The Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel now has its first competitor for sports betting in New Mexico.
The Hilton Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino in Santa Fe opened its sportsbook on Monday, becoming the second casino to open a land-based sportsbook in New Mexico.
The Buffalo Thunder Resort is owned and operated by the Pueblo of Pojoaque Corp tribal community and is the first gambling establishment in New Mexico to offer wagers on both sporting events and horse racing.
Although New Mexico’s legislature has yet to legalize sports betting, the tribe is engaged in a tribe-state compact for Class III gambling which allows them to offer sports betting legally.
In October 2018, The Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel near Albuquerque became the first tribal casino in New Mexico to launch a sportsbook under the tribe-state compacts.
Sports betting at Buffalo Thunder is a joint venture between Jay Vaccaro and John Gaughan, the owners of the South Point Hotel & Casino in Nevada and National Sports Book Management (NSBM).
As part of the deal, Gaughan’s Las Vegas Dissemination Company will provide a suite of sportsbook and pari-mutuel race solutions. This will include sports betting kiosks, hardware and software support. At the same time, the Stadium Technology Group will provide sports betting technology for the venue.
This news comes after lawmakers in New Mexico introduced legislation to restrict the New Mexico Lottery Authority’s (NMLA’s) ability to offer sports betting games in New Mexico.
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.