New Mexico bill seeks to ban the state lottery from offering sports betting

Lawmakers in New Mexico have introduced a bill that would limit the New Mexico Lottery Authority’s (NMLA) ability to offer sports betting.

The bill titled, HB 441, was introduced by Representatives Jason Harper, Matthew McQueen and Rod Montoya and aims to prohibit “any type of sports betting or betting on other real events.”

If this bill is successful it could prove to be a massive hurdle for the NMLA after the group voted to approve a new sports lottery game last October.

The sports lottery game that the NMLA approved is a parlay style game which will see bettors predicting the outcomes of at least three sporting events to win cash prizes.

New Mexico Lottery CEO David Barden estimated that the approved game could generate up to $30m in revenue a year.

When the NMLA approved the sports lottery game, Harper said: “My view is that if the lottery moves forward with sports betting, that’s illegal.

“When the Supreme Court ruled, it did not change any laws in New Mexico, so why the lottery thinks it can do sports betting now again shows we have a rogue lottery in our state.”

Although the bill would stop the NMLA from offering a form of sports betting, New Mexico’s residents and visitors can already legally bet on sports.

In October, the Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel located in the Pueblo of Santa Ana launched the first sportsbook in the state. This currently the only venue that offers legal sports betting in New Mexico.

The Pueblo of Santa Ana tribe that owns and operates the casino is engaged in a Class III compact with the state which allows the tribe to offer sports betting.

The bill will not interfere with tribes and their ability to offer sports betting in the state.

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