Bingo in New Mexico

New Mexico has a bitter gaming past. When the IGRA was signed by Congress in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it seemed like New Mexico might be one of the states to get on the Amerindian casino bandwagon. Politics assured that wouldn’t be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King announced a working group in 1990 to discuss a compact with New Mexico Native bands. When the panel came to an agreement with 2 prominent local tribes a year later, Governor King declined to sign the agreement. He would hold up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took office in Nineteen Ninety Five, it seemed that American Indian betting in New Mexico was a certainty. But when the new Governor signed the accord with the Native tribes, anti-gambling forces were able to hold the deal up in courts. A New Mexico court ruled that Governor Johnson had overstepped his bounds in signing the deal, thus costing the state of New Mexico many hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It required the CNA, passed by the New Mexico house, to get the process moving on a full contract amongst the Government of New Mexico and its Amerindian tribes. Ten years had been lost for gaming in New Mexico, including Amerindian casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo industry has grown from Nineteen Ninety-Nine. In that year, New Mexico non-profit game providers brought in only $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed one million dollars in 2001. Non-profit Bingo revenues have grown constantly since that time. 2005 saw the greatest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the operators.

Bingo is categorically popular in New Mexico. All sorts of operators look for a bit of the action. Hopefully, the politicos are done batting over gaming as a key matter like they did back in the 90’s. That is without doubt hopeful thinking.


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