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As you may or may not know, New Mexico is the 5th largest state size-wise, but ranks only 36th in population. Probably over half of the state's population is centered around the Albuquerque / Santa Fe area. There are several smaller "pockets" of population, but much of the state is rural. OK.... let's be honest, most of the state is stark and desolate and barren. But a lot of us like stark, desolate and barren!! (Actually, 1/4 of New Mexico is forest land. They may be small scrawny trees, but they are trees and are green.)
If you wanted to visit all of New Mexico's casinos and racinos, you would need a lot of time and a refinery of gas. Don't get me wrong - traveling around New Mexico is well worth the effort and time. This state has a lot to offer, and lives up to the state motto "Land of Enchantment." But I'll leave the PR campaign to the state's Department of Tourism.
However, the mileage between many of the casinos can be daunting for the faint of heart. But all is not lost. There are 2 "clusters" of casinos:
- Within a 2 hour drive radius of Albuquerque, you can visit 12 casinos and racinos
- Within a 3 hour drive radius of El Paso Texas, you can visit 4 casinos and racinos.
Visiting the remaining casinos/racinos around Farmington, Taos and Hobbs would require more planning, time and gas. (I am embarrassed to say that I have never been to the Black Gold Casino in Hobbs. It doesn't have tokens or chips, and I am not into horse racing. Driving 4 hours to get there hasn't appeared on my to-do list yet.)
If you plan to make a casino run through New Mexico, here are some general comments:
-All of the Indian casinos have table games with chips, the last time I checked
-TITO machines are spreading swiftly. Some casinos are totally TITO, others
are quickly moving in that direction
-The racinos do not have table games
-All of the casinos have at least a restaurant, and most have a buffet
-Only one casino (Isleta) has silver strikes
If the opportunity presents itself, I encourage you to visit the New Mexico casinos, and to check out the "Land of Enchantment."