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New Mexico Bingo

New Mexico has a complex 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 get on the Indian casino craze. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King announced a task force in 1990 to discuss a contract with New Mexico American Indian bands. When the task force arrived at an accord with 2 important local tribes a year later, Governor King refused to sign the agreement. He held up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took over in Nineteen Ninety Five, it appeared that Indian gaming in New Mexico was a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the contract with the Indian bands, anti-gambling forces were able to hold the deal up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that Governor Johnson had out stepped his bounds in signing the accord, thereby denying the state of New Mexico 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 State of New Mexico and its American Indian bands. 10 years had been squandered for gaming in New Mexico, including Indian casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo industry has increased since 1999. That year, New Mexico charity game operators acquired just $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo revenues have increased steadily since then. 2005 saw the greatest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the owners.

Bingo is clearly popular in New Mexico. All types of providers try for a bit of the action. Hopefully, the politicians are through batting around gaming as a key factor like they did in the 1990’s. That is without doubt hopeful thinking.

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