International edition
June 18, 2021

According to official regulatory entity

107 casinos operate ilegally in Mexico

(Mexico).- At the meeting with the Special Commission to investigate the operation at the request of the federal government related to the granting of games and draws, Alfonso Pérez Lizaur, president of the Association of Games and Draws Licensees, commented that the entity congregates the 60% of the gaming industry and the 85% of the tax collectors, on top of employing 60,000 workers.

H

e told the legislators that there are 250,000 slot machines, distributed in 100 and 120,000 venues such as drug-stores and corner shops. He also said that, due to the lack of regulation in the gaming industry, it registrates losses to the public treasury for us$ 77.9 million.

Pérez Lizaur indicated that there are 11 licensees that are forced to operate horse-racetracks, but seven of them have never done it, which generates an unfare competition. The President of the Association commented that, regarding gambling problems, the venues belonging to his association count with preventive messages is to play with responsibility, on top of bringing data of support groups to overcome this addiction.

He mentioned that the gaming industry faces problems related to illegality and informality, and the only way to erradicate them is joining efforts. “We have reported constantly the growth of ilegal gaming; there are signs of the share of illegal resources at illegal gambling venues, which operate mainly in the states of Tamaulipas, Chihuahua, Coahuila and Nuevo León", he reported.

He assured that games and draws licensees are committed with the financial authority to achieve an environment with an adequate control, transparency and tax equity. “Companies, legislators and the government must work in order to establish clear rules, create investment incentives and respect for the law,” he pointed.

He indicated that the formal industry legally established is comprised by 31 companies with licenses issued by Segob; 641 remote betting centers, of which 379 are already operating; 584 bingo halls or yaks, of which 369 are operating; 9 horse-racetracks / greyhound racetracks, 2 are operating; 3 jai-alai, of which just one is operating.

He indicated that, through its operations, the games and draws industry contributes to the economic development of the country through investments of approximately us$ 1,5 billion; it creates more than 35,000 direct employments and 97,000 indirect long-term employments; more than us$ 400 million a year in taxes; and generates important economic improvement in the regions in which it establishes.

The President of such commission, representative of Movimiento Ciudadano, Ricardo Mejía Berdeja, indicated that the data is serious, because the gaming industry is a matter of national security and therefore it must be atended and verified.

"Among the concerns that the association told us, it is the legal void for the use of the land for casinos in councils, a situation that causes discretionality and favoritism in certain communities. That’s why they asked us to regulate it in the bill in which they will be working on, after the analysis that the commission is facing,” assured Mejía Berdeja.

Finally, the federal legislator indicated that they will continue to have meetings with public and prívate actors with the aim to face this issue with transparency and get to the bottom.

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