Bingo in New Mexico

by Sierra on August 7th, 2020

New Mexico has a complex gaming history. When the IGRA was signed by Congress in 1989, it seemed like New Mexico might be one of the states to cash in on the American Indian casino craze. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a working group in Nineteen Ninety to draft a compact with New Mexico Amerindian bands. When the panel arrived at an agreement with two important local bands a year later, the Governor refused to sign the bargain. He held up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took office in Nineteen Ninety Five, it seemed that American Indian wagering in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the accord with the Native tribes, anti-wagering forces were able to tie the contract up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that the Governor had overstepped his bounds in signing the accord, therefore denying the state of New Mexico many hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It required the Compact Negotiation Act, passed by the New Mexico house, to get the process moving on a full compact between the State of New Mexico and its Native tribes. Ten years had been lost for gambling in New Mexico, which includes Amerindian casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo industry has grown from Nineteen Ninety-Nine. That year, New Mexico charity game operators acquired just $3,048 in revenues. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and passed one million dollars in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo revenues have grown steadily since that time. Two Thousand and Five saw the biggest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the providers.

Bingo is categorically favored in New Mexico. All kinds of operators look for a bit of the pie. With hope, the politicos are through batting around gaming as an important factor like they did in the 90’s. That’s without doubt hopeful thinking.

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