Bingo in New Mexico

New Mexico has a rocky gaming past. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was signed by the House in 1989, it looked like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the Indian casino craze. Politics assured that wouldn’t be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a panel in 1990 to discuss a contract with New Mexico Native tribes. When the task force arrived at an accord with two big local tribes a year later, the Governor declined to sign the agreement. He would hold up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took over in 1995, it appeared that Native betting in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when the new Governor signed the accord with the Amerindian tribes, anti-gambling forces were able to hold the accord up in courts. A New Mexico court found that the Governor had overstepped his bounds in signing the compact, thereby denying the state 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 legislature, to get the ball rolling on a full compact between the State of New Mexico and its Indian bands. Ten years had been squandered for gambling in New Mexico, including Amerindian casino Bingo.

The not for profit Bingo industry has gotten bigger from Nineteen Ninety-Nine. That year, New Mexico charity game operators acquired only $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and passed a million dollars in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo revenues have increased constantly since then. 2005 witnessed the largest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the providers.

Bingo is categorically popular in New Mexico. All sorts of providers look for a piece of the action. With hope, the politicos are done batting over gambling as a key factor like they did back in the 90’s. That’s most likely hopeful thinking.

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