Santa Fe Sportsbooks
As the state capital of the New Mexico and the oldest capital city in the United States (with a history back to the Spanish colonial period of the 16th century), Santa Fe and the New Mexico residents that call it home have plenty to be proud of. That being said, the introduction of Santa Fe sportsbooks is another factor to be proud of considering the fact that the biggest and most expensive casino property in the entire state is located just up the road from downtown Santa Fe, and another major casino development is on the way. Even though it is clear that New Mexico is a pro-gambling state, it is equally true that state officials are atypically conservative vis a vis gambling expansion. However, Native American tribes have taken matters into their own hands and are operating land-based sportsbooks in Santa Fe without formal legislation having been written. The tribes are within their right to offer this type of gambling because they are already approved to offer Class III gaming within their facility.
Unfortunately, they can only offer it there and cannot release a mobile or online sports betting platform. This may cause an inconvenience if you live on the southern border of New Mexico. Even so, sports bettors looking to get in on the action of wagering on their favorite sports, leagues, teams, and athletes can already go ahead and do so, and they can do it completely legally too – provided, of course, that they stick to legal online offshore sportsbook operations. The leading operators in this hotly contested segment of the broader internet gambling industry are without a doubt Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, BetDSI and MyBookie, and our guide to Santa Fe’s best sportsbooks simply would not be complete if we did not mention them throughout this discussion of all your options. Furthermore, we will also take a closer look at the current and forthcoming casino properties that dominate the local gambling scene or are seemingly poised to do so, primarily so that we can explore why these local favorite sportsbooks in the making could easily become the best sportsbooks in Santa Fe.
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Is Sports Betting Currently Legal In Santa Fe?
Before we get too deep in the weeds in our discussion of the best sportsbooks in Santa Fe, we should clear one thing up: sports betting is not officially legal in Santa Fe, but Native American tribes can offer sports betting due to their current tribal compact with the state. If you’re looking to place a sports wager in-person then you would only be able to do so at their properties. The Hilton Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino is the only active location right now taking in sports wagers. Any other commercial gaming site or local bookie trying to take in your bets would be doing so in violation of the law. To add to that, tribal casinos can only offer sports betting within the walls of their facility. They cannot release a state-wide online mobile betting platform until New Mexico state officials release legislation authorizing them to do so. However, current state laws make no mention of using online offshore sportsbooks, nor are any penalties set for users of these sites.
So, for the time being, the only way you can expect to be able to legally place wagers on sports in Santa Fe online is to make use of the services of legal offshore sports betting sites – the best of which are Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, BetDSI and MyBookie, unquestionably the leaders in the entire segment. These sites are 100 percent legal, being subject to the licensure and regulation of gaming authorities in their home nations in Europe and the Caribbean region, and they can legally accept players from the United States and offer sports betting for New Mexico residents because the state law does not specifically mention online wagering in its list of prohibited activities. For that reason, these sites – which boast unparalleled reliability and security, far superior deposit and withdrawal options, and equally competitive if not better betting odds selection to the finest land-based casino sports betting outlets – have become the de facto Santa Fe sportsbooks of record for the better part of the last 20 years.
Minimum Legal Age For Betting On Sports At Santa Fe Sportsbooks
Even though our most highly recommended Santa Fe sportsbooks – the ones based online and overseas: Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, BetDSI, and MyBookie – will accept players as young as 18, we do not under any circumstance want to convey to you the notion that it is a good idea to take them up on that offer. The fact is, there is one land-based sportsbook in Santa Fe, The Hilton Buffalo ThunderResort & Casino, and they require all bettors to be 21 years old or older. To add to that, every state that has legalized and regulated sports betting in the wake of the highest court in the land’s decision to overturn PASPA has followed the lead established long ago by the Las Vegas casino sportsbooks and has accordingly hewed close to the “21 and up rule” for sports betting. Santa Ana Star, the state’s only other legal land-based sportsbook, has followed in that path and requires sports bettors to meet the 21-year-old standard found everywhere in the country.
We repeat: do not for any reason try to wager online using our most trusted offshore sportsbook sites if you are 18, 19 or 20. Even though it is perfectly legal for anyone to participate in sports wagering at those outlets before the age of 21 according to the much more lax sports betting laws in those countries (which are primarily located in Eastern Europe and the Caribbean for reasons that should be fairly obvious to our astute readership), we still do not recommend it at all. With legal Santa Fe sportsbooks now setting an age restriction of their own, we tend to think it might be a bit of a bad bet to press your luck in this regard. Just hold off until you are 21 and older and you will be fine, but we can’t make that same guarantee for younger New Mexico residents, even when using legal online sportsbooks like these.
