In the western American state of New Mexico and legislators are reportedly set to be presented with a proposal next month that is seeking to put the jurisdiction’s five racinos on virtually the same footing as its many tribal casinos.
According to a Friday report from local television broadcaster KRQE-TV, the new proposition has been christened the Gaming Industry Recovery Act and is due to be put before local Republican and Democratic legislators via an October 1 meeting of the state’s Legislative Finance Committee.
The broadcaster reported that the new measure wants legislative consent to overhaul New Mexico’s current gambling regulations by allowing racinos to stay open for longer and serve alcohol on their gaming floors. The proposal also purportedly contains language that would raise the current quota on the number of slots such venues could offer and place them alongside tribal casinos in being able to run sportsbetting and table games.
KRQE-TV reported that the Gaming Industry Recovery Act moreover features a clause that would permit racinos in ‘The Land of Enchantment’ to offer Las Vegas-style comps for food, hotel rooms and games of golf while allowing their rival tribal casinos to keep the entirety of the around $70 million they currently hand over to the state each year in aggregated tax.
Rick Baugh, General Manager for Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino, reportedly told the broadcaster that he is supporting the new measure as a way to help New Mexico attract tourists from across the United States in the wake of a downturn in business caused by the recent coronavirus pandemic.
Baugh reportedly told KRQE-TV…
“There’s so many different things that can, you know, benefit from this in tourism. We have the capability of turning the tide and creating the tourist destination, not only here but across all five racetracks and the tribal casinos.”
For his part and New Mexico State Senator Bill Sharer reportedly explained that the Gaming Industry Recovery Act is being proposed in order to help districts cope with the state’s 40-year plan to shift the local economy away from oil and gas and onto renewable sources of energy. The Republican purportedly declared that he remains unconvinced as to the measure’s prospects of success but could be swayed round if it ‘limited or prohibited local advertising’ and instead ‘really focused on advertising out of the state.’
Sharer reportedly told the broadcaster…
“The oil and gas industry being destroyed is the only reason that this is open to even a possibility, in my mind. The destruction of our economy, we’ve got to do something.”