Mexico – Mexico considering three zones for Las Vegas style gamingBy Phil - 13 February 2015
Mexico’s gaming regulatory body in SEGOB (The Interior Ministry) has confirmed that there is a project underway which would see Las Vegas style casino complexes being built in three zones: the Riviera Maya, Acapulco and Baja California.
The Ministry of Tourism, the Executive Office of the Presidency and the Ministry of Economy are looking to create large scale gaming zones in order to attract foreign investment into Mexico.
In a press conference earlier this week Director General of Gaming and Raffles María Marcela González Salas said that the new permits would allow a total of up to 775 casinos in each zone However, whether it would actually reach this number would depend on both local and foreign investment.
The objective of the new law is not, she said, to pave the way for a large expansion of gaming but rather to focus gaming in specific tourist zones and curb the growth of gaming in urban centres. She also underlined the fact that there was still time to include the project in Mexico’s new gaming law which could be considered by the Senate later this month. This was after the House of Representatives finally approved the new Federal Betting and Raffles Law in December last year. The new law aims to regulate the gaming industry more efficiently, safeguard the rights of players and make the licensing process more transparent.
The news follows a number of recent reports which have emerged regarding large casino resorts in specific zones in Mexico. In January it was revealed that The Mexican government was considering two zones which would allow for Las Vegas style gaming. According to María Salas at the time, there is rising interest within the government in having two “major centres” in the next three years. And includes designating “zones of interest” where large scale casinos and other faculties could be constructed in the future.
These would be chosen after a government review into the best sites which would encourage tourism and economic activity in specific areas while the newly appointed National Institute of Games within the Interior Ministry would consult local and state governments on the issue.