AIEJA Head Predicts Increased Investments After Approval Of Gaming Laws
The President of the Mexican Gaming Association (AIEJA) Miguel Angel Ochoa has said that Mexico would see additional investments up to $120 million if new gaming laws,which are currently stalled in the country’s Senate gets passed.
In a statement Miguel Angel Ochoa said,
In our country there are rules and tax regulations, that it is why there are few permit holders with the right to open gambling halls. However, the approval of the Gaming Law, which will probably be discussed in the legislative period in September, will provide a positive outlook for entrepreneurs who want to invest in this industry
According to Ochoa, once the proposed laws are approved and the new National Institute of Gaming and the Advisory Council is set up, investors would be encouraged by the new legal certainty in the country’s casino industry and be willing to invest heavily.
He said that the Interior Ministry had so far issued licenses to 335 establishments in the country. The casino industry currently provides direct employment to over 38,000 people and supports around 140,000 indirect jobs. Ochoa stated that this could go up significantly over time with the growth of the casino market.
Ochoa observed that the casino industry was controversial in Mexico due to incorrect perceptions arising from wrongful portrayal in movies which show casinos to be involved in money laundering, prostitution and drug trafficking. Casinos according to him are actually a major source for job creation and a great tourist attraction.
The new gaming laws have been drafted by a congressional committee which had been asked in February 2013 to examine how casino licenses were being granted throughout Mexico. It was also mandated to create comprehensive gaming laws for the country. As a result, the new Federal Betting and Raffles Law was approved by the House of Representatives in December 2015 after which it moved to the Senate, where it has run into opposition and been stalled since.
Hotel and tourist associations in Mexico have strongly opposed the law as it allows for full-scale casinos to be built inside the country. Nonetheless, the gaming legislation has been put on priority by the government. The Head of Mexico’s Interior Ministry Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong has asked senators from the ruling party Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and its close ally The Ecological Green Party (PVEM)to vote in favor of the new law.
Addressing the opening of Eighth Plenary Meeting of the two parties, he stated that the gaming law was essential for the country as it would enable the government to have tighter control over the casino industry.
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