CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — Supporters of an effort to bring New Mexico's sixth license for a horse racetrack and casino to Clovis say such a business venture would result in jobs and boost the quality of life in the community.

Representatives of Vision 2020, one of the groups promoting Clovis as the optimal site for the state's next "racino," made their pitch to the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce this week, The Eastern New Mexico News reports.

The groups are looking at sites on the city's east side and all are estimating similar workforce needs — up to 450 jobs during racing season and as many as 750 jobs during construction.

There's also interest in taking the license to Tucumcari, Raton, Deming or Las Cruces.

Interested parties have until July 30 to apply to the state Racing Commission for a license. The proposed racino also would require a license from the state Gaming Control Board.

"The horse industry is a three-quarter-of-a-billion-dollar industry in our state, and with Clovis' rich horse culture and our horse industry, I think it just works hand-in-hand," said Gayla Brumfield, a representative of the Vision 2020 committee.

During the meeting, Clovis resident Jack Muse questioned the need and the economic benefits that would come from the project.

Vision 2020 representatives acknowledged some potential downsides but argued law enforcement in other communities with tracks and casinos have not seen an increase in crime as a result of the operations.

"We feel like the upside is better than the downside, and that's what we are promoting," said Tom Martin of Vision 2020.

Slot machines were first introduced to racetracks nearly 20 years ago in hopes of boosting attendance and wagering in the horse-racing industry.

Under the state's compacts with casino-operating tribes, only six racinos are allowed in New Mexico. The five existing racinos are in Hobbs, Farmington, Albuquerque, Sunland Park and Ruidoso.

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Information from: The Eastern New Mexico News, http://www.easternnewmexiconews.com