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New Mexico Casinos & Gambling

While New Mexico offers an incredible range of activities for vacationers and travelers, one of the most recent draws has been the growing gambling industry. While horse racing has been the major draw to the Land of Enchantment for gambling aficionados the world over, the recent drive to boost the economy of Native American tribes has seen a rapid expansion of gambling throughout the state of New Mexico. Ever since the signing of gaming compacts between Native American tribes and the New Mexico government in 1997, 14 casinos have been opened by 13 tribes giving a wide variety of options for the gambler throughout the state. Add in horse racing and the traveler has many exciting chances to win big legally and responsibly.

Casinos in New Mexico offer an exciting range of games for many different levels of expertise and desire. For those looking for more chance in their gaming on a budget, slot machines may just be the right thing for those wanting to play one coin at a time. For a more social, laid back activity, games like Keno and Bingo are a good chance to sit back and relax while you play in the company of friends. Those who find challenge in the odds and strategic game play of card games will find both blackjack and baccarat to be just their game, with the chance to win money in the process. Meanwhile, for those that may seek more 'elegant' gaming while keeping the excitement of the win, both craps and roulette are alive and well in New Mexico.

For a more competitive yet social game that combines luck, skill and psychology, poker is the place to be. With the explosion of the popularity of poker of all types throughout the nation, a poker player will not be without competition while in New Mexico. The wide variants of poker, from Caribbean Stud to Texas Hold'em, mean that there is a game of poker for practically everyone.

Even more exciting is the rapid transformation of casinos from simple betting parlors to full-fledged resorts. The construction of new hotels and other entertainment venues allow for people from out of state to make a full vacation out of the excitement that was only available to local and state residents. Just like the transformation of other gambling meccas into full-service resorts, New Mexico has a bright future ahead of itself for both visitors and the communities that benefit from the exponential economic growth provided by gambling revenue, retail sales and other purchases in the area.

Horse racing is available in New Mexico, both live and simulcast racing from around the country. More than just chance, the art of horse handicapping can be a hobby in and of itself, drawing people of all ages and backgrounds. Many people simply watch racing to enjoy the spectacle of competition condensed into a mile and an eighth run for the finish line and the winner's circle, just like they would watch any sporting event. Then again, the excitement of gambling on your favorite horse draws even more people to the track, from the serious handicapper who has done his research to the track day tripper who drops 10 dollars on the 400-1 long shot. Just like poker, horse racing draws many types of fans. Racing in New Mexico runs throughout the summer and up to Labor Day.

A close eye is kept on all aspects of racing by the New Mexico Racing Commission. From promoting economic growth for owners and racetrack management to protecting the betting public, the Racing Commission is a vital part of keeping racing fun, safe, and fair for all. Just like an amusement park, the spectacle of horse racing is kept running by a well-oiled machine of oversight, licensing and background checks, and regulation enforcement to ensure that the fun of the track isn't diminished. It also provides oversight of the state's five racetracks, six race meets, approval of race dates for live racing, and the regulation of simulcast facilities and signals.

Even outside the race season, the five casinos attached to racetracks in New Mexico allow for gambling year round. Closely monitored by the New Mexico Gaming Control Board which was established in 1998, this assures for fair and legal gaming throughout New Mexico, from tribal casinos to racetrack slot machines.

For a break from casinos and the track, gaming products such as instant lottery cards, Powerball and Pick Three are available at the over 800 convenience stores throughout New Mexico. This is a great option for those people visiting New Mexico who may not have time to get to a casino or track but still want to get in the game. As competition for your attentions, both the New Mexico Lottery and the tribal and racetrack casinos have all the incentive in the world to make playing their games more worthwhile to the player. In this case, it is truly a player's market and is a great time to take advantage of the heated race to provide players with more bang for the buck.

Just remember, like anywhere else, gambling winnings are taxable in New Mexico. Such withholding (generally six percent of winnings) is handled by the casino or betting establishment for such events as horse racing, but for other types of gambling wins it might be wise to pay estimated taxes. There are different breakpoints for the withholding of tax or the need to pay estimated taxes based on the type of game. Contact the New Mexico Department of Revenue for more information on tax liabilities and reporting options, and the New Mexico Gaming Control Board for any questions regarding other gaming concerns.

From Acoma to Taos, Albuquerque to Santa Fe, New Mexico offers a wide horizon of options for the casual player and serious gambler alike.

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