Bingo in New Mexico

February 8th, 2020 by Isabel Leave a reply »

New Mexico has a bitter gaming past. When the IGRA was passed by Congress in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it seemed like New Mexico might be one of the states to cash in on the American Indian casino craze. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a panel in Nineteen Ninety to negotiate a compact with New Mexico Amerindian bands. When the task force came to an accord with two big local tribes a year later, Governor King declined to sign the agreement. He would hold up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took office in 1995, it appeared that Native gambling in New Mexico was a certainty. But when the new Governor signed the accord with the Indian tribes, anti-gaming forces were able to tie the accord up in courts. A New Mexico court found that Governor Johnson had out stepped his bounds in signing the compact, thus costing the government of New Mexico many hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It required the CNA, signed by the New Mexico house, to get the ball rolling on a full compact between the Government of New Mexico and its Indian tribes. A decade had been burned for gaming in New Mexico, including Native casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo industry has gotten bigger since Nineteen Ninety-Nine. That year, New Mexico charity game providers brought in only $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and passed one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Not for profit Bingo earnings have increased steadily since that time. 2005 saw the biggest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the operators.

Bingo is categorically favored in New Mexico. All kinds of providers look for a bit of the action. With hope, the politicos are done batting around gambling as an important factor like they did back in the 90’s. That’s probably wishful thinking.

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