New Mexico has a complex gambling past. When the IGRA was passed by Congress in 1989, it looked like New Mexico might be one of the states to get on the American Indian casino craze. Politics assured that wouldn’t be the case.
The New Mexico governor Bruce King announced a task force in 1990 to create an accord with New Mexico Indian tribes. When the panel came to 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 Nineteen Ninety Five, it appeared that Native wagering in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the compact with the Amerindian tribes, anti-gaming forces were able to tie the contract up in courts. A New Mexico court found that Governor Johnson had out stepped his bounds in signing the compact, therefore denying the government of New Mexico many hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.
It took the CNA, passed by the New Mexico house, to get the process moving on a full contract between the Government of New Mexico and its Native bands. 10 years had been lost for gambling in New Mexico, which includes Indian casino Bingo.
The non-profit Bingo business has gotten bigger from Nineteen Ninety-Nine. That year, New Mexico non-profit game operators acquired just $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed a million dollars in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo earnings have increased steadily since that time. Two Thousand and Five witnessed the largest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the operators.
Bingo is clearly popular in New Mexico. All kinds of providers look for a piece of the action. Hopefully, the politicos are done batting around gambling as an important matter like they did in the 90’s. That is probably hopeful thinking.