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Bingo in New Mexico

Written by Cyrus. No comments Posted in: Casino

New Mexico has a rocky gaming history. When the IGRA was signed by the House in 1989, it looked like New Mexico might be one of the states to get on the Native casino craze. Politics assured that would not be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a task force in 1990 to negotiate a compact with New Mexico Amerindian bands. When the task force came to an accord with two big local tribes a year later, Governor King refused to sign the bargain. He held up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took over in Nineteen Ninety Five, it seemed that Native gambling in New Mexico was a certainty. But when the new Governor passed the accord with the Amerindian bands, anti-gaming groups were able to hold the accord up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that Governor Johnson had out stepped his bounds in signing the deal, thereby costing the state of New Mexico many hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It required the Compact Negotiation Act, signed by the New Mexico government, to get the ball rolling on a full accord between the State of New Mexico and its Amerindian tribes. A decade had been lost for gaming in New Mexico, including Indian casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo business has increased since Nineteen Ninety-Nine. That year, New Mexico charity game providers brought in just $3,048. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo revenues have increased constantly since then. 2005 witnessed the greatest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the operators.

Bingo is apparently beloved in New Mexico. All kinds of providers look for a slice of the action. With hope, the politicos are done batting around gaming as a hot button issue like they did back in the 1990’s. That’s most likely hopeful thinking.

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