New investments of US$300 million to $375 million will give the Mexican casino industry a shot in the arm soon, with 25 new casinos announced by the President of Mexican gaming organisation ASPJAC (Asociación de Permisionarios y Proveedores de Juegos y Sorteos, A.C). Investment in the casinos, which will replace those recently closed by the Interior Ministry will be between US$12m and US$15m each according to a report on G3 newswire. The Interior Ministry (SEGOB) revoked the licenses of several casinos, most of them located in Chiapas, Monterrey, and Coahuila states.
The Directorate General of Gaming, a part of the Interior Ministry, has already approved most of the licenses and many of the casinos could be operational before the end of the year. Many believe that these operators will be “grand-fathered” in once a new casino act is signed into law. The Federal Betting and Raffles Law, which passed the House of Representatives in December would ban so-called “umbrella licenses” which allowed operators to run several slots parlors or betting shops under a single license.
The SEGOB closed casinos in anticipation of the new law passing. Many of the licenses were first awarded in 2005. About 100 casinos were closed from 2012 to 2014. EMEX (Entretenimiento De Mexico) took the biggest hit in the closures, losing a federal permit to run up to 50 casinos in the purge. One reason given by the ministry for the closures is that previous administrations had awarded incomplete licenses and the system was in a state of disorder.