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New Mexico Bingo

New Mexico has a complex gaming past. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by the House in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it looked like New Mexico would be one of the states to cash in on the Indian casino bandwagon. Politics assured that wouldn’t be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a panel in Nineteen Ninety to create an accord with New Mexico American Indian tribes. When the task force came to an agreement with two 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 appeared that Indian gambling in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the contract with the American Indian tribes, anti-wagering forces were able to tie the contract up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that Governor Johnson had out stepped his bounds in signing the deal, thereby denying the government of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It required the CNA, signed by the New Mexico government, to get the process moving on a full compact amongst the State of New Mexico and its Indian tribes. A decade had been lost for gambling in New Mexico, including Native casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo industry has increased since 1999. That year, New Mexico not for profit game operators brought in only $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed one million dollars in 2001. Not for profit Bingo revenues have grown constantly since that time. 2005 saw the greatest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the owners.

Bingo is categorically popular in New Mexico. All types of owners look for a piece of the action. With hope, the politicians are through batting around gambling as an important factor like they did back in the 1990’s. That’s probably wishful thinking.

Posted in Bingo.


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