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Bingo in New Mexico

New Mexico has a rocky gambling past. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by the House in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it seemed like New Mexico would be one of the states to cash in on the American Indian casino craze. Politics guaranteed that would not be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a task force in Nineteen Ninety to discuss an accord with New Mexico Indian tribes. When the task force came to an accord with two big local bands a year later, Governor King refused to sign the bargain. He would hold up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took over in 1995, it seemed that American Indian wagering in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the contract with the Native tribes, anti-wagering groups were able to hold the accord up in courts. A New Mexico court ruled that the Governor had overstepped his bounds in signing the accord, therefore costing the state of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It required the CNA, signed by the New Mexico house, to get the process moving on a full accord between the Government of New Mexico and its American Indian bands. 10 years had been squandered for gambling in New Mexico, including Indian casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo business has gotten bigger since 1999. That year, New Mexico charity game providers acquired only $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded one million dollars in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo revenues have grown steadily since that time. 2005 saw the largest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the providers.

Bingo is certainly favored in New Mexico. All kinds of owners try for a bit of the action. With hope, the politicians are through batting over gaming as a hot button factor like they did back in the 1990’s. That is most likely wishful thinking.

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