Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino opened its doors in 1959 as just a racetrack. In the 90’s, horse racing around the nation was a declining industry, so New Mexico designed legislation allowing racetracks to incorporate slot machines into their business as an effort to save New Mexico horse racing. Twenty six percent of Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino’s revenue goes to taxes, which in turn go to New Mexico’s general fund. An additional twenty percent of revenue goes towards the horseman’s account. All monies in the horseman’s account contributes to horse racing purses at Sunland Park and has had a profound effect on the quality of our live race meet.
When Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino received its gaming license in 1999, some provisions between the Native American casinos and New Mexico horse tracks were agreed upon. The agreement includes: alcohol may not be served in the casino; the casino can only be opened 112 hours per week; no comps can be handed out in the casino; state-imposed maximum number of slot machines allowed; simulcast horse races must be shown everyday; and we must race a minimum of 4 days a week during live season.