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In a surprising move, the Mexican government has released a draft decree that could bring an end to gaming machines and casino-style games in the country. This news has sparked outrage among Mexican operators, union groups, and both local and international associations.

The proposed draft aims to reform and repeal various provisions of a 2004 regulatory decree. It seeks to eliminate slot machines and shorten the duration of casino permits. This means that casinos will no longer be able to offer slot machines, and their permits will be reduced from 25 years to 15 years.

But it doesn’t stop there. The draft also includes a ban on any games involving slot machines, dice, cards, or roulette wheels. If implemented, this would effectively shut down Mexico’s 400+ de facto casinos once their operators’ licenses expire.

As the gaming industry faces an uncertain future in Mexico, operators and associations are gearing up to fight against these restrictive measures.

The proposed draft legislation on casino gaming has received over 140 comments, the majority of which strongly oppose the changes. Mexican gambling operators warn that these changes would not decrease demand but instead lead to illegal and unregulated practices.

Union groups representing service industry employees also voice concerns as the draft jeopardizes thousands of jobs provided by licensed gambling halls in Mexico.

International gaming operators based in Las Vegas, who cater to the Mexican market, have also commented. Experts from the University of Nevada and a gaming lawyer advise the Mexican government to consider well-regulated practices from other countries when assessing the benefits and risks of the casino business.

Gaming in Mexico is regulated by the Ministry of Interior. The National Commission on Regulatory Improvement oversees federal and sub-national regulations.

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