return and include a copy of your W-2G form.
If you owe taxes on your gambling winnings in New Mexico, you can pay them online through the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department’s website. You can also pay by mail using a check or money order. It is important to pay your taxes on time to avoid penalties and interest charges. By understanding New Mexico’s gambling tax laws and following the proper procedures, you can enjoy your winnings while staying in compliance with the law.
New Mexico Gambling FAQ
1. How much can you win at New Mexico casinos before being taxed?
If you win $1,200 or more on a slot machine or bingo game, or $5,000 or more on a poker tournament, you will be subject to federal taxes. However, New Mexico does not have state income tax on gambling winnings. Keep in mind that you may still need to report your winnings to the IRS even if they are below the threshold for taxation.
2. How to ban yourself from casinos in New Mexico?
If you feel that you need to ban yourself from casinos in New Mexico, you can request a voluntary exclusion program through the New Mexico Gaming Control Board. This program will allow you to voluntarily ban yourself from all licensed casinos in the state for a specified period of time, usually one to five years. Keep in mind that this is a serious decision and cannot be reversed until the exclusion period has ended.
3. Who regulates gambling in New Mexico?
The New Mexico Gaming Control Board is responsible for regulating gambling in the state. This board oversees all licensed casinos and ensures that they comply with state laws and regulations. The board also oversees the state lottery and horse racing industry.
4. What is the minimum gambling age in New Mexico?
The minimum gambling age in New Mexico is 21 years old for all forms of gambling, including casinos, lottery, and horse racing. Anyone under the age of 21 is not allowed to enter or participate in any gambling activities in the state.
5. Can I gamble online in New Mexico?
Online gambling is not currently legal in New Mexico. However, the state does not have any laws specifically prohibiting online gambling, so some offshore online casinos may still accept players from the state. Keep in mind that online gambling is still considered illegal under federal law, and there are risks associated with using unregulated offshore sites.
6. What types of gambling are legal in New Mexico?
In addition to casinos, horse racing, and lottery, charitable gambling such as bingo and raffles are also legal in New Mexico. Additionally, certain types of tribal gaming, such as slot machines and table games, are permitted on tribal lands.
7. How many casinos are there in New Mexico?
As of 2023, there are approximately 23 licensed casinos in New Mexico, located throughout the state. Many of these casinos are operated by Native American tribes and offer a range of gaming options, including slot machines, table games, and poker.
8. Can I deduct gambling losses on my taxes in New Mexico?
While you can deduct gambling losses on your federal income tax return, you cannot deduct them on your state income tax return in New Mexico. Keep in mind that you can only deduct losses up to the amount of your winnings, and you will need to itemize your deductions on Schedule A of your tax return to claim the deduction.