International edition
October 20, 2021

The Plenary could approve it on Tuesday

Mexico: New games of chance law approved by the Government Commission of the Chamber of Representatives

(Mexico, exclusive Yogonet.com).- With the Labour Party (Partido del Trabajo) voting against and the abstention of Movimiento Ciudadano (MC), in less than 40 minutes and without modifications, the Government Commission of the Chamber of Representatives approved the Federal Law of Games of Chance and Draws. The document was sent to the General Committee for its debate and possible approval next Tuesday at the Plenary of the legislative organ.

T

he new legal frame will regulate games and draws that will regulate games and draws to be held in the country with the aim to seek for transparency, according to Alejandro Moreno Cárdenas, President of the Government Commission (PRI). He said that “it will be a transparent and ad-hoc law, and the main goal is to avoid money laundering.”

Yogonet consulted Gerardo Ballesteros Félix-Díaz, of the firm Lawyer Consulting S.C. (Gaming Law), specialist in game issues since 2007, who indicated: “Next Tuesday, December 2, they are supposed to present the initiative to the Plenary. So the Plenary has to approve it and the regulation has to be published. Therefore, the law could be in force on the first quarter of 2015.”

The lawyer said that the main modification is the system of substitution of licences. The aim is to end with the system of multiple licenses that is in force at present.

This law forces all licensees to substitute their licenses in force, to end with the “lack of control” existing in the industry due to the fact that the current law has the essential characteristic of allowing more than one casino.

The norm will permit one casino per license. For the opening of a betting center, it is necessary the authorization of the Institute, but it requires the specification of the state and council where they want to install it.

Yogonet also spoke with Jesús Fernando Rodríguez, former Technical Secretary of the Casino Commission of the Chamber of Representatives during the presidency of Deputy Ricardo Mejía Berdeja. He remembered that the Commission was created with the aim to investigate the licenses granted in former presidencies. However, as long as the investigation advanced, it was necessary to formulate a new bill with the aim to improve the games of chance regulation (the law in force is from 1947).

“In the past, several licenses were granted. It means that licenses to operate 10, 45 or 60 gambling venues were granted. Now, there will be just one casino per license. Those operators with licenses to operate 60 casinos must now have 60 licenses: one per each casino,” said Jesús Fernando Rodríguez.

National Institute of Games and Draws

The project establishes that the National Institute of Games and Draws, in charge of regulating casino licenses, will have to verify that online casinos are non-transferable and operated just by the licensee “forbidding any transference, leasing or cession to a third party”.

It will also be in charge of supervising that the advertising is according to responsible gaming. “This Institute will comply with the role of Segob. In my opinion, if it is not done properly, it could lead to a double regulatory authority, said Gerardo Ballesteros Félix-Díaz.

This law established that the National Institute of Games and Draws will have the faculty to impose sanctions from 500 to 200,000 days of minimum wage up to the temporary or definite closure of casinos and revocation of operating licenses. It also considers 2 to 5 years of prison for the person that organizes games of chance or draws withouth a license issued by the institute, as well as for the person that transferes, commercializes or allows the operation of its license.

Pathological gambling

Jesús Fernando Rodríguez expressed: “One of the main goals was to set the basis for responsible gambling, to guarantee the rights of participants and vulnerable groups. Stress was put on control, surveillance, inspection and sanctions. A very important point for legislators was pathological gambling. The project creates measures to prevent and attend this problem.”

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