New Mexico has a stormy gambling past. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by Congress in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it looked like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the Amerindian casino craze. Politics assured that wouldn’t be the case.
The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a working group in 1990 to discuss a compact with New Mexico Native bands. When the working group came to an agreement with 2 big local tribes a year later, the Governor refused to sign the bargain. He would hold up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.
When a new governor took over in Nineteen Ninety Five, it seemed that Amerindian gaming in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the compact with the American Indian tribes, anti-wagering groups were able to tie the contract up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that the Governor had overstepped his bounds in signing a deal, thereby costing the government of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.
It required the CNA, passed by the New Mexico government, to get the process moving on a full accord amongst the Government of New Mexico and its Native bands. A decade had been squandered for gambling in New Mexico, which includes Amerindian casino Bingo.
The non-profit Bingo industry has gotten bigger since 1999. That year, New Mexico not for profit game providers acquired only $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and passed one million dollars in 2001. Not for profit Bingo revenues have grown steadily since then. 2005 saw the biggest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the providers.
Bingo is clearly beloved in New Mexico. All sorts of providers try for a slice of the action. With hope, the politicos are through batting around gambling as a key factor like they did in the 1990’s. That’s probably wishful thinking.