The decision on Coronado Partners’ proposal to open a horse-racing track and casino in Tucumcari, New Mexico, has been delayed yet again by the New Mexico Racing Commission (NMRC), which did not take any action regarding the company’s license application at its meeting in Albuquerque on August 25.
Coronado Partners’ Racino Project in Tucumcari Is Delayed Again
Back at the beginning of June Albuquerque District Judge Nancy Franchini stipulated that the NMRC must make a decision regarding the Coronado Partners license for a horse-racing track and casino in Tucumcari. Judge Franchini gave the commission a deadline of 90 days to make a call on the matter.
According to the Albuquerque District Court decision, the NMRC has until November 2 to fulfill its duties and make a decision. This means that the NMRC’s last chance to comply with the district court’s ruling is at its regular meeting on October 20.
The NMRC had put the matter on the agenda for its regular meeting on August 25, but no actions were taken.
The explanation was that Coronado Partners and the NMRC have discussed the matter and have together reached an agreement to postpone the decision on the license application. Coronado Partners’ lawyer, Warren Frost, has confirmed this information.
Coronado Partners Has Been Waiting for a Horse-Racing License for Years
The decision by the Albuquerque District Court made on June 3 was a result of the request on the part of Coronado Partners’ lawyer Warren Frost who asked the district court for a writ of mandamus. This means that the company requested the court to make the NMRC fulfill its public duties.
Coronado Partners wants to build a horse race track and casino in Tucumcari. It has been estimated that the project is going to secure about 500 new jobs and in the next three years it will bring in revenues of up to $55 million.
The NMRC has been postponing the decision on the Coronado Partners project for years. In front of the judge the direction of the NMRC, Ismael “Izzy” Trejo, argued that the NMRC cannot grant its sixth horse-racing license. She pointed to diverse reasons one of them being that currently, the horse-racing and horse breeding industries in New Mexico are very vulnerable. Judge Franchini, however, discarded these allegations.
It has to be noted that the sixth license is the only available license left and once granted, it will not be possible for other operators to enter the New Mexico gambling market. In this light, the delay in the NMRC decision seems oddly suspicious and raises questions about whether the commission is “keeping” this license for someone else.