The legislation central to Mexico’s gambling laws today was passed back in 1947, giving the federal government the right to regulate wagers and games involving number draws (lotteries, bingo, raffles, etc.). We will go into further detail about the laws in later sections but will point out that while the land-based rules are clearly defined, Mexico gambling sites and online gambling exists in more of a gray area.
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Mexico — or the United Mexican States — is a North American country located to the south of the United States of America. With a population estimated to be around 120 million people, the 770,000 square mile country is the thirteenth-largest independent nation in the world. Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821 and — after several additional wars and struggles — is now a federal democratic republic.
The country is relatively relaxed when it comes to regulating Mexican gambling sites, allowing for a wide range of legal betting activities, with full licensing regimes. While the first gaming law was enacted in 1947, it wasn’t until 2004 that a more detailed system of governing the industry was passed. Now, online gambling remains as the last market lacking legal clarity.
In this guide, we will take a closer look at Mexico’s history with gambling and the current gaming laws to consider when playing in their country. We’ll also look at the regulatory agencies in charge of licensing and monitoring gaming and let you know exactly what you can and cannot do there, including the legalities of using online Mexican gambling sites.
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Why These Are the Best Mexican Gambling Sites
In a country like Mexico, where online gambling regulations are severely lacking, the best opportunities to wager are usually found at offshore gambling websites. Not only are the quality of foreign gaming websites better, but the odds are too. The problem is, if you fall victim to a scam offshore gambling site in Mexico, you have no legal recourse or avenues for recouping your money.
That’s why it’s imperative that you only use the highest-quality offshore gambling sites in Mexico and other countries without a detailed legal framework for internet-based gambling. We’ve gone ahead and vetted the top gaming websites that provide their services to Mexican locals. Any online gambling site found on our list of recommendations can be trusted to possess the following qualities, amongst many other positive traits.
Variety of Gambling Activities and Casino Games
You need an online gambling site in Mexico that offers such a wealth of options and variety that you’ll never grow bored. We believe the recommendations found at LegitGamblingSites.com have such extensive libraries of casino games, slot machines, and sports betting wagers that you’ll stay engaged and entertained forever.
Classic casino card games are provided as computerized versions and with live dealers, and you can find an array of slot themes with exciting side games, and in all combinations of jackpot types, number of reels, and lines to play at all the above Mexico gambling sites.
In the sportsbooks, you find all the hottest leagues and events from all over the world. The best Mexican gambling sites then take it a step further by setting odds on moneyline, point spread, totals, futures, prop bets, and parlays for each individual market, giving you maximum flexibility in wagering on the specific aspects of the game you desire.
History of Legitimacy and a Positive Reputation
Since you’ll be limited to foreign gambling websites in Mexico, it’s essential that you find safe, legitimate operations that run their sites ethically. The internet is teeming with rogue businesses and scammers hoping to steal a piece of the hundreds of billions of dollars in transactions that take place in the online gambling industry each year.
To ensure the safety of your bankroll and personal information, we’ve employed a team of experts that tirelessly studies and reviews every Mexican gambling website we share. We do detailed background checks, look into previous business dealings, and analyze years’ worth of customer reviews and complaints.
We even look at blacklists compiled throughout the industry — from competitors included — to guarantee we never miss any information about a recommended provider.
Deposit Bonuses and Rewards Programs
If you’ve found this page, odds are you’re relatively new to online gambling. At the very least, you’re in need of a new website. Lucky for you, those early stages of signing up and funding a gambling account are some of the most fun! Everybody keeps giving you so much free money!
Deposit bonuses are how gaming operators compete for your attention. They can be extremely lucrative, with the majority of gambling sites in Mexico — and everywhere else — offering to match a percentage of your initial deposit. A common practice is to match 100% (up to a set amount) of that first payment, allowing the vast majority of gamblers to double their bankroll right away!
But don’t worry, the prizes don’t stop as soon as the honeymoon period is over! The best Mexican gambling sites feature loyalty rewards programs that accumulate points or arrange players into tiers based on the size and frequency of their wagers. In most cases, the player is awarded points that can be exchanged for cash, merchandise, vacation packages, and even vehicles — for the high rollers.
Is Gambling in Mexico Legal?
Yes, gambling in Mexico is legal as long as the operator holds a permit for any activities they are providing.
The shortcoming of the original 1947 law was that it lacked a clear definition for different categories of gambling. The legislation merely states that games of chance and wagers where “bets are crossed” are illegal. It then goes on to explain that activities such as chess, dice, bowling, billiards, races (horse, car, greyhounds, etc.), sports, and draws are all legal.
However, while this initial gaming law prohibits games of chance and betting, there’s an exemption for providers owning a license from the Ministry of the Interior. The problem is, the statute lacked the details required to apply the rules to the real world adequately.
When Mexico passed the Gaming Regulations in 2004, the following legal definitions were added to help better organize the various markets and provide additional clarity:
- Wager/bet – The amount (in Mexican currency) staked for the possibility of earning or winning a prize
- Gambling – Any game in which wagers are made between players, spectators, and/or a third party
- Chance – When the result of a game or activity is independent of the skill or will of the participant
- Prize – Payment provided to the winner of a game or draw
- Draw – Where holders of tickets purchased through a selection of numbers participate in the drawing of numbers or symbols, with prizes on the line for ticket-holders whose selected values match those drawn at random at a specific time and place. For example, lotteries, raffles, and bingo
- Draw of Numbers or Symbols via Devices – The same basic definition of a draw, but the results are randomized through the use of a device which accepts a note, coin, or chip for the purpose of potentially winning a prize. For example, slot machines, video poker, keno, etc.
