What’s the Deal With Online Gambling in Mexico?
In regards to gambling meccas across the globe, the country of Mexico isn’t likely to enter the discussion. With the USA and Canada to its north and the UK overseas, Mexico is an overlooked region in terms of gambling online and at traditional venues. However, this country is quickly becoming a notable player in the gambling industry as more Mexican citizens enter the middle class with disposable income. Revenue generated from gambling in Mexico already totals over $10 billion a year. Ultimately, the untapped market in Mexico could turn out to be a worthy investment for online casino operators and sports betting sites once regulation is in place.
Surprisingly, gambling is not a legal activity in Mexico. The laws prohibiting gambling have been in effect for decades. However, residents throughout the country still gamble and contribute to the sizable amount of income that is created from the illegal industry. It’s a common pastime to bet on sports in Mexico and purchase lottery-style scratch cards, but there is no official regulated casino in the region. The shift towards regulated gambling is expected to happen sooner rather than later. Mexican culture and forms of gambling have been intertwined for centuries, with a majority of the population believed to be in support of the industry.
Online casinos and online gambling in general are the areas of concern for Mexican players. The laws in place do not specifically cover gambling online, which means that players can access an online casino or sports betting site at will. However, the online gambling market is not regulated and can lead to issues for the player. If online casinos or betting sites are used, there is no guarantee that the player will actually receive their winnings. In addition, there is nothing the government can do to enforce payment or offer restitution for players who are defrauded. The most practical solution is new regulation, which has hopeful signs in Mexico’s recent legislative rumblings.
Officials in the Mexican government plan to looking at the Federal Gaming Law bill once again. This bill was reviewed in the years 2012 and 2013, though it did not receive the treatment it needed. The upcoming review is expected to be more comprehensive and offer a pathway towards regulated online gambling in the region. This change to legislation will benefits the citizens of Mexico who engage in online gambling at casinos or other sites. Additionally, the shift could prove to create opportunities for reputable gambling companies who wish to enter the market.
The United Kingdom serves as the best example for any country wanting to create regulated online gambling, including Mexico. More relevant legislation was passed early on in the UK, and the regulated online casino industry flourished in the region. All UK gambling operators that wish to provide online casinos or other services are required to be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. The process also includes adherence to rules regarding responsible gambling and fair play practices. The UK Gambling Commission is known for being tough on operators, but the resulting industry is one of the best in the world.