Bingo in New Mexico

by Brennen on December 11th, 2015

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

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a panel in Nineteen Ninety to draft an accord with New Mexico American Indian bands. When the task force arrived at an accord with two important local bands a year later, the Governor refused to sign the bargain. He would hold up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took over in Nineteen Ninety Five, it appeared that Amerindian wagering in New Mexico was a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the compact with the Indian tribes, anti-gambling forces were able to tie the contract 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 hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It required the CNA, passed by the New Mexico legislature, to get the process moving on a full contract between the Government of New Mexico and its Amerindian tribes. A decade had been squandered for gambling in New Mexico, which includes Indian casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo business has grown since 1999. In that year, New Mexico not for profit game operators acquired just $3,048 in revenues. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded a million dollars in revenues in 2001. Not for profit Bingo revenues have increased steadily since that time. Two Thousand and Five witnessed the largest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the providers.

Bingo is certainly favored in New Mexico. All sorts of owners look for a bit of the action. Hopefully, the politicos are through batting over gaming as an important matter like they did in the 90’s. That is probably wishful thinking.

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