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Bingo in New Mexico

New Mexico has a complex gambling history. When the IGRA was signed by the House in 1989, it looked like New Mexico would be one of the states to cash in on the American Indian casino bandwagon. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a panel in Nineteen Ninety to discuss an accord with New Mexico Indian bands. When the working group arrived at an agreement with 2 big local tribes a year later, Governor King refused to sign the bargain. He would hold up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took office in Nineteen Ninety Five, it seemed that Indian betting in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when the new Governor signed the accord with the American Indian bands, anti-gambling groups were able to hold the accord up in courts. A New Mexico court found that the Governor had overstepped his bounds in signing the accord, thus denying the state of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It took the CNA, signed by the New Mexico house, to get the process moving on a full compact between the State of New Mexico and its American Indian tribes. A decade had been squandered for gambling in New Mexico, which includes Indian casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo industry has grown from Nineteen Ninety-Nine. In that year, New Mexico not for profit game providers brought in only $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo revenues have increased constantly since then. 2005 witnessed the largest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the providers.

Bingo is apparently beloved in New Mexico. All sorts of owners try for a slice of the action. Hopefully, the politicos are through batting around gaming as a hot button issue like they did back in the 90’s. That is without doubt wishful thinking.

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