Buffalo Thunder offers Las Vegas-style casino action in Santa Fe’s backyard. It’s the largest in Northern New Mexico.
Hot on the heels of Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel, another Tribal casino resort in New Mexico has introduced a sports book.
The Pueblo of Pojoaque-owned Buffalo Thunder Casino and Resort in Santa Fe launched the state’s second sports betting operation yesterday. Thunder Race Book is the first Tribe to offer sports betting in addition to wagering on races. The casino added sports wagering to its already existing dog race betting spot, Thunder Race Book.
The team behind National Sports Book Management (NSBM) and the South Point Hotel & Casino — owned by John Gaughan and Jay Vaccaro — will operate sports betting at Thunder Race Book. Meanwhile, Las Vegas Dissemination Company (LVDC) — run by Gaughan — will deliver the sportsbook and pari-mutuel race solutions, complete with the kiosks, hardware and software support. Stadium Technology Group will hook up the sports betting technology.
Risk-management and operations of Santa Ana’s sportsbook, which debuted in October 2018, is overseen by US Bookmaking.
The moves by the two New Mexico casinos followed last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling which overturned the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Pearl River Resort Casino, owned by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians in Choctaw, Mississippi, became the first Tribal casino to offer sports betting outside of Nevada — on August 30. Pearl River Resort additionally introduced its PRR Sports mobile betting app in February.
New Mexico has yet to legalize sports wagering, but the Tribes have considered it legal under their Tribal gaming compacts. As New Mexico Attorney General spokesman David Carl noted when Santa Ana launched its sportsbook: “Sports betting at the Santa Ana Star Casino is governed by the Pueblo of Santa Ana Gaming Regulatory Commission. As such, we will closely monitor New Mexico’s Tribal gaming compacts and work with the legislature for proper statutory and regulatory oversight to require responsible gaming and enhanced integrity to create an even playing field for all.”
Other Tribes across the country are doing their due diligence to prepare for sports betting. The United Auburn Indian Community (UAIC) in California announced a future, joint sportsbetting venture with MGM-GVC. And in early 2019, the Oneida Indian Nation and Caesars Entertainment inked a partnership to offer sports betting at Oneida resorts when the New York Gaming Commission passes a resolution to regulate it.