16 Dec 21

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

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a working group in Nineteen Ninety to negotiate an accord with New Mexico Native tribes. When the panel came to an accord with 2 important local bands a year later, the Governor refused to sign the agreement. He held up a deal until 1994.

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

It took the CNA, passed by the New Mexico government, to get the process moving on a full accord amongst the State of New Mexico and its Native tribes. A decade had been squandered for gambling in New Mexico, including Native casino Bingo.

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

Bingo is certainly favored in New Mexico. All kinds of providers look for a bit of the action. With hope, the politicians are done batting over gambling as a hot button issue like they did back in the 90’s. That’s most likely wishful thinking.


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