New Mexico Bingo

February 22nd, 2010 by Nikhil Leave a reply »

New Mexico has a rocky gaming history. When the IGRA was passed by Congress in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it looked like New Mexico might be one of the states to cash in on the Indian casino bandwagon. Politics assured that would not be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a task force in 1990 to negotiate an accord with New Mexico Indian tribes. When the panel came to an accord with two big local bands a year later, the Governor refused to sign the agreement. He held up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took over in 1995, it appeared that American Indian gambling in New Mexico was a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the compact with the Amerindian tribes, anti-gaming groups were able to tie the accord up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that the Governor had out stepped his bounds in signing a deal, thereby costing the state 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 amongst the State of New Mexico and its American Indian tribes. Ten years had been squandered for gambling in New Mexico, including Amerindian casino Bingo.

The not for profit Bingo business has gotten bigger since Nineteen Ninety-Nine. That year, New Mexico not for profit game owners brought in only $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and passed a million dollars in revenues in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo earnings have grown steadily since then. 2005 witnessed the biggest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the owners.

Bingo is certainly favored in New Mexico. All sorts of owners try for a bit of the pie. Hopefully, the politicos are through batting over gaming as a key matter like they did back in the 90’s. That’s probably wishful thinking.

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