Bingo in New Mexico

July 13th, 2022 by Isabel Leave a reply »

New Mexico has a rocky gaming history. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was signed by Congress in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it seemed like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the Native casino bandwagon. Politics assured that wouldn’t be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a panel in Nineteen Ninety to draft a compact with New Mexico Native bands. When the panel arrived at an agreement with 2 prominent local bands a year later, Governor King refused to sign the bargain. He would hold up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took office in Nineteen Ninety Five, it appeared that American Indian betting in New Mexico was a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson passed the compact with the Native tribes, 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 the compact, therefore costing the state of New Mexico many hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It required the Compact Negotiation Act, signed by the New Mexico house, to get the process moving on a full accord between the Government of New Mexico and its American Indian tribes. Ten years had been squandered for gambling in New Mexico, including Indian casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo business has gotten bigger since Nineteen Ninety-Nine. That year, New Mexico not for profit game providers acquired only $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and passed a million dollars in revenues in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo revenues have grown steadily since that time. 2005 saw the biggest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the owners.

Bingo is certainly beloved in New Mexico. All sorts of owners look for a piece of the pie. With hope, the politicos are through batting around gaming as a key issue like they did in the 90’s. That is most likely wishful thinking.

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