Bingo in New Mexico

by Brennen on November 15th, 2015

New Mexico has a stormy gaming background. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by Congress in 1989, it looked like New Mexico might be one of the states to cash in on the American Indian casino craze. Politics guaranteed that would not be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a working group in Nineteen Ninety to draft an accord with New Mexico Native bands. When the working group came to an accord with two big local bands a year later, Governor King declined to sign the agreement. He held up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took office in Nineteen Ninety Five, it appeared that Amerindian betting in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the compact with the American Indian bands, anti-gambling forces were able to hold the contract up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that the Governor had out stepped his bounds in signing a deal, therefore costing the government of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It took the Compact Negotiation Act, passed by the New Mexico legislature, to get the ball rolling on a full compact amongst the Government of New Mexico and its American Indian tribes. 10 years had been burned for gaming in New Mexico, including Indian casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo industry has gotten bigger from Nineteen Ninety-Nine. That year, New Mexico non-profit game owners brought in just $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded one million dollars in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo earnings have increased constantly since then. Two Thousand and Five witnessed the biggest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the providers.

Bingo is certainly beloved in New Mexico. All sorts of providers try for a bit of the pie. With hope, the politicos are done batting around gambling as a hot button matter like they did back in the 90’s. That’s most likely wishful thinking.

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