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Mexico – Calls for change to Mexico online gambling laws grow

By - 26 May 2015

President of the Mexican Gaming Association (AIEJA) Miguel Angel Ochoa has urged lawmakers to pass new laws which would regulate the online gaming sector in Mexico.

Talking at the end of the UNI Gaming Global Meeting, which took place last week in Tijuana, Mexico he said it was urgent that steps be taken to address the issue as $3bn pesos was being gambled per year online via offshore betting sites.

Organisations from five continents and 17 countries took part in the two day conference. AIEJA represents around 35 per cent of the casinos in Mexico.

Emphasising the growth in the regulated land based industry Mr. Ochoa said there is rising concern regarding the headway online gambling companies are making into the market. It was now up to the Senate to address the issue, he said, when it considers new gaming legislation later this year.
“What is needed now is that safeguards are put in place for the issuing of online gaming licences,” Mr. Ochoa told press.

He said that the new law could be approved by the Senate between September and December and could come into force in 2016. According to Mr. Ochoa, from that point onwards there would be a more modern framework “which will provide certainty and security for customers and Mexican investors and provide higher taxes to the Mexican government.”

Mr. Ochoa went onto say that the unfair competition from offshore operators has impacted licensed operations in Mexico. He also urged players to gamble via locally licences online operators.
Under current rules gaming companies which are already physically established in Mexico are permitted to apply for an online license, but a large number of offshore operators are offering their services to locals. Legislation which seeks to regulate the gaming industry has yet to be passed by the Mexican Senate.

The House of Representatives passed Mexico’s new Federal Betting and Raffles Law in December last year but the bill is now currently stalled. It is hoped that Senators could amend some parts of the law so that it more fully encompasses the online gaming sector before it is finally approved later this year.

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