New Mexico Bingo

New Mexico has a rocky gaming past. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by the House in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it seemed like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the Indian casino craze. Politics assured that would not be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a working group in 1990 to create a contract with New Mexico Amerindian bands. When the working group arrived at an agreement with 2 big local tribes a year later, Governor King declined to sign the agreement. He would hold up a deal until 1994.

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

It took the CNA, passed by the New Mexico government, to get the ball rolling on a full accord between the Government of New Mexico and its Native bands. A decade had been squandered for gaming in New Mexico, including Amerindian casino Bingo.

The not for profit Bingo business has grown since Nineteen Ninety-Nine. In that year, New Mexico charity game owners acquired just $3,048 in revenues. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded a million dollars in revenues in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo earnings have increased steadily since then. 2005 saw the biggest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the owners.

Bingo is clearly popular in New Mexico. All kinds of owners look for a slice of the action. Hopefully, the politicians are through batting around gambling as a key issue like they did in the 1990’s. That is most likely wishful thinking.

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