New Mexico casino gambling regulators are at war with 3 Tribal New Mexico casinos for what the regulator’s term as owing the state some $40 million from casino revenues.
Even as the state maintains their tough-held decision that the three gaming facilities should be compelled to pay the $40 million, alleged New Mexico casinos have vowed to challenge the state’s decision in a court of law.
In a court filing, Sandia, Isleta pueblos, and Tesuque gaming facilities claim that the state is wrongly interpreting how casino revenue should be collected from New Mexico casinos.
In a formal suit to the judge, they have asked his office to take complete charge and direct the state, and it is gaming officials who include the gaming operator to stop asking for money from the three New Mexico casinos.
In part, the suit reads, “It is illegal for the state to collect and ask for more money from our casinos. This act by the state to solicit money from casinos is a complete misinterpretation of the Gaming Act and violates the federal law.
In a quick rejoinder though, the state through its spokesman said that it is not a new thing to the casino industry in New Mexico and to the three gaming operators to pay revenue to the state.
“This is not a new thing to the gaming operators who until now know that we are in business. As such the only wise thing is to pay what the facilities owe the state that they should pay what they owe they owe the state, nothing more,” said the spokesman for Susana Martinez.
The spokesman whose name was not disclosed said that he had no authority to talk about the lawsuit because he had neither been told to comment about it nor had he been informed about it.
Hitherto, there are 28 casinos as well as racetracks, which are owned and operated by the state. However, there is no precise information suggesting whether or not the other gaming facilities will be joining the lawsuit.
The problem started when the state introduced free play to the New Mexico casino industry. In this, although it is known as free, a gambling facility is supposed to pay every single dollar that is earned from a casino client.
In this way, the state is bound to make millions of dollars especially when clients utilize the free play.
The gambling compact that was signed in 2015 between the betting facilities and the state did not include free credits. Perhaps, this marked the start of the current revenue ‘misinterpretation’ that is causing unnecessary tension between the three casinos and the state.
Surprisingly, more than two years later, in April 2017, New Mexico casino regulators sent letters to individual gaming facilities asking for the payment.
At this point, it was clear that operators were referring to the free credits not knowing that they did not include them in the 2015 compact.