There are more than 100,000 slot machines in Mexico which are spread across different casinos throughout the country. The President of the Mexican Senate’s Board of Directors, Senator José Maria Martinez recently expressed his concerns over these slot machines claiming that more than a third of these slot machines are uncertified.
Senator Martinez says that these uncertified slot machines could be tampered with thereby giving the house an unfair edge over players. The Senator has called on the government to expedite the 1947 Raffles and Gambling Act in order to crack down on these uncertified slot machines and protect players from being exploited and becoming victims of fraud.
So far around four attempts have been made to change the gaming laws in Mexico in order to give the government more authority over the casino industry. According to a report on G3Newswire Senator Martinez said, “The legal vacuums that persist make it difficult to regulate this activity, while the number of bookmakers, games, and raffles continues to grow with electronic scrap or uncertified machines.”
The Senator stated that based on the Gaming board which is a part of the Interior Ministry (SEGOB), the board has so far issued 789 gaming licenses and a total of 434 casinos were currently in operation. More than 50 percent of these casinos were running their operations on the margins of what was deemed legal since they were protected by the local courts. This was one of the main reasons why these casinos have not been properly certified.
Senator Martinez also highlighted the fact that the increase in the number of uncertified slot machines was because the 1947 Act was amended in 2004 and allowed casino operators to expand their services. There have been a number of attempts over the years to amend the 1946 act but no final decisions have been made so far. Legislators have attempted to change gambling laws in the country as they had plans of turning Mexico into a gambling paradise similar to Las Vegas, where 5-star hotels located in tourist hotspots would be able to offer gaming services.
This time around the push to change gambling legislation in the country is more out of concern for the lack of governance in the industry and the controversy that has surrounded the issuance of gaming licenses by the SEGOB. Legislators also want ‘umbrella licenses’ to be banned as these licenses permit an operator to run a number of sports betting shops and slot parlors under one gaming license.
The Mexican Senate is currently reviewing a new set of gaming reforms which include removing the authority of local courts from protecting casinos and issuing stays of closure when they are found to be breaching current gaming laws in the country. The new laws will allow operators who have licenses under the 1947 Raffles and Gambling Act to continue to operate till their license expires, after which they will have to apply for a new license meeting all of the stipulated requirements.