Isleta Resort & Casino will open sportsbook, which could be a big bonus for sports bettors

By Mark Smith

Enchantment Sports

Editor in Chief

Were you one of those who bet Tiger Woods to win The Masters, but were stuck with the insulting 5-1 odds offered at the sportsbook at the Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel — only to hear national broadcasts about how the true odds were actually 14-1 to 16-1?

A $100 winning bet on Tiger got you $500 — instead of $1,400-to-$1,600 those around the country pocketed.

Not cool.

It’s the problem local a sports bettors have to face. Unless you’re going to drive to Buffalo Thunder near Pojoaque to check other possible odds, your only choice is Santa Ana.

It has a captive audience, since it has the only game in town.

But that’s soon changing.

Santa Ana is getting some competition in the Albuquerque metro area.

On Tuesday,  Isleta Resort & Casino announced it will bring Las Vegas-style sports gambling to its resort, most likely by mid-summer. Here’s Isleta’s news release:

The move follows a 2017 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which opened the door for tribes to legalize wagers on everything from college basketball to professional football. It’s a victory for those pushing for more gaming options, and Isleta Resort & Casino is thrilled to be an industry leader.

“We’re very excited to be answering the requests of our guests to bring sports gambling to New Mexico,” said Isleta Resort & Casino CEO Harold Baugus. “We look forward to unveiling all of the exciting possibilities to our patrons,” he continued.

The Supreme Court’s decision gives states like New Mexico the authority to adopt laws regulating sports betting.  New Mexico is now the fifth state to follow suit.  The Resort’s new Sports Betting venue is expected to open later this summer, with USBookmaking as its provider.

“We are proud to be selected by Isleta Resort & Casino to provide sports betting services for their casino.  We offer outstanding service for our clients and our selection by Isleta validates the tremendous value that USBookmaking contributes,” stated Vic Salerno, President of USBookmaking.

As Isleta Resort & Casino steps up to the plate, details on when sports betting will be available will be released in the near future.  More information on the Resort and its amenities can be found at

Will this change the floating juice, 40-cent lines and other unfriendly aspects to sports bettors in the Albuquerque area? The competition can’t hurt.

Stay tuned to Enchantment Sports for all the latest on sports wagering in New Mexico, as well as local sports.

I’ll have plenty of opinions and advice–that’s a lock!


Mark Smith has worked in New Mexico sports media for more than four decades, and is one of the most decorated sports journalists in state history. Smith has won more than 30 combined awards in print, television and radio. He is the editor in chief of Enchantment Sports. Contact him at


  1. Good to know. I guess it’s just a matter of time before Sandia Casino also start taking bets as well.
    Thanks, Tic!


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