Bingo in New Mexico

May 5th, 2017 by Isabel Leave a reply »

New Mexico has a rocky gaming past. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by the House in 1989, it looked like New Mexico might be one of the states to cash in on the Indian casino bandwagon. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King announced a task force in Nineteen Ninety to discuss an accord with New Mexico Indian bands. When the panel arrived at an accord with 2 big local bands a year later, Governor King declined to sign the agreement. He would hold up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took office in 1995, it appeared that Native gaming in New Mexico was a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson passed the compact with the Native bands, anti-gambling forces were able to hold the accord up in the courts. A New Mexico court ruled that the Governor had overstepped his bounds in signing a deal, thereby costing the government of New Mexico many 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 ball rolling on a full compact amongst the State of New Mexico and its Indian tribes. A decade had been lost for gambling in New Mexico, which includes Amerindian casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo industry has grown since 1999. In that year, New Mexico charity game providers brought in just $3,048. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo revenues have increased steadily since that time. Two Thousand and Five witnessed the greatest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the owners.

Bingo is apparently beloved in New Mexico. All types of operators look for a slice of the action. Hopefully, the politicos are done batting over gaming as a key issue like they did in the 90’s. That’s probably hopeful thinking.

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