Mexico could be the next jurisdiction to legislate in favour of online gambling, according to comments this week by Ulises Murguia Soto, a member of the Mexican lower house, the Chamber of Deputies.
In a statement given to the media this week, he called for amendments to section 4 of the federal gambling law, allowing the Mexican Secretariat for Home Affairs to hand out licenses for online gambling. Any operator wishing to work in Mexico would need to apply for a license in order to operate their site.
Soto acknowledged that illegal sites were operating anyway, leaving customers at risk.
“Illegal sites take advantage of gaps in the current legislation to the detriment of players, who do not have guarantees on whether they will receive the money they win.”
This lack of regulation means that the government is unable to assist players or apply safeguards to ensure that players are the right age, putting children and young adults at risk. He explained that there are currently more unauthorised sites than authorised ones, putting the public at unnecessary risk.
Mexico currently has a very lax regulatory approach to iGaming and operators need only satisfy some very basic requirements in order to be approved by the government. Since 2000, online gambling has been allowed via a special license but only land-based operators are able to offer their products locally. The growth of the online casino sector has led to a huge overall increase in the sector, that many are looking to tap into.
These latest comments could signal upcoming changes in the sector as central governments look to gain control over the industry. Just last week, Mexican President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador came out against the establishment of new online casinos, saying the government will obstruct any licenses approved by local governments. This seems unrealistic however, especially when you consider how much potential the market has.
At the end of last year, the Latin American online gambling market was estimated to be worth more than $2 billion with the majority of revenue gained in Brazil as well as significant growth from Panama, Columbia, and Argentina. Many countries have started putting in place a number of laws and regulations for the sector like in Columbia and Brazil, others are rushing to keep up and to tap into this potentially huge market.
Costa Rica is one of the main hubs for iGaming operators in Latin and Central America, home to many hundreds of online gambling companies over the years. There is currently no legislation for online gambling in Costa Rica, therefore no license to apply for. This means that in order to set up operations, all one needs to do is incorporate in Costa Rica by means of an Online Gambling Company. This means you can offer sports betting, online poker, casino games, bingo and every other kind of betting from Costa Rica.
To find out more about setting up your online gambling platform in Central or Latin America or for advice on corporate, fiscal, and regulatory matters relating to online gambling, contact Fast Offshore today!