Introduction to New Mexico Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2019
New Mexico slot machine casino gambling consists of 21 American Indian tribal casinos and five commercial
Commercial racinos have set minimum and maximum payout return limits and tribal casinos have a minimum payout return. However, neither publicly report their payout return statistics.
This post continues the weekly series Online Resource: A State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series, an online resource dedicated to guiding slot machine casino gambling enthusiasts to success. Each weekly post reviews slots gambling in a single U.S. state, territory, or the federal district.
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Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling in New Mexico*
The minimum legal gambling age in New Mexico depends upon the gambling activity:
- Land-Based Casinos: 21
- Poker Rooms: 21
- Bingo: no limit
- Lottery: 18
- Pari-Mutuel Wagering: 18
Pari-mutuel wagering has been legal since the 1930s, having a thriving industry until the late 1980s when Texas legalized pari-mutuel wagering. However, recovery and stability occurred when New Mexico legalized offering slot machines in their racinos.
In 1995, the state and 25 federally-recognized American Indian tribes or pueblos negotiated thirteen identical state-tribal gaming compacts eventually approved after various delays. Each tribe is associated with at least one Indian casino in New Mexico.
Several amendments made to the 1995 state-tribal compacts include a requirement that the tribal casino reports a net win amount. These compacts currently expire in 2037.
Each of New Mexico’s racinos may legally have up to 750 gaming machines, including 600 of their own and 150 leased for another pari-mutuel facility. By state law, 26% of the Net Take in monthly gaming taxes is paid to the State of New Mexico.
Further, 20% of the Net Take from racino gaming machines must go to horsemen’s purses, which has been a significant amount: In the fiscal year 2014, over $50M was added to horsemen’s purses from gaming revenues.
Finally, a thriving charitable gaming industry exists in New Mexico. Dozens of non-profit organizations offer electronic gaming machines legal under state gaming regulations. These slot machines are similar to those found at New Mexico racinos.
*The purpose of this section is to inform the public of state gambling laws and how the laws apply to various forms of gambling. This information is not intended to provide legal advice.
Slot Machine Private Ownership in New Mexico
Privately owning a slot machine has only recently become available. Legal restrictions on obtaining it are highly limited to the following terms:
- It must be purchased from a distributor or manufacturer licensed to distribute and manufacture slot machines in New Mexico.
- Only such New Mexico licensed distributors and manufacturers may transport gaming machines in New Mexico.
- The homeowner may not make a profit from having the slot machine.
- Persons who play on the machine can play for winnings only.
- The homeowner may not offer the slot machine for resale without a license.
- The homeowner may not transport a slot machine from one location to another without a license.
- A homeowner charging a fee to play or keeping a portion of monies for any reason would be commercial gambling which, without a gambling license, is a felony.
As an exception, an antique gambling device may be legally owned without restriction, provided it was manufactured before 1970 as well as is not used in gambling.
Gaming Control Board in New Mexico
In 1997, the state legislature established the New Mexico Gaming Control Board. Its website is both highly comprehensive and easy to navigate. It includes maps of commercial racetrack racinos and non-profit casinos in New Mexico.
Casinos in New Mexico
There are five non-tribal racinos and 21 American Indian tribal casinos in New Mexico.
The largest casino in New Mexico is Sandia Resort & Casino, a tribal casino in Albuquerque having 2,900 gaming machines.
The second largest casino is Isleta Resort Casino, a tribal casino in Albuquerque having 1,600 gaming machines and 25 table games.
List of Casinos in New Mexico
The 5 pari-mutuel wagering racinos with slot machines in New Mexico, along with their city, are:
- The Downs Racetrack and Casino in Albuquerque.
- Ruidoso Downs & Billy The Kid Casino in Ruidoso Downs found 186 miles southeast of Albuquerque.
- Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino in Sunland Park found 9 miles northwest of El Paso, Texas, near the border to Texas.
- SunRay Park and Casino in Farmington found 182 miles northwest of Albuquerque near the state’s northwest corner near the border to Colorado.
- Zia Park Race Track & Black Gold Casino in Hobbs found 317 miles southeast of Albuquerque near the state’s southeast corner near the border to Texas.
List of Tribal Casinos in New Mexico
Casino style gaming permitted by tribal-state compacts includes 25 tribes and pueblos of New Mexico for a total of 21 tribal casinos. The New Mexico tribal casinos are:
- Apache Nugget Travel Center and Casino in Dulce found 193 miles north of Albuquerque near the border to Colorado and operated by the Jicarilla Apache Tribe.
