New Mexico Racinos seek permission to reopen

Managers at several racinos have written to the state governor.
Managers at several racinos have written to the state governor.

Races without spectators began in May but casinos have remained closed since mid-March on Gov. Lujan’s orders.

US.- New Mexico’s racetrack and casino operators have asked Gov. Michelle Lujan to consider allowing them to reopen given the economic impact of the pandemic.

Casino managers in Ruidoso, Sunland Park, Hobbs and Farmington pleaded their case in a letter, citing the $380 million in tax revenues they bring in annually and the 17,000 people that work across the racing industry and at tribal and commercial casinos.

They added that thousands of other properties across the US have demonstrated it was possible to operate in a safe way with the correct sanitary protocols in place.

Races resumed without spectators in May, but casinos have remained closed since mid-March.

The casinos said in the letter: “As we now approach six months of closure, we have access to proven best practices from other jurisdictions that will allow us to operate our businesses safely for the health and wellbeing of our customers and team members, and we are hopeful that we can bring our employees back to work as soon as possible.”

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