New Mexico Bingo

Tuesday, 18. August 2020

New Mexico has a complex gaming history. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by Congress in 1989, it seemed like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the American Indian casino bandwagon. Politics guaranteed that would not be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King announced a task force in 1990 to discuss an accord with New Mexico Indian bands. When the panel came to an accord with 2 big local bands a year later, the Governor declined to sign the agreement. He held up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took over in 1995, it seemed that Indian gaming in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when the new Governor passed the contract with the Amerindian bands, anti-gambling groups were able to tie the deal up in the courts. A New Mexico court ruled that Governor Johnson had overstepped his bounds in signing the compact, therefore denying the government of New Mexico many hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It took the Compact Negotiation Act, signed by the New Mexico legislature, to get the process moving on a full contract between the State of New Mexico and its Native tribes. Ten years had been squandered for gambling in New Mexico, including Amerindian casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo business has grown since 1999. That year, New Mexico not for profit game owners acquired only $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Not for profit Bingo revenues have increased steadily since then. Two Thousand and Five saw the biggest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the owners.

Bingo is apparently popular in New Mexico. All types of providers look for a piece of the action. With hope, the politicians are done batting over gambling as a hot button matter like they did back in the 90’s. That’s most likely hopeful thinking.

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