Mexico’s gaming bill on hold until at least 2018

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The president of the AIEJA has confirmed that Mexico’s gaming bill will likely not be passed until after the next general election in 2018.


According to the head of Mexico’s gaming association, the long-awaited rewrite of the country’s gaming law is not likely to happen now until 2018.

Miguel Angel Ochoa Sanchez, president of the insanely wordy La Asociación de Permisionarios Operadores y Proveedores de la Industria del Entretenimiento y Juego de Apuesta en México, (AIEJA), told domestic media that the Law of Games and Sweepstakes is now unlikely to be passed until the end of the current legislative session which concludes one month after the next general election – 31 August 2018.

This revised expectation adds two full years on to what many had expected to happen at some stage last year.

Mexico’s lower house approved the bill at the back end of 2014, which would launch a regulated online gambling market in the significant 120 million-strong jurisdiction, as well as remodel the state’s flailing casino sector.

However, the legislation has been stuck with a procrastinating senate since then, and which still shows little signs of getting on with it.

Mexico’s senators “ask for reports on why things happen in states,” says Sanchez. “Instead of asking, they should do their work, they have important legislation in their hands.”

Sanchez claims there is a sense of urgency to bring in appropriate legislation as the current models allows legal licensed operators to be targeted by state lawmakers, who raise tax rates whimsically as quick-fix solutions to budget deficits, damaging the industry.

Mexico’s gaming industry is already an important fiscal contributor to the state he notes, generating $330m in taxes and employing 35,000 people, and should be looked after.

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