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Bingo in New Mexico

New Mexico has a complex gaming past. When the IGRA was signed by the House in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it seemed like New Mexico might be one of the states to get on the Indian casino craze. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a task force in 1990 to discuss a compact with New Mexico American Indian bands. When the working group came to an accord with 2 big local tribes a year later, Governor King declined to sign the agreement. He held up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took over in 1995, it appeared that Indian gaming in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson passed the compact with the Indian bands, anti-gambling groups were able to hold the accord up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that Governor Johnson had overstepped his bounds in signing the accord, thereby costing the state of New Mexico many hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It required the Compact Negotiation Act, passed by the New Mexico government, to get the ball rolling on a full accord between the State of New Mexico and its Amerindian tribes. A decade had been burned for gaming in New Mexico, which includes Amerindian casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo business has grown from Nineteen Ninety-Nine. In that year, New Mexico charity game providers brought in just $3,048. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and passed one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Non-profit Bingo revenues have increased steadily since that time. 2005 saw the biggest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the operators.

Bingo is apparently popular in New Mexico. All sorts of providers try for a piece of the pie. Hopefully, the politicos are done batting over gaming as an important factor like they did in the 90’s. That’s probably hopeful thinking.

Posted in Casino.


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