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Mexico – Gaming Board will determine location of Mexico casinos

By - 23 February 2015

The President of the Tourism Commission of the Chamber of Deputies of Mexico, Agustin Barrios Gomez has said that a newly established Gaming Board will be the body authorised to define where Vegas-style casinos can be set up.

The lawmaker added that while these areas are yet to be decided upon, the Interior Ministry has earmarked Los Cabos, Acapulco and the Riviera Maya as possible destinations.

However, according to Mr. Barrios Gomez it will be the Ministry of Tourism which will be responsible for carrying out feasibility studies as to the best possible locations and the same body will also be responsible for estimating the cost and benefit of Las Vegas style gaming in these areas as well as deciding upon where these complexes should be built.

His comments come after a panel on Tourism Legislation held at the XIII National Tourism Forum held in Villahermosa, Tabasco. Mr. Barrios Gomez said that the decision would also depend on the interest that the federal government has in promoting a certain area.

Investments to establish new casinos in the country, he said, may not be less than U.S$15m meaning that, “for the first time gaming will become a real attraction,” he said.

Mr. Barrios Gomez said that the new law seeks to ensure that casinos generate jobs for the community where they are located and must also improve tourism on offer. In addition a number of safeguards will be put in place to prevent money laundering, and provide security and legal certainty for the player and the operator. The Gaming and Lotteries Act proposed by the Chamber of Deputies, also will in turn, he said, lead to the creation of an Advisory Council of Gaming the purpose of which will be to contribute to public policy, ensure transparency of accounts and will be chaired by the Interior Ministry and representatives of the Ministries of Tourism, Economy, Finance, Health, Labour and Social Security.

His statements come after it was revealed that there is now a project underway which would see Las Vegas style casino complexes being built in the Riviera Maya, Acapulco and Baja California in order to attract foreign investment into Mexico. The proposals could be part of Mexico’s new Federal Betting and Raffles Law which was approved by the House of Representatives in December last year. The bill could be considered by the Senate later this month.

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