Is remote gambling permitted and, if so, what types?
Online gambling operations are regulated by articles 76 to 90 of the Regulations, which establish that permit holders authorised to operate remote betting centres can receive bets through the internet, telephone and electronic means.
According to article 76 of the Regulations, remote betting centres are authorised by the Mexican interior ministry (SEGOB) to capture and handle bets for different events, such as sports competitions and games allowed by the Regulations, carried out abroad or in national territory and transmitted in real time and in a simultaneous manner in video and audio (simulcasting), as well as conducting the drawing of numbers (bingo) referred to in paragraph IV of article 124 of the Regulations and in terms of article 85 of the Regulations. Such remote betting centres may capture bets via the internet, telephone or electronic communications.
Moreover, and according to article 104 of the Regulations, in the case of the drawing of numbers and symbols, it is permissible for permit holders to capture bets from participants via the internet.
To this effect, permit holders must establish an internal control system for transactions to be carried out by this platform and must provide a description in writing of the rules and procedures that ensure the inviolability and prevent the manipulation of the betting systems. Therefore, permit holders must describe the type and rules of games that will be conducted, such as, inter alia, blackjack, poker – in all of its forms – and roulette.Licensing
What are the criteria for obtaining a licence to operate remote gambling?
Online gaming operations do not require additional licences, provided that the permit holder has been authorised for remote betting centres and rooms where raffles and games featuring numbers and symbols may take place. They only require requesting and obtaining the approval of its mechanisms and controls, as established in articles 85 and 98 of the Regulations. Article 85 provides that, for permit holders to be able to capture bets via the internet, the following requirements must be complied with:
- the establishment must have an internal control system for transactions to be carried out via this platform;
- the establishment must submit a written description of the rules and procedures to ensure the inviolability and prevent the manipulation of their betting system to SEGOB for approval; and
- the computer system must be able to record at a minimum:
- the account number of the players and the identity of the gamblers; and
- the date, time, number of their transactions, amount of the bets and the games.
Accordingly, the systems to be used by the establishments for capturing bets via the internet must be first approved in writing by SEGOB. To this effect, the permit holder must file a description of its online betting procedures, as well as its online betting control system, to SEGOB.
Permit holders must describe not only their betting procedures to obtain SEGOB’s approval in terms of article 85 of the Regulations but also the different types of games to be offered online to participants in order to avoid future challenges from the authorities regarding the authorised games to capture bets via the internet.
How do the licensing criteria for remote gambling operators differ from those applicable to land-based operators?
In terms of the Regulations, in order to be able to capture and conduct remote gambling, the operator must have a land-based permit in terms of article 20 of the Regulations and must comply with the terms, conditions, information, documents and requirements it establishes.
There is no limit regarding the number of licences to be granted by SEGOB.Cross-border gambling
May operators located in other countries offer internet gambling to consumers in your jurisdiction without obtaining a licence there?
A land-based casino or an online gambling operation may not be established or function in national territory without a SEGOB-issued licence.
Additionally, according to article 9 of the Regulations, permit holders may only carry out the publicity and advertising of authorised games with bets and raffles in accordance with the Gambling Act and the Regulations.
Moreover, the advertising and promotion of games with bets and draws by any means may only be made and dispersed once the SEGOB permit is obtained, and the publicity must be expressed in a clear and precise manner to prevent the participants experiencing any error or confusion.
May operators licensed in your jurisdiction offer internet gambling to consumers in other countries?
The scope of Mexican legislation regarding games and raffles is restricted exclusively to Mexican territory; however, there is no restriction or prohibition in the Regulations for people abroad to access and participate via the internet in online gaming offered. In other words, the prohibition or restriction of such participation, or the implementation of technological controls, will be under the jurisdiction of the other countries.Taxes
What tax rate applies to each form of remote gambling?
- permit contributions – contributions payable by the permit holder to SEGOB that are set out in the permit (1 per cent 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 following any Mexican federal law resulting from the revenue of the prizes obtained by players from their use of the website.
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 following any Mexican state law; and
- state player withholding tax – tax (if any) to be withheld by the operator or the permit holder following any Mexican state laws resulting from the revenue of the prizes obtained by players from their use of the website.