New Mexico has become the sixth state to allow sports betting, joining Delaware, Montana, New Jersey, Nevada and Oregon.
Betting got underway at the Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel in Bernalillo, located just outside of Albuquerque, on Tuesday with betting restricted to on-site wagering. Online gambling and sports betting remain illegal in the state.
Bets are being taken on NFL, MLB and NBA games, along with college sports. The sports book is being run by Nevada-based operator USBookmaking.
Casino CEO John Cirrincione played down the potential impact on the property’s profits, saying the net profit margin would be slim due to the operation being labour intensive.
USBookmaking’s Vic Salerno said, “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 specialise in the ability to get to market quickly and operate efficiently.”
Inn of the Mountain Gods, owned and operated by the Mescalero Apache tribe, in Ruidoso, about a three-hour drive southeast from Albuquerque, could be the next New Mexico property to run a sportsbook in the state, reportedly in a partnership with IGT.
The next states that are favourite to open sports books are Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.