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Scott bids for N.M. track

Apr 23, 2002 2:03 AM

While one Las Vegas gaming executive continues to pursue a license for a new "racino" in New Mexico, another has bowed out of the bidding.

Anchor Gaming founder Stan Fulton, now owner of Sunland Park in eastern New Mexico withdrew his application for a track east of Hobbs, N.M., while Shawn Scott told regulators he was prepared to build "Lea Downs" that would accommodate both live horse racing and 300 slot machines.

Two other bidders also seek the one and only license to be offered by the state of New Mexico. They were R.D. Hubbard and his partner, Bruce Rimbo, operators of Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico, and Ken Newton, former owner of Santa Fe Downs. Hubbard was chairman of Hollywood Park Inc. (HPK), which he converted into a gaming company, called Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. (PNK) after selling off the company’s horse tracks.

Scott bought little Delta Downs in Vinton, La., three years ago for $10 million and successfully convinced the area voters to approve the installation of slots at the track. He then sold the facility to Boyd Gaming Corp. (BYD) for $130 million.

He recently loaned Vernon Downs in upstate New York harness track $8.5 million in hopes of taking over the operation of the facility that will soon be given the opportunity of installing slot machines under a new state law. Last week, New York racing regulators granted Vernon Downs a 90-day probationary operating license so that it may open on May 3. However, they said Scott must submit to a licensing investigation and must not participate in the management of the track until such a license is granted.