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New Mexico Bingo

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

The New Mexico governor Bruce King announced a panel in 1990 to negotiate an accord with New Mexico Native tribes. When the working group arrived at an agreement with 2 prominent local bands a year later, the Governor refused to sign the bargain. He held up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took office in 1995, it seemed that American Indian wagering in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when the new Governor passed the contract with the Amerindian tribes, anti-wagering groups were able to tie the deal up in courts. A New Mexico court found that Governor Johnson had overstepped his bounds in signing the deal, thus denying the state 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 ball rolling on a full contract between the Government of New Mexico and its Amerindian tribes. 10 years had been squandered for gaming in New Mexico, which includes Amerindian casino Bingo.

The not for profit Bingo business has increased from Nineteen Ninety-Nine. In that year, New Mexico not for profit game owners brought in only $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded a million dollars in revenues in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo revenues have grown steadily since that time. 2005 saw the greatest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the providers.

Bingo is apparently beloved in New Mexico. All kinds of operators look for a bit of the pie. Hopefully, the politicians are done batting over gaming as a hot button factor like they did back in the 90’s. That’s probably wishful thinking.

Posted in Bingo.


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