New Mexico has a rocky gambling past. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by Congress in 1989, it seemed like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the Native casino bandwagon. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the situation.
The New Mexico governor Bruce King announced a working group in 1990 to negotiate a contract with New Mexico Amerindian bands. When the task force came to an accord with 2 prominent local bands a year later, the Governor declined to sign the bargain. He held up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.
When a new governor took office in Nineteen Ninety Five, it seemed that Indian wagering in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when the new Governor signed the contract with the Amerindian tribes, anti-gaming groups were able to tie the contract up in the courts. A New Mexico court found that the Governor had out stepped his bounds in signing a deal, thereby denying the state of New Mexico many hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.
It required the Compact Negotiation Act, signed by the New Mexico legislature, to get the process moving on a full accord amongst the State of New Mexico and its Native tribes. A decade had been burned for gaming in New Mexico, which includes Amerindian casino Bingo.
The non-profit Bingo industry has increased since Nineteen Ninety-Nine. In that year, New Mexico charity game operators acquired just $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Non-profit Bingo revenues have grown steadily since then. 2005 witnessed the largest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the providers.
Bingo is certainly beloved in New Mexico. All kinds of owners look for a bit of the action. With hope, the politicians are through batting over gambling as a hot button matter like they did in the 90’s. That’s most likely wishful thinking.