Bingo in New Mexico

by Brennen on February 12th, 2019

New Mexico has a stormy gaming history. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by the House in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it seemed like New Mexico might be one of the states to get on the Amerindian casino bandwagon. Politics assured that wouldn’t be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King announced a panel in 1990 to draft a contract with New Mexico Indian tribes. When the task force came to an accord with two big local tribes a year later, the Governor declined to sign the bargain. He held up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took over in 1995, it appeared that Amerindian gambling in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when the new Governor signed the contract with the Native bands, anti-gambling forces were able to hold the contract up in the courts. A New Mexico court ruled that the Governor had overstepped his bounds in signing the accord, thus costing the government of New Mexico many hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It took the CNA, signed by the New Mexico house, to get the process moving on a full accord amongst the State of New Mexico and its Amerindian tribes. A decade had been squandered for gaming in New Mexico, including Indian casino Bingo.

The not for profit Bingo industry has increased from Nineteen Ninety-Nine. That year, New Mexico non-profit game providers brought in only $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and passed a million dollars in 2001. Not for profit Bingo earnings have grown steadily since then. Two Thousand and Five saw the greatest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the providers.

Bingo is apparently favored in New Mexico. All types of owners look for a bit of the pie. With hope, the politicians are done batting over gambling as a key factor like they did back in the 1990’s. That’s most likely wishful thinking.

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