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Mexico – Court rules against EMEX ahead of market expansion

By - 7 November 2014

A Mexican Court has upheld the revocation of the license granted in 2005 to Entretenimiento de México (EMEX ).

The licence allowed EMEX to operate 50 casinos for 25 years. Owned by brothers Arturo Rojas Cardona and Juan Jose Rojas Cardona the so called Tsars of Casinos EMEX was one of the largest operators in Mexico.
In April Mexico’s gaming regulatory body SEGOB (The Interior Ministry) revoked the federal permit that had permitted the company to operate gaming in the country. However, the company appealed the decision in The Sixteenth District Court for Administrative Matters in the Federal District in August which ruled in its favour and declared illegal the revocation of EMEX’s casinos licence. According to the judge’s statements, the decision to revoke the licences was based on a mere technicality and stemmed from the irregular operation of a single casino.

This decision has been revoked and the news was posted on the website of the Directorate General of Gaming which is part of the Interior Ministry. Emex is reported to have owned and run the gaming operations going under brand names Palms, Sportzone, Bet and Win and Crystal Palace which operated in the cities of Nuevo Leon, Veracruz, Quintana Roo, Queretaro and Mexico City.

The news comes at a time when Mexico is looking to repeal its gaming laws which date back to 1947 and could see a major expansion of the market. Earlier this week it was revealed that if reforms go ahead than the industry could see as much as U.S$300m being invested annually through the installation of 50 gaming rooms per year. President of the Mexican Gaming Association (AIEJA) Miguel Angel Ochoa told press that this week that investment per gaming centre could range from U.S$ 4m to U.S10m.

“We could double in the next years with more than 550 rooms,” he said. “In 2013, together the municipalities and states, generated about $2bn pesos in taxes, and if you add up all the industry such as casinos, regional fairs, cockfights, horse racing and sports betting, we generated $4bn,” he said. “We represent about 0.25 per cent of GDP, which is not much because the industry has been very limited, but if the new law provides a solid legal framework then we could reach 0.50 per cent by the end of that period and certainly we would reach one per cent of national GDP by 2020,” he said.

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