Mexico – Mexico government seizes slots as campaign continuesBy Phil - 19 September 2014
The Mexican government has seized and destroyed 4,578 illegal slot machines since July in a campaign to combat illegal gambling.
The slot machines were found to be operating in markets, chemists and convenience stores.
According to estimates by the General Directorate of Gaming (DGJS), within the Interior Ministry there are between an estimated 70 thousand and 75,000 slot machines operating illegally throughout Mexico. Combined they generate 85.7m pesos per day or around 28.8bn pesos a year.
The police operation was launched simultaneously in the Federal District as well as the State of Mexico, which are considered to be the states with the highest concentration of illegal gaming. Police also carried out raids in the cities of Cuautitlán, Izcalli, Tecámac, Villa Victoria, and Edomex.
The operation involved members of the DGJS, the Federal Police, the Attorney General’s Office as well as local security forces and was launched by the Interior Ministry, in response to growing number of complaints from local citizens that minors were playing the machines. In Mexico slot machines outside casinos are considered contraband and represent, according to, the DGJS, a “latent danger” to society as they are particularly harmful to minors.
President of Mexican gaming organization ASPJAC (Asociación de Permisionarios y Proveedores de Juegos y Sorteos, A.C) Alfonso Pérez Lizuar said the Interior Ministry does not have enough capacity to combat this phenomenon alone and urged lawmakers to allow local police forces to become involved in combating illegal gambling. This he said will not happen until the government “acknowledges that it is a really serious problem for young people, regardless of the other problems of tax evasion and its possible implications with organised crime.” According to Pérez Lizaur it will be virtually impossible to remove all illegal slot machines from circulation but its number could be decreased significantly should police forces become involved.
To combat the phenomenon, which has spread alarmingly over the last five years, SEGOB has launched a public awareness campaign on national media. With the motto “Addiction Is No Game” the campaign asks the public to report the location of any illegal slot machine to the government via a confidential telephone line.