New Mexico has new panel to regulate horse racing industry

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New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has appointed a new panel of regulators to oversee the state’s horseracing industry.

She made the announcement Thursday as a legal battle simmers over a final decision regarding New Mexico’s sixth and final license for a racetrack and casino.

The Democratic governor says she expects the new commission to be fair and equitable.

The panel includes former commissioners Beverly Bourguet and David “Hossie” Sanchez as well as current and former horse owners and breeders John Buffington, Freda McSwane and Billy G. Smith.

The previous commission repeatedly put off a vote on the racino license after concerns were raised about a feasibility study that examined the economics behind proposals submitted by the five applicants. That prompted a challenge that’s still pending in district court.

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