New Mexico casino to launch state's first sportsbook

Sports gambling is coming to New Mexico.  This may be a little surprising to some, as the state doesn't have any laws on the books to govern the activity.  However, the Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel in Santa Ana Pueblo isn't letting such a small technicality stand in its way and has partnered with Nevada-based USBookmaking to offer the gambling activity. 

While not recognized by state lawmakers, the casino has a way out.  It is operated by the Pueblo of Santa Ana Indians on their own land and a tribal gaming compact between Indian tribes and the state allows tribes to offer Class III gaming activities.  Fortunately for the tribe, and gamblers, sports gambling is covered as a Class III activity. 

The sportsbook is set to officially launch next week, making New Mexico the first state west of the Mississippi, other than Nevada, to have a legal sportsbook.  Other than Nevada, only West Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware have already legalized sports gambling. 

According to USBookmaking CEO Vic Salerno, “We have found that there is tremendous demand for a Nevada-style retail sports book operation in a multitude of casinos throughout the US.  We specialize in the ability to get to market quickly and operate efficiently."  Salerno was previously the chairman of the board for William Hill US before leaving to start his own ventures, which include USBookmaking and US Fantasy Sports. 

More Native Indian tribes are warming up to the idea of sports gambling.  Mississippi's Choctaw became the first tribe to offer the activity outside of Nevada and the United Auburn Indian Community has signed a deal with MGM-GVC in California to offer its only sportsbook, provide sports gambling is legalized in the state.

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