Las Cruces Sportsbooks
The city of Las Cruces, NM, seemingly has a multitude of advantages when it comes to being a real hub for gambling activity in the Land of Enchantment: it is the second largest metropolitan statistical area in the state and is the home of the oldest continually operational gaming establishment in the entire region. Although the tribes in New Mexico make it possible to bet on sports in the state, there are currently no state-sanctioned sportsbooks in La Cruces just yet.
That is doubly a real shame in the sense that there is, on the one hand, so much untapped potential in terms of very little market penetration by other gambling locations means that one gaming outlet within an hour’s drive – the Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino – could greatly benefit from being able to offer a sportsbook. On the other hand, the large population and Las Cruces’ geographical location at the confluence of two US states (New Mexico and Texas) and one Mexican state (Chihuahua) means that support for a sports betting industry based there would seem to be quite strong.
Making matters even better, if you are looking for sports betting for New Mexico residents, you can already legally place wagers on your favorite sports, teams and athletes by visiting offshore sportsbook sites such as Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, BetDSI and MyBookie, which have for more than two decades served as the de facto Las Cruces sportsbooks in the absence of legal land-based options. We will take a look at all those issues and more in our guide to the best sportsbooks in Las Cruces, both the ones currently available and the ones that we think could be opening up for new business very soon – or at least the ones most likely to do so in the Land of Enchantment.
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Is Sports Betting Currently Legal In Las Cruces?
Before we delve too deeply into this often misunderstood subject, we should first get one thing absolutely straight: sports betting is not officially legal in Las Cruces. That is, however, not the same thing as saying that betting on sports is illegal or that there are no Las Cruces sportsbooks. It is legal to wager on your favorite sports and there are sportsbooks that function just like they were based down the street from your house in Las Cruces. The caveat here is, of course, that is it impossible to legally place bets on sporting events in the state of New Mexico at any outlets that are not based on tribal lands, which means there are no land-based examples of Las Cruces sportsbooks even if there are several excellent choices for overseas-based online sports betting shops that will happily – and legally – let you put up and win money by picking winners.
The top operators in this highly competitive subset of the broader online gambling marketplace are Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, BetDSI, and MyBookie, and all of them are based in and hosted in foreign countries (typically in Europe and in the Caribbean region), though they can and do accept players from the United States players regularly. These sites are highly desirable places to bet too: they combine the kind of reliability, reputability and security features that unauthorized operators simply cannot hope to match, plus a variety of betting lines and individual betting odds that are just as competitive if not more so than even the finest land-based casino sportsbooks on the Las Vegas Strip. If you choose to wait on the state laws in New Mexico to change before getting in on the action once sportsbooks in Las Cruces, NM, open, that’s on you – our recommendation is to head on over to one of these legal offshore sportsbooks and start winning big right now.
Minimum Legal Gambling Age At Las Cruces Sportsbooks
Even though, as we previously mentioned, there are no Las Cruces sportsbooks open for business right now, we can still draw what are probably fairly accurate conclusions as to the minimum legal gambling age at Las Cruces sportsbooks because, for one thing, there is already a well-established precedent at work in this regard in states across the country where sports betting is already legal. In the wake of the US Supreme Court’s landmark decision to find PASPA unconstitutional and to overturn it, many states have already begun to legalize and regulate sportsbooks, usually in their Class III gambling venues and most typically in casinos. In these cases, we have not been able to uncover too many instances of any state deviating from the tried and true “21 and up rule” when it comes to the minimum allowable age for placing wagers on sports. The only sportsbooks open in the state of N.M., The Santa Ana Star and the Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino, follows this rule and provides residents in the state a guide to follow.
All that is to say there is a good deal of evidence to support 21 being the minimum age for sports betting in Las Cruces too, when and if this particular form of gambling is allowed to take place. That makes a good deal of sense considering that the casinos that already exist in the Las Cruces area and elsewhere in the Land of Enchantment currently require their players to be 21 too, even if they do not offer any sports betting opportunities at this time. However, it is also worth pointing out that, even though the legal offshore sports betting sites that serve as the only Las Cruces sportsbooks by default (those sites being Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, BetDSI, and MyBookie) will accept US players as young as 18 years of age, we do not suggest that any of our readers looking for Las Cruces’ best sportsbooks participate in any wagering at any of those sites until reaching the age of 21.
Best Las Cruces Sportsbooks
It really should be completely obvious to our dedicated readers here at SportsBettingNewMexico.com but in case you have been napping, At this moment, when it comes to the best sportsbooks in Las Cruces, there aren’t many options. Your best options are one of the online sportsbooks that we have discussed throughout this whole page. With all the options that these online sportsbooks give to its players, this is the best place for all bettors to place their wagers. Also, there are online casinos available as well. With these online sportsbooks, there is the mobile betting option where you can bet on your mobile device and don’t have to be sitting in front of a laptop to place your wagers. You also have a live betting option which means you can place your bet while a game is in play and you can bet on certain situations. With all these options including great promotions for new and current users, online sportsbook leads the charge as the best way to bet on sports in Las Cruces.
- Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino
- Type: Native American tribal land-based casino and resort
- Location: Sunland Park, NM
- Address: 1200 Futurity Drive, Sunland Park, New Mexico 88063
- First Opened: 1959
- Number of Rooms: none (not a hotel)
- Total Gaming Space: 736,000 square feet (700 plus slot machines, electronic table games – black jack, Texas hold ‘em, roulette, etc., wagering on live horse races and daily simulcast national races)
- Gaming Age: 21
- Top Attractions: Sunland Derby (1 1/8 mile race for horses 3 years old – March of each year)
- Best Restaurants: Jackpot Grill – sandwiches, soups, salads, etc., Riley's – white tablecloth fine dining, Tecate Cantina – Mexican restaurant, Ventanas – casino buffet
- Owner: Stanley E. Fulton
- Phone Number: 575-874-5200
From the time the Sunland Park opened its doors for business for the first time way back in 1959 until quite recently it was the only legal gambling venue in the entirety of the southern stretch of New Mexico and its border with Texas and the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Though the state government finally authorized thoroughbred horse racing tracks to acquire slot machines at the close of the 1990s, for decades the big draw was its racing meet, which runs from December through late April every year. However, these days the addition of slot machines and various video casino games ranging from poker to roulette to blackjack have had a greatly positive effect on the foot traffic experienced by this community fixture as well as the purses for its riders and pari-mutuel bettors.
Sunland Park Casino is home to a graded stakes thoroughbred race in the form of the Sunland Derby, which is now an important preparatory race for the Kentucky Derby, and many famous jockeys over the years had their start on the 1 1/8 mile long dirt track under the New Mexico sun. In addition to these gambling opportunities, there are a range of restaurants and other amusements available for patrons, all of which help to keep visitors interested in the absence of any true Las Cruces sportsbooks for now. However, the possibility exists that the state of New Mexico could markedly change its stance on sports betting legalization within a few years at most now that PASPA has been overturned by the highest court in the land. The venue is also part of the current tribal compact so they could follow other tribal venues and open a sportsbook anyway, leaving us to hope that the Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino will soon become one of the first Las Cruces sportsbooks.