New Mexico has a complex gaming history. When the IGRA was signed 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 would not be the case.
The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a task force in 1990 to create a contract with New Mexico American Indian bands. When the panel arrived at an accord with two prominent local bands a year later, the Governor refused to sign the agreement. He held up a deal until 1994.
When a new governor took over in 1995, it seemed that American Indian gaming in New Mexico was a certainty. But when the new Governor passed the compact with the Amerindian bands, anti-gaming groups were able to hold the deal up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that Governor Johnson had overstepped his bounds in signing the compact, therefore costing the government of New Mexico many 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 ball rolling on a full contract amongst the State of New Mexico and its Indian bands. Ten years had been burned for gaming in New Mexico, which includes Native casino Bingo.
The not for profit Bingo industry has gotten bigger since Nineteen Ninety-Nine. That year, New Mexico not for profit game providers acquired just $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed one million dollars in 2001. Non-profit Bingo revenues have grown steadily since then. 2005 witnessed the biggest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the providers.
Bingo is apparently beloved in New Mexico. All sorts of providers try for a bit of the pie. With hope, the politicians are through batting over gaming as an important factor like they did in the 1990’s. That is probably hopeful thinking.