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Mexico – New Mexican gaming law a matter of urgency

By - 9 May 2014

The head of a committee charged with investigating the gaming industry in Mexico Fernando Zárate Salgado has stated that the Chamber of Deputies needs to promote modern legislation, under the principles of legality and transparency and that any new law must reflect the recent changes and developments in the casino and sports betting industry.

The Deputy, who replaced Ricardo Mejía Berdeja has head of the committee in March this year, outlined the Committee’s plans in the Parliamentary Gazette of the House of Deputies. In the article Mr Zárate highlighted the urgent need for the House of Deputies to press for constitutional reform. Any reform he said would mean revoking Mexico’s outdated Betting and Raffles Law of 1947.

The Deputy called for an “updated federal legislation” which will take into account the new gaming landscape in Mexico while the ultimate goal of any new law would be so that “we know what is going on specifically in every gaming centre in the country.”

According to the article the old law has led not only to fragmentation of the current market but also tax evasion, lack of competitiveness, fraud, influence peddling and money laundering A new law would strengthen the government’s role when it came to the industry and would allow it to regulate the industry more efficiently and with more transparency.

In Mexico casinos and gaming were banned by the Betting and Raffles Law of 1947. While the law is still in place, Mexico has seen a huge proliferation in gaming over the last ten years and there have been a number of attempts to do away with the old act. In 2005 the government amended the old act to allow for bingo, slot parlours and sports betting and The Secretary of Government in Mexico’s Interior Ministry SEGOB was given the responsibility for the granting of licences.

Momentum has been gathering steadily for a new gaming act ever since the committee charged with investigating the gaming industry first went into session last year. In addition The Interior Ministry (SEGOB) has agreed to work closely with the special investigative committee to analyse possible changes to Mexico’s gaming laws in the near future.

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