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New Mexico Bingo

February 8th, 2021 at 6:25

New Mexico has a complex gambling background. When the IGRA was signed by Congress in 1989, it looked like New Mexico might be one of the states to cash in on the Amerindian casino craze. Politics assured that would not be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a working group in 1990 to discuss a compact with New Mexico Native bands. When the task force came to an agreement with 2 important local bands a year later, Governor King declined to sign the bargain. He would hold up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took office in 1995, it appeared that Amerindian wagering in New Mexico was a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson passed the contract with the Indian bands, anti-wagering forces were able to tie the contract up in courts. A New Mexico court found that Governor Johnson had overstepped his bounds in signing the accord, thus denying the government 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 process moving on a full accord between the State of New Mexico and its Indian bands. Ten years had been lost for gambling in New Mexico, including Amerindian casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo industry has gotten bigger since Nineteen Ninety-Nine. That year, New Mexico not for profit game owners brought in just $3,048. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and passed a million dollars in revenues in 2001. Non-profit Bingo earnings have grown steadily since that time. Two Thousand and Five witnessed the largest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the providers.

Bingo is certainly beloved in New Mexico. All types of providers look for a slice of the action. Hopefully, the politicos are through batting over gaming as an important issue like they did back in the 1990’s. That is without doubt wishful thinking.

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