New Mexico Bingo

New Mexico has a bitter gambling past. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was signed by the House in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it looked like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the Native casino bandwagon. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King announced a working group in 1990 to create a compact with New Mexico American Indian tribes. When the task force arrived at an accord with 2 important local bands a year later, the Governor declined to sign the bargain. He would hold up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took over in Nineteen Ninety Five, it appeared that Native gambling in New Mexico was a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the contract with the American Indian tribes, anti-wagering groups were able to hold the deal up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that the Governor had out stepped his bounds in signing the compact, thus costing the state 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 State of New Mexico and its American Indian tribes. 10 years had been squandered for gambling in New Mexico, including American Indian casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo business has grown since 1999. That year, New Mexico non-profit game providers acquired only $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed a million dollars in revenues in 2001. Not for profit Bingo earnings have grown constantly since that time. 2005 witnessed the greatest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the owners.

Bingo is certainly favored in New Mexico. All types of operators try for a piece of the action. Hopefully, the politicos are through batting around gaming as an important matter like they did in the 1990’s. That is probably hopeful thinking.

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