Gambling is quite a peculiar practice. Certain countries have completely banned it for different reasons while there are also those that have welcomed it with open arms as its legalization can have a huge impact on their economy. Moreover, there are countries that permit gambling in a land-based venues but have not yet made online gambling available.
So, what is the situation like in Mexico? Is gambling a prohibited activity, or can the citizens actually place a wager here and there?
While it needs to be done in an authorized establishment, gambling is a permitted practice and Mexicans are free to play in any of the 200-plus casinos in the country. On the other hand, online casinos are not yet properly regulated, but the industry seems to be thriving. Why is that so? Keep on reading to learn more.
The history of gambling in Mexico
When it comes to the history of gambling in Mexico, it must be said that the practice in this land dates back to the Aztecs. They commonly played patolli, an ancient board game. During this game, they would gamble everything from knickknacks and their clothes to themselves, and be forced into servitude. Fights over cheating were not uncommon, and parents used to warn their children about the conscious and smart ways of gambling.
Gambling was also alive and kicking in the 19th century, when France attempted to colonize the country, as there were several casinos across the land. However, as President Porfirio Diaz’s rule came to an end in 1911, the Mexican gambling industry started dwindling down as well. Despite a brief resurgence during the 1920s’ prohibition in the United States, gambling didn’t make a huge comeback.
What is more, in 1935, President Lazaro Cardenas made it illegal, and a 1947 law put strict limitations in place that made gambling partially legal. As a matter of fact, that statute is still in force. However, after more than fifty years, 2004 saw a regulation that contributed to a rise in gambling once again, as it made setting up a casino much easier.
An overview of the gambling legislation in Mexico
Individuals that want to gamble in Mexico can choose from bingo, lottery, pari-mutuel betting, sports betting, video gambling machines, and even cockfighting in certain states. The government banned slots back in 2013.
When it comes to granting licenses for gambling establishments, it is in the hands of the Ministry of Interior. It also has the authority to permit horse race betting, greyhound racetracks, and cockfighting.
In terms of the legislation, the Customary Law, the Federal Consumer Protection Act, the General Health Act, and federal and local Tax-related Acts all have a direct impact on the gambling industry.
The status of online casinos in Mexico
As the law that is still in effect dates back to 1947, it is only normal that it doesn’t cover everything that we have within hand’s reach in casinos in the 21st century. In 2004, a piece of legislation called Regulations of the Federal Games and Draws Law was passed with the aim of regulating all gambling activity. However, even that is not an all-inclusive bill as it still doesn’t mention internet gambling. While a new law that would regulate online gambling as well was proposed in 2014, it has been postponed indefinitely.
However, that doesn’t mean that online casinos are not available in Mexico. What is more, the sector is thriving. As partnerships with foreign companies are possible, many online sports betting companies have teamed up with licensed operating companies that are legal in Mexico. They are able to welcome Mexican players. Moreover, individuals are free to play on foreign websites that are licensed and accept players from Mexico. As playing in unlicensed casinos is illegal, it’s always good to look for a list of the top casinos available to Mexican players. In addition to safety, playing in licensed casinos comes with the extra benefit of being exempt from taxes.
The selection of online casinos
When deciding on the best casino, there are several factors that players need to keep in mind. For one, the payment methods and how fast the winnings can be withdrawn is a very important aspect. Then, the selection of games that players can engage in should surely play a role as there is no point in joining an online casino that doesn’t provide a wide array of options. Finally, a player should always look into the bonuses that the online casino offers.
With that in mind, 888 Casino, bet365, Royal Vegas, Spin Casino, Betway, and PokerStars Casino are some of the most popular online options in Mexico. They have a great selection of games and often incentivize their players with amazing deals.
With no clear regulations, it’s easy to see how the online casino industry is currently thriving. It remains to be seen whether the government will make the most of this opportunity and introduce certain laws that will both regulate the field and provide the country with an economic boost.
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