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Mexico – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
Mexico has somewhat of a storied past with its relationship with gambling and while the country is called home by a massive population it is only just in recent years that the online scene has really managed to explode. Now that the Latin American market has garnered much more interest from the industry, more and more choices and benefits are becoming available to Mexican players. Despite this, the current legislation forbids local operations from allowing access to locals, while overseas establishments remain completely accessible. This means that people who are adamant about playing online will have to look at sites established in jurisdictions abroad.
All of the online casinos accessible by locals will be operating from abroad. Accessing them will take you outside the option of being able to take legal recourse, should anything go wrong. Additionally, the current regulations mean that Mexico is essentially an unregulated market for overseas casinos. This has the adverse effect of attracting black market operations, due to the lack of oversight. As such players must remain extra vigilant when looking to sign up at a new site. Asking yourself a few questions to establish an impression of a site is a good start to keeping yourself from being scammed. There are of course plenty of legitimate sites that are accessible from Mexican players, yet it remains important to be able to distinguish what exactly makes the site legitimate and worth your while.
- Is the casino licensed?
- What are the key policies of the casino’s licensing authority?
- Are your preferred payment methods accepted?
- Does the site also offer sports betting options?
- Will you be able to participate in any promotions or loyalty programs?
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Formally speaking, all forms of gambling had been illegal since 1947. This didn’t stop independent operations from setting up shop, many of which were tolerated to various extents. The government eventually admitted defeat and opened up the legislation in 2004, finally ending decades of prohibition. Authority was given to the Ministry of the Interior, known locally as the Secretaría de Gobernacion. The ministry was given the authority to distribute licenses to local organizations that could be used for both land-based and online activities. A thorny compromise was added though, as local online operations were only permitted to offer their services to players from abroad.
The ironic thing is that the government makes little to no effort to block overseas operations from allowing Mexican residents to access their sites. As such, all of the potential tax revenue benefits instead head to the country that the organization is registered in. This also creates an unregulated layer that operates more effectively than the supposed regulated standard. This strange contradiction doesn’t work to the benefit of the country or the players, which makes us hope that the legislation will again be looked at in the near future so that the country can elevate itself to a truly regulated market.
The number of online casinos looking to break into the Latin American market has been on the rise over the past few years, meaning that more and more operations are starting to provide better localization options for the region. As Mexico is one of the largest and most populous of the Latin American countries, it is clear that there is a lot of incentive for casinos to specifically look at Mexican players. A country with a population of over 126 million is an attractive prospect for any establishment, which will then look towards how it can best cater to such an audience. This means implementing language settings, payment options, as well as a greater representation of localized cultural and sporting events.
Online casinos have effectively been able to operate in Mexico since the early 2000s. Adding that to the large population of the country means that there is a lot of incentive to provide currency and payment options for players wishing to use Mexico Pesos. This is becoming especially more prominent as more and more organizations look to make it big in the Latin American market. Currently, it is still possible to come across casino after casino that is unable to support the currency, but that possibility is only getting smaller as time goes on. The number of payment options also grows at a rapid rate. E-wallets have been particularly popular with players for a long time, however, recently cryptocurrencies have been hitting the scene in a big way. Regardless of your preferred payment options, you can afford to be a little picky when it comes to picking a casino with Mexican Pesos available.
Mexico is a vast country with a lot of beautiful nature and culturally significant sights. This has naturally been a big attraction to tourists from around the world, which also lead to a lot of land-based casinos opening their doors. Now lots of casinos can be found, especially close to the border with the US. Most of these establishments have their sights set on tourists rather than locals. There are however still plenty of venues set up for locals, including sports betting shops. This gives Mexico’s gambling scene a very ‘DIY’ vibe that the government does not have full control of. The combination of regulating the industry, while allowing unlicensed casinos to freely operate does not take advantage of either situation. Players are not able to enjoy the safety that comes from a regulated market while having several restrictions imposed on them on a local level.