New Mexico Bingo

New Mexico has a complex gaming background. When the IGRA was signed by the House in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it looked like New Mexico would be one of the states to cash in on the Native casino bandwagon. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a panel in 1990 to discuss a contract with New Mexico Indian bands. When the task force came to an accord with 2 important 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 office in 1995, it seemed that Indian gaming in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the compact with the American Indian bands, anti-wagering forces were able to tie the contract up in the courts. A New Mexico court ruled that Governor Johnson had overstepped his bounds in signing the accord, thereby costing the government of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It required the Compact Negotiation Act, signed by the New Mexico legislature, to get the process moving on a full accord amongst the Government of New Mexico and its American Indian tribes. 10 years had been squandered for gaming in New Mexico, including American Indian casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo industry has gotten bigger since Nineteen Ninety-Nine. That year, New Mexico non-profit game operators brought in only $3,048 in revenues. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo earnings have increased constantly since then. Two Thousand and Five saw the largest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the operators.

Bingo is certainly favored in New Mexico. All sorts of owners look for a piece of the action. Hopefully, the politicians are through batting over gaming as a key factor like they did back in the 1990’s. That’s most likely wishful thinking.

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