Gaming authority revokes Raton license

By Thomas Garcia: Freedom New Mexico

The New Mexico Gaming Control Board has revoked a gaming license for La Mesa Racetrack and Casino at Raton, GCB Deputy Executive Director Greg Saunders said on Tuesday.

“What this means for Quay County is we have another opportunity,” said Warren Frost, executive director of the Quay County Gaming Authority.

Tucumcari was a finalist for the racino when it was awarded to Raton last June.

Owners of the proposed La Mesa facility missed the deadline last weekend to get a temporary casino up and running.

Frost, who attended Tuesday’s meeting in Albuquerque, said the license was revoked because of racino investors’ inability to meet several conditions set by the gaming board. One of those conditions included proving they had adequate money to finance the project, Frost said.

The New Mexico Racing Commission will consider disciplinary action to revoke the developer’s racing license at its May 19 meeting, said Racing Commission Deputy Director India Hatch.

Hatch said an entity can have a racing license without a gaming license. She said one of the conditions for La Mesa Racetrack and Casino was they had to have a gaming license.

Frost said the Quay County Gaming Authority is hopeful it could be back in contention for a racino.

“We still have the option on the land which will not expire until 2011,” Frost said. “We still have the support and financial backing of the partners and all of Quay County.”