New Mexico


The State of New Mexico is fairly unambiguous when it comes to their stance on Online Gambling, by statute:

While the State of New Mexico makes illegal any form of gambling (including for players) not otherwise authorized by law, the penalties are pretty minimal:

"30-19.2 Gambling

Gambling consists of: 

A. making a bet;

B. entering or remaining in a gambling place with intent to make a bet, to participate in a lottery or to play a gambling device;

C. conducting a lottery; or

D. possessing facilities with intent to conduct a lottery. 

Whoever commits gambling is guilty of a petty misdemeanor."

However, while, ‘Petty Misdemeanor,’ leads one to believe that it is a proverbial, ‘Slap on the hand,’ petty misdemeanor sentences in the state can range from fines of $100-$500 and thirty days to six months in jail.  

The State of New Mexico does distinguish operators from mere players and provides stronger potential penalties for illegal commercial gambling operators:

"30-19-3. Commercial gambling.

Commercial gambling consists of either: 

A. participating in the earnings of or operating a gambling place; 

B. receiving, recording or forwarding bets or offers to bet; 

C. possessing facilities with the intent to receive, record or forward bets or offers to bet; 

D. for gain, becoming a custodian of anything of value, bet or offered to be bet; 

E. conducting a lottery where both the consideration and the prize are money, or whoever with intent to conduct a lottery, possesses facilities to do so; or 

F. setting up for use, for the purpose of gambling, or collecting the proceeds of, any gambling device. 

Whoever commits commercial gambling is guilty of a fourth degree felony."

In the State of New Mexico, Fourth Degree Felonies call for up to eighteen months of imprisonment.  

Three years ago, as of the time of this writing, there was an arrest in New Mexico of a couple for commercial gambling as they operated an illegal horse track.

Internet searches turned up little else with respect to unlawful gambling arrests in New Mexico, and not surprisingly, found no incidence of mere players ever being arrested in any case despite the fact that the law makes such theoretically possible.

In conclusion, it cannot be completely ignored that New Mexico provides penalties for mere players participating in unauthorized gambling, but those statutes are unenforced. Nevertheless, we must categorize the state as, ‘Moderately Restrictive,’ due to the potential theoretical penalties on the books.

FINAL RANKING: Moderate-11

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