The Head of Mexico’s Interior Ministry Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong has called for change to Mexico’s antiquated gaming laws in front of the Senate.
Mr Chong said that his department has so far closed down fifty gambling establishments which have been found to be operating outside the terms of their licence as part of a wider push headed by Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto to more closely regulate the market.
Mr. Chong denied targeting one operator in particular in reference to the recent spate of closures of casinos owned by local gaming company Entretenimiento De Mexico (EMEX).
Responding to a question put forward by Senator Manuel Bartlett (PT) who questioned Mr. Chong about the recent closures Mr. Chong said Mexico needed a new gaming law and urged Senators to join in the effort already underway in the Chamber of Deputies which is currently investigating how a new gaming law would be drafted.
“The government is not against gaming but in favour of its regulation,” he said. “In the Chamber of Deputies a Commission has been formed which we have been working with and we believe that if we can integrate some Senators in order to have a new law in which we can all agree with then it will serve the country and we could have effective regulation.”
Mr. Chong also went onto to say that the Interior Ministry (SEGOB) had carried out a thorough investigation into licences handed out by previous administrations.
Casinos were first prohibited by President Lazaro Cardenas in 1936 and then along with most other types of gaming (except lotteries and bingos) were permanently banned in the Betting and Raffles Law of 1947. It is looking increasingly likely that Mexico will see a new gaming law in the near future. SEGOB is currently carrying out a thorough review of all gaming licences handed out in Mexico and is working closely with the Special Commission of Gaming in the Chamber of Deputies which is now looking into how licences have been handed out in the past. It is believed that the investigation now under way could pave the way for new gaming legislation later this year.