Racino group makes pitch at city meeting

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August 06, 2018
The Eastern New Mexico News:

CLOVIS — A group seeking the state’s sixth and final racino license took its message to the Clovis city commission Thursday night.

Gayla Brumfield and Tom Martin of Vision 2020 spoke during the meeting’s public comment portion. No action was taken, but Brumfield said the group may come to a future meeting asking for some measure of support to bring a racetrack and casino to Clovis.

Monday was the deadline for letters of intent, with an application deadline of Aug. 18. Following the Monday deadline, there are 11 interested entities — five eyeing Raton, three for Clovis and one each touting Tucumcari, Lordsburg and Las Vegas, New Mexico.

Martin said Vision 2020 has no ties with any of the three parties interested in a Clovis racino, and is only concerned about getting the racino to Clovis.

A racino, group members said, would bring Clovis 300 permanent jobs, 150 additional jobs during the three-month racing season and 750 temporary construction jobs. The state would receive all gambling revenues, but the city would receive part of the gross receipts taxes from construction costs and any non-gambling purchases made.

Brumfield said the construction alone could provide the city about a $250,000 share from gross receipts taxes.

Martin said he spoke to the Hobbs Police Department and was told there were more police calls to Wal-Mart than to the racino.

Commissioners had done additional research on other racinos in the state. Fidel Madrid said he talked with Ruidoso’s mayor and that there weren’t any problems. Gary Elliott spoke with law enforcement in San Juan County and was told the racino almost needed a fulltime officer dedicated to the racino, and that people with gambling problems have added additional stress to local food pantries.

Brumfield thanked both for doing their own research, and implored the other commission members to do the same.