Mexico’s ruling party proposes update to federal gambling law

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The National Regeneration Movement (Morena), the ruling political party from Mexico, has proposed an update to the federal gambling law in a bid to provide bigger benefits for the industry and to control the regulations at a national level.

The proposal has been sent to the Governance and Population Commission to be discussed in the upcoming months, with a view to updating the current regulations and help the fight against illegal gambling.

In a speech, Congressman Erik Morales from Morena argued that the current law “is outside the national and international context regarding gambling regulation”, due to its prohibitive nature that is slowing further development of the industry.

The updates propose that the Ministry of the Interior (Segob) would regulate national and international betting as well as “sporting events where money prizes are awarded”.

The regulations would apply to land-based and online gaming and betting operations. Penalties for companies that offer these services without a license would also be included in the update.

Furthermore, the congressman highlighted a report from AIEJA, the association representing licensees, operators and providers of the gambling industry from Mexico, in which it shows that “at least sports betting has become a growing industry that currently generates 8.4m pesos annually”.

By introducing the new regulation, Morena estimates a 25% to 30% growth of the sports betting industry, including the online vertical, for the next six to seven years. 

As reported by local outlet Línea Directa Portal, the congressman also shared that “due to the uncertainty caused by obsolete legislation on gaming and draws, very few online casinos have an official license granted by the authorities”.

Last month, AIEJA President Miguel Ángel Ochoa said during a virtual event hosted by the local General Bureau of Games and Raffles that Mexico needs to focus on reactivating the tourism sector through the gambling industry.

“Without a doubt, renewing the federal gambling law is a strategic step to grow the sector at a national level. By providing legal certainty in accordance with our current needs, it will allow Mexico to position itself as a comprehensive tourist destination with betting services with the best level that we see globally,” he observed.

“Implementing a reform that successfully integrates expert voices from different areas of society would open the door to sustained economic growth for countless facilities, since 50,000 people were directly employed before the pandemic, in addition to 120,000 indirectly,” Ochoa added.