Mexico Online Casino Guide

Gambling Industry Overview in Mexico

The following approaches will be presented

  • Gambling legislation in Mexico
  • Gambling authorities in Mexico
  • Online casinos in Mexico
  • and more

Mexico differs from some other countries situated in Latin America, where the casino industry is currently flourishing. Unlike such countries, Mexico still needs to revise its outdated gambling legislation.

Gambling activities are currently permitted in Mexico. They, however, can be run only after the corresponding authorization of the Government is obtained from the Mexican competent authority.

Flag of MexicoThe activities related to gaming and gambling are subjected to the control, monitoring and regulation of the country’s federal government and relevant laws. They are not subjected to the authorities on a state or local level, except for the issues associated with gaming and gambling taxation.

History of Gambling Regulation in Mexico

Betting on different occasions in Mexico dates back to the time of the Aztecs and has been considered a part of the Mexican culture since the 19th century after the attempts of France to colonize the country. There were French-style casinos all over the country during the reign of Porfirio Diaz, which lasted for 30 years. Then, the Mexical Revolution in 1911 put an end to the period, which resulted in restricting the gambling industry.

In 1935, The reformist president Lazaro Cardenas proclaimed gambling as illegal. This decision of the President was cemented more than a decade later with the country’s gaming law. Up to date, the law is still in action. Under the Gaming Law, most casinos in Mexico were forced to close, while some remained up and running as an addition to several hotels.

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Over the late 20th century, there were constant debates related to the statute of gambling in Mexico. Most supporters of legalized gambling are usually part of the tourism and hotel industry, as well as some business-minded members of the country’s government. Opponents of the idea of legalized gambling in the country, on the other hand, share their concerns that the larger foreign investments are made in the country, the greater the foreign countries’ control over Mexico will be.

The country’s government made sports betting legal. This is considered as a step towards a future of legalized gambling after many years of ups and downs in the authorities’ opinions on the matter.

Overview

Gambling Legislation in MexicoGambling and gaming in Mexico is not entirely legal. The reasons for this are said to originate from the influence of the Catholic Church, as well as the country’s history and politics.

The first one, who is believed to have made certain forms of gambling illegal in the country, is the President Lazaro Cardenas. As mentioned above, the legislation’s cover was extended over all forms of gambling in 1947. Still, some lotteries and sports betting remained widespread in the country until the second half of the 20th century because the laws were not maintained as strictly as they were intended to.

As a result of the Mexican Government’s belief that the country’s gambling legislation is no longer as efficient as it should be, the gaming laws were finally loosened in 2004. This basically means that the strict regulation gambling had back in 1947 is still in force, but there is a number of amendments in it, including minor legal charges and licence distribution to some gambling operators.

Gambling Legislation and Relevant Authorities

Currently, it is the executive power of the state through the so-called Secretaría de Gobernacion (or Ministry of the Interior), and more specifically, through the Gambling and Raffles Bureau that is responsible for regulation, authorization, monitoring and control of any kind of gambling-related activities.

The country’s legislation permits four main types of gambling activities:

  • horse race betting, frontons, greyhound racetracks, raffle and lottery rooms;
  • gaming fairs;
  • temporary cockfighting and off-site house race betting;
  • raffle, which might involve instant or commercial raffles, tickets sale or no tickets sale, the usage of numbers or symbols and/or, or through machines.

Currently, there are several operators that offer lottery tickets and scratch-off cards on the country’s gambling market. Apart from sports-betting, dominoes, dice and pool, bullfights and cockfights, which are legal on the territory of Mexico, some venues also offer casino-style games and video-style gaming machines.

The Government of Mexico banned slot machines in October 2013.

  • Video Gambling Machines
    These machines are usually offered in casinos and mini-casinos around the country. These games are often compared to bingo, because players are provided with the opportunity to affect the game in certain ways. Video Gambling Machines were made legal under the new governmental guidelines from 2004.
  • Bingo
    Bingo is one of the most popular games in the country that is also used for raising some funds for charities.
  • Lottery
    National Lotteries are some of the oldest forms of gambling that have ever existed on the territory of the country. The American-style scratch-off cards are also becoming more and more popular in Mexico.
  • Sports Betting
    Sports betting operations are currently legal in Mexico, and some wagers are taken on different national and international sporting events.
  • Cockfighting
    This is an extremely popular form of gambling in the Latin American country. Technically, they are illegal, but since they are so attractive for local citizens, the official authorities tend to be turning a bling eye on these events.
  • Bullfightling
    This is a traditional event in the country, with a lot of people making wagers on its outcome.
  • Casinos
    The traditional table gambling is expected to be soon legalized in Mexico, with more than 35 gaming sites and ventures to be built on the Mexico/U.S. Border.
  • Pari-Mutuel Betting
    Pari-mutuel betting consists of several popular gambling opportunities in Mexico – horse racing, dog racing, and Jai Alai.

According to the current country’s legislation, the Ministry of Interior has the authority of granting a licence for the opening and operation of gambling and raffles establishments. The Ministry is also authorized of permitting and controlling the launch and enterprise of horse race betting, greyhound racetracks and cockfighting.

The legislation of Mexico, which currently has a direct impact on the gambling industry of the country includes several Acts – the Federal Consumer Protection Act, the Customary Law, the Tax-related Acts, which are a federal and a local one, respectively, and the General Health Act.

Online Gambling in Mexico

Internet Gambling in MexicoMexico is considered the fastest-growing online gambling market among the countries located in Latin America. The local citizens, however, are prohibited from using the online gambling websites in the country, which are normally aimed at foreign high rollers.

The local players are still permitted to join online gambling websites that are based overseas, no matter of the fact that the Mexican Government is considering to block such unlicensed operators. The local authorities are also planing to block transactions made to gambling websites that is expected to eventually put a tap on this market.

Recently, the country has moved closer to introducing thorough online gambling regulation after a gambling bill was voted “yes” by Mexican legislature. Such a move began to look possible after an agreement was reached between the National Action Party and the Party of the Democratic Revolution.

If approved, the so-called Ley Federal de Jegos con Apuesta y Sorteos could turn the Mexican online gaming market into a single-nation entity that is to be serviced by several providers only. Such a regulation is expected to prevent the country from becoming a fully-participating member of an extremely profitable global player pool.

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