Mexico is in a curious position when it comes to Mexican gambling laws, which underscores the vast corruption and foreshadows its eventual meltdown, sure to cause a tsunami of illegal immigrants escaping through the porous, open, and unguarded northern border.
All forms of gambling are currently still forbidden under the 1947 Mexican gambling laws. The National Action Party (PAN), which for the first time came to power in 2000, took an unusual approach in handling the gambling issue.
In 2004, President Vincent Fox (PAN) issued regulations which allowed the government to issue Mexican gaming licenses for slot machine parlors, poker, roulette, blackjack, sports betting, and eventually online casino in Mexico.
The Supreme Court upheld the 2004 regulations while keeping the 1947 Mexican gambling law in place as well. In essence the Supreme Court agreed that the Executive branch can overrule the Legislative branch thereby sidestepping the system of checks and balances found in the US. Though it’s illegal to operate casinos and gambling is strictly prohibited.
There are currently 867 licensed and ‘illegal’ gaming venues offering everything from betting on sports to online bingo games in Mexico. There are also hundreds of unlicensed and ‘illegal’ gaming establishments owned by various powerful organized crime figures sprinkled throughout the country.
The 1947 Mexican gambling law which forbids casinos cannot be removed, since corrupt politicians, cops and generals will instantly lose access to the millions of dollars in bribes to fund their lavish lifestyles.
Corruption is prevalent and open. For example, Roberto Mendez, Mexico’s Assistant General Director of Gaming and Lotteries, issued 41 permits for new casinos and venues to bet on sports in Mexico, on his last day in office.
“You visit any of these establishments, and most have games with dealers, card games, baccarat, and this is prohibited,” mused Garcia Coronado, a member of the leftist Democratic Revolutionary Party.
To sidestep the 1947 prohibition against residents receiving money from gambling, winners of blackjack, bingo or slot jackpots in Mexican casinos are given a few quick bogus trivia questions, thereby claiming that any money received are for winning a trivia contest (which is perfectly legal) and not gambling.
Las Vegas casino conglomerates will not touch the Mexican gambling market because of worries over corruption yet eagerly went to Macau to build a casino in People’s Republic of China. So the legendary levels of corruptions in an authoritarian pseudo-communist China oligarchy are significantly lower than Mexico’s, at least in the eyes of Las Vegas casinos, who know a thing or two about odds.
Perhaps it’s time to build that fence Mr. President, instead of thinking up clever ways for ATF to smuggle guns to Mexican drug gangs.