New Mexico Bingo

New Mexico has a rocky gambling background. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by Congress in 1989, it seemed like New Mexico might be one of the states to get on the Native casino bandwagon. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a task force in Nineteen Ninety to create a compact with New Mexico Indian bands. When the working group came to an accord with two big local bands a year later, the Governor refused to sign the bargain. He held up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took over in 1995, it appeared that Amerindian gambling in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson passed the accord with the Indian bands, anti-gambling forces were able to hold the deal up in the courts. A New Mexico court ruled that the Governor had overstepped his bounds in signing the accord, therefore denying the state of New Mexico many hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It required the Compact Negotiation Act, passed by the New Mexico legislature, to get the process moving on a full compact amongst the State of New Mexico and its Indian tribes. A decade had been burned for gaming in New Mexico, including Amerindian casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo business has grown since Nineteen Ninety-Nine. In that year, New Mexico charity game operators acquired just $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and passed a million dollars in 2001. Not for profit Bingo earnings have increased constantly since that time. Two Thousand and Five witnessed the biggest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the providers.

Bingo is clearly favored in New Mexico. All types of providers look for a bit of the action. With hope, the politicos are done batting over gambling as a hot button matter like they did back in the 1990’s. That is without doubt wishful thinking.