International edition
October 18, 2021

By Carlos Carrion (*)

Thank you, Marcela!

In January 2013, Marcela González Salas was appointed as General Games and Draws Director of the Secretariat of the Interior, Mexico. For many years, this entity was considered totally unpredictable.


he role seemed rather difficult and complicated because one of the first tasks was to start an investigation about the administrations of previous regimes. In the same way, she is in charge of verifying the legality of several licenses in force, as well as their regulation.

During her administration, she managed to understand the gambling industry and get closer to their main participants, in order to feel personally involved with the matter and have the relevant information to regulate it. Opening up the doors of her office and being able to receive different actors related to the gaming industry has not been seen in Mexico before, and is normal in any established jurisdiction worldwide.

The responsibility of verifying the legality of several licenses brought about the revocation of some authorizations as a consequence, as well as to declare void others, something that was not expected at the beginning of her administration.
I thing no bettor would have asked in any Remote Betting Center if that bet would even exist. She had a great deal of determination during her tenure, and although some of the measures taken were not popular, they market out a sure path and a full compliance of the rules established.

During her tenure, there was a constant fight against illegal gambling in Mexico as never seen before, as mentioned in the latest press conference in February 2015 that, up to date, more than 25,000 illegal machines that affect mainly the Mexican childhood and youth have been withdrawn.

Those devices are located mainly in public places such as drugstores, stationery stores, grocery stores, bus stations and subways, and even in party rooms for children, remaining available for everyone and without the adequate prevention and control that a casino must comply and have to be able to operate within the regulatory frame. In this administration, several illegal casinos operating with fake documentation and that were not even registered on the page of the General Direction of Games and Draws were closed.

As General Director of Games and Draws, she gave a boost to the new project of the Federal Games of Chance Draw. At the beginning no one bet for this bill to be approved by the Chamber of Representatives in 2014, and it was unexpectedly approved by this entity last December 3rd and is now pending to be debated and noted by the plenary of the Chamber of Senators.

Similarly, there are many voices saying that it will not be approved in this legislative period that concludes this April, however, the optimism of many others makes us believe that it will be approved soon and that Mexico will have a new law to substitute the one that has been in force for 58 years and does not envisage the progress of the modern world. Mexico requires an updated regulatory frame in order to control and regulate the gambling industry in an ethical and competitive way, as performed worldwide.

One of the main slogans during her administration was that the gambling industry should not be promoted, either prohibited; it should simply be regulated and controlled in the best way. One of the main precepts she helped infuse and train her team was to avoid any act of corruption and bribery. I think most of the actors of the industry that worked with her may conform that this guideline was always mentioned as the base of her administration.

The manufacturers of gaming equipment had an approach to her and recognized the role they had in the industry as providers of equipment and systems.

Although there was not enough time to continue working together with her it must be recognized that she left solid foundations and an excellent work group at the General Direction of Games and Draws of SEGOB.

That's why, in a personal way, I thank her for her management in the gaming industry in Mexico, trusting that it will continue in an ordered and controlled way, but, above all, with the ethical and professional values seen in the last couple of years.

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