Bingo in New Mexico

New Mexico has a complex gambling history. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by Congress in 1989, it seemed like New Mexico would be one of the states to cash in on the Native casino craze. Politics assured that wouldn’t be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a panel in 1990 to negotiate a compact with New Mexico Native tribes. When the working group arrived at an accord with 2 prominent local bands a year later, Governor King declined to sign the bargain. He would hold up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took office in Nineteen Ninety Five, it seemed that American Indian gaming in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the accord with the Amerindian tribes, anti-wagering forces were able to hold the deal up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that the Governor had overstepped his bounds in signing a deal, thus costing the government of New Mexico many hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It required the CNA, passed by the New Mexico house, to get the process moving on a full compact amongst the Government of New Mexico and its American Indian tribes. Ten years had been burned for gambling in New Mexico, which includes Amerindian casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo business has increased from Nineteen Ninety-Nine. That year, New Mexico charity game owners brought in only $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed a million dollars in revenues in 2001. Non-profit Bingo revenues have grown steadily since then. 2005 witnessed the biggest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the operators.

Bingo is categorically beloved in New Mexico. All sorts of owners look for a piece of the action. With hope, the politicians are through batting over gambling as an important issue like they did in the 90’s. That’s most likely wishful thinking.

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