New Mexico Bingo

by Sierra on December 11th, 2017

New Mexico has a complex gambling history. When the IGRA was passed by Congress in 1989, it seemed like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the Amerindian casino craze. Politics assured that would not be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a panel in 1990 to discuss an accord with New Mexico American Indian tribes. When the task force arrived at an agreement with 2 important local bands 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 seemed that Amerindian gambling in New Mexico was a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the contract with the Indian bands, anti-gaming forces were able to tie the deal up in the courts. A New Mexico court ruled that Governor Johnson had out stepped his bounds in signing the deal, therefore denying the government of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It took the Compact Negotiation Act, signed by the New Mexico legislature, to get the process moving on a full accord between the Government of New Mexico and its Amerindian tribes. 10 years had been squandered for gaming in New Mexico, which includes Amerindian casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo industry has gotten bigger from 1999. In that year, New Mexico not for profit game operators acquired only $3,048 in revenues. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded a million dollars in revenues in 2001. Not for profit Bingo revenues have increased constantly since then. Two Thousand and Five saw the largest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the providers.

Bingo is categorically beloved in New Mexico. All sorts of operators look for a slice of the pie. Hopefully, the politicians are done batting over gambling as a hot button matter like they did in the 1990’s. That is most likely hopeful thinking.

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