Bingo in New Mexico

December 2nd, 2019 by Nikhil Leave a reply »

New Mexico has a stormy gambling history. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was signed by the House in 1989, it seemed like New Mexico might be one of the states to cash in on the American Indian casino craze. Politics assured that wouldn’t be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a working group in 1990 to create a contract with New Mexico Native bands. When the task force came to an accord with two big local tribes 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 Amerindian gaming in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when the new Governor passed the contract with the Indian bands, anti-gambling forces were able to tie the deal up in courts. A New Mexico court ruled that the Governor had overstepped his bounds in signing a deal, thus costing the government of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It required the Compact Negotiation Act, signed by the New Mexico government, to get the ball rolling on a full compact between the Government of New Mexico and its Native bands. 10 years had been lost for gambling in New Mexico, including Amerindian casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo business has increased from 1999. In that year, New Mexico charity game owners brought in just $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed a million dollars in revenues in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo revenues have increased steadily since then. 2005 witnessed the largest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the providers.

Bingo is certainly popular in New Mexico. All types of operators try for a bit of the pie. Hopefully, the politicians are done batting around gambling as a hot button matter like they did back in the 90’s. That’s without doubt wishful thinking.

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