Archive for July, 2008

New Mexico Bingo

by Sierra on Saturday, July 19th, 2008

New Mexico has a bitter gaming background. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was signed by the House in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it seemed like New Mexico might be one of the states to cash in on the Indian casino bandwagon. Politics assured that would not be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King announced a task force in 1990 to negotiate a compact with New Mexico Indian bands. When the working group came to an agreement with 2 prominent local tribes a year later, Governor King declined to sign the agreement. He held up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took over in Nineteen Ninety Five, it seemed that American Indian betting in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when the new Governor passed the compact with the Indian tribes, anti-gaming groups were able to hold the deal up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that Governor Johnson had out stepped his bounds in signing the accord, therefore denying the state of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It required the CNA, passed by the New Mexico government, to get the ball rolling on a full compact amongst the Government of New Mexico and its Indian tribes. A decade had been burned for gambling in New Mexico, which includes Amerindian casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo business has gotten bigger since 1999. In that year, New Mexico not for profit game owners acquired only $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded one million dollars in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo revenues have increased constantly since then. Two Thousand and Five saw the greatest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the operators.

Bingo is categorically favored in New Mexico. All sorts of providers try for a slice of the pie. Hopefully, the politicians are through batting over gambling as an important issue like they did back in the 90’s. That is most likely hopeful thinking.