hat would you say were the hot topics attendees discussed during the Convention?
The Director General of the Gambling and Lottery Office (Segob) Luis Felipe Cangas Hernández was in charge of inaugurating the event. The Mexican regulator kicked off the start of the conferences delivering an emotional message about the earthquake that severely affected the people of Mexico back in September. He then addressed the audience to point out that the Convention's main objective is to exchange ideas among the representatives of the gambling sector in the country.
Overall, attendees were able to take part in eight conferences and round tables covering interesting industry topics such as the growth of the online gambling sector, land-based security services, the need to adopt international standards, the role played by manufacturers and technology supppliers and cooperation among organizations in the sector among others.
Mexico's gambling legislation dates back to 1947. Do you think the Convention could pave the way for new updated laws?
I am aware that the head of the Ministry of Government Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong has requested a revision of the law in the Senate. However, the debate has remained satlled for the past three years.
Do you consider the existing legal framework is enough to regulate the market?
According to Michael Ellen, who served as Director of Licensing and Strategy within the executive management of The Alderney Gambling Control Commission in the United Kingdom, the potential of Mexico's online gambling sector is enormous.
Estimating the annual growth rate at 25 percent, Ellen said revenue from the online gamling and betting sectors currently adds up to USD 450 million. However, only USD 50 million are generated by authorized operators.
Considering those facts, Mexico is losing an alarming amount of money facing senators' lack of interest in promoting the Federal Gambling Act. Furthermore, in 2016 revenue from the so called IEPS tax that is imposed on the sector totalled USD 142.2 million.
International observers who have been invited to the Convention are therefore saying that Mexico's unregulated online gambling sector is worth USD 400 million and, with the IEPS tax rate at 30 percent, it is obvious that additional revenue could double the 2016 figures.