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Mexico – New gaming law will allow Las Vegas style Gaming in Mexico

By - 23 September 2014

Mexico’s new gaming Bill, which is scheduled to be presented to the Chamber of Deputies before the end of this month, will allow for casinos in popular hotel resorts in order to compete with casinos in Las Vegas.

Referring to casinos in tourists zones in other jurisdictions outside Mexico, Fernando Zárate Salgado President of the Commission of Gaming in the Chamber of Deputies said: “These centres are usually located in tourist areas so that casinos operate in hotels such as in Las Vegas and Nevada. And they must have easy access to an airport, good urban infrastructure and must also be able to meet certain safety measures, amongst other requirements.

“The centres may be developed, for example, in Cancun, Puerto Peñasco, Puerto Progreso or in some other tourist spots in Baja California that have access to the ocean. Later on it will be determined where specifically they will be and how many hectares these casinos can operate on.” The new law will, according to the Mr. Salgado, include tax incentives for foreign operators willing to set up large scale casino resorts in Mexico.

The news is creating growing controversy in Mexico as it was widely believed that casinos in large scale hotel resorts looked unlikely. Instead, according to recent reports, only already existing hotel chains would be permitted to run slot parlours on their premises. Reforms have drawn fierce criticism of late with detractors claiming that the new bill has been tailored made major for local players in the industry and puts operators in the position of “judge and jury” when it comes to the granting of casino licences.

Member of the Mexican social organization “Say No to Casinos” Daniel Olivares Villagómez, said the new Federal Law on Games of Chance would only benefit local operators Caliente Group and Televisa, and promotes a ‘wild proliferation “of casinos across the country.

However, Mr. Salgado has defended the new proposed reforms saying that they are necessary: “Whether we like it or not like, gambling and lotteries are a historical reality and part of the culture of the Mexican people. We cannot deny it. So the new Federal Law on Games and Raffles protects the rights and freedoms of Mexicans. ”

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