SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Legislators are looking to help ensure the New Mexico racinos industry has financial support. Senate Bill 336, sponsored by Sen. Michael Padilla (D-Abq.) seeks to ensure that horse jockeys and exercise riders have proper insurance against injuries. The bill would also help racinos comply with new federal law regarding safety, according to an analysis.

“We had a problem we needed to solve here in the horse racing industry,” Padilla explained on the Senate floor Monday, March 13. “We brought the breeders, the horsemen, and the racetracks together to determine that we need our [federal Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act] insurance funded through the gaming tax.”

Compliance with the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act costs New Mexico’s racing industry $1.6 million, according to the Legislative Finance Committee. Senate Bill 336 would let racinos pay slightly less towards the state’s gaming tax and instead use that money to pay for compliance.

The bill passed the New Mexico Senate on Monday. Now, the bill heads to the House for more debate.