While many Latin countries have already made the leap towards legalizing online gambling and setting up jurisdictional organizations, it would appear that Mexico is finally poised to join the fray. For almost 70 years, Mexico has been operating under the same legalized gambling guidelines that were established in 1947. Of course, these old rules failed to address the new revolution in online gambling. T&C's apply to all bonus offers on this site. Click for a list of all jurisdictions.
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The Current Gaming Landscape in Mexico
As a largely Catholic nation, the citizens of Mexico have been reluctant to embrace many forms of gambling, particularly casino and online gaming. While proponents beat the drum of increased tourism and revenues for the country's infrastructure, opponents are countering with the fear of empowering organized crime and the drug cartels.
That's not to say that all forms of gambling are being demonized. While wagering on bullfighting and cock fights is technically illegal, they are highly popular due its status as an important part of the culture. The legal forms of gambling that have so far been embraced include horse and dog racing, Jai Alai, games of skill like dominoes and billiards, bingo and as of 1989, sports betting.
Legal Forms of Online Gambling in Mexico
Currently, there are several land-based casino operations that are permitted to offer online gambling to residents in other countries based on regulations passed in 2004. While licensed, they essentially operate without a set of meaningful regulations. Also, The National Lottery of Mexico was permitted to offer lottery games online starting in 2008. Setting those components aside, the real desire is to allow online casino gambling sites to operate within the country's boundaries while providing poker, slots and table games.
The Future of Gambling in Mexico
In September of 2014, legislation to reform and modernize the gambling laws set forth in 1947 was making its way through the House of Representatives. Finally, it was announced in early 2015 that a new bill had passed the House and was on the way to the Senate for ratification. For those who don't know, things tend to move slow South of the US border.
With that said, the new bill is still pending. In the meantime, there are as many as 35 casinos in the planning stages in anticipation of the new legislation becoming law. Each of these casino sites are located within 50 miles of the US/Mexico border in California. With another list of proposed sites set to be built around large tourist areas like Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun, the country would indeed seem to be poised to reap great financial benefits by moving forward.
Mexico as a Worldwide Gaming Jurisdiction
Given the rather methodical way the government moves in Mexico, it makes sense to assume the country is still years away from becoming a viable destination for online casino owners who want to offer its games within a relevant and reputable jurisdiction. Perhaps that day is dawning, but for now, the task at hand is to get the gambling infrastructure in place to make this a safe and secure place for land-based and online gamblers to play.
In Mexico, online gambling is largely illegal. To date only a handful of brick and mortar casinos are permitted to offer online gambling to residents in other countries based on regulations passed in 2004. In 2015 a new bill is finally on the way to the Senate for ratification.
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By Denise Marie (Dec 2015)