New Mexico Bingo

New Mexico has a stormy gambling past. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by Congress in 1989, it looked like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the Indian casino craze. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a working group in Nineteen Ninety to draft an accord with New Mexico Indian bands. When the working group arrived at an accord with two big local bands a year later, Governor King refused to sign the bargain. He would hold up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took office in 1995, it appeared that Amerindian gambling in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when the new Governor signed the contract with the American Indian bands, anti-gaming forces 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 state of New Mexico many hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It took the Compact Negotiation Act, passed by the New Mexico house, to get the ball rolling on a full compact between the State of New Mexico and its American Indian bands. Ten years had been squandered for gambling in New Mexico, which includes Indian casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo business has grown since 1999. That year, New Mexico charity game owners brought in only $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and passed one million dollars in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo earnings have increased constantly since that time. Two Thousand and Five saw the greatest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the operators.

Bingo is clearly favored in New Mexico. All kinds of providers try for a bit of the pie. Hopefully, the politicians are through batting around gaming as a key matter like they did in the 1990’s. That’s without doubt wishful thinking.

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