- Black Mesa Casino (formerly Nambe Falls Casino) in Algodones found 25 miles north of Albuquerque and operated by the San Felipe Pueblo.
- Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino in Santa Fe and operated by the Pojoaque Pueblo.
- Casino Apache Travel Center in Ruidoso found 181 miles southeast of Albuquerque and operated by the Mescalero Apache Tribe.
- Cities of Gold Casino Hotel in Santa Fe and operated by the Pojoaque Pueblo.
- Dancing Eagle Casino and RV Park in Casa Blanca found 53 miles west of Albuquerque and operated by the Laguna Pueblo.
- Fire Rock Casino in Church Rock found 131 miles west of Albuquerque near the border to Arizona and operated by the Navajo Nation.
- Flowing Water Casino in Shiprock found 209 miles northwest of Albuquerque near Four Corners and operated by the Navajo Nation.
- Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino Apache in Mescalero found 213 miles south-southeast of Albuquerque and operated by the Mescalero Apache Tribe.
- Isleta Resort Casino in Albuquerque operated by the Isleta Pueblo.
- Northern Edge Casino in Upper Fruitland found 185 miles north of Albuquerque near the border to Colorado and operated by the Navajo Nation.
- Ohkay Casino Resort in Ohkay Owingeh found 92 miles north-northeast of Albuquerque and operated by Ohkay Owingeh, formerly the San Juan Pueblo.
- Palace West Casino in Albuquerque and operated by the Isleta Pueblo.
- Route 66 Casino Express in Albuquerque and operated by the Laguna Pueblo.
- Route 66 Casino Hotel in Albuquerque and operated by the Laguna Pueblo.
- Sandia Resort & Casino in Albuquerque and operated by the Sandia Pueblo.
- Santa Ana Star Casino in Santa Ana Pueblo found 21 miles north of Albuquerque and operated by the Santa Ana Pueblo.
- Santa Claran Hotel Casino in Espanola found 193 miles north of Albuquerque and operated by the Santa Clara Pueblo.
- Sky City Casino Hotel in Acoma Pueblo found 64 miles west of Albuquerque near the border to Colorado and operated by the Acoma Pueblo.
- Taos Mountain Casino in Taos found 132 miles northeast of Albuquerque and operated by the Taos Pueblo.
- Wild Horse Casino & Hotel in Dulce found 193 miles north of Albuquerque near the border to Colorado and operated by the Jicarilla Apache Tribe.
Other Gambling Establishments
As an alternative to enjoying New Mexico slot machine casino gambling, consider exploring casino options in a nearby state. New Mexico is bordered by:
- North: Colorado Slots
- East: Oklahoma Slots and Texas Slots
- South: Texas Slots and Mexico
- West: Arizona Slots
Each of the links above will take you to my state-specific blog for that bordering state to New Mexico.
New Mexico also offers licenses for slot machines at non-profit organizations. There are currently 60 non-profit gaming licensees throughout the state.
Payout Returns in New Mexico
State gaming regulations require slot machine payout returns at racetrack racinos is 80%. Tribal-state compacts stipulate all electronic gaming machines at tribal casinos also have a minimum theoretical payout return limit of 80%
The New Mexico entry from the American Casino Guide claims commercial casinos have a maximum payout return of 96% which, unfortunately, is inaccurate according to state gaming regulation 15.1.7 NMAC, Section 27: Theoretical Percentage Payout Requirements available in New Mexico’s Department of Public Records government website.
Payout return statistics are unavailable from commercial and non-profit electronic gaming machine licensees per state gaming regulations. Further, neither do state-tribal compacts require them from tribes/pueblos.
Our New Mexico Slots Facebook Group
Are you interested in sharing and learning with other slots enthusiasts in New Mexico? If so, join our new New Mexico slots community on Facebook. All you’ll need is a Facebook profile to freely join this closed Facebook Group.
There, you’ll be able to privately share your slots experiences as well as chat with players about slots gambling in or near New Mexico. Come join us!
Summary of New Mexico Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2019
New Mexico slot machine casino gambling consists of 5 commercial
Tribal casinos have a minimum payout return legal limit of 80% per each tribal-state compact. State gaming regulations require a slot machine payout return of at least 80%. There are no legal requirements that racinos, non-profits, or tribal casinos publicly provide payout return percentages for their electronic gaming machines.
Annual Progress in New Mexico Slot Machine Casino Gambling
The Camel Rock Casino, a tribal casino in Santa Fe, has permanently closed in the last year.
Related Articles from Professor Slots
Other State-By-State Articles from Professor Slots
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