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Updates approved in Mexico to gambling legislation

8 Dec 2014

MEXICO -- Mexico's Chamber of Deputies has approved a gambling bill, which could eventually also see the legalization of online gambling, igaming business reported.

Mexico has been consumed with issues other than gambling such as violence and drug cartels, consequently up to 70 illegal casinos may exist in the country, the igaming business report said.

Other reports from a Mexican source OEM LINCA indicate that the new federal law will see the establishment of an Institute of Gambling and will require all casinos to be licensed.

The report also explained that this new law replaces or updates an earlier gambling act from 1947.

Mexico has reportedly moved closer to introducing fully-fledged online gambling regulation after its legislature voted in favour of a gambling bill.

The country has been linked with online gambling regulation during recent months, but such a move has only started to look likely in the last few weeks following an agreement between the National Action Party (PAN) and the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).

Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies voted 297-32 in favour of the new regulations on Friday, with the bill now due to go to the Senate for approval.

According to various reports, Ley Federal de Juegos con Apuesta y Sorteos, if approved, could see the Mexican online gaming market become a single-nation entity that is only serviced by a few providers, while there will be more transparent regulation of existing land-based gambling.

Regulation would stop Mexico from becoming a fully-participating member of a global player pool.

If enacted, the rules could also mean the forced relocation of hundreds of online poker players that have emigrated from the US in order to access global websites.

Deputy Jose Arturo Salinas Garza, of the National Action Party (PAN), said: "With this law now all Mexicans can know how many casinos are in Mexico, which permits have been granted, which are operational, who the owners are and who the partners are."

Mexico has so far opted not to legalise online gambling due to a generally weak government, which has been occupied with more pressing matters such as the ongoing battle with established drug cartels.

This lack of regulation has led to the emergence of unregulated casinos and underground gambling locations across the country.

The new regulation would also attempt to tackle such illegal operations by introducing increased protections against money laundering and a minimum gambling age of 21.
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