The Mexican Gambling Scene: Recent Developments and Future Prospects (2019-2022)


Mexico is a nation steeped in history and renowned for its vibrant culture. Over the past three years, the country has seen a dramatic change in its gambling scene.

There is a long history of gambling in Mexican history and culture. From ancient Aztec games to modern casinos and online betting. Despite some complex regulations, Mexico’s gambling industry has expanded in recent years. It generated $1.26 billion in 2022.

This article explores Mexico’s gambling landscape from 2019-2022. We’ll cover its history, laws, key games, and future outlook.

Online Gambling in Mexico

Online gambling is legal in Mexico but faces tight restrictions. There are no licensed Mexican online casinos, sportsbooks, or poker sites.

Yet, many international gambling sites accept Mexican players who want to bet real money online. Mexicans can wager on sports, slots, and other games through sites based overseas. But issues like depositing can be problematic, with Mexican banks often blocking transactions.

Some players get around this by using cryptocurrency wallets. Industry estimates suggest Mexicans wager over $200 million online annually through unregulated channels.

A Glimpse into Mexico’s Gambling History

Mexico’s gambling roots run deep. It traces back to ancient civilizations like the Aztecs, who played games of chance and skill. Forms of roulette and card games arrived later with European colonizers.

The first legal casinos opened shop in 1947. Currently, there are 209 legal gambling facilities across 28 states. They’re mainly located in tourist destinations like Mexico City, Monterrey, and coastal resorts.

Gambling Legislation in Mexico

Mexico has a complex set of federal and state gambling laws. The Mexican government oversees the industry at the federal level. However, individual states have the authority to determine specific regulations within their jurisdictions.

The key legislation is the 1947 Federal Games and Draws Law. It prohibits most forms of gambling. But it allows some games and raffles authorized by the Bureau. Each state can regulate gambling, creating a patchwork of rules nationwide.

Poor coordination between federal and state regulators hampers consistent enforcement. The outdated Gambling Law also lacks specifics. These include defining online gambling and requiring extra-modern legislation.

Advertising of Gaming Activities

Mexican law regulates the promotion of any gaming activities involving wagering. Advertisements cannot induce betting. They must provide clear information to avoid deceiving the public.

All ads must note the license number authorizing operations. Also, they must contain responsible gambling messages stating minors cannot take part.

Regulatory Changes

In 2019, Mexico introduced legislation to address various concerns. These issues include money laundering and underage gambling. Despite many attempts, Mexico’s federal congress has yet to agree on reforms to modernize the antiquated 1947 Gambling Law or 2013 Gambling Regulations.

Key Mexican Gambling Authorities

The Ministry of the Interior (Secretaría de Gobernación) oversees gambling activities in Mexico through the La Secretaría de Gobernación (Segob). Moreover, the National Lottery (Lotería Nacional) organizes and oversees various legal games and lotteries within the country.

State-level regulatory bodies also shape the industry within their respective regions. These bodies enforce regulations, approve licenses, collect taxes, and prevent illegal gambling.

Games Allowed and Prohibited

Mexico broadly allows various forms of gambling. These include fantasy betting, slot machines, and table games like roulette. Also, blackjack, sports betting, and lottery tickets are legal. Bingo and poker rooms cater to those seeking a different kind of thrill. Mexicans can play real money poker in land-based casinos.

Horse race betting and parimutuel wagering are also allowed in some states. People can also take part in social gaming without prizes in money or worth.

Prohibited gambling includes unregulated card games, underground casinos, and unlicensed betting shops. Furthermore, most online casino games are not allowed. Yet, games like slots, roulette, and sports betting are legal. Thus illicit gambling dens offering prohibited games are common.

Future Outlook

Mexico’s gambling market will likely continue growing. The country has a large population, rising tourism, and increasing internet access. This is attractive to domestic and international gambling companies.

Yet, Mexico continues to grapple with illegal gambling operations. There are ongoing debates over the social impact of gambling, including addiction. Responsible gambling practices and comprehensive public policies will sustain the industry’s growth.


Mexico’s gambling scene from 2019 to 2022 is a story of growth, regulation, and opportunity. There is a cultural background to gambling in Mexico. It’s now complemented by a developing legal industry.

The Mexican gambling market could expand in the coming years. This will happen if the right regulatory changes are made to embrace online betting. Tapping this potential requires lawmakers to modernize gambling regulation for the digital era.

Mexico Daily Post