Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has recently signed a decree that will see the prohibition of slot machines and casino games.
Coming into effect on November 17th, the order will challenge the nation’s 2004 gambling regulations.The decree
The decree states that the “drawing of numbers or symbols through machines” will no longer be allowed, effectively banning certain games.
Existing licences will as yet be unaffected, however, new permits for casino gaming will no longer be authorised.Backlash
As can be expected, industry officials and legal experts alike, have criticised the decree, raising constitutional concerns.
So much so that frustration is being aired by over 450 establishments in the form of numerous legal challenges.
Legal experts have brought forth challenges to this decree highlighting errors and a lack of industry understanding.
The prevailing concern is undoubtedly the mass job loss this prohibition could incite. Additionally the substantial contribution from the gambling industry could have impacts far greater than first believed.Uncertainty and contradictions
Legal experts have so far argued that the targeted games are permissible under Mexican Federal Law, with the changes contradicting the 2016 Supreme Court classification of slot machines as “sweepstakes”.
The decree also challenges the legalisation of slot machines by Felipe Calderón's administration seven years prior.
The industry has been left in flux with this regulatory action while many are calling for a far more balanced approach due to the significant implications casinos and the border gaming sector in Mexico has on the nation’s economic power.Ministry of the Interior’s defence
The decree has been defended by the Ministry of the Interior which has cited risks from slot machines and other forms of gambling such as corruption of minors and links to organised crime.
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