Bingo in New Mexico

New Mexico has a complex gambling history. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was signed by Congress in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it looked like New Mexico might be one of the states to get on the Amerindian casino bandwagon. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King announced a task force in Nineteen Ninety to create a compact with New Mexico Native bands. When the working group came to an accord with two prominent local bands a year later, Governor King declined to sign the bargain. He held up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took office in 1995, it seemed that Amerindian gaming in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when the new Governor signed the accord with the American Indian bands, anti-gaming groups were able to tie the contract up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that Governor Johnson had overstepped his bounds in signing the accord, thus denying the government of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It took the CNA, passed by the New Mexico house, to get the ball rolling on a full contract between the Government of New Mexico and its Indian bands. A decade had been lost for gaming in New Mexico, which includes Amerindian casino Bingo.

The not for profit Bingo industry has increased from Nineteen Ninety-Nine. That year, New Mexico charity game operators acquired only $3,048. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Not for profit Bingo revenues have increased steadily since then. Two Thousand and Five saw the biggest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the owners.

Bingo is certainly favored in New Mexico. All types of operators look for a slice of the pie. Hopefully, the politicos are done batting around gambling as an important matter like they did back in the 90’s. That’s most likely hopeful thinking.

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