New Mexico Bingo

New Mexico has a bitter gaming past. When the IGRA was signed by the House in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it looked like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the American Indian casino craze. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a working group in 1990 to draft a compact with New Mexico American Indian tribes. When the panel came to an agreement with 2 prominent local tribes a year later, Governor King refused to sign the agreement. He would hold up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took over in 1995, it appeared that American Indian gaming in New Mexico was a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson passed the accord with the Amerindian tribes, anti-gambling groups were able to hold the accord up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that Governor Johnson had overstepped his bounds in signing the accord, thus costing the state of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It took the CNA, passed by the New Mexico legislature, to get the process moving on a full contract amongst the State of New Mexico and its Indian bands. A decade had been burned for gaming in New Mexico, which includes Native casino Bingo.

The not for profit Bingo business has increased since Nineteen Ninety-Nine. That year, New Mexico charity game operators acquired just $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded a million dollars in revenues in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo earnings have increased constantly since that time. Two Thousand and Five saw the largest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the providers.

Bingo is clearly favored in New Mexico. All sorts of owners look for a bit of the action. With hope, the politicos are done batting over gaming as an important matter like they did back in the 1990’s. That’s most likely hopeful thinking.

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