January 07, 2017 / by: Gray Peterson
It is estimated that there are more than 100,000 slot machines spread across various gaming venues in Mexico. However, according to Senator Jose Maria, who is the President of the Mexican Senate’s Board of Directors, over one-third of these slot machines are uncertified and this it is something that is raising concern.
The Senator explained that these gaming devices being uncertified is a worrying disaster since casino owners can tamper with them and, therefore, have an unfair advantage over the players. Senator Martinez asked the government to hasten the 1947 Raffles and Gambling Act to crack down all the uncertified slots so that they can protect the players’ from exploitation and prevent fraudulent activities from happening.
Mexico has witnessed four attempts aimed at changing the gaming laws to equip the government with more authority over the gambling industry. Despite the efforts, Senator Martinez believes that there is still much that needs to be done to cover the legal vacuum which has for a long time made it difficult for the relevant government bodies to regulate the activity. Especially, now that the number of games, bookmakers, and raffles continues to increase as more uncertified and unregistered machines get into the market.
The senator explained that based on the data from the Gaming Board which operates as part of the Interior Ministry, only 789 gaming licenses had been issued and only 434 casinos are registered to be in operation. He further argues that over 50% of these casinos run their operations on margins that are deemed to be legal and are duly protected by local courts. He cited this as one of the main reason as to why certification of gaming slot machines has been impossible.
Senator Martinez also pointed out that the amendment of the 1947 Act in 2004 which led to the expansion of casino operation in the country as another reason which resulted in the number of uncertified slot machines increasing in the market. Several attempts to amend the 1946 act that would see proper regulation, taxation, certification and licensing measures adopted, have proved futile as no decision has ever been made. Legislators in Mexico have tried from time to time to change gambling laws so that they can make Mexico an enticing gaming destination similar to other regions of Macau and Las Vegas but in every time, the process is marred by controversies.
Currently, the quest to change the country’s gambling legislations is a more focused mission since there are serious concerns about the improper governance of the gambling industry and the fully blown controversy surrounding the issuance of gaming licenses by the SEGOB. Legislators are also asking for the abolishment of “umbrella licensing” where one operator is permitted to run different slot venues and sport betting shops under one license.