Bingo in New Mexico

by Sierra on March 25th, 2016

New Mexico has a complex gaming history. When the IGRA was passed by the House in 1989, it looked like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the Amerindian casino craze. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a task force in Nineteen Ninety to discuss a compact with New Mexico American Indian bands. When the panel came to an accord with 2 prominent local bands a year later, the Governor refused to sign the agreement. He would hold up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took over in 1995, it appeared that Indian betting in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the contract with the Indian tribes, anti-gambling forces were able to tie the contract up in courts. A New Mexico court found that Governor Johnson had out stepped his bounds in signing the compact, thereby costing the government of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It required the CNA, signed by the New Mexico legislature, to get the process moving on a full contract amongst the State of New Mexico and its Amerindian bands. A decade had been squandered for gambling in New Mexico, including Native casino Bingo.

The not for profit Bingo business has gotten bigger since 1999. In that year, New Mexico not for profit game operators acquired only $3,048. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Non-profit Bingo revenues have increased steadily since that time. 2005 saw the largest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the providers.

Bingo is clearly favored in New Mexico. All types of owners look for a bit of the action. With hope, the politicos are done batting around gambling as a key factor like they did in the 1990’s. That’s probably wishful thinking.

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