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New Mexico Bingo

New Mexico has a complex gaming background. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act 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 assured that wouldn’t be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King announced a working group in 1990 to create a compact with New Mexico American Indian tribes. When the panel arrived at an accord with 2 big local tribes a year later, Governor King refused to sign the agreement. He would hold up a deal until 1994.

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

It took the Compact Negotiation Act, signed by the New Mexico legislature, to get the ball rolling on a full contract between the Government of New Mexico and its American Indian tribes. A decade had been lost for gaming in New Mexico, which includes Native casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo industry has gotten bigger from Nineteen Ninety-Nine. In that year, New Mexico non-profit game owners brought in just $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded one million dollars in 2001. Non-profit Bingo revenues have grown constantly since that time. 2005 saw the largest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the owners.

Bingo is clearly beloved in New Mexico. All kinds of providers try for a bit of the pie. With hope, the politicians are done batting around gaming as a key issue like they did back in the 90’s. That’s probably wishful thinking.

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