Bingo in New Mexico

New Mexico has a stormy gaming history. When the IGRA was signed by Congress in 1989, it seemed like New Mexico would be one of the states to cash in on the Amerindian casino bandwagon. Politics guaranteed that would not be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a task force in 1990 to create an accord with New Mexico Native bands. When the task force came to an agreement with two important local tribes a year later, Governor King refused to sign the agreement. He would hold up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took over in 1995, it appeared that Indian gaming in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the contract with the Indian bands, anti-gaming groups were able to tie the deal up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that the Governor had out stepped his bounds in signing the accord, therefore costing the government of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It required the CNA, passed by the New Mexico legislature, to get the process moving on a full accord amongst the Government of New Mexico and its Native tribes. 10 years had been squandered for gambling in New Mexico, including Indian casino Bingo.

The not for profit Bingo business has increased from 1999. That year, New Mexico not for profit game operators brought in just $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and passed a million dollars in 2001. Not for profit Bingo earnings have grown steadily since then. 2005 saw the largest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the providers.

Bingo is clearly popular in New Mexico. All sorts of operators look for a slice of the pie. With hope, the politicos are done batting around gaming as a key issue like they did back in the 1990’s. That is most likely hopeful thinking.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.