Legal sports betting is coming to a state that was on few people’s radars.
Here comes New Mexico sports betting
New Mexico will apparently have sports gambling next week, after Nevada company USBookmaking said it will provide services for new a sportsbook at a tribal casino next week.
The company announced that it has a sports betting agreement with Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel in Santa Ana Pueblo, NM.
The sportsbook is scheduled to open on Oct. 16, according to USBookmaking.
“We have found that there is tremendous demand for a Nevada-style retail sports book operation in a multitude of casinos throughout the US. We specialize in the ability to get to market quickly and operate efficiently,” Vic Salerno, president of USBookmaking, said in a press release.
Mobile wagering does not appear to be a part of the plans, as the sportsbook will be retail only.
Wait, New Mexico?
Sports betting has become legal in several states outside of Nevada this year in wake of the US Supreme Court striking down the federal ban.
But it was not clear anything was going to happen in New Mexico, where no new legislation has been enacted.
So how is this happening in New Mexico? The tribal gaming compact between the state and tribes does not mention sports betting specifically. But the compact does cover Class III gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which encompasses sports wagering.
The compact runs through 2037.
It marks the first state other than Nevada that is west of the Mississippi that will have legal single-game wagering. It will be the sixth, joining Delaware, New Jersey and West Virginia, along with the aforementioned states.
New Mexico appears as if it will beat both Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, which should also have legal sportsbooks this year.
More about the Santa Ana Star Casino
The casino is located near Albuquerque, the largest city in the state with more than half a million people.
Opened in 1993, it has more than a thousand slot machines as well as a small selection of table games.
Tribes and sports betting
Tribes appear to slowly be getting more on board for sports wagering, even as many tribes still grapple with getting into the business is a good idea in any particular state.
- The Choctaw in Mississippi was the first tribe outside of Nevada to offer sports betting.
- The two gaming tribes in Connecticut are supportive of an expansion to sports wagering.
- A California tribe has signed a deal with MGM and GVC if sports betting becomes legal in the state.
It is hardly a groundswell of support, but it is clear that sentiment is moving toward expansion for some gaming tribes.
Correction: This story originally said Santa Ana Star Casino operates under the regulation of the New Mexico Gaming Control Board. It operates under the auspices of the Pueblo of Santa Ana Gaming Regulatory Commission. The NMGCB does “monitor New Mexico’s tribal gaming compacts” according to its website. Legal Sports Report regrets the error.
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