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Mexico Targeting Dramatic Casino ExpansionPublished February 25, 2015 by Mike P
The Mexican government is granting hundreds of new licenses for land-based casinos, while online gambling approval could also be on the cards.
Mexico typically attracts 23 million tourists a year, many of whom travel to the country to spend time at its various hotel resorts. In other parts of the world, some of the most popular hotel resorts also have their own casinos. Attempting to follow suit, Mexico is increasing the appeal of its most visited hotel resorts by expanding the volume of land-based casino licenses.
Statistics from the Interior Ministry have revealed that there are 297 Mexican gambling venues. However, the appeal for those venues is currently limited for tourists because they are said to be reluctant to travel into the highly populated cities where they are located. Mexico’s largest cities are not without risk for international tourists.
The increase in gambling licenses could rise close to 800, as suggested by some media sources. Popular tourist resorts such as Acapulco and Cancun could soon have casinos to add an extra dimension of appeal for travellers.
Change Coming for Online Gambling?
The decision to dramatically increase the volume of land-based gambling licenses is a clear indicator that Mexico is willing to reconsider its dated gambling regulations, which are close to 70 years old. In modifying the existing legislation, the government will also increase the legal gambling age to 21, when previously it was 18.
At present, there is no wording in the Federal Betting and Raffles Law that permits resort casinos, but that is expected to change, with on-going discussions occurring between politicians.
Online gambling is another area not currently covered in the legislation, so patience will be required for operators hoping to enter the Mexican market. As for what to expect from legalisation, it is said that the key decision-makers in the Mexican government favour a landscape where just a few operators would be present, which is in stark contrast to the increasing land-based casino market.