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New Mexico Casino and Card Room Gaming

The Gaming Control Act (the Act) of 1997 authorized licensed racetracks to operate gaming machines. Slot machines were first introduced to racetracks in 1999 in hopes of boosting the horse racing industry with increased attendance and wagering as a result of larger purses.

The New Mexico Gaming Control Board (GCB) was created by the Act to regulate slot machines at racetracks, among other gaming areas, and to ensure that gaming revenue was appropriately taxed and transferred to the state general fund. The GCB board comprises five members, four of whom are appointed by the Governor, with the chairman of the NMHRC as the fifth member. Three board members are full-time state employees.

The Act also mandates that racetrack casinos allocate 20% of gaming revenue to support horse racing purses. Net slot revenue is taxed at a rate of 26% on a monthly basis. The GCB monitors racinos electronically through a central monitoring system, allowing the GCB to accurately obtain slot revenue data to generate tax statements, control hours of gaming, and shut down dysfunctional or compromised slot machines.

The Act also requires that licensed gaming operators implement problem gaming plans and set aside 0.025% of slot net revenues to support compulsive gambling treatment programs. A 2009 law required operators to create and respect self-exclusion lists as an additional check on problem gaming. Information on players who self-exclude from gaming properties is stored in a GCB database that allows operators to identify them. It also allows operators to confiscate any winnings by those players.

In 2005, New Mexico expanded the hours when racetracks could operate slots from 12 to 18 hours per day.

In 2009, the legislature passed HB763, which said jackpot winnings could be seized to pay outstanding child support obligations. The GCB and the Human Services Department (HSD) then created a searchable electronic database that allowed licensed racetrack gaming operators to find out whether winners of jackpots of at least $1,200 owed child support. If jackpot winners owe child support, operators are required to seize the jackpot and notify the HSD.

In the 2009 session, legislators passed and incorporated SB299 into the Gaming Control Act, which provided the ability for gamblers to self-exclude from licensed racetrack gaming operator facilities.

New Mexico Casino and Card Room Gaming Properties

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