Bingo in New Mexico

New Mexico has a complex gambling history. When the IGRA was passed by the House in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it looked like New Mexico might be one of the states to cash in on the American Indian casino craze. Politics guaranteed that would not be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a panel in Nineteen Ninety to draft an accord with New Mexico Indian tribes. When the working group came to an agreement with 2 important local bands a year later, the Governor declined to sign the bargain. He would hold up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took office in Nineteen Ninety Five, it appeared that Native gaming in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when the new Governor signed the accord with the Amerindian tribes, anti-wagering forces were able to hold the accord up in courts. A New Mexico court ruled that the Governor had out stepped his bounds in signing the accord, therefore costing the state of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It took the CNA, signed by the New Mexico house, to get the ball rolling on a full compact between the Government of New Mexico and its Indian bands. A decade had been burned for gambling in New Mexico, including Amerindian casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo industry has increased from Nineteen Ninety-Nine. In that year, New Mexico not for profit game owners acquired only $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo revenues have increased constantly since that time. 2005 saw the largest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the providers.

Bingo is clearly popular in New Mexico. All types of operators look for a slice of the pie. With hope, the politicos are done batting around gaming as a hot button matter like they did back in the 1990’s. That’s most likely wishful thinking.

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