Another group filing for racino license

Another group may be planning to file an application to bring a racetrack and casino to Tucumcari, said Warren Frost, executive director of the Quay County Gaming Authority.

Frost informed the Tucumcari City Commission of the rumored investment group Thursday night during their regular meeting. He said in the past 10 days he has heard the group will apply for the casino under a separate license than the one filled by Coronado Partners LLC.

Frost said he does not know the identity of the investment group or its members. He said the communities of Quay County have an agreement with Don Chalmers to support his application for the license.

Frost said the communities are contractually obligated to support Chalmers application, in return for 5 percent of the net profits.

"How much does that break down for Tucumcari," asked Dora Salinas McTiguqe, commissioner.

Frost said Tucumcari will receive 2 percent while, Logan San Jon and Quay County will receive 1 percent each. He said this does not mean another group cannot apply; they simply will not have the support of the surrounding communities.

News of the second investment group comes on the wake of the State Court of Appeals denial of a motion to expedite the appeal proceeding between New Mexico Racing Commission and the La Mesa investment group, which was trying to put a racetrack and casino in Raton.

In late August, the state filed a motion to expedite the hearing and assign the appeal to a panel for review, said Vince Mares, director of the racing commission.

La Mesa was awarded the state's final gaming and racing licenses in June 2009, but the New Mexico Gaming Control Board nullified those licenses the following year.

The New Mexico Court of Appeals upheld the nullification of the gaming license June 12, but the nullification of the racing license is still in the court system.

"We want this to be resolved, it's what's best for the state," Mares said "The commission wants to move forward and actually get a race track and casino going in the state."

Mares said the commission has no choice but to await the decision from the court of appeals. He said currently their appeal is 54 on the list of 70 civil cases waiting to be assigned to a panel.

Frost said they are hopeful there is a resolution to this issue within the next 90 days. He said the investors are still very optimistic and progress and steps are still being made for when the license becomes available again.

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