New Mexico Bingo

New Mexico has a rocky gaming history. When the IGRA was passed by the House in 1989, it looked like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the Amerindian casino craze. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King announced a task force in 1990 to discuss a compact with New Mexico Indian bands. When the task force arrived at an agreement with two prominent local tribes a year later, the Governor refused to sign the bargain. He held up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took office in 1995, it seemed that Amerindian gambling in New Mexico was a certainty. But when the new Governor passed the contract with the Indian bands, anti-gaming 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 compact, thereby costing the government of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It required the CNA, signed by the New Mexico house, to get the process moving on a full compact amongst the State of New Mexico and its Native tribes. A decade had been lost for gambling in New Mexico, including Native casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo business has increased from 1999. In that year, New Mexico charity game providers acquired just $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and passed one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Non-profit Bingo revenues have increased steadily since that time. 2005 saw the greatest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the providers.

Bingo is clearly beloved in New Mexico. All kinds of owners try for a slice of the pie. Hopefully, the politicians are through batting around gambling as a hot button matter like they did back in the 1990’s. That’s without doubt hopeful thinking.

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