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Mexico’s Casino Industry is Being Put on Hold, For Now


Mexico is known for its incredible cuisine, beaches, and historical monuments. Gamblers also love this country for its large number of exciting casinos. Interestingly, it appears that Mexico’s casino industry is starting to shut down.

The country’s president has just announced that he’s no longer awarding casino licenses to new applicants. There seems to be a large number of unlawful gambling licenses being awarded here. Now is the perfect time to look at exactly what is happening here.

Let’s get into it!

More Lawmakers Call to Update the Gambling Laws in Mexico

The US has one of the largest gambling industries in the world. Just south of the border, some of the world’s most unusual gambling laws can be found. Mexico is notorious for having a large, somewhat confusing set of gambling regulations in place.

At the start of the 20th century, Mexico was home to a large and successful gambling industry. It was largely unorganized, however, and the government began to feel that casinos led to an increase in crime. In 1947, a law was passed that seemed to kill the country’s gambling industry for a time.

This wasn’t exactly the case, though. Today, there are approximately 300 casinos located around the country. These are regulated by the government and are almost all found in or near major tourist destinations.

Sports betting is legal in Mexico, too. Several major international sports betting companies have even broken into this industry. Sports gambling is expected to grow more popular here over the next few decades.

Many lawmakers now feel that it’s time for Mexico to fully legalize all forms of gambling. The differing laws between states have made things more difficult than they need to be. Unfortunately, these legalization efforts have largely failed over the years.

New gambling venues are constantly popping up throughout Mexico. Don’t expect to see any open their doors anytime soon, though.

President Obrador Halts Expanding Mexico’s Casino Industry

There are many gambling venues spread around Mexico. Not everyone is happy about this fact. Many members of Mexico’s government now believe that it’s time to take a closer look at the regulations set in place here.

Not long ago, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador asked the country’s Secretary of the Interior to investigate whether or not there were unlawful casino licenses awarded in the early 2000s. The president has expressed concern that this was taking place under Vicente Fox’s tenure ending in 2006.

Mexico’s casino industry has been under intense scrutiny over the years. This country has been seeing a massive spike in Covid-19 cases over the past few months. Many have called for a shutdown to all crowded venues including casinos.

President Obrador commented on this new plan to halt issuing casino licenses with the media this week.

“We are going to ‘clean up’ the government. There is a problem and we are going to solve it because we are coherent and persistent. We want no more casinos to open and no more permits to be granted. Some that began during Vicente Fox’s administration were not adequate. We are not going to grant such permits,” he said. “Some licences may have been issued but that is because we need to clean up the government and we have been doing that for a long time now, but we are not done yet. It is sometimes noted that for each authorised casino about seven million pesos are obtained.”

It’s clear that the government is taking a closer look at the country’s current set of gambling laws. Casino proponents feel these new measures may eventually lead to a ban on all gaming properties. We’ll continue offering updates on this situation over the next few months.

US Casinos Are Still Struggling to Gain Revenue

Mexico isn’t the only country to see its regulations towards casinos change recently. Casinos around the world have seen their entire land-based gambling industries shut down over the past seven months. Over in the US, casinos are still struggling to bring in revenue.

Fortunately, things appear to be improving here. Major casino destinations have slowly begun to see their tourism numbers increase. Some of the country’s biggest gambling venues are now open with intense safety measures set in place.

Many states are benefiting greatly from their regulated online gambling operations. That includes New Jersey, which now allows both online sports betting and casino gambling. Not long ago, the state earned a record-high amount of revenue from its online sports gambling operations.

Many states and even other countries are seeing this revenue flowing in. It’s likely that laws towards online gambling will begin to shift around the world over the next decade.

Some believe that Mexico’s casino industry should begin to mirror the one in the United States. The government allows these venues to operate, yet seems focused on keeping it small and out of the public view. With better regulation, Mexico could grow a large, safe casino industry that brings the government valuable revenue each month.

Are you surprised to hear Mexico is no longer offering casino licenses? Will gambling laws change here soon? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

Kevin Oldroyd

A longtime sports and gambling enthusiast, Kevin looks to present up-to-date and reliable information for readers. If he’s not writing, he’s probably watching MMA or playing blackjack. …

View all posts by Kevin Oldroyd

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