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Mexico – AIEJA plans next moves against slot ban

By - 4 December 2023

The President of the Association of Permit Holders, Operators and Suppliers of the Entertainment and Gambling Industry in Mexico (AIEJA), Miguel Ángel Ochoa has come out against the recent ban on slot machines put in place by the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.  

Ochoa said that the AIEJA was working on two strategies to confront the ban. Firstly, the presentation of legal appeals, and secondly, the promotion of a new Federal Betting and Raffles Law.

“At this moment, the two actions are: the issue of protection, on the one hand; and the issue of promoting a Federal Betting and Raffles Law,” Ochoa said.  According to the AIEJA, the ban on slots represents 85% of the sector’s business.

Ochoa expressed concern about the long-term impact of the ban, as it will affect the majority of casinos whose permits expire between 2028 and 2033. Additionally, starting in 2038, no more permits will be renewed.

Ochoa highlighted the obsolescence of the law in force since 1947 and expressed the intention to work on a new bill that reflects the current reality of the sector. These discussions are expected to take place beginning in February 2024, during the last session of the current Congress.

In November the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador  banned slots in casinos and other gambling facilities.  However the reform will not be retroactive, so casinos will still be able to use them for the time remaining on their permits. These licenses can only have a maximum validity of 15 years. Once this time passes licenses won’t be eligible for renewal or extension. Those licenses which have been granted but have not been acted upon are now cancelled.

In addition no new casino licenses will be allowed while licenses for betting centres including those at racetracks, greyhound tracks and remote betting centres will only have permission to operate for a maximum of 15 years.

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