Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal
If New Mexicans really want to bet on Australian rules football, they can go to Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino in Mescalero, said Nick Bogdanovich, the director of trading at William Hill.
Bogdanovich said New Mexicans will like what they see when the sports book at Inn of the Mountain Gods opens prior to the start of the football season. No opening date has been set just yet, but a sort of soft opening is scheduled for Monday for the public to see how the sportsbook operates.
The Mescalero Apache Tribe announced in June that it is partnering with William Hill to offer a book at Inn of the Mountain Gods.
“William Hill does a good job of offering,” Bogdonavich said in a recent phone interview with the Journal from San Diego, Calif., where he was on vacation away from his home in Las Vegas. “We’re extremely competitive. They will really enjoy what we offer. We book everything. Australian Rules Football? We’ll have it. You name it, we’ll have it.”
The sportsbook at Inn of the Mountain Gods is unsure if it will have bets for University of New Mexico and New Mexico State sports. Santa Ana and Buffalo Thunder do not allow such bets and Isleta is expected to do the same.
The sports betting odds at Inn of the Mountain Gods will be the same as William Hill’s odds in Las Vegas, Nev., Bogdanovich said.
“It will be the same product and the same payouts,” Bogdanovich said. “The good thing about being a bettor in Las Vegas is you can shop. Depending on what sport it can be a different price each time. Whether you’re buying a Coke or whatever, you want to shop around for the best price. Having one more person in the (New Mexico) market is good all around.”
Last month, Inn of the Mountain Gods became the fourth tribal casino to offer sports betting in New Mexico.
Santa Ana Star, on Santa Ana Pueblo, was the first to have its sportsbook open, in October. The sportsbook at Pueblo of Pojoaque’s Buffalo Thunder opened in March. Isleta’s sportsbook is set to open on Aug. 12.
Santa Ana and Isleta partnered with USBookmaking to operate their respective sportsbooks, while Buffalo Thunder’s sportsbook is operated by the South Point Hotel and Casino and National Sports Book Management.
“We are excited to join the party,” said Bogdanovich, who noted he knows people affiliated with the two other operations in New Mexico. “I’ve heard nothing but positive things about New Mexico.”
Bogdanovich has been a busy man since the U.S. Supreme Court decision last year struck down the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which for the most part had prevented states from allowing sports betting with some exceptions. The tribal casinos in New Mexico that offer sports betting do so without explicit state approval.
This is William Hill’s first partnership in the Land of Enchantment. William Hill US, known as the largest sports betting business in the U.S., operates 113 race and sportsbooks in Nevada and has the state’s leading mobile sports betting app.
William Hill is a sports betting provider in New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia.
Bogdanovich believes football is a great time for the book to open at Inn of the Mountain Gods.
He said parlays are extremely popular bets during the fall.
“Football is king,” he said. “Obviously, it will be our first time in New Mexico. Anytime we go into a new jurisdiction, it’s a brand new experience for everyone there. For how much we will do, it will be fun regardless.”