Now, let’s take a look at several specific categories of gaming so that there is no confusion regarding what you can and cannot do legally when gambling in Mexico.
Yes, gambling in casinos and smaller betting establishments is legal in Mexico. Since 1947, these operations have been regulated, requiring a license from the Gambling and Raffles Bureau — a division within the Ministry of the Interior — to host gaming lawfully.
There are roughly 300 licensed gambling providers in Mexico. Most are concentrated near tourist areas to maximize revenue while minimizing the potential negative impacts on the local populations. Permitted operators may also offer their services online or cooperate with foreign providers to host internet gaming on the licensee’s behalf.
Sports betting is also legal in Mexico. Brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and online bookmakers are both eligible for licensing in the country, and several big-name international operators such as Ladbrokes have broken into the Mexican gambling site market.
Online gambling is legal in Mexico, despite lacking many specific internet-based legislations. Web-based gaming is not defined as a separate category of betting, just a different means of accessing already regulated ways to gamble. In fact, there are already some licensed Mexican gambling sites.
There are some regulations which require websites licensed in Mexico to provide their services exclusively to foreign players, so residents of the country may need to turn to offshore gambling sites instead.
Technically, residents of Mexico should only use locally licensed gambling establishments, but the rules change some when dealing with the internet. Mexican gambling sites are meant to be available to foreign players only, forcing residents within the North American country to use offshore gaming sites in Mexico instead.
Fortunately, there are no laws on the books that regulate foreign gambling websites. The government does not attempt to block these domains, nor are there any punishments or fines for Mexican gamblers caught using them. You may access any of our recommended gambling sites above without worry.
Poker is entirely legal in Mexico. Like all forms of gambling, operators require a license before providing the card game. You can find poker in various land-based establishments throughout the nation as well as online. Some of the largest online poker corporations in the world have entered the Mexican market in recent years.
Slot machines are also a legal form of gambling in Mexico. Licensed establishments may host all sorts of gaming devices like slots, keno, and video poker. Providers may also apply for permits to offer slot games online, while residents of the country are free to use the best online gambling sites in Mexico for their betting needs.
Bingo is considered a form of “draw game” and is thus regarded as legal as well. Since 1947, these games could lawfully be held in Mexico with a license. Bingo games can be found at permitted establishments and on Mexican gambling sites.
Lotteries are also draw games, making them legal in Mexico. There is a national lottery as well as numerous other private lottos run by independent investors. Similar to other forms of betting, legal lotteries can be played at brick-and-mortar locations, on licensed Mexican gambling sites, and on offshore gaming websites from other jurisdictions.
How Mexican Gambling Is Regulated
General Bureau of Gaming and Raffles (Direccion General de Juegos y Sorteos)
Mexico’s regulatory authority of gaming is the General Bureau of Gaming and Raffles, an agency operating as part of the larger Ministry of Internal Affairs (Secretaria de Gobernacion, or SEGOB). This group is responsible for “authorizing, controlling, supervising, and enforcing” all betting activities related to draws and gambling (including Mexican gambling sites), in addition to handling licensing applications and issuance.
National Lottery for Public Assistance
While licensing is still done through the General Bureau — on behalf of the Ministry of Internal Affairs — the national lottery is run by the National Lottery for Public Assistance. This state-owned lotto is used to fund-raise for public interests such as the construction of hospitals.
The Federal Gaming and Raffles Law
Mexico’s first gambling law was passed in 1947. The statute prohibited all gaming activities unless they first are licensed by the federal government. However, this law was somewhat incomplete, leaving no tangible guidelines concerning how to regulate and license the Mexican gambling industry. Still, it set the tone for the passing of the 2004 regulations.
Regulations of the Federal Gaming and Raffles Law
In 2004, Mexico’s government passed new rules that would detail licensing procedures and legal activities for gambling. This law opened the door for operators to legally provide their services by creating SEGOB and setting application standards. Mexico’s gaming industry exploded soon after, permitting more gambling establishments and Mexican gambling sites in a month than had been licensed in the many decades prior — since 1947.
History of Gambling in Mexico
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What kinds of gambling are legal in Mexico?
All forms of gambling are legal in Mexico, as long as they’re offered by a licensed establishment. The only exceptions are foreign gaming websites, which can be accessed by Mexican residents despite being permitted in offshore jurisdictions.
Are offshore or foreign gambling sites blocked for Mexican residents?
No, there are no laws prohibiting residents from using offshore gambling sites in Mexico. Since it’s not illegal, the government makes no effort to block these domains.Is it legal to use offshore or foreign gambling sites for Mexicans?
Yes. While locally licensed Mexican gambling websites are meant for foreign players, citizens of Mexico may access international gambling sites for their online gaming needs.
What are the legal risks of using an offshore or foreign gambling site in Mexico?
There are none.
Are gambling winnings taxed in Mexico?
License-holders are responsible for paying the gambling taxes in Mexico. They are taxed at a 30% rate. Some states may tax winnings as a “value added tax” or VAT, but it’s dependent upon the region in which you’re located.