New Mexico Bingo

New Mexico has a stormy gambling background. When the IGRA was signed by the House in 1989, it looked like New Mexico might be one of the states to cash in on the Native casino craze. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a task force in Nineteen Ninety to create an accord with New Mexico Amerindian tribes. When the working group arrived at an accord with two big local bands a year later, Governor King declined to sign the bargain. He would hold up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took over in Nineteen Ninety Five, it seemed that American Indian gambling in New Mexico was a certainty. But when the new Governor passed the compact with the Native bands, anti-wagering groups were able to hold the deal up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that Governor Johnson had overstepped his bounds in signing a deal, therefore denying the government of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It required the CNA, passed by the New Mexico legislature, to get the ball rolling on a full accord amongst the State of New Mexico and its Indian tribes. A decade had been burned for gambling in New Mexico, including Native casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo business has increased from 1999. That year, New Mexico charity game operators brought in only $3,048. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and passed a million dollars in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo revenues have increased steadily since then. Two Thousand and Five saw the greatest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the operators.

Bingo is apparently favored in New Mexico. All types of providers look for a bit of the pie. Hopefully, the politicians are through batting around gambling as an important factor like they did in the 1990’s. That’s without doubt wishful thinking.