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Mexico – Tamaulipas to delay licences to wait for federal regulation

By - 29 March 2019

In a sign that major changes to how Mexico regulates gambling are on the way the government of the state of Tamaulipas says that it is waiting on federal permits before going ahead with its casino expansion plans.

The Secretary of Economic Development of the State, Carlos Garcia Gonzalez said that the change of federal government has delayed the process for the opening of new casinos despite the fact that the local legislature passed a new gaming law last year which will allow for a major expansion of gambling in the state. “The operation of gambling halls will have to wait, due to the start of the new Federal Government,” he said.

García González said that for now none of the casinos will be able to open their businesses. However the Secretary of Economic Development still reiterated his support for an expansion of the gaming industry in the state. “Looking at it on the economic side it is good news, obviously with a legal framework that is very transparent permits will be granted,” he said.

A major expansion of gambling still looks imminent in the north-eastern state of Tamaulipas. According to García González speaking to press in December as many as thirty casinos could be up and running in the Mexican state this year. The news comes after the state Congress approved the ruling to allow casinos to return in all 43 municipalities. The new initiative was put forward by the independent local deputy, Humberto Rangel Vallejo and later passed by 30 votes in favour and 4 against. Casinos were banned in the state in May 2017.

However Mexico has a new President and the political landscape has changed. President López Obrador came to power on a platform vowing to fight entrenched corruption, crime, inequality and poverty. His presidential term started on January 1st. Together with its coalition partner MORENA the President’s party holds a majority of seats in both houses of Congress. Senators belonging to the left wing party have put forward an initiative to increase taxes on gambling, strengthen federal oversight over the industry and change online gambling rules.

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