Is Online Poker Legal in New Mexico?
New Mexico, the sixth most densely populated state in the country has without a doubt one of the most varied landscapes that you are ever likely to see. Known as one of the mountain states, the skyline of New Mexico is dominated by absolutely beautiful snow-capped mountains, all of which are surrounded by desert or vast forests. In short, it is beautiful. So what are the gambling laws like there?
Despite being one of the least populated states in the country, it does pack a real punch when it comes to control of gambling, and New Mexico is regarded as having some of the strictest laws in the country.
The gambling laws of New Mexico can be found in legislation. Here they show a pretty ‘general’ overview of what consists of gambling. This includes:
1. Making a bet
2. Entering a place with intention to make a bet, participate in a lottery or play a gambling machine.
3. Conducting a lottery
4. Possessing equipment with intent to run a lottery 
In New Mexico law, making a bet involves an agreement between two parties to win or lose based upon a game of chance, although some skill can be involved. When it comes to prosecutions in New Mexico for gambling, those running the game and those betting are subject to different penalties, although people actually prosecuted are few and far between.
Some forms of gambling are legal in New Mexico. This includes a state lottery and tribal gambling. The Gambling Control Board can also award licenses to commercial or charitable ventures.
Casinos and Live Poker
In New Mexico there are some commercial casinos running, perhaps one of the most popular of these is the ‘Hard Rock Casino’. There are also a number of regulated tribal casinos. One of the key things to note about the legislation here is that social gambling is in fact illegal, although it is unlikely that people would ever be prosecuted for it. All of the gambling ventures in New Mexico are tightly controlled, and gambling outside of these ventures will be seen as a criminal offence.
Online Poker in New Mexico
There is nothing in law which mentions online gambling, although it is safe to say that online gambling is prohibited here due to federal legislation. This is because the New Mexico Gaming Control Board would need to sanction a website first as it would be treated the same as a ‘land based’ casino. At the time of writing they have yet to sanction one, and it is unlikely that it will be done so in the future. Therefore it is safe to say that playing online poker would be a criminal offence within the state.
Whilst there are discussions currently on-going about whether to change the gambling laws in New Mexico, it is unlikely that an online website will ever be set up in the state. There are just over two million residents here, and it is unlikely that a website would be unsustainable, even if gambling laws were changed.