he gaming bill passed Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies last December but a flurry of new bills and constitutional amendments in Parliament gave precedence over the measure.
Speculation that the bill might not pass was raised as the delays dragged through the first half of the year. But President of the Mexican Gaming Association (AIEJA), Miguel Angel Ochoa Sanchez, recently announced on local radio that he believes the bill would pass sometime during the next Senate session, which runs from September until December.
“It is very important to us that the law can be approved in order to avoid illegality, corruption and above all, to ensure the safety of the player first, secondly of workers, and third of investors in order to create jobs, generate investment and generate taxes for the national economy,” said Ochoa in the radio interview.
The law, known as Ley Federal de Juegos con Apuesta y Sorteos, looks to overhaul the Mexican gaming industry in the biggest move of its kind since 1947. Although the exact implications of the new bill aren’t yet entirely clear, a clause specifies that online gaming would be legalised in the nation and that all servers must be based in Mexico.
Ochoa remarked in his interview that Mexico could be losing upwards of $200m a year in tax revenue that is currently making its way to unregulated operators and it has been a priority of AIJEA to address this issues. He said that regulation should be ready for approval by the end of this year and be expected to go into effect in early 2016.
A new regulator, the National Institute of Games and Lotteries, would be established as part of the legislation that would oversee the new sector to ensure transparency. The new bill looks to eradicate corruption and confusion in the nation’s gaming sector after the closure of some 100 casino over the past three years over questions of licensing.