Cambodia Gambling Dens
May 042021

New Mexico has a bitter gambling background. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by the House in Nineteen Eighty Nine, it looked like New Mexico would be one of the states to cash in on the Native casino bandwagon. Politics guaranteed that would not be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a working group in 1990 to discuss a contract with New Mexico American Indian bands. When the working group came to an accord with two big local bands a year later, the Governor refused to sign the bargain. He held up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took over in 1995, it seemed that American Indian wagering in New Mexico was a certainty. But when Governor Gary Johnson signed the contract with the Native tribes, anti-wagering forces were able to hold the contract up in the courts. A New Mexico court ruled that Governor Johnson had overstepped his bounds in signing the accord, thereby denying the government of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It took the CNA, passed by the New Mexico legislature, to get the ball rolling on a full contract amongst the Government of New Mexico and its Native bands. Ten years had been squandered for gambling in New Mexico, including Indian casino Bingo.

The non-profit Bingo industry has increased since Nineteen Ninety-Nine. In that year, New Mexico non-profit game providers brought in just $3,048 in revenues. This number grew to $725,150 in 2000, and exceeded a million dollars in revenues in 2001. Non-profit Bingo earnings have grown steadily since that time. 2005 witnessed the biggest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the providers.

Bingo is clearly favored in New Mexico. All types of operators look for a slice of the action. With hope, the politicians are through batting over gambling as a hot button factor like they did in the 90’s. That’s probably wishful thinking.

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