New Mexico Bingo

Tuesday, 10. August 2021

New Mexico has a rocky gambling past. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by Congress in 1989, it looked like New Mexico might be one of the states to get on the Indian casino bandwagon. Politics assured that wouldn’t be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a task force in 1990 to draft a contract with New Mexico Native bands. When the task force arrived at an agreement with 2 important local bands a year later, the Governor declined to sign the bargain. He would hold up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took over in Nineteen Ninety Five, it seemed that Amerindian gaming in New Mexico was a certainty. But when the new Governor passed the accord with the Indian bands, anti-gaming forces were able to tie the deal up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that Governor Johnson had overstepped his bounds in signing the accord, therefore denying the state of New Mexico many hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It took the CNA, passed by the New Mexico government, to get the ball rolling on a full compact between the State of New Mexico and its American Indian bands. 10 years had been burned for gambling in New Mexico, including Amerindian casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo business has grown from 1999. That year, New Mexico non-profit game providers acquired only $3,048. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and passed a million dollars in revenues in 2001. Not for profit Bingo earnings have increased steadily since that time. 2005 saw the greatest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the providers.

Bingo is apparently beloved in New Mexico. All types of providers look for a bit of the action. With hope, the politicos are through batting around gambling as a hot button matter like they did in the 1990’s. That’s probably wishful thinking.

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