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New Mexico bill would permit online betting, table games


Two New Mexico legislators have pre-filed a bill that would permit sports betting – both retail and online – and table games at the state’s racetracks.

HB101, introduced by Representatives Raymundo Lara and Phelps Anderson, would allow sports betting licensees to offer betting through three different mobile skins.

Table games, meanwhile, would be permitted at racetrack casinos in the state should HB101 pass into law. However, electronic and online table games would not be permitted.

Up to six operating licenses for sports betting and a further six for table games may be issued, each running for five years. In order to apply for a license, an applicant must pay a $50,000 application fee, then a $50,000 annual renewal fee.

Both affiliates and online operators hoping to partner with a land-based licensee to offer their products will be required to apply for a management services provider license. To do so, they must pay a $10,000 license fee for a five-year licence, with the renewal fee set at $5,000.

A supplier license, meanwhile, costs $1,000 and lasts one year.

The bill specifies that sports wagering would cover “exchange wagering, parlays, over-under, moneyline, pools and straight bets”. However, it would not include pari-mutuel horse racing bets, which are already covered by the state’s Horse Racing Act.

These will be regulated by the New Mexico Lottery Authority. According to the bill, it shall handle licensing and create emergency rules by 1 December, followed by a full set of regulations governing what types of bets are permitted, maximum bets, record-keeping, use of credit and player protection.

Sports betting is currently legal at New Mexico’s tribal casinos, with William Hill among the operators that have partnered a tribe to launch in the state.

The bill said the new verticals – like all lottery proceeds in New Mexico – would be brought in in order to raise money for the Lottery Scholarship Fund.

It said that it would be “proper and necessary” to find new sources of revenue as “as the amount of revenue available for tuition assistance has steadily declined over the years”.

In addition, it said betting and table games would “protect, preserve, promote and enhance the tourism industry of the state”.

As the bill was pre-filed, it may be considered from when the legislative session opens at noon Mountain Standard Time today (19 January).