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Mexico – Investigation called for casino licences in Mexico City

By - 15 August 2014

Dione Anguiano Flores, President of the Administration of the Federal District Legislative Assembly (ALDF) has requested that the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB) carry out an urgent and immediate study into the state of gaming in the capital so that laws can be introduced in order to prevent money laundering and organised crime.

According to Mrs. Flores, there are 39 casinos currently operating in the Federal District which makes the capital district the fourth largest in terms of number of casinos. SEGOB needs to provide as much information about them, a task which she sees as difficult to the current size of the Directorate of Gaming. In a statement to local press the lawmaker said that the casino control board lacked the necessary staff to monitor and provide adequate control over the industry as there were only 60 inspectors who were expected to regulate an industry which now has 409 casinos nationwide.

“It is clear the Interior Ministry does not have enough staff for adequate supervision and oversight of casinos and related activities to gaming and sweepstakes, which is a serious matter in the City of Mexico – the fourth nationally in terms of the number of legal casinos,” she said.

Mrs. Flores went onto say that there are a total of 409 casinos operating around the country, mostly concentrated in five districts: 41 in Baja California, 45 in Nuevo Leon, 37 in the state of Jalisco, 39 in the Federal District (the capital) and 35 in the State of Mexico.

Highlighting the inadequacy of the gaming control board the lawmaker said that: “The supervision and regulation of businesses devoted to the promotion of gambling and sweepstakes is very important because of the amount of money that they handle, and it has been more than a year since the last review by the government. It is urgent that steps are taken.”

Mrs. Flores’s statements come at a time when major changes look increasingly likely in the industry and it believed that an initiative, which would see many fundamental changes to Mexico’s gaming laws, could be ready as early as September this year. The initiative would replace the current Directorate of Gaming, which comes under SEGOB, and would remove the so called “mother” permits, which allow the opening of a number of gaming operations under a single licence. This week it was also announced that a new gaming act would, in all likelihood, include a database of those with a gambling addiction so that they would not be permitted inside any casino or gambling establishment in Mexico.

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