Racino hopefuls make last pitches


December 2, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE — Five applicants on Wednesday made their final short presentations, commissioners asked questions and a couple of tribes gave input in the last scheduled meeting before the New Mexico Racing Commission announces its award of the state’s sixth racino license this week.

“I think it was a good meeting, and the commissioners were able to ask probing questions to each entity and I think the feedback they received from each applicant was very important to them to continue on processing what they’d heard,” said NMRC Executive Director Izzy Trejo. “There was so much salesmanship, it was pretty neat. These guys went all out.”

The special meeting started at 1 p.m. in the Albuquerque Convention Center and lasted four hours, with much of that time occupied by the five separate 15-minute presentations and ensuing questions, which covered finances, turf material and project completion among other topics.

There was no public input period, but “a large public presence” of more than 100 individuals turned out for the meeting, Trejo said.

Two tribes delivered input on the forthcoming racino award, with the Mescalero Tribe expressing “opposition to a racino being built in Clovis,” and a representative of the Laguna Pueblo stating they were supportive of a track in Clovis, Trejo said.

Three of five applicants propose to establish the state’s last remaining available horse-racetrack and slot gaming enterprise in Clovis, with one group each eyeing Tucumcari and Lordsburg instead. NMRC is still on track to announce its award on Thursday, with an agenda forthcoming.

Trejo said he was pleased at the progress of the application process over the past several months.

“When we started the process I was told that it could take over a year, so that’s why I’m impressed that this got done in the time it has,” he said. “It’s been thorough, it’s been fast. I guess you could use the term ‘Fast and Furious...’”


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