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New Mexico regulators delay decision on racino license

FILE - In this March 28, 2016 file photo New Mexico Racing Commission Chairman Ray Willis discusses options for dealing with extra purse money at Sunland Park horse track during a special meeting in Albuquerque, N.M. New Mexico racing regulators are schedule Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, to decide if they will issue the state's sixth and final license for a horse racetrack and casino. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan,File)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on the bid for New Mexico's sixth and final racino license (all times local):

12:55 p.m.

New Mexico regulators are putting off a decision regarding the state's sixth and final license for a new horse racetrack and casino after one of the contenders went to court to seek a preliminary injunction.

The commission voted unanimously Thursday to table the license issue, and it was not immediately clear when the panel would take up the matter again.

Chairman Ray Willis said it was in the best interest of the commission to seek legal advice before going forward.

Attorneys for Hidalgo Downs, a group that wants to build a racino in southwestern New Mexico, filed a petition in court last week in an effort to put the brakes on the process. The filing contends the commission has not done enough to study the issue.

The state's five existing racinos have voiced concerns about adding a sixth venue.

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11:55 p.m.

New Mexico racing regulators are set to decide if they will issue the state's sixth and final license for a horse racetrack and casino.

The New Mexico Racing Commission on Thursday also could name the winning bid for the final license despite objections from New Mexico five existing "racinos."

Under the state's compacts with casino-operating tribes, only six racinos are allowed in New Mexico. The five existing racinos are in Hobbs, Ruidoso, Farmington, Albuquerque, and Sunland Park.

There three other proposals out of Clovis, New Mexico, including one involving "moving grandstand" that will allow an audience to travel alongside running horses.

Two other projects are proposed for Tucumcari along this historic Route 66 and Lordsburg near New Mexico's Bootheel.

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