Bingo in New Mexico

New Mexico has a stormy gaming background. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was signed by the House in 1989, it looked like New Mexico might be one of the states to get on the American Indian casino bandwagon. Politics assured that would not be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a panel in 1990 to negotiate an accord with New Mexico Native bands. When the working group arrived at an agreement with two prominent local bands a year later, Governor King refused to sign the agreement. He would hold up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took over in 1995, it appeared that Indian betting in New Mexico was a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the contract with the Amerindian tribes, anti-gambling groups were able to tie the accord up in courts. A New Mexico court ruled that the Governor had out stepped his bounds in signing the compact, therefore costing the state of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It required the Compact Negotiation Act, passed by the New Mexico house, to get the process moving on a full accord amongst the State of New Mexico and its Amerindian bands. A decade had been lost for gambling in New Mexico, including Indian casino Bingo.

The not for profit Bingo industry has grown since Nineteen Ninety-Nine. That year, New Mexico not for profit game operators acquired just $3,048. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded one million dollars in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo earnings have increased constantly since then. 2005 saw the largest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the operators.

Bingo is clearly beloved in New Mexico. All sorts of providers look for a piece of the pie. With hope, the politicos are through batting over gaming as a hot button issue like they did in the 90’s. That is most likely hopeful thinking.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.