Bingo and "games of chance" ordered to shut down in New Mexico

19 March 2020

All bingo operators and nonprofit gaming licensees received a letter today from Cynthia M. Ortega-Armijo, Acting Executive Director of the New Mexico Gaming Control Board to cease operations.

Below is the text from the letter:

Notice of Cessation of Games of Chance in accordance with the Amended Public Health Emergency Order to Limit Mass Gatherings Due to COVID-19

Dear Bingo Operator and Nonprofit Gaming Licensees:

Due to the statewide public health emergency declared by Governor Lujan Grisham on March 11, 2020 and the Amended Public Health Emergency Order to Limit Mass Gatherings Due to COVID-19 issued by the Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Health today, you are directed to cease the conduct of all games of chance until further notice.

Your facilities are to be closed for the duration of this Order and the Governor’s declared public health emergency, which applies to all recreational facilities. You are also advised that your organizations should not hold any gatherings of over 10 persons for any purpose, including public or private gatherings which do not involve the conduct of games of chance. These and all directives are to be followed as stated in the Emergency Order of the Department of Health Cabinet Secretary dated March 19, 2020, which is attached for your review and distribution among officers and staff.

Criminal and civil penalties apply to any violations of the Orders of the Governor and the Department of Health Cabinet Secretary.

You are directed to notify the Board, no later than 5 pm today, via email or fax, of your organization’s cessation of bingo and gaming operations, all games of chance for which you are licensed, and submit the completed appropriate forms as applicable in the Board Rules and Minimum Internal Controls which are available online at www.nmgcb.org.

The Governor’s Executive Order declaring a public health emergency remains in effect until further notice. The Board requests that you keep apprised of additional directives from the Governor, the Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Health and federal authorities regarding these matters. Also, please feel free to contact me at (505) 841-9700 or Cynthia.Ortega@state.nm.us if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,
Cynthia M. Ortega-Armijo, Acting Executive Director"

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