Dr. Guy Clark: Action Alert: Isleta Casino Taking Sports Betting on Local Games



Isleta Casino is the second tribal casino in New Mexico to accept sports betting on Lobo and Aggie games.  In March, the Buffalo Thunder Casino in Pojoaque started accepting bets on conference tournament games that involved the state universities.  Isleta will now accept bets on all UNM and New Mexico State games.  So far the Santa Ana Casino hasn’t allowed betting on state games.

The Albuquerque Journal ran an article on this story stating, “This is the second year sports gaming in New Mexico has been legal.”  In actual fact, the state legislature has not legalized sports betting in New Mexico, so sports betting off-reservation is illegal in New Mexico.  Most articles say that since tribes operate Class III gambling under federal law, the same rules don’t apply to them.  They need to read the law.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), the bible on tribal gambling, says that tribes are allowed to compact with the state on any form of gambling that is legal for any individual, group or entity in the state.  Since sports gambling is not allowed to anyone off-reservation in the state, tribal casinos offering sports betting are violating the federal law contained in IGRA.  Legislators have pointed this out in letters to the state Attorney General, but neither he nor the U.S. Attorney has taken any action on this violation of federal and state law.  Once the tribes introduce any new form of gambling, the government tends to look the other way.

The natural progression in sports betting is exposed in many states, as well as countries around the world, where sports betting is taken Online.  Studies in the U.K., where Online sports betting has been legal for some time, has shown an explosive increase in teen gambling addiction. The purveyors there target the teens with massive amounts of advertising.

An effort to shut this down could begin with the House of Representatives.  It could cause action if enough House members called the Attorney General and urged him to contact the U.S. Attorney to get him to take legal action against the offending casinos.

You can contact your member of the House of Representatives by clicking here. That will take you to a page titled “House of Representatives Members.”  The second dialogue box below is titled “Your Address.”  Enter your street address, city and ZIP code and click on “go.”  That will bring up a box with the picture of your representative and your district. Click on their name highlighted in the box.  That will take you to the representative’s website which has/her Santa Fe office phone number. 

Please call your Representative at that number to leave your message.

Dr. Guy Clark, chairman
Stop Predatory Gambling New Mexico

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