The gaming industry in Mexico has continued its growth mainly supported by the opening of new Slot Machine Casinos and strong investments from Mexican companies, like Caliente, CIE and Televisa, as well as international gambling players like the Spanish company CODERE.
In 2010 the market was worth US$16 billion, contributing 3.7% of the country´s GDP. In 2011, it represented US$260 million in taxes, while employing more than 40,000 people directly and 120,000 indirectly.
The only casino–style gambling authorised in Mexico is in betting game halls exclusive to regional fairs with cards, dice and roulette. These are temporary permits for large-scale “salones de apuestas“, regulated by Ministry of Interior. Although Mexican legislation still prohibits card and roulette games, Mexican companies are looking to install more “Mexican Class” machines (equivalent to Class 3 machines), which has led to several foreign companies looking to expand their distribution in Mexico.
There are currently more than 80,000 slot machines operating in Mexico, and given the current growth rate, competition and the need to provide more options to customers, this figure is set to rise to over 100,000. There is clearly an opportunity for British companies looking to expand their distribution and presence in Mexico.
Currently the clearest opportunities in the gaming market are:
Distribution of class II and III slot machines.
Online and Mobile betting and gaming technology.
Slot machine and casino related services (Consultancy, Security, Money handling systems, etc)
Getting into the market
The gaming establishments in Mexico such as Casinos, Bingo and Slot betting halls do need a number of permits. The first and most important is the Federal Government Permit to open and operate. This permit is given by the Ministry of Interior through the Gaming and Raffles Commission. Secondly, there is a need to obtain a series of permissions of the State in which the gaming gall will be located, and finally municipal authorisations.
In April 2006 entrepreneurs from the gaming industry established the Technical Standards Subcommittee of Gaming, a mechanism to regulate and supervise the industry through the National Organism of Standardisation within NYCE. Its purpose is to raise Mexican standards from the point of view of technical specifications of the systems of terminals operating the playrooms allowed in Mexico that the Federal Law of Gaming and Raffles is not able to cover.
Currently in Mexico there are 27 permit holders, organised in two main associations: the APJSAC (Mexican Association of Gaming Licenses) and AIEJA (Association of Permit Operators and Entertainment Industry Suppliers and Gaming Bet of Mexico). Twenty seven different companies make up the 561 casino permits in the country from which only 306 are operating.
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Expo Azar 2013 (ELA)
Latin American Gaming Exhibition