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New Mexico Racetrack Ready for Slots

20 April 2004

NEW MEXICO – As reported by the New Mexico Business Weekly: "Pausing in mid-sentence to watch a group of racehorses crash towards the finish line at the Downs at Albuquerque, the track's Director of Racing Don Cook, says he is ready for the next phase of track expansion -- a $3 million project that would make room for an additional 300 slot machines at the track's casino.

"With the official announcement of $5.4 million in improvements to its barn area just a few days old, Cook says the Downs is taking little time off on facility improvements, and is eyeing the casino expansion project, which will double the number of slot machines at the casino.

"…The expansion will most likely start next year after plans are finalized, Cook says. He adds that 15,000 -square-feet will be added to the existing casino space and that the casino might have to be moved from its second-floor location to the ground level. Those renovations are expected to take nine months to complete.

"Casino General Manager Craig Smith says that moving the casino to the ground level will most likely increase the flow of people to the casino.

"…Expansion costs will come from the Downs through revenues raised from pari-mutuel wagering, exporting of New Mexico racing via simulcast television, and revenues from the casino slots, Cook says…"

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