New Mexico Bingo

by Brennen on November 14th, 2009

New Mexico has a complex gaming background. When the IGRA was passed by the House in 1989, it looked like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the Native casino craze. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a panel in 1990 to create a compact with New Mexico American Indian bands. When the panel arrived at an accord with 2 important local tribes a year later, Governor King refused to sign the agreement. He held up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took office in 1995, it appeared that American Indian gambling in New Mexico was a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the contract with the Indian tribes, anti-wagering groups were able to tie the deal up in courts. A New Mexico court ruled that Governor Johnson had overstepped his bounds in signing a deal, therefore costing the state of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It required the Compact Negotiation Act, passed by the New Mexico government, to get the process moving on a full accord amongst the Government of New Mexico and its American Indian bands. 10 years had been lost for gambling in New Mexico, which includes Indian casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo industry has grown from 1999. In that year, New Mexico non-profit game providers acquired only $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and passed a million dollars in revenues in 2001. Non-profit Bingo revenues have grown steadily since that time. 2005 saw the greatest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the owners.

Bingo is apparently favored in New Mexico. All sorts of owners try for a slice of the action. With hope, the politicians are done batting around gambling as an important matter like they did back in the 1990’s. That’s probably hopeful thinking.

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