Home LifestyleEntertainment What Can Yucatan Learn From The US’s Gambling Legalization?

What Can Yucatan Learn From The US’s Gambling Legalization?

by Yucatan Times
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Gambling has always been a popular pastime all around the world and recent times have seen it undergo many changes.

Perhaps the most significant of these has been the arrival of the internet. Not only has it introduced more people than ever before to the pastime, but has also hugely increased the number of ways in which people can gamble.

For many countries this has necessitated the need to bring in new legislation to accommodate the changing landscape and one of the highest-profile examples in recent years has been in the United States.

The momentous 2018 decision

For many decades, gambling in the US had been strictly regulated on a state-by-state basis. Nevada and New Jersey led the way with the epicentres of them being Las Vegas and Atlantic City respectively. Many other states allowed gambling but under fairly strict guidelines.

But a watershed moment came in 2018 when the Supreme Court overturned a ban on sports betting, allowing individual states to allow or forbid the activity as they wished. Some were quick to allow it, others slower and some continued the ban.

Besides introducing many more sports fans to betting on their favorite teams or players, the aim of the legislation has been to reduce the amount of illegal betting in the country. However, research carried out after this year’s Super Bowl suggests that a problem still exists.

That said, the new, more liberal approach to gambling in general across the country has meant that more and more states are now drawing up laws to permit the other huge growth areas, online casinos and other forms of gambling. This serves to clarify what was once something of a grey area in which it was an illegal activity but one for which there was a very small possibility of being prosecuted.

The situation in Mexico

In common with many other countries, Mexico has a long history of gambling woven into its past.

The activity was most likely introduced by the Conquistadores back in the 16th century and the early 20th century saw a proliferation of French-style casinos designed to make the country a more attractive tourist destination. But by the mid-1930s there was a feeling that gambling was getting out of hand and new laws were introduced banning almost all forms of the activity. 1947 saw the introduction of the Federal Games and Draws Law which laid the foundation for the legislation that is in place today.

Broadly speaking, this means that betting on horse racing and in physical casinos is permitted while online casinos are in a definite grey area. Playing on online casinos based in other countries isn’t expressly forbidden – but neither is it officially permitted.

Why follow the lead of the US?

When it comes to whether Mexico in general, and Yucatan in particular, should look to the US for inspiration about gambling law there are several reasons why it should.

The first of these is to offer some real clarity to anyone interested in gambling. By drawing up laws based on the reality of the 21st century, people will know precisely what they can and can’t do. In the US, the regulations are watertight, so players are protected while gambling, meaning that sites can list the best casino sites for US players so they can head online in confidence.

The right legislation will also go a very long way to making gambling a safer activity for everyone involved as it would give the government and its agencies the ability to grant licences to responsible operators and deny them to those with nefarious goals.

Then there’s the question of the revenue that a properly run gaming industry can generate. Setting taxes at the right level could raise billions of pesos for the country each year, especially as gaming in the country is projected to grow by between 13% and 19% annually between now and 2028.

Looking at Yucatan specifically, new legislation could be permitted on a state-by-state basis just as it is in the US. This would mean that it could tailor the laws to suit its own needs and, naturally, the other 31 federal entities of the country could do the same.

Time for change?

All of this debate comes at a crossroads moment for the country. In October its first female president will take office. While President-Elect Sheinbaum has many more pressing issues to address, reforming gambling laws may well appear somewhere on her agenda.

In a bid to boost the country’s economy, as well as to crack down on all forms of criminal activity, there is a strong chance that they will be introduced over the coming years. And for Yucatan, this might not be a moment too soon.


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