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Racing commission okays Downs at Albuquerque move to Moriarty

KOB Albuquerque May. 27, 2008. 07:32 PM EST

OF BETTING ON WHETHER THE DOWNS OF ALBUQUERQUE WOULD BE MOVING ITS HORSE RACING AND SLOT MACHINES... WE HAVE A WINNER. THAT WINNER IS THE TOWN OF MORIARTY. IT WILL SOON BE HOME TO A NEW 65- MILLION DOLLAR RACE TRACK AND CASINO. SHELTON DODSON IS LIVE AT EXPO NEW MEXICO WITH OUR TOP STORY... SHELTON: THIS WAS DEFINITELY A CASE OF THE FAVORITE WINNING THE RACE. STATE RACING COMMISSIONERS SAY THERE WAS VERY LITTLE PUBLIC OPPOSITION TO MOVING TO MORIARTY. AND THAT MEANS EXPO NEW MEXICO IS ABOUT TO LOSE ITS MOST PROFITABLE TENANT: : THE RINGING SLOTS AND THE RACING HORSES THAT BRING TWO MILLION DOLLARS IN ANNUAL RENT MONEY TO EXPO NEW MEXICO ARE PACKING UP AND HOOFING IT TO MORIARTY. : 'Thank you very much.'DOWNS AT ALBUQUERQUE PRESIDENT PAUL BLANCHARD WAS ALL SMILES AS THE STATE RACING COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY IN FAVOR OF THE MOVE WHICH WILL EVENTUALLY ALLOW THE DOWNS TO DOUBLE ITS NUMBER OF SLOTS AND -- IN TURN -- INCREASE THE PAYOUTS FOR THOSE WHO RACE HORSES. : 'The purses that we'll offer to the horseman, and to the owners and breeders will more than double than what it is right now, or close to it, in a matter of 3 to 4 years.'COMMISSIONERS SAY OF THE 400 WRITTEN STATEMENTS THEY RECEIVED ON THE MOVE -- LESS THAN FIVE WERE AGAINST IT. THE SITE IN MORIARTY HAS WHAT EXPO NEW MEXICO DOESN'T... ROOM TO GROW. AND AS FOR THE ARGUMENT THAT MORIARTY IS TOO FAR OUT OF THE WAY... THE TOWN'S MAYOR SAYS DON'T BET AGAINST HIS COMMUNITY. : 'There's 666,000 people in about a 50 mile radius. I've got possibly 20 or 30,000 cars that go through Moriarty everyday. Like they say, if you build it, they'll come.': 'It's only 30 miles from the Big-I on I-40. It's a 25 minute drive. Valet parking, beautiful facility. They will come.' DOWNS MANAGEMENT SAYS -- IF ALL GOES AS PLANNED -- THE CASINO WILL OPEN IN EARLY 2010 WITH THE RACES STARTING LATER THAT SUMMER. REPORTING LIVE FROM EXPO NEW MEXICO ..., SHELTON DODSON, EYEWITNESS NEWS FOUR. NOT EVERYONE IS HAPPY ABOUT THE MOVE ....AND NOT EVERYONE THINKS IT WILL BE A SUCCESS. A FEW PEOPLE WE TALKED TO TODAY SAY THEY'LL MAKE THE DRIVE ....BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BET ON THE HORSES. BUT CUSTOMERS WHO PLAY THE SLOTS SAY DON'T BET ON THEIR BUSINESS. i think it's awful. I think it's just awful. I don't want to drive to moriarty. I don't think I will. I'd rather drive to sandia. SOME ADDED THEY WOULD TAKE A SHUTTLE IF IT WERE AVAILABLE ....BUT MOST SAY THEY'LL GO SOMEWHERE

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