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Mexico Set to Legalize Online Gambling

- December 9, 2014 By Nemanja L. -

Online gambling regulation in Mexico edges closer

Mexico Senate set to approve new online gambling regulation.

Mexico are on the verge of introducing the legal framework that would regulate online gaming in the country after the two leading parties agreed in principle on the new gambling bill.

The government has already had several unsuccessful attempts in the past as their leading political forces Partido da la Revolucion Democratica (PRD) and Partido Accion Nacional (PAN) were unable to find common ground.

However, the breakthrough has finally been made as Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies voted 297-32 in favour of new regulation on Friday. The bill is now set to go to the Senate to be approved.

Licensed Operators Can Only Accept Mexican Players

The new legal framework, called Ley Federal de Juegos con Apuesta y Sorteos, is designed to make Mexico a single-nation entity that will only allow a handful of providers to offer their services to the country residents, although current land-based gambling establishments will be subject to more transparent regulations.

Under the new rules, gaming companies licensed in Mexico will be required to only accept players from The Land of Enchantment, which basically means not too many gaming operators will be keen to take a gamble with this huge market.

Online poker players, who are likely to be the most affected by the new framework, have already lodged a protest, which in turn saw Deputy Fernando Zarate agreeing to meet the players’ representatives and hear their concerns.

Improved transparency is one of the main objectives of the new gambling bill, with Deputy Jose Arturo Salinas Garza suggesting that Mexican people will finally learn exactly how many casinos are operating within the country and have access to all information regarding new licensed and casino owners.

Minimum Gambling Age Set to 21

The new regulation is also expected to help battle the illegal gambling market, while the minimum gambling age will reportedly be set to 21.

Mexico’s first attempt to advertise online gambling proved a major failure as the 2008 PokerStars Latin America Poker Tour event, supposed to be held in Nuevo Vallarta, was cancelled by the local authorities.

Mexican poker players Angel Guillen and Christian de Leon talked earlier this year about the prospects of having regulated gaming market in Mexico, suggesting that the country should follow Brazil’s example of organizing poker tournament across the country.

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