Bingo in New Mexico

Thursday, 12. November 2009

New Mexico has a complex gaming history. When the IGRA was passed by Congress in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it seemed like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the Native casino craze. Politics assured that would not be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a panel in 1990 to discuss an accord with New Mexico Amerindian tribes. When the panel 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 office in 1995, it seemed that Indian wagering in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the contract with the Amerindian tribes, anti-gambling forces were able to hold the accord up in courts. A New Mexico court found that Governor Johnson had overstepped his bounds in signing a deal, thus 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, passed by the New Mexico house, to get the process moving on a full accord amongst the State of New Mexico and its Native bands. A decade had been burned for gaming in New Mexico, including Indian casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo business has increased since Nineteen Ninety-Nine. In that year, New Mexico non-profit game owners brought in only $3,048 in revenues. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed one million dollars in 2001. Not for profit Bingo revenues have grown steadily since that time. 2005 saw the biggest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the owners.

Bingo is clearly beloved in New Mexico. All types of owners try for a piece of the pie. With hope, the politicians are done batting around gaming as a key factor like they did in the 90’s. That is most likely wishful thinking.

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