New Mexico has a bitter gaming past. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by the House in 1989, it seemed like New Mexico might be one of the states to cash in on the Native casino craze. Politics guaranteed that wouldn’t be the case.

The New Mexico governor Bruce King assembled a task force in 1990 to discuss a contract with New Mexico Native bands. When the task force arrived at an accord with 2 important local bands a year later, the Governor refused to sign the agreement. He held up a deal until Nineteen Ninety Four.

When a new governor took office in 1995, it seemed that Native wagering in New Mexico was a certainty. But when the new Governor signed the contract with the American Indian bands, anti-gambling groups were able to hold the accord up in courts. A New Mexico court ruled that the Governor had out stepped his bounds in signing a deal, thus costing the government of New Mexico hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing revenues over the next several years.

It required the CNA, passed by the New Mexico legislature, to get the process moving on a full compact between the State of New Mexico and its Indian tribes. A decade had been lost for gaming in New Mexico, including Amerindian casino Bingo.

The nonprofit Bingo industry has gotten bigger since Nineteen Ninety-Nine. That year, New Mexico not for profit game providers brought in only $3,048. That climbed to $725,150 in 2000, and passed a million dollars in revenues in 2001. Nonprofit Bingo earnings have increased constantly since then. 2005 witnessed the largest year, with $1,233,289 earned by the providers.

Bingo is apparently beloved in New Mexico. All kinds of operators look for a piece of the action. With hope, the politicians are through batting over gaming as a hot button factor like they did back in the 1990’s. That’s without doubt hopeful thinking.