New Mexico Tribe Floats Racino

The Pueblo of Laguna development corporation is holding a series of events to introduce itself to Curry and Roosevelt County officials and promote the idea of a developing a racino in Clovis. But the state racing commission has yet to reopen applications for its sixth available license.

Laguna Development Corporation, owned by the Pueblo of Laguna in Albuquerque, New Mexico, recently met with Curry and Roosevelt County officials to discuss developing a racino in Clovis. Skip Sayre, LDC’s chief of sales and marketing, said the event is the first of several planned to help community members understand how the cooperation operates. “LDC is very proud of the hard work and success it has had in the gaming/casino industry in New Mexico. These events are just a way for everyone to become aquatinted. This is in no way an official announcement declaring LDC’s intentions regarding the state’s sixth license,” Sayre said.

He noted LDC has placed options on parcels of land in Curry County but would not exercise any options on the land until the New Mexico Racing Commission reopened requests for applications, which it stopped doing in 2014 following a situation with the license held by La Mesa Racino in Raton.

Sayre said an LDC racino would not operate as a sovereign business, although the company is owned by the Pueblo of Laguna, but would be taxed and governed by local and state regulations.

LDC is not, however, the only group interested in the state’s sixth license. Attorney Warren Frost, chairman of the Quay County Gaming Authority, said, “We anticipate there will be one-to-two more groups trying to get the license for Clovis. The authority is ready to demonstrate that Tucumcari is a much better location than Clovis or anywhere else in the state for the sixth license. We believe we still have an excellent chance of getting a race track here in Tucumcari.”

LDC manages several businesses including casinos, travel centers and restaurants in the Albuquerque area.