The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Opinion: Too many hoops to jump through


December 9, 2018

And now we have example No. 7,369,083 for why you don’t want to do business with the government if you can avoid it.

On Thursday, New Mexico’s Racing Commission decided to table its decision on awarding a racino. That came after a lawsuit filed by Hidalgo Downs LLC, the group that proposed a Lordsburg-based facility.

Hidalgo Downs claims a feasibility study used by the racing commission was flawed.

The other four private investors competing for the racetrack/casino all fared better than Lordsburg in the feasibility study, contracted by NMRC.

The decision to table the decision came minutes before commissioners were scheduled to make their announcement, which had been debated more than four months.

It’s worth noting, the Racing Commission is appointed by the governor, the government decides how many gaming facilities are allowed in the state and what rules they have to follow, the government takes a big chunk of proceeds from said facilities, government officials are using their considerable authority to try and sway public opinion about the business, in good ways and bad — like anybody cares what they think about a private business — government has the authority to approve/deny alcohol sales and other amenities if investors are granted permission to spend millions of dollars and hire hundreds of people, and now another government agency, in the form of the court system, gets to weigh in.


One would think you wouldn’t have to jump through so many hoops to be allowed to spend so much money to employ so many people with no net to catch you in case you fail.

That’s the deal when you get involved with government.

There is no avoiding government interaction for any business owner, in the form of taxes, safety issues, environmental concerns, and on and on and on. But some potential entrepreneurs, such as these racino investors, have to wonder whether it’s even worth the trouble to try and realize the American dream of operating a business.

Which brings us to these questions: When did government stop working to please us, when did we start working to please government, and why?

David Stevens is publisher of Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

[email protected]


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