Gambling in Mexico: from pre-Hispanic games to Online Casinos


When it comes to the history of gambling in Mexico, it must be said that the practice in this territory dates back to the Aztecs. They commonly played patolli, an ancient board game. During this game, they would gamble everything from cacao sedes, feathers, their clothes to their own lives in some cases. Fights over cheating were very common, and parents used to warn their children about the conscious and smart ways of gambling.

Gambling was also a common practice during the 19th century, when France attempted to conquer Mexico, it is documented that there used to be several casinos across the national territory.

However, as President Porfirio Diaz’s rule came to an end in 1911, the Mexican gambling industry started spiraling down as well. During the Mexican Revolution (1910-1921), the few casinos left were raided and looted by the rebel forces.

Nevertheless, there was a brief gambling resurgence during the 1920s’ prohibition in the United States, especially in the border cities, as many Americans used to cross the border to visit the casinos, but gambling did not make a huge comeback though.

In 1935, President Lazaro Cardenas made gambling illegal, and a 1947 law put strict limitations in place that made it partially legal. As a matter of fact, that statute is still in force. However, after more than sixty years, 2004 saw a regulation that contributed to a rise of the gambling industry in Mexico like never seen before. The requirements to open a casino were more simple, making it easier for entrepreneurs to establish casinos chains all over the country.

Gambling legislation in Mexico

Individuals that want to gamble in Mexico can choose from bingo, lottery, pari-mutuel betting, sports betting, video gambling machines, greyhound and horse racing (and even cockfighting in certain Mexican states). The government banned slot machines back in 2013.

When it comes to granting licenses for gambling establishments, it is in the hands of the Ministry of Interior (Secretaría de Gobernación). It also has the authority to permit horse race betting, greyhound racetracks, and cockfighting.

In terms of the legislation, the Customary Law, the Federal Consumer Protection Act, the General Health Act, and federal and local Tax-related Acts all have a direct impact on the gambling industry.

Online casinos in Mexico

As the law that is still in effect dates back to 1947, it is only normal that it doesn’t cover everything that we have within hand’s reach in casinos in the 21st century. In 2004, a piece of legislation called Regulations of the Federal Games and Draws Law was passed with the aim of regulating all gambling activity. However, even that is not an all-inclusive bill as it still doesn’t mention internet gambling. While a new law that would regulate online gambling was proposed in 2014, the activity has been postponed indefinitely.

However, that doesn’t mean that online casinos are not available in Mexico. What is more, the sector is thriving. As partnerships with foreign companies are possible, many online sports betting companies have teamed up with licensed operating companies that are legal in Mexico. They are able to welcome Mexican players. Moreover, individuals are free to play on foreign websites that are licensed and accept players from Mexico. As playing in unlicensed casinos is illegal, it’s always good to look for a list of the top casinos available to Mexican players. In addition to safety, playing in licensed casinos comes with the extra benefit of being exempt from taxes.

Selection of online casinos

When deciding on the best casino, there are several factors that players need to keep in mind. For one, the payment methods and how fast the winnings can be withdrawn is a very important aspect. Then, the selection of games that players can engage in should surely play a role as there is no point in joining an online casino that doesn’t provide a wide array of options. Finally, a player should always look into the bonuses that the online casino offers.

With that in mind, online Casino Juegos have become mighty popular in Mexico. There is a wide selection of games and often incentivize their players with amazing deals.

With no clear regulations, it’s easy to see how the online casino industry is currently thriving. It remains to be seen whether the government will make the most of this opportunity and introduce certain laws that will both regulate the field and provide the country with an economic boost.

The Mazatlan Post