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New Mexico gambling expansion bill moves forward

House Bill 101, which proposes the expansion of gambling in New Mexico, was introduced Tuesday this week, at the start of the state's legislative season. The bill proposes to legalize online and retail sports betting and table games at the state's horse racing tracks.

NM Gambling Expansion to fund College scholarship programs

As the 60-day New Mexico legislative season begins , a law has been introduced proposing the legalisation of online and retail sports betting, as well as table games at the state racetracks. Entitled " New Mexico lottery relief bill ", House Bill 101 was introduced by the representatives of Raymundo Lara and Phelps Anderson . Furthermore The bill was also sponsored by Randall T. Pettigrew and Steven P. Neville.

Since the Lottery Scholarship Fund was established in 1996. It funds the state's college scholarship programs with gambling proceeds. However, fund can no longer fully cover the needs of the scholarship program, and House Bill 101 is supposed to fix that.

It is expected that by allowing bookmakers and table games such as poker, craps and blackjack at New Mexico horse racing tracks, will generate an estimated $40 million. Of this amount, approximately $15 million is to be allocated to the scholarship fund and the remainder to the General Fund.

Bill proposes 5-year licenses for table games and sports betting

If the proposal to expand gambling is approved, that will allow table games at race tracks in New Mexico. HB 101 proposes six operating licenses for table games and six for sports betting. Under the proposal, licenses for both table games and sports betting to be valid for 5 years.

Operators who wish to apply for a license must pay $50,000 for an application fee and an annual renewal fee of $50,000. In addition, there is a $10,000 fee for the management service provider license. A renewal fee of $5,000 is also payable annually. It is expected that New Mexico Lottery Authority will be responsible for regulations and licensing.

Sports betting - a legally controversial topic in New Mexico

According to the account, stock bets, parlay, over-under, money line, pool and straight bets are classified as "sports betting". The exception is pari-mutuel betting, which is already allowed under the Horseracing Act. Current version of HB 101 does not propose legalising online table games, electronic table gamesvideo lotteries, push cards or other similar games.

Currently, sports betting in New Mexico are not legalised or illegal. This is because state law does not explicitly prohibit such activity, which, according to New Mexico Tribal operators, means that such activity may be offered. With that in mind, taking under attention sovereign status of tribal operators, in 2018, the Pueblo of Santa Ana Tribe was the first tribal operator to begin operations. Since then 4 more tribal casinos have introduced sports betting.

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