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US – New Mexico’s five racetracks could get casino go-ahead

By - 19 January 2021

New Mexico’s five racetracks will be able to transform themselves into full-service casinos, with live poker, blackjack, craps and a sportsbook if legislation is approved.

Under the proposal, the new casinos would be managed and operated by the New Mexico Lottery, The hope is to generate $40m a year, with $15m of that going into the State’s Lottery Scholarship Fund.

Republican Ray Lara D-Chamberino Lara said: “I truly believe this is a win-win for the state as a whole. This is going to benefit our young people. This is going to bring jobs. This is going to bring additional revenue to our communities and to our state.”

Racetacks in Farmington, Hobbs, Ruidoso, Albuquerque and Sunland Park, all have casinos alongside them with slots and electronic terminals.

Bill co-sponsor Sen. Bill O’Neill said: “We really need to diversify our revenue stream, and that’s going to be a big theme in the upcoming session. The good thing is all of our racetrack casinos have 20-plus years of experience with this. They already have good infrastructure in place. We’re looking at a lot of different strategies to not be at the mercy of the boom and bust of oil and gas. I think it’s good timing for the bill.”

Caption: Sunland Park before the pandemic

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