17 Aug 19

New Mexico has a stormy gambling background. When the IGRA was passed by the House in 1989, it looked like New Mexico would 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 panel in 1990 to draft an accord with New Mexico Amerindian bands. When the working group came to an agreement with two important local bands a year later, Governor King declined to sign the bargain. He would hold up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took over in 1995, it appeared that Amerindian gaming in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when the new Governor signed the contract with the American Indian tribes, anti-gaming groups were able to tie the contract up in courts. A New Mexico court found that the Governor had out stepped his bounds in signing the deal, thereby costing the state of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It took the Compact Negotiation Act, passed by the New Mexico government, to get the process moving on a full compact between the Government of New Mexico and its Native bands. A decade had been squandered for gambling in New Mexico, which includes American Indian casino Bingo.

The not for profit Bingo business has grown from Nineteen Ninety-Nine. In that year, New Mexico not for profit game owners brought in just $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed a million dollars in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo revenues have increased constantly since then. 2005 saw the greatest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the owners.

Bingo is categorically beloved in New Mexico. All types of owners look for a piece of the action. Hopefully, the politicians are done batting over gambling as an important matter like they did back in the 90’s. That’s most likely hopeful thinking.


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