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Mexico – Mexico’s tourist industry join forces to block casinos

By - 7 March 2016

A number of tourism associations and organisations in Mexico are joining forces to put pressure on the government so that casinos are not permitted in already popular tourist zones.

Manuel Paredes Mendoza, Executive Director of the Riviera Maya Hotel Association said that a total of twenty associations had agreed to lobby the government so that Mexico’s new gaming laws have safeguards in place which ensure that casinos are run safely and lawfully.

“We believe the law as it is currently stipulated could be counterproductive not only for the tourism sector, but because it could compromise the security of the country,” Mr. Paredes Mendoza told press.

A number of organisations including the Mexican Association of Hotels and Motels and the National Tourism Business Council argue that the new law in its current form will be a hindrance to both the economic and social development of Mexico.

“To begin with they (the government) told us that permits would be granted to destinations which needed a boost to tourism, but the way as it is set down now allows for the operation of casinos in a very loose manner without safeguards,” Mr Paredes Mendoza said. He went onto argue there is no need for casinos in the Mexican Caribbean as the area already has enough to offer in terms of natural resources and high quality customer service.

Together the associations have signed a letter which underlines their concerns when it comes to the new act and questions the driving forces behind legislation which would inevitably see a rise in gaming in Mexico. The document specifically questions which political parties and lawmakers are behind the new act and asks what their motivations and interests really are.

Opposition within the industry is growing against the new proposals which would allow for casinos in tourists resorts. In February a number of hotel and tourist associations joined forces to criticise current proposals in the Senate. In a statement which was published in a wide number of publications in national media opponents of the new Gambling Act said that it would “open up a Pandora’s box” and would leave Mexico vulnerable to corruption, money laundering, and would lead to an inevitable increase in organised crime.

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