New Mexico has a complex gaming history. When the IGRA was signed by the House in 1989, it seemed like New Mexico would be one of the states to get on the Amerindian casino bandwagon. Politics assured that wouldn’t be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King announced a task force in Nineteen Ninety to create a compact with New Mexico Native bands. When the working group came to an accord with two important local tribes a year later, Governor King declined to sign the bargain. He would hold up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took over in 1995, it appeared that Indian gambling in New Mexico was now a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson passed the accord with the Amerindian tribes, anti-gambling groups were able to tie the accord up in the courts. A New Mexico court ruled that Governor Johnson had out stepped his bounds in signing the compact, thus costing the state of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees over the next several years.

It required the Compact Negotiation Act, signed by the New Mexico house, to get the ball rolling on a full accord amongst the Government of New Mexico and its Indian bands. A decade had been squandered for gaming in New Mexico, which includes Indian casino Bingo.

The not for profit Bingo industry has increased since 1999. In that year, New Mexico non-profit game owners acquired only $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and passed one million dollars in revenues in 2001. Non-profit Bingo earnings have grown steadily since then. 2005 witnessed the largest year, with $1,233,289 grossed by the owners.

Bingo is apparently favored in New Mexico. All sorts of owners look for a bit of the action. With hope, the politicians are through batting over gambling as a key issue like they did in the 1990’s. That’s most likely hopeful thinking.