Categories

Bingo in New Mexico

New Mexico has a rocky gaming past. When the IGRA was passed by Congress in 1989, it looked like New Mexico might be one of the states to cash in on the Indian casino bandwagon. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King announced a working group in 1990 to discuss a contract with New Mexico Amerindian bands. When the task force came to an accord with two big local tribes a year later, Governor King declined to sign the agreement. He held up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took office in Nineteen Ninety Five, it appeared that Amerindian wagering in New Mexico was a certainty. But when the new Governor passed the compact with the Native bands, anti-gambling groups were able to tie the deal up in courts. A New Mexico court found that the Governor had out stepped his bounds in signing the compact, thereby costing the state of New Mexico many hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It took the CNA, signed by the New Mexico legislature, to get the ball rolling on a full compact between the Government of New Mexico and its Amerindian tribes. Ten years had been burned for gambling in New Mexico, including American Indian casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo industry has gotten bigger since Nineteen Ninety-Nine. In that year, New Mexico not for profit game owners acquired only $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded a million dollars in revenues in 2001. Not for profit Bingo revenues have increased constantly since that time. Two Thousand and Five witnessed the largest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the operators.

Bingo is categorically popular in New Mexico. All sorts of providers look for a bit of the action. Hopefully, the politicians are through batting over gambling as a hot button issue like they did back in the 1990’s. That is probably hopeful thinking.

You must be logged in to post a comment.