Proposed bill would bring craps tables, sportsbooks to New Mexico racetracks

New Mexico’s college scholarship program has been funded by gambling revenue ever since the Lottery Scholarship Fund was started in 1996.

With that fund no longer able to cover full tuition costs for students, Rep. Ray Lara, D-Chamberino, is sponsoring a bill that would boost revenue by converting the “racinos” at the state’s horse racing tracks to full-service casinos, with live poker, blackjack, craps and a sportsbook.

The change would generate an estimated $40 million a year, with $15 million of that going into the scholarship fund, and the rest to the General Fund. Lara argued during a recent news conference that the bill would have the dual benefit of helping more students and boosting the economy through increased tourism.

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