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New Mexico Bingo

New Mexico has a bitter gaming background. 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 American Indian casino bandwagon. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King announced a task force in Nineteen Ninety to discuss a contract with New Mexico American Indian bands. When the task force arrived at an accord with two important local bands a year later, the Governor declined to sign the bargain. He held up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took over in Nineteen Ninety Five, it appeared that American Indian wagering in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when the new Governor signed the compact with the American Indian tribes, anti-gaming groups were able to tie the deal up in the courts. A New Mexico court ruled that Governor Johnson had out stepped his bounds in signing the deal, thereby denying the state 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 legislature, to get the ball rolling on a full accord amongst the State of New Mexico and its American Indian bands. A decade had been burned for gaming in New Mexico, including Native casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo business has grown since 1999. That year, New Mexico not for profit game operators acquired only $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Not for profit Bingo earnings have increased constantly since then. Two Thousand and Five witnessed the largest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the providers.

Bingo is clearly favored in New Mexico. All types of providers look for a slice of the action. With hope, the politicos are done batting around gaming as a key factor like they did back in the 1990’s. That is probably wishful thinking.

Posted in Bingo.


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