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New Mexico Bingo

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

The New Mexico governor Bruce King announced a working group in 1990 to draft a compact with New Mexico Amerindian bands. When the panel came to an accord 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 Nineteen Ninety Five, it seemed that Native wagering in New Mexico was a certainty. But when the new Governor passed the compact with the Native tribes, anti-gambling groups were able to hold the accord up in courts. A New Mexico court found that Governor Johnson had overstepped his bounds in signing a deal, thereby costing the government of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It required the CNA, signed by the New Mexico house, to get the ball rolling on a full accord amongst the Government of New Mexico and its Amerindian tribes. Ten years had been lost for gambling in New Mexico, which includes Amerindian casino Bingo.

The not for profit Bingo industry has grown since Nineteen Ninety-Nine. In that year, New Mexico not for profit game owners brought in only $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Not for profit Bingo revenues have increased constantly since that time. 2005 saw the biggest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the operators.

Bingo is clearly beloved in New Mexico. All sorts of providers look for a piece of the pie. Hopefully, the politicians are through batting around gambling as an important matter like they did back in the 90’s. That is most likely wishful thinking.

Posted in Bingo.


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