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Mexico – Minister of Interior says crackdown will continue

By - 6 May 2014

The Head of Mexico’s Interior Ministry (SEGOB) Osorio Chong has restated his commitment to stronger regulation of the gaming industry.

Mr Chong’s comments come after a number of high profile raids last week on six casinos in six states throughout Mexico.

Speaking after a security meeting with the governors of the north-eastern region he said: “We’ve already reviewed all the establishments, and we will continue with those who are operating irregularly. All those casino which are operating irregularly will be sanctioned appropriately. We will encourage and we will support those who make good use of their permits but of course we will make the appropriate decisions, here in the northwest region or any other state when it comes to those with irregularities, who are not acting in strict compliance with the law.”

Members of SEGOB closed down six casinos during a major operation against local gaming company Entretenimiento De Mexico (EMEX) after an administrative process against the company was first launched last year. It was owned and operated under license by EMEX via the Palmas group, under the control of so called ‘Tsar of Casinos’ José Rojas Cardona. In April Mexico’s gaming regulatory revoked the federal permit that had allowed the company to operate up to 50 gaming centres in the country. The company was first issued a gaming permit during the administration of President Vicente Fox in 2005. Its licence was valid until May 24, 2030.
Referring to the closures last week Mr Chong said that the raids were a result of a thorough review of the records held by the General Directorate of Gaming which comes under the supervision of the Interior Ministry.

SEGOB is currently carrying out a thorough review of all gaming licences handed out in Mexico and is working closely with Special Commission of Gaming of 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. In August 2013Mr Chong announced that he and SEGOB would work closely with the special investigative committee to analyse possible changes to Mexico’s gaming laws.

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