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New Mexico Bingo

New Mexico has a bitter gambling history. When the IGRA was signed by the House in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it looked like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the Native casino bandwagon. Politics assured that would not be the case.

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

When a new governor took over in 1995, it appeared that Amerindian gaming in New Mexico was a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the compact with the American Indian tribes, anti-gaming groups were able to tie the accord up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that Governor Johnson had overstepped his bounds in signing a deal, therefore denying the government of New Mexico many hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It took the CNA, signed by the New Mexico government, to get the process moving on a full contract amongst the State of New Mexico and its Native tribes. A decade had been burned for gambling in New Mexico, which includes American Indian casino Bingo.

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

Bingo is clearly beloved in New Mexico. All kinds of operators look for a slice of the pie. With hope, the politicos are through batting around gambling as a key issue like they did in the 90’s. That is without doubt wishful thinking.

Posted in Bingo.


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