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Bingo in New Mexico

New Mexico has a complex gaming history. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by the House in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it seemed like New Mexico might be one of the states to get on the Native casino bandwagon. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a panel in Nineteen Ninety to create an accord with New Mexico Amerindian tribes. When the working group came to an accord with 2 important local tribes a year later, the Governor refused to sign the bargain. He held up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took over in 1995, it seemed that Indian wagering in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson passed the contract with the Native bands, anti-wagering forces were able to hold the deal up in the courts. A New Mexico court ruled that Governor Johnson had out stepped his bounds in signing a deal, thus costing the government of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It took the Compact Negotiation Act, signed by the New Mexico house, to get the ball rolling on a full compact amongst the Government of New Mexico and its Amerindian tribes. A decade had been burned for gaming in New Mexico, which includes American Indian casino Bingo.

The not for profit Bingo business has gotten bigger from 1999. In that year, New Mexico non-profit game providers brought in only $3,048 in revenues. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and passed one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo earnings have grown constantly since that time. 2005 saw the greatest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the providers.

Bingo is apparently popular in New Mexico. All sorts of owners try for a slice of the action. Hopefully, the politicos are through batting around gaming as a key matter like they did back in the 1990’s. That is most likely hopeful thinking.

Posted in Bingo.


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