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Mexico – Seven Monterrey casinos permanently closed

By - 27 March 2013

A year-and-a-half after a deadly attack on a Mexican casino more changes look likely for the gaming sector in the city of Monterey as the local government seeks to increase scrutiny over gaming establishments and the issuing of licences.

In February officials shut down 12 casinos temporarily due to irregularities on site with regards to fire regulations. In the largest operation of its kind so far members of Mexico’s navy, army, and local police oversaw the closure of the casinos which ended with the closure of one of the largest casinos in the city, the Casino Caliente de Gonzalitos.  The closures came a day after the government announced that a memorial would be built to remember those who had died in the tragedy and the closures received the backing of the governor of the state of Nuevo Leon, Rodrigo Medina.

However, local union bosses have claimed that as many as 6,000 people could lose their jobs should the casinos remain closed while the closures have led to an increasingly acrimonious battle between the local government and the federal courts. This was after the Casino Foliatti in March was granted a stay of closure by a federal judge. The battle to close the casinos in Monterrey looks set to intensify over the coming months.

As previously reported, the local municipality is now attempting to change the law again which would forbid the granting of licences to gaming centres. This would mean that gaming would be banned under two separate building laws. Firstly, the use of land for gaming centres would not be permitted and secondly their construction would also be banned.

In the latest move on Friday, the government announced that it had permanently closed down seven casinos for failing to have a licence to operate. These developments come at what could prove to be a critical time for the future of the gaming industry in Mexico which has been plagued for years by allegations of corruption when it comes to licensing. The government is also reaching the end of a detailed study on how licences have been handed out under the previous administration. It is hoped that government initiatives could lead to changes in Mexico’s gaming laws and the way gaming is monitored and regulated. Both issues need to be urgently addressed in Mexico’s increasingly chaotic gaming landscape.





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