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Mexico Online Casinos

MexicoOften overshadowed by its superpower neighbor to the north, Mexico is sometimes seen as a poorer, less stable counterpart to the United States. However, this depiction is based much more on stereotypes than the reality of Mexican life. The largest Spanish-speaking nation in the world, Mexico is one of the biggest economic markets on Earth, and is a nation many have pegged as a potential emerging world power over the next few decades.

Mexico is also a rather interesting, if uncertain, place to be a gambler. There are numerous casinos and other gambling venues in the country, governed by a patchwork of laws that have been showing their age for some time now. That has led many officials to push for reforms and updates to these laws, including clarification on exactly how online sites should be controlled in the country.

Online Gambling in Mexico

One of the major issues related to the efforts to update Mexico’s aging gaming laws is how online gambling should be dealt with. For as long as the Internet-based betting industry has existed, Mexicans have been a part of a true grey market: after all, it’s hardly surprising to find that laws written in 1947 have absolutely nothing to say about the legality or regulation of betting sites.

At least some versions of the bills under consideration have included provisions that would deal with online gaming. The main point of the legislation seems to be to require that any servers hosting games for the market be located in Mexico itself. This has been interpreted as many as suggesting that the country would become a segregated market, a move that would have minimal impact for casino sites, but which could hurt the liquidity of the Internet poker market, as Mexican players can currently compete against poker aficionados from around the world.

Where does this leave online gambling in Mexico at the moment? Currently, there are many foreign operators who offer sites here and as a result there are a huge number of Mexican online casinos to choose from. Likewise, all the most reputable software providers have Mexico on their whitelist meaning locals can play online games from the likes of:

  • Betsoft
  • Microgaming
  • NetEnt
  • Play’n GO
  • Realtime Gaming

To find the best Mexican casino sites, you can visit our full list of casino reviews or simply choose from the sites below that have been handpicked by our staff.

Top Casino Sites in Mexico 2017

  • Rank
  • Casino
  • Bonus
  • Play
1
100% UP TO $1600
2
100% UP TO $200
3
100% UP TO $200

Top Casino Sites in Mexico 2017

1
Jackpot City Casino
100% UP TO $1600
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2
Bet365 Casino
100% UP TO $200
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3
Casino Epoca
100% UP TO $200
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Outdated Laws Cause Confusion

If you’re looking to place a bet and find yourself in Mexico, you’re in luck to a certain extent: there is certainly no shortage of places where you can do so. Many forms of gaming are authorized in the country, based on regulations that go back to 1947.

However, it’s hard to pin down exactly what is legal and what is not, and exactly how the regulatory frameworks of the country are meant to work. Other than a few amendments, laws haven’t been updated in decades, and it was only in 2004 that a licensing system for operators was formally established.

At the moment, there are hundreds of venues in Mexico that host some form of gambling. Those include casinos, race tracks that offer parimutuel wagering, and sports betting, as well as other sites that offer some gaming machines. In 2013, laws were tightened in an attempt to cut down on the number of venues offering games either legally or illegally: slot machines were banned, and it was decided that license holders could not “lend” their authorizations out to third parties to run their own operations.

Given this rather unstable set of conditions, it was clear that something needed to be done to establish order in the gaming industry here. That led Mexican officials to work on pushing through new legislation that would modernize the country’s oversight of the sector.

Those efforts appeared to be moving in a successful direction in 2014, with officials suggesting that the new laws would raise the minimum age for gambling in the country to 21, limit the availability of small gaming dens that proliferated throughout the nation, reauthorize slot machines in licensed locations, and take steps to put stronger anti-money laundering practices into effect throughout the industry. A new federal regulator was also suggested, and a licensing system would be put into place that would allow operators to apply for licenses that would need to be renewed every ten years.

But delays in negotiations and the process of writing and debating the bill ultimately pushed the discussion into 2015, despite the fact that it easily passed through the lower house of the country’s legislature. The next year saw potential changes to the bills, including allowing casinos to be put into popular resort cities that draw numerous tourists each year. These efforts once again stalled, despite that fact that officials had said once again that the legislation was virtually assured to pass at some point during the year.

Lack of Action Means Unpredictable Future

It is hard to find anyone in the casino industry, the Mexican government, or anywhere else that doesn’t agree that the country needs serious reform when it comes to its gambling laws. However, it’s hard to feel confident that progress will be made after watching legislation that was supposedly imminent fail to emerge for two consecutive years.

That said, there are reasons to be optimistic that change and stability will come – eventually. It appears to be in everyone’s best interest (except, perhaps, for those who are running illegal venues) to see reform come to pass. And when bills have been voted on in committees or an entire house of the legislature, the support for these measures has been overwhelming. It has only been shifting legislative priorities that have pushed lawmakers to other topics, putting gambling on the back burner.

Until some sort of bill passes, however, the Mexican gaming industry will continue to be looked at skeptically. Americans have been warned by the US Department of State multiple times to avoid casinos and sports betting locations here, cautioning tourists that they may not be safe, a sign of just how little control the government has over these locations. Any regulatory system would also have a major impact on the online industry as well.

In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, we’ll predict that the legislature will finally approve a bill sometime during the 2016 legislative session. Still, this is a very weak prediction: given how certain this seemed in the past two years, it isn’t hard to imagine a situation in which yet another year passes without any concrete progress being made in this area.

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