New Mexico Bingo

New Mexico has a bitter gambling past. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by the House in 1989, it seemed like New Mexico might be one of the states to get on the American Indian casino craze. Politics assured that would not be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a task force in 1990 to negotiate an accord with New Mexico Amerindian tribes. When the panel arrived at an accord with 2 big local tribes a year later, Governor King refused to sign the agreement. He would hold up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took over in Nineteen Ninety Five, it seemed that American Indian gaming in New Mexico was a certainty. But when the new Governor signed the compact with the American Indian tribes, anti-gambling forces were able to hold the accord up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that the Governor had out stepped his bounds in signing the accord, thereby costing 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 process moving on a full accord between the State of New Mexico and its Indian tribes. Ten years had been lost for gambling in New Mexico, including Native casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo industry has grown from 1999. In that year, New Mexico not for profit game owners brought in just $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Non-profit Bingo earnings have increased steadily since then. 2005 witnessed the biggest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the operators.

Bingo is certainly popular in New Mexico. All types of operators look for a piece of the action. With hope, the politicos are through batting over gaming as a key matter like they did in the 90’s. That is most likely wishful thinking.

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