New Mexico Bingo

by Brennen on November 24th, 2021

New Mexico has a bitter gambling history. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was signed by the House in 1989, it looked like New Mexico would be one of the states to cash in on the American Indian casino craze. Politics guaranteed that would not be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a working group in 1990 to draft a compact with New Mexico Indian bands. When the task force came to an accord with 2 important local bands a year later, Governor King refused to sign the bargain. He would hold up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took office in 1995, it seemed that Native gaming in New Mexico was a certainty. But when the new Governor passed the contract with the American Indian tribes, anti-gambling groups were able to tie the accord up in the courts. A New Mexico court ruled that the Governor had overstepped his bounds in signing a deal, thereby denying the government of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It required the Compact Negotiation Act, signed by the New Mexico government, to get the process moving on a full accord amongst the Government of New Mexico and its Indian bands. A decade had been squandered for gambling in New Mexico, including American Indian casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo business has increased from 1999. In that year, New Mexico not for profit game operators brought in only $3,048. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed a million dollars in revenues in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo revenues have increased steadily since then. 2005 saw the biggest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the owners.

Bingo is categorically favored in New Mexico. All types of providers look for a piece of the action. With hope, the politicos are done batting over gambling as a key issue like they did back in the 90’s. That is probably hopeful thinking.

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