New Mexico Bingo

by Brennen on October 22nd, 2015

New Mexico has a complex gaming history. When the IGRA was passed by Congress in 1989, it seemed like New Mexico might be one of the states to cash in on the Indian casino bandwagon. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King announced a working group in 1990 to discuss an accord with New Mexico American Indian tribes. When the working group came to an accord with two big local bands a year later, Governor King refused to sign the agreement. He would hold up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took over in 1995, it seemed that Native betting in New Mexico was a certainty. But when the new Governor signed the contract with the Amerindian tribes, anti-gambling groups were able to tie the deal up in the courts. A New Mexico court ruled that Governor Johnson had overstepped his bounds in signing the deal, thereby denying the state of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It required the CNA, signed by the New Mexico government, to get the ball rolling on a full contract between the Government of New Mexico and its Indian bands. Ten years had been squandered for gambling in New Mexico, which includes Native casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo business has increased from 1999. In that year, New Mexico non-profit game providers brought in only $3,048 in revenues. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed a million dollars in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo earnings have grown steadily since then. 2005 saw the largest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the owners.

Bingo is certainly beloved in New Mexico. All sorts of owners try for a slice of the action. With hope, the politicians are through batting over gaming as a hot button issue like they did back in the 90’s. That is probably hopeful thinking.

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