Bingo in New Mexico

by Brennen on April 26th, 2018

New Mexico has a stormy gambling background. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by Congress in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it looked like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the American Indian casino bandwagon. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a panel in 1990 to discuss a compact with New Mexico Native tribes. When the working group arrived at an accord with two big local tribes a year later, Governor King declined to sign the bargain. He would hold up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took over in 1995, it seemed that American Indian gambling in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when the new Governor signed the compact with the Amerindian tribes, anti-wagering forces were able to hold the contract up in courts. A New Mexico court found that Governor Johnson had overstepped his bounds in signing the deal, thereby denying the state of New Mexico many hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It took the Compact Negotiation Act, signed by the New Mexico house, to get the ball rolling on a full accord between the State of New Mexico and its Amerindian bands. A decade had been squandered for gaming in New Mexico, which includes Indian casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo industry has grown from Nineteen Ninety-Nine. That year, New Mexico charity game owners brought in just $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and passed a million dollars in 2001. Non-profit Bingo revenues have grown constantly since that time. 2005 witnessed the largest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the operators.

Bingo is clearly beloved in New Mexico. All sorts of providers look for a slice of the pie. With hope, the politicians are through batting around gaming as a key factor like they did in the 90’s. That’s most likely wishful thinking.

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