Editorial: Right decision on off-reservation casino in New Mexico

The Runaway, a mural at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Photo from Facebook

New Mexico newspaper believes an off-reservation casino in downtown Albuquerque would have faced "impossible" odds:
Mayor Richard Berry turned down an ambitious project for Downtown that would have been the biggest private development attempted in the city. It would have included a 12,000-seat event center, a new hotel – and a casino.

Local development company, Geltmore LLC, offered up a $565 million preliminary plan for about two acres near First and Central for an entertainment-centered project. But the Berry administration nixed it because it wasn’t the family friendly project the mayor has in mind for the location.

And it would have been a regulatory nightmare.

In New Mexico, private interests cannot own or operate a casino without an accompanying racetrack – and the allowable number of racinos is strictly limited. Instead, the developers planned to buy private land and somehow convert it into Indian trust land. The city says Geltmore’s plan would have required the cooperation of tribal governments, Gov. Susana Martinez and the U.S. Department of the Interior, an imposing task. Likely an impossible task.

Get the Story:
Editorial: City played the right hand nixing Downtown casino (The Albuquerque Journal 9/8)

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