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Isleta Casino and Resort
Indian Gaming
by Mark Van Norman

Isleta means “Little Island” in Spanish, but Isleta is hardly little. From the Manzono Mountains to the mesas of Pio Puerco, the Isleta Pueblo lies in the Rio Grand Valley just seven miles south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Isleta, established in the 1300’s, has a population of more than 3,000.

Today, the versatile Isleta Pueblo have a number of successful business developments that include the Isleta Casino and Resort, Isleta Eagle Golf Course, and the Isleta Lakes Recreation Complex. From humble beginnings in four doublewide trailers in 1986, the now 300,000 square foot Isleta Casino and Resort has become home to one of the largest casinos in the Southwest.

Resting on a mesa, the three story Southwestern Pueblo structure reflects the region’s Native American heritage with vibrant colors accented by natural earth tones. Inside, the vast gaming area features Nevada style gaming with over 1,750 state-of-the-art Video Slot and Poker machines, twenty-eight table games, a private eighty-seat Poker Room with bar, non-smoking Slot room, a 900 square foot Players Club Center, 1,200 seat Bingo Showroom, and the Isleta Gold Room for high limit players.

Isleta Casino and Resort offers some of the best Vegas style entertainment. Big name entertainment is featured year round with this season’s line-up including: Tony Orlando, Whoopi Goldberg, Wynonna, Wayne Newton, 5th Dimension, and Little Anthony just to name a few.

Patrons are offered five unique dining experiences. The newest addition, TIWA, offers fine dining with panoramic views of the rolling hills of the twenty-seven hole Isleta Championship Course. TIWA’s enticing menu runs the gamut from steaks to seafood to local southwestern fare together with an extensive wine list. Other dining options include the 340-seat Ma-Tu-Ey Buffet, Chili Ristra Café and Deli, the Triple 777’s Sports Bar, and Dauber’s Grill.

Conveniently located across the street is a twenty-seven hole native/links public golf course. The Isleta Eagle Championship Course features challenging nine-hole sets designed around three lakes and the sweeping Rio Grande River.

The Isleta Lakes Recreation Complex provides fun for the entire family. The area has been developed for fishing and picnicking, and has activities for the entire family. An RV park at the lakes allows guests more time to explore and enjoy the outdoors.

The Isleta Casino and Resort, which is wheelchair accessible, offers free parking and shuttle service. Valet parking is also available. For more information call 1-877-7-ISLETA or visit

This story was first published in the Winter 2002-2003 issue of Gambling Times Magazine.

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