Bingo in New Mexico

New Mexico has a stormy gambling background. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was signed by Congress in 1989, it looked like New Mexico might be one of the states to cash in on the Amerindian casino craze. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a working group in 1990 to discuss an accord with New Mexico Indian bands. When the task force came to an accord with 2 big local tribes a year later, Governor King refused to sign the agreement. He would hold up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took over in Nineteen Ninety Five, it seemed that Amerindian wagering in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when the new Governor signed the contract with the Amerindian tribes, anti-gaming groups were able to tie the deal up in courts. A New Mexico court found that the Governor had out stepped his bounds in signing the compact, therefore denying the state of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees 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 State of New Mexico and its American Indian tribes. A decade had been lost for gambling in New Mexico, including Native casino Bingo.

The not for profit Bingo industry has gotten bigger since 1999. That year, New Mexico charity game operators brought in only $3,048. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded one million dollars in 2001. Not for profit Bingo revenues have grown constantly since that time. Two Thousand and Five witnessed the largest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the owners.

Bingo is clearly beloved in New Mexico. All sorts of owners try for a piece of the pie. Hopefully, the politicos are done batting around gaming as a key matter like they did in the 1990’s. That’s most likely wishful thinking.

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