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In recent months several states have addressed ATM access at casinos. The state wanted to move ATM machines outside and away from casinos, so that players did not have easy access to cash.
In New Mexico, they have a different idea. Lawmakers want to make it as easy as possible for gamblers to stay in the casino. That may involve passing a Bill that would allow ATM machines in the same rooms where gambling is taking place.
“It is a matter of convenience, and convenience for handicapped patrons,’ said the Bill’s sponsor, Richard Martinez. While he cites convenience as one of his reasons for the Bill, it is clear the law would be to help casinos at tracks compete with Indian tribe casinos in the state.
Tribal casinos have ATM machines right in the lobby of their casinos. This allows players to simply walk a couple of steps and receive more money. The Bill has a lot of support and appears headed towards being passed.
That is worrying opponents who believe that the ATM machines would lead to more problem gamblers. This is an issue that has been debated in several states and studies have been done on the effects an ATM on a casino floor has on gamblers.
“To say that this is convenience is ridiculous. The truth is, if people don’t have to leave, then they spend more money and the state makes more money. It is about generating more revenue, not convenience,” said observer Mickey Brullete.