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Mexico – Over 300 casinos open due to Federal Courts

By - 17 May 2013

A Special Investigative Commission in Mexico, which has been charged with delivering a report to the Chamber of Deputies and proposing legal measures, policies or legislation on the back of its findings, has now revealed that there could be at least 300 casinos in Mexico which remain open due to judicial stays of closures.

These findings could provide additional proof of widespread corruption in the industry.

As previously reported an investigation into the issuing of casino licences is currently underway in Mexico and a cross party committee made up of 11 deputies has been charged with the investigation of the federal government’s past involvement in the issuing of licences. This is amongst growing calls that licences have been trafficked by former members of Mexico’s Interior Ministry (SEGOB).

According to Chair of the committee and member of the Citizens Movement Party (Movimiento Ciudadano), Deputy Ricardo Mejia Berdeja the licences in question are: “Mostly derived from judicial decisions. That is to say that there is a constant factor when it comes to litigation through federal courts which were able to hand out these permits and it’s very important for us to know for sure that they were made with complete professionalism.”

While Mr. Berdeja said the committee had nothing against the gaming industry he confirmed that the committee had become increasingly concerned over the connection between local courts and casino operators. As a result he has called for an investigation into the issue and for more transparency when it comes to the granting of licences.  Members of the committee have also reaffirmed their intention to call former members of SEGOB before the committee to more fully explain the process and how the granting and revoking of licences works via judicial processes. This is to ensure that there has been no intervention on behalf of former SEGOB members when it comes to benefiting certain operators.

The issue of casinos and the granting of licences is becoming an increasingly urgent matter in Mexico. This week SEGOB also agreed to release documents to the investigative committee regarding the granting of licences to 28 casinos currently being investigated by the Attorney General’s office.

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