Land-based gambling


What types of land-based gambling are permitted in your jurisdiction, and is gambling regulated at a national or subnational level?

All authorisations to conduct games with bets are granted by SEGOB, and all kinds of permits related to the operating licence or use of land for gambling purposes are granted by the local authorities.

In Mexico, practically all games with bets are allowed and can be operated by private individuals under a permit holder or through authorised operators in terms of the Regulations to jointly use the permit granted by SEGOB. The permitted games with bets are as follows:

  • chess, checkers and other similar games;
  • dominoes, dice, bowling and billiards;
  • games that use a ball in any form;
  • human, vehicle or animal races, and all other sports; and
  • all authorised types of draw, including:
    • sweepstakes with ticket sales;
    • sweepstakes without ticket sales;
    • instant draws;
    • raffles in marketing systems;
    • draws of symbols or numbers;
    • draws of numbers or symbols through machines (slot machines); and
    • raffles through mass communication (gaming online).

It is common to find in the authorised establishments in Mexico all kinds of games, such as slot machines, roulettes, dice, bingo, card games in all forms, such as blackjack and poker, sportsbooks and the operation of online gaming.

However, before any betting game is carried out by the permit holder, the mechanism of the operation of the betting system, control mechanisms and rules of the games to be offered to the players, must be submitted or filed to SEGOB. Similarly, the computer infrastructure, the technological and computer security system, as well as the technical support policies to be used must be specified to SEGOB.

On the other hand, not only private individuals operate games with bets, but also the Mexican government through the National Lottery for Public Assistance, better known as the National Lottery.

The purpose of the National Lottery is to generate financial resources through the sale of lottery tickets in different raffles, which are then used for the creation of jobs and public assistance.

Establishment licensing

Please describe the licensing criteria to operate land-based gambling of each type or classification. Does your jurisdiction limit the number of available licences?

The regulation, authorisation, supervision and enforcement with regard to gambling and raffles activities, when gambling with bets of any kind is involved, are under the responsibility and charge of the state executive power through SEGOB. There are four main types of permit:

  • for opening and operating horse and greyhound race tracks, jai alai fronton arenas, remote betting centres (sportsbooks) and betting centres or rooms for drawing numbers (land-based casinos under which live gaming, slot machines and online gaming activities are classified);
  • for opening and operating facilities for gambling in national fairs (ie, Feria Nacional de San Marcos);
  • for opening and operating temporary off-site horse race betting and cockfighting; and
  • for holding any of the regulated types of drawings.

The authorisation, terms, conditions or restrictions are established in the permit and in the Regulations. Among others, the most common restrictions for the permit holder are:

  • to abstain from operating gambling games and raffles other than those explicitly authorised by law or permits;
  • to apply for an authorisation, or, depending on the case, notify SEGOB of the opening or change of address of a gambling facility;
  • to abstain from assigning, transferring or selling the permit;
  • to refrain from giving credit to players or gamblers;
  • to refrain from installing casinos within 200 metres of an educational institution or religious centre;
  • to refrain from allowing the admission of underage players or people under the influence of alcohol or drugs into the establishments;
  • to inform SEGOB of any change in the shareholder structure of the permit holder;
  • to forbid shareholders of the permit holder to be individuals or legal entities resident in territories with tax advantages or jurisdictions with low tax rates; and
  • to forbid the acquisition of shares of the permit holder, directly or indirectly, through trusts.

Additionally, permit holders must fulfil other obligations, such as incorporating terms and conditions for better corporate practices, and holding a board of directors comprising 25 per cent independent administrators, as well as administrative obligations such as:

  • granting and updating guarantees;
  • adhering to local legislation (eg, by keeping inventory reports);
  • obtaining civil protection permits;
  • guaranteeing public safety;
  • paying customs and taxes; and
  • filing annual tax returns and authority reports.
Director, officer and owner licensing

Must individual directors, officers or owners of licensees also be licensed or reviewed for suitability?

In terms of the Regulations, permits to conduct games with bets will only be granted to companies duly organised according to Mexico’s applicable laws. To obtain a permit to conduct games with bets, both shareholders and beneficiaries who participate as partners in the company must file the following to the authority:

  • personal information such as name, nationality and address;
  • balance sheet status, specifying the origin of the capital subscribed or contributed to the company, as well as the details of real estate property and, where applicable, a tax return corresponding to the past five years;
  • his or her curriculum vitae;
  • details of professional or patrimonial relationships existing with other permit holder companies or with the partners, shareholders, directors, beneficiaries or officers thereof;
  • affirmation under oath evidencing that he or she has not been prosecuted or convicted of a crime of a patrimonial nature, that relates to tax, or that relates to organised crime or operations with resources of illegal origin; and
  • a credit report issued by a credit information institution, duly authorised by the federal authority to evidence that no negative records or past due credits exist.

The above-mentioned information must also be filed regarding individuals serving as directors, commissioners and officials acting as chief executive officers and subordinates in the requesting company.


May a gambling location be part of a resort, restaurant or other multi-purpose location? What limitations apply?

There is no restriction to install gambling establishments in resorts or restaurants. In fact, nowadays, several establishments are located in operating shopping centres and hotels.

Passive/institutional ownership

Are there provisions for passive or institutional ownership that allow for exemption or modification of licensing requirements?

According to article 92 of the Regulations, permits for draws may be granted to:

  • dependencies and entities of the Federal Public Administration and states;
  • national political parties and groups, which shall comply, in addition to the provisions of the Gambling Act and the Regulations, with the provisions of the federal electoral legislation; and
  • civil and religious associations, and educational, research and charity institutions.
Responsible gambling

What responsible gambling obligations apply to licensees?

Article 5 of the Regulations establishes that access to the gaming areas of establishments must be prohibited to persons who:

  • are minors, except when accompanied by an adult to live shows (but under no circumstances may minors participate in the betting);
  • are in possession or under the influence of prohibited substances, or in a state of intoxication;
  • carry weapons of any kind;
  • are members of uniformed police or military institutions in service;
  • with their behaviour alter the peace or order in the establishment;
  • are or have been caught cheating; and
  • do not comply with the internal regulations of the establishment.

What type of tax and what tax rate applies to each form of lawful land-based gambling activity?

The following are types of federal taxes:

  • permit contributions - contributions payable by the permit holder to SEGOB that are set out in the permit (1 or 2 per cent);
  • IEPS - the special tax on production and services for remote betting and gaming; and
  • federal player withholding tax - tax to be withheld by the operator or by the permit holder in accordance with any Mexican federal law resulting from the revenue of the prizes obtained by players from their use of the website.

The following are local taxes, which may or may not apply depending on the particular local regulation:

  • state operator tax - tax (if any) to be paid by the permit holder or the operator in accordance with any Mexican state law; and
  • state player withholding tax - tax (if any) to be withheld by the operator or the permit holder in accordance with any Mexican state laws resulting from the revenue of the prizes obtained by players from their use of the website.