New Mexico Sports Betting

New Mexico Sports Betting

Just like most states in the US, New Mexico residents don’t have many good options when it comes to sports betting.
I’ve put together a quick guide to sports betting in New Mexico including the legality, online options, and how to place bets.

Is Sports Betting Legal in New Mexico?

Sports betting is only legal in Nevada in the United States. It doesn’t look like the laws will change in New Mexico any time soon, so you’ll need to either find other options for placing wagers or break the law.

College Sports Teams

New Mexico is far from a sports dominated state. With only two NCAA division I colleges, it has one of the lowest number of NCAA teams in the US. Both teams are more famous for their NCAA basketball performance than their participation in NCAA football.

New Mexico Lobos – Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico

New Mexico State Aggies – New Mexico State is located in Las Cruces, New Mexico

Professional Sports Teams

You won’t find any professional sports teams located in New Mexico. No NBA, MLB, NFL, or NHL teams are currently located in the state. The largest city is Albuquerque with a population of just over a half million people. This is considered too small to support a professional sports team by most leagues so the odds of a professional franchise entering New Mexico are small.

Online Sports Betting

Before going into more detail about online wagering opportunities for New Mexico residents I need to point out that I’m not a lawyer and don’t offer legal advice. Always ask your attorney about the laws where you live.

Many online sports books take bets from New Mexico residents. This doesn’t make betting online legal in the state, but the laws concerning online sports betting are murky at best.

I’ve read opinions on both sides of the issue and honestly don’t know exactly what to believe. All I know for sure is thousands of people place bets online and the only people the government seems to target are the owners of the sports books, not the players.

If you decide to place bets with an online sports book I’ve included a few pointers to consider before getting started.

• Sometimes the hardest part is getting your winnings out of the sports book. Make sure your chosen book maker has a withdrawal method that works where you live and they can provide it in a timely manner. Ask the support team before you sign up.

• Research the available sports books before signing up. Some are more trustworthy than others.

• Don’t deposit more than you can afford to lose. This is more about the possibility of laws changing and you not being able to get your money out of the sports book than gambling issues, but it’s good advice either way.

• Consider finding more than one online sports book where you can open an account. Many of them offer sign up bonuses when you make a deposit. These bonuses can help you build a bankroll faster and reduce the cost of the vig on your first several wagers. Just make sure you read the terms before accepting any bonus so you aren’t surprised later.

How to Place a Bet in New Mexico

You won’t find any legal places to place sports bets in New Mexico but the state has illegal bookies and office pools just like every other state in the country. Though many residents participate in office pools, place wagers with bookies, and bet with coworkers without any issues, it’s technically against the law.

Generally if law enforcement targets anyone for sports betting they charge illegal book makers, not the people placing the bets. This creates two potential problems for you as a sports bettor.

Even if you don’t get charged, if your bookie has your information when they get arrested your details will be available to law enforcement. This may not bother you, but it can lead to complications in the future.

The second issue is if law enforcement decides they need to pin something on you, a gambling charge would be fairly easy. I’m not saying it’s likely to happen, but if you have anything the police suspect you of and can’t prove they could use gambling as a way to pressure you. Remember they didn’t get Al Capone on murder or racketeering. They nailed him on tax evasion.

The safest way to place a bet in New Mexico is with another individual. It’s also the cheapest, because you won’t have to pay any vig like when you bet with a sports book or book maker.

I find the easiest way to locate other people interested in placing bets is to talk about upcoming sporting events with friends, coworkers, and others you know. When you find people passionate about a team or a sport there’s a good chance they may be interested in making a bet.

If you’re an action junkie and need to place bets often, you may have a more difficult time finding enough people to place bets with. Most casual bettors aren’t interested in betting on mid-season basketball or baseball. However, if you can find a big fan of a particular baseball or basketball team you may be able to bet with them when you’re willing to take their favorite team’s opponent during a regular season game.

When you don’t use an online book maker or place wagers with other people your only choice is finding a local bookie. I’ve already discussed the possible downsides to using a book maker, so if you decide to go this route the only piece of advice I have left is be careful.

Of course you could always drive or fly to Las Vegas to place your sports bets. Only one state (Arizona) stands in between you and the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip.


New Mexico is far from a sports bettor’s paradise, but if you’re willing to consider online betting opportunities or finding a betting partner you can still get some action.