Mexico: Gambling industry unions meet with legislators to warn about risks of decree banning slot machines

After the announcement made by the Secretariat of the Interior (Segob) regarding the preparation of a decree signed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, which seeks to limit the activity of the gaming industry in Mexico, several stakeholders of the sector began to raise their voices, warning about the negative effects of the measure.

Different unions and guilds that represent the workers of this industry held meetings with those legislators who support the so-called “decretazo” against gambling in Mexico. The project that seeks to reform the Mexican Gaming Law “eliminates the Fourth Title, Chapter VII of the Drawing of Numbers or Symbols Through Machines”, which would ultimately prohibit slot machines.

During the meeting, union leaders warned that this measure could lead to the loss of 100,000 jobs, foster a black market, and cause losses to the treasury of almost MXN 5 billion pesos (about $280 million).

Daniel Amoroso, Global President of the Games Sector of the International Union of Workers, commented to local media El Universal: “We are lobbying with officials, with legislators because this reform is not well designed, it was not taken into legal consideration in other countries, it did not take into account the opinion of businessmen, of workers, of a regulated activity, which pays taxes and has investments of millions of pesos in the long term.”

The initiative also seeks to eliminate the figure of “operator” within the betting and sweepstakes industry, through which the licensees or companies could acquire a gaming machine through a third party.

For his part, Mario Madrigal, General Secretary of the National Union of Workers Operators of Books and Amusement Establishments, Hotels, Restaurants, Communications, and Services in Local Entities (Sintoled), assured that “millionaire investments will be lost,” along with “the training of workers, technicians in charge of the technology and maintenance of this industry, added to the fact that many Mexicans will choose to travel abroad to gamble and bet.”

This adds to the fact that the slot machine casino industry would lose around MXN 15 billion a year ($ 830 billion) and the federal government around 5 billion via taxes,” he pointed out.