New Mexico Bingo

by Heath on March 30th, 2023

New Mexico has a stormy gambling background. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by Congress in 1989, it looked like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the Native casino bandwagon. Politics assured that would not be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King appointed a panel in 1990 to create a contract with New Mexico Indian tribes. When the task force arrived at an accord with two important local tribes a year later, Governor King refused to sign the bargain. He held up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took over in 1995, it seemed that Indian wagering in New Mexico was a certainty. But when the new Governor signed the contract with the American Indian bands, anti-gambling groups were able to tie the accord up in the courts. A New Mexico court ruled that Governor Johnson had out stepped his bounds in signing the deal, thereby denying the government of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It took the CNA, passed by the New Mexico legislature, to get the process moving on a full contract amongst the Government of New Mexico and its Amerindian bands. A decade had been lost for gaming in New Mexico, including American Indian casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo business has grown from Nineteen Ninety-Nine. That year, New Mexico charity game providers acquired just $3,048 in revenues. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded a million dollars in revenues in 2001. Non-profit Bingo revenues have increased steadily since that time. 2005 witnessed the biggest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the operators.

Bingo is clearly popular in New Mexico. All sorts of providers try for a bit of the action. Hopefully, the politicians are done batting around gaming as an important factor like they did back in the 90’s. That’s probably wishful thinking.

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