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Bingo in New Mexico

New Mexico has a complex gambling history. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was signed by the House in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it seemed like New Mexico would be one of the states to cash in on the Native casino bandwagon. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a task force in 1990 to draft a compact with New Mexico Native tribes. When the panel arrived at an accord with 2 big local bands a year later, the Governor declined to sign the bargain. He would hold up a deal until 1994.

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

It took the CNA, passed by the New Mexico government, to get the process moving on a full accord amongst the Government of New Mexico and its Amerindian tribes. 10 years had been squandered for gambling in New Mexico, including American Indian casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo industry has grown since Nineteen Ninety-Nine. That year, New Mexico charity game owners acquired just $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and passed one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Not for profit Bingo revenues have grown constantly since then. 2005 saw the biggest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the owners.

Bingo is apparently beloved in New Mexico. All sorts of operators try for a slice of the action. With hope, the politicians are done batting over gambling as an important factor like they did in the 1990’s. That is without doubt wishful thinking.

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