• Bingo in New Mexico

    New Mexico has a complex gaming history. When the IGRA was signed by Congress in 1989, it seemed like New Mexico might be one of the states to cash in on the Indian casino craze. Politics assured that wouldn’t be the case.

    The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a working group in Nineteen Ninety to create a compact with New Mexico Indian tribes. When the working group arrived at an accord with 2 important local tribes a year later, the Governor declined to sign the bargain. He would hold up a deal until 1994.

    When a new governor took over in 1995, it appeared that Indian gaming in New Mexico was a certainty. But when the new Governor passed the compact with the Indian bands, anti-gaming forces were able to tie the deal up in courts. A New Mexico court ruled that the Governor had out stepped his bounds in signing the compact, thereby costing the state of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

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

    The non-profit Bingo business has gotten bigger from 1999. That year, New Mexico non-profit game owners brought in only $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded a million dollars in revenues in 2001. Not for profit Bingo revenues have grown constantly since then. 2005 saw the greatest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the providers.

    Bingo is apparently beloved in New Mexico. All kinds of providers try for a bit of the pie. Hopefully, the politicos are through batting over gambling as a key issue like they did back in the 90’s. That is without doubt wishful thinking.

     September 5th, 2015  Elliana   No comments

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