New Mexico has ruled that beer pong can be played again in local bars as long as the games don’t involve drinking alcohol or gambling, the Portales News-Tribune reported Feb. 28.
“It’s against the law for [liquor] licensees to allow games or contests that involve drinking alcohol beverages or award alcohol beverages as prizes,” said Gary Tomada, who directs the state’s alcohol and gaming department, “and we can’t have any semblance of gambling. If those [rules] are observed … they can play all they want.”
The department plans to publish guidelines for liquor licenses on beer pong, though Tomada said he was not certain whether it would be classified as a game of skill or a game of chance.
In tournaments played at a Kelley’s Bar & Grill in Clovis, N.M., cash prizes were drawn from team entry fees and beer pong cups were filled with water, according to tournament organizer, Elliott Fite. Fite said the game required skill, and was therefore like other games where prizes are allowed, such as golf and darts.
“I don’t really blame anybody [for the confusion],” said Fite, “just due to the fact that the game is still in its infancy.”