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Bingo in New Mexico

New Mexico has a stormy gaming history. When the IGRA was signed by the House in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it seemed like New Mexico might be one of the states to cash in on the Indian casino bandwagon. Politics guaranteed that would not be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a panel in Nineteen Ninety to draft a contract with New Mexico Indian bands. When the panel came to an accord with 2 important local bands a year later, Governor King refused to sign the agreement. He held up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took over in 1995, it seemed that American Indian wagering in New Mexico was a certainty. But when the new Governor signed the accord with the Amerindian bands, anti-gaming groups were able to tie the contract up in courts. A New Mexico court found that the Governor had out stepped his bounds in signing a deal, thus denying the state of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It required the CNA, signed by the New Mexico legislature, to get the ball rolling on a full compact amongst the State of New Mexico and its Amerindian bands. 10 years had been burned for gambling in New Mexico, which includes Amerindian casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo business has gotten bigger from 1999. In that year, New Mexico not for profit game operators brought in only $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed one million dollars in 2001. Non-profit Bingo earnings have grown steadily since then. 2005 saw the biggest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the operators.

Bingo is certainly beloved in New Mexico. All types of owners look for a piece of the pie. With hope, the politicos are done batting around gambling as a key factor like they did in the 1990’s. That’s without doubt wishful thinking.

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