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Mexico Aims to Legalize Casinos in Tourist Resorts
- February 18, 2015 By Nemanja L. -
Land-based casinos in Mexico’s leading tourist resorts are set to become a reality with Acapulco, Baja California and the Mayan Riviera all expected to open its doors to gambling establishments.
The Interior Ministry revealed its plans at a press conference held last week, and they hope the new strategy will prevent new casinos from opening in urban areas, where the majority of customers tend to be local.
A total of 297 gambling venues are currently in operation in Mexico, and while the number of new establishments has yet to be determined, we could see more than 700 new casinos opening its doors if the country continues granting licenses to virtually anyone who applies.
Leading hotel chains such as Resort Mundo Imperial Acapulco and Hard Rock Riviera Maya have confirmed their plans to add casino gaming to their entertainment portfolio, with certain gaming companies from Las Vegas reportedly keen on entering the Mexican gaming market.
Safety issues are a real problem for people vacationing in Mexico, which is why even the US State Department warned their residents against visiting gaming establishments or adult entertainment venues during their stay in the country.
Having said that, the new bill would allow tourists to enjoy their time in the casinos without even leaving their holiday resort, which would certainly add an extra appeal to Mexican hotels and resorts.
New Gambling Law to be Discussed in Senate
New Federal Betting and Raffles Law is currently in the process of passing as it was already approved by the House of Representatives. While the legislation is set to be discussed in the Senate at the end of February, Gaming and Raffles representatives believe there is still enough time to include the new resort casino bill.
The new gambling law is meant to restore order to the country’s casino industry as it will require all casino licensees to apply for a new license under strict rules.
Federal authorities have finally started the crackdown on gaming operators that are trying to bend the rules, having taken action against a number of EMEX casinos back in May.
It is also believed that some 15 per cent of over 90,000 electronic gaming machines (EGM) spread across Mexico utilize an unlicensed software, meaning that a big chunk of estimated $1.6 billion annual revenue ends up in illegal channels.