In the western American state of New Mexico and legislators have reportedly begun scrutinizing proposed legislation that could allow local commercial horseracing tracks to begin offering live games of craps, poker and blackjack alongside a full retinue of sportsbetting.
According to a Monday report from the Las Cruces Sun-News newspaper, there are five horseracing venues in ‘The Land of Enchantment’ offering patrons a range of slots as well as video versions of roulette, poker and blackjack. But these properties are purportedly prohibited from running live-dealer and ‘spinning wheel’ games or operating sportsbooks featuring markets on anything other than horse races.
The newspaper reported that New Mexico State Representative Ray Lara wants to change this current state of affairs and officially proposed a fresh measure earlier today that would permit these facilities to transform into fully-fledged casinos offering a complete retinue of the currently-proscribed live-dealer games. The Democratic legislator purportedly stated that his proposition could generate up to $40 million every year with some $15 million of this going towards the state’s struggling Lottery Scholarship Fund university education program.
Lara reportedly told the Las Cruces Sun-News…
“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.”
The newspaper reported that Lara’s bill is being co-sponsored by New Mexico State Senator Bill O’Neil and additionally calls for the horseracing tracks in the communities of Sunland Park, Ruidoso, Hobbs, Farmington and Albuquerque to be managed and operated by the New Mexico Lottery. The proposal will now purportedly be considered over the course of the state’s current 60-day legislative session with opposition expected to come from the state’s many casino-operating tribes such as the federally-recognized Mescalero Apache Tribe, which runs the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino in northern Otero County just seven miles from the Ruidoso Downs Race Track.
O’Neil purportedly told the Las Cruces Sun-Times…
“We really need to diversify our revenue stream and that’s going to be a big theme in the upcoming session. We’re looking at a lot of different strategies to not be at the mercy of the boom and bust of oil and gas. We’re all looking at these different potential sources of revenue. The legalization of marijuana is going to be a big focus this coming session and tax reform is going to be a big focus. So thematically, I think it’s good timing for the bill.”