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Bingo in New Mexico

New Mexico has a rocky gaming past. When the IGRA was signed by Congress in 1989, it looked like New Mexico would be one of the states to cash in on the Indian casino bandwagon. Politics guaranteed that would not be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King announced a working group in Nineteen Ninety to create a compact with New Mexico Indian tribes. When the working group arrived at an agreement with two important local bands a year later, the Governor refused to sign the bargain. He would hold up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

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

It required the CNA, passed by the New Mexico government, to get the process moving on a full compact between the Government of New Mexico and its American Indian bands. 10 years had been burned for gaming in New Mexico, which includes Native casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo industry has gotten bigger since 1999. In that year, New Mexico non-profit game owners brought in only $3,048 in revenues. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo revenues have grown constantly since then. 2005 witnessed the greatest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the operators.

Bingo is apparently beloved in New Mexico. All types of providers try for a bit of the action. Hopefully, the politicos are through batting over gaming as an important issue like they did back in the 90’s. That is without doubt wishful thinking.

Posted in Casino.


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