12 Mar 16

New Mexico has a complex gaming background. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was signed by Congress in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it looked like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the American Indian casino craze. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a working group in Nineteen Ninety to discuss an accord with New Mexico Native bands. When the task force arrived at an accord with 2 big local tribes a year later, Governor King refused to sign the agreement. He would hold up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took office in Nineteen Ninety Five, it seemed that Native gaming in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson passed the accord with the Native bands, anti-wagering forces were able to hold the deal up in the courts. A New Mexico court ruled that Governor Johnson had overstepped his bounds in signing the deal, thus denying the government of New Mexico many hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It required the CNA, signed by the New Mexico government, to get the process moving on a full contract amongst the Government of New Mexico and its Amerindian tribes. A decade had been burned for gaming in New Mexico, including Amerindian casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo industry has gotten bigger since 1999. That year, New Mexico non-profit game owners brought in just $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Not for profit Bingo revenues have increased constantly since then. Two Thousand and Five witnessed the largest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the operators.

Bingo is categorically beloved in New Mexico. All kinds of providers try for a slice of the pie. With hope, the politicos are through batting over gambling as a key matter like they did back in the 90’s. That is probably hopeful thinking.


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