Bingo in New Mexico

New Mexico has a bitter gaming past. When the IGRA was passed by the House in 1989, it seemed like New Mexico might be one of the states to get on the Indian casino craze. Politics assured that wouldn’t be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a panel in Nineteen Ninety to negotiate a compact with New Mexico Indian bands. When the panel arrived at an agreement with 2 big local tribes a year later, Governor King declined to sign the bargain. He held up a deal until 1994.

When a new governor took over in 1995, it appeared that American Indian gaming in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when the new Governor passed the contract with the American Indian tribes, anti-wagering groups were able to tie the accord up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that the Governor had out stepped his bounds in signing the deal, thus costing 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 government, to get the ball rolling on a full accord amongst the Government of New Mexico and its Native tribes. A decade had been lost for gambling in New Mexico, including Indian casino Bingo.

The not for profit Bingo business has increased since Nineteen Ninety-Nine. In that year, New Mexico not for profit game operators brought in only $3,048. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded a million dollars in revenues in 2001. Non-profit Bingo revenues have grown constantly since then. Two Thousand and Five saw the greatest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the owners.

Bingo is certainly favored in New Mexico. All sorts of providers look for a bit of the action. With hope, the politicos are through batting over gambling as a hot button matter like they did back in the 90’s. That’s without doubt hopeful thinking.