A major shakeup of the Mexican lottery market is reportedly on the cards after the lower house of the nation’s bicameral legislature passed a measure earlier this week that would see the financially struggling National Lottery merge with the rival Pronosticos para la Asistencia Publica (Pronosticos) service.

According to a Wednesday report from G3Newswire, the legislation approved by the Chamber of Deputies via a near unanimous vote calls for operations of the National Lottery to be folded into those of its Pronosticos counterpart as the latter’s sales figures and network are more advanced than those of its older counterpart.

Rights respected:

G3Newswire reported that the measure, which is now due to be put to a vote before the higher Senate of the Republic, would also see the newly-combined enterprise utilize the National Lottery name and retain its exclusive license to offer nationwide lottery games. The legislation moreover purportedly sets out the budgetary and administrative particulars of the proposed merger to be coordinated by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit in partnership with the Ministry of Public Administration and calls for the rights for every one of the operators’ workers to be respected.

Tax troubles:

Newly-elected Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador reportedly proposed this merger in July as a way of reversing a decline in sales for the National Lottery. This service purportedly began racking up deficits in 2008 as a result of the implementation of the Special Excise Tax on Production and Services, which is a federal duty imposed on products that could be deemed harmful to the general population such as alcohol, cigarettes or, in this case, gambling.

Closure call:

The decline of the National Lottery became most evident in 2015 when Mexico’s Chief Audit Office stated that the service was in a growing state of crisis and had even ceased making its required payments to public charities. The government institution later recommended shuttering the operator but this suggestion was met with a large amount of reticence, which led legislators to seek out ways of saving an institution that can trace its history all the way back to 1770.