New Mexico has a bitter gaming background. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was signed by Congress in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it seemed like New Mexico might be one of the states to cash in on the Indian casino bandwagon. Politics assured that wouldn’t be the situation.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King announced a panel in 1990 to draft a compact with New Mexico Amerindian bands. When the task force came to an agreement with 2 big local tribes a year later, Governor King declined to sign the agreement. He would hold up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took over in Nineteen Ninety Five, it appeared that Amerindian gambling in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson passed the contract with the American Indian bands, anti-wagering forces were able to hold the deal up in the courts. A New Mexico court ruled that the Governor had overstepped his bounds in signing the deal, therefore denying the state of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It required the Compact Negotiation Act, passed by the New Mexico legislature, to get the process moving on a full contract between the Government of New Mexico and its Amerindian bands. 10 years had been squandered for gambling in New Mexico, which includes Indian casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo business has grown from 1999. In that year, New Mexico charity game providers acquired only $3,048. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and surpassed one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo earnings have increased steadily since that time. Two Thousand and Five saw the largest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the operators.

Bingo is apparently favored in New Mexico. All types of operators look for a slice of the pie. With hope, the politicos are through batting around gaming as a hot button matter like they did in the 1990’s. That is without doubt hopeful thinking.