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New Mexico Bingo

New Mexico has a bitter gambling background. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by Congress in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it looked like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the American Indian casino bandwagon. Politics guaranteed that would not be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a task force in Nineteen Ninety to negotiate a compact with New Mexico American Indian tribes. When the task force came to an accord with 2 prominent local tribes a year later, Governor King declined to sign the bargain. He would hold up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took office in 1995, it appeared that Indian gaming in New Mexico was a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the compact with the Indian bands, anti-gaming forces were able to tie the contract up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that the Governor had overstepped his bounds in signing a deal, therefore costing the state of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It took the Compact Negotiation Act, signed by the New Mexico legislature, to get the process moving on a full contract between the State of New Mexico and its Indian tribes. Ten years had been burned for gambling in New Mexico, including Native casino Bingo.

The not for profit Bingo business has increased from 1999. That year, New Mexico not for profit game owners acquired just $3,048. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and passed one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo earnings have grown steadily since that time. Two Thousand and Five witnessed the largest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the owners.

Bingo is apparently beloved in New Mexico. All types of owners try for a piece of the pie. Hopefully, the politicians are done batting over gaming as a key issue like they did in the 1990’s. That is probably hopeful thinking.

Posted in Bingo.


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