Gambling Regulation in Mexico: How Have the Laws Evolved?


The Mexican gambling laws have changed dramatically over the years. Although now legal, Mexico has a checkered history of gambling which spans back to Omlec times, and the activity has since been outlawed and legalized repeatedly.

To understand the laws that govern gambling in Mexico and how they have evolved, we must first explore their history.

Evolution of Gambling Laws in Mexico: From Ancient Civilizations to Modern Regulations

Historically, the Olmec, Maya, and Aztec civilizations that inhabited Mexico all participated in games where a prize was wagered. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 16th century, they brought European games and new gambling methods.

The first officially legal form of gambling in Mexico was The Royal General Lottery which was established in 1771. At this time, the Catholic Church was against any form of wager. Because of this, much of the lottery money was donated to charities and hospitals or used in other socially beneficial ways.

During the time of French colonialism in the 19th century, European-style casinos were built. But, following the Mexican Revolution of 1911, all gambling games were banned, and the gambling industry faced restrictions.

Over the border in the United States, gambling was banned in the 1920s. Around the same time, Mexico legalized commercial gambling. This led to an influx of tourists from the U.S. looking to enjoy betting on games like roulette and poker. But this would be short-lived, as President Lazaro Cardenas banned gambling completely in 1935.

In 1947, this all changed. President Miguel Alemán Valdé brought in the Federal Games and Draws Law, which regulates lotteries, sports betting, casinos, and other forms of gambling. As a federal republic, there are, however, differences in how gambling is regulated in each state. That said, there is less variation in regulation than across the United States.

The 1947 gambling laws remained unchanged for decades; however, they were revised in 2004. The revisions addressed changes in the traditional gambling industry and added regulations for the developing online sector.

In 2013; further revisions were made. These changes helped clarify issues surrounding skill-based gambling machines and other electronic games. The following year, further revisions to the online gambling laws were suggested; however, this was postponed until 2015.

Current Gambling Landscape in Mexico

Based on the most recent available data, the popularity of online gambling in Mexico has been on the rise. The convenience and accessibility of online bookmakers have attracted a significant number of Mexican punters. In fact, the online gambling market in Mexico is estimated to reach a value of $1.9 billion by 2023.

With the expansion of online gambling options, Mexican punters have access to a wide range of sports betting opportunities. According to Basketball Insiders there is a great selection of online bookmakers in the United States that cater to Mexican bettors, offering competitive odds and a variety of betting markets.

Furthermore, the Mexican government has recognized the potential economic benefits of the gambling industry. Efforts have been made to regulate and tax online gambling activities to ensure consumer protection and generate revenue for the country. This regulatory framework has created a favorable environment for Mexican punters to engage in online betting safely and legally.

The growth of online bookmakers in the United States has also provided Mexican punters with additional choices and enhanced betting experiences. These reputable platforms offer a wide range of sports, including popular Mexican sports such as soccer and boxing, with competitive odds and attractive promotions.

Overall, the availability of online bookmakers in the United States, coupled with the favorable regulatory environment in Mexico, has opened up a world of possibilities for Mexican punters looking to place bets on their favorite sporting events.

Mexico Daily Post