Best Sportsbooks In Santa Fe
Although it really goes without saying at this point, the best sportsbooks in Santa Fe, New Mexico, are not actually, physically located in Santa Fe, NM, at all, but if you have been paying close attention to our review of the sports betting sites that operated legally online and serve as the best sportsbooks in Santa Fe by default then you knew that already. Sites such as Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, BetDSI, and MyBookie provide the kind of value and security and sheer legality that none of their supposed competitors can even hope to match. The bottom line is this: if you want to know what are (for now anyway) Santa Fe’s best sportsbooks, then stick to these online-only choices if you want to bet on your favorite sports right now.
However, if you prefer the in-person sportsbook experience than we have good news for you. Santa Fe is home to Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino, the largest and most popular gaming destination in the state, and another property has recently opened that promises to rival if not surpass it on all fronts. Either of these two properties could swiftly become the Santa Fe locals’ favorite sportsbook, but given the fact that Buffalo Thunder is the only one accepting sports bets right now, they hold the unanimous title as the best land-based sportsbook in Santa Fe for sports betting in New Mexico.
- Buffalo Thunder Casino At Hilton Santa Fe
- Type: Native American tribal land-based casino and resort
- Location: Santa Fe, NM
- Address: 30 Buffalo Thunder Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87506
- First Opened: 2008
- Number of Rooms: 395 guest rooms
- Total Gaming Space: 70,000 square feet (1,200 plus slot machines, 18 game tables - electronic table games, black jack, Texas hold ‘em, roulette, etc., wagering on live horse races and daily simulcast national races coming soon)
- Gaming Age: 21
- Top Attractions: Towa Golf Club (Santa Fe Golf at Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino), national level musical artists and comedic acts scheduled throughout the year at the indoor concert venue, Wo’P’In Spa
- Best Restaurants: Red Sage - Southwest, fine-dining, Painted Parrot Buffet - Asian, Mexican, Italian, American, Mica - daily lunch, American cuisine, Turquoise Trail - homage to Route 66 diner restaurants, Starbucks - coffee, pastries, snacks, Pueblo Deli - open 24 hours, Club Warehouse - night club, Hotel Lobby Bar, Towa Clubhouse Grill,Pool Grille - sandwiches, salads, ice cream, and full-bar
- Owner: Pueblo of Pojoaque
- Phone Number: (505) 455-5555
Owned and operated by New Mexico’s Native American Pueblo of Pojoaque, the Buffalo Thunder Casino, which is located at the Hilton Santa Fe, is without a doubt the biggest, grandest and finest casino property in the entire state. Though other casinos around the Land of Enchantment might have bigger gambling floors or a more prestigious golf course, nobody else in the game can match the $250 million Buffalo Thunder has invested in terms of having found the sweet spot between luxuriously appointed rooms, ample gaming space (70,000 square feet crammed full of thousands of slot machines and various table and card game stations, plus a pari-mutuel racebook), top of the line restaurant choices and, frankly unparalleled views of the majestic northern New Mexico landscape.
To add to all of these enticing elements, the Buffalo Thunder Casino at Hilton Santa Fe features a sportsbook that meets all of these standards and then some. Along with having friendly sportsbook writers and walls of TVs playing all of the latest sports matchups, there are also multiple betting kiosks so that you can capitalize on any live betting opportunities. This means that not only will you be treated with high-class throughout your visit, but you can also maximize your sports wagering capabilities, making it a premier sports betting destination for anyone in the Santa Fe area.
- New Tesuque Casino In Santa Fe
- Type: Native American tribal land-based casino and resort
- Location: Santa F, NM
- Address: Just off U.S. Highway 84/285, Santa Fe, NM 87506
- First Opened: 2018 (not yet open)
- Number of Rooms: unknown (not yet open)
- Total Gaming Space: 72,000 square feet (750 slot machines, various electronic and physical table games – black jack, Texas hold ‘em, roulette, etc., wagering on live horse races and daily simulcast national races, more To Be Announced upon completion)
- Top Attractions: To be announced upon completion
- Best Restaurants: Several dining venues still to be announced upon completion
- Owner: The Pueblo of Tesuque
- Phone Number: To be announced
It might seem a little unusual to include such a new casino property in a supposed guide to the best sportsbooks in Santa Fe or the best location for what could be Santa Fe’s top sportsbooks, but the new Tesuque Casino in Santa Fe is hard to beat. The casino property is poised to take center stage in a way that its predecessor, the beleaguered Came Rock Casino could not do, considering the fierce competition from the Buffalo Thunder Casino that also calls Santa Fe home. The Pueblo of Tesuque tribe broke the ground on their new casino in January of 2018. Since then they’ve introduced 72,000 square feet of gaming space, several dining venues, and luxuriant, opulent hotel and resort accommodations.
To be honest, if the Tesuque tribe wanted to seal the deal on having the competition in the palm of its hand with this new casino, they would follow the path of other New Mexico tribes and open the second Santa Fe sportsbook, because that is the one thing that so far, that they are missing out on. However, given the increased competition from Buffalo Thunder taking in sports bets, it is only a matter of time before Tesuque does the same.