New Mexico Bingo

New Mexico has a stormy gaming background. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by Congress in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it looked like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the Amerindian casino craze. Politics assured that would not be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a working group in 1990 to negotiate an accord with New Mexico Indian bands. When the working group came to an accord with 2 prominent local bands a year later, the Governor refused to sign the agreement. He would hold up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took office in Nineteen Ninety Five, it seemed that American Indian betting in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when the new Governor signed the accord with the American Indian bands, anti-wagering forces were able to hold the accord up in the courts. A New Mexico court ruled that the Governor had out stepped his bounds in signing the compact, thereby costing the government 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 house, to get the process moving on a full compact amongst the State of New Mexico and its Indian bands. A decade had been squandered for gaming in New Mexico, which includes Native casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo industry has gotten bigger from 1999. That year, New Mexico non-profit game operators brought in only $3,048. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded a million dollars in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo earnings have grown constantly since that time. Two Thousand and Five saw the largest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the operators.

Bingo is apparently favored in New Mexico. All kinds of operators try for a bit of the action. Hopefully, the politicians are done batting over gambling as an important factor like they did back in the 90’s. That is most likely hopeful thinking.

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