ANNUALLY the prospect of Mexico reauthorizing gambling casinos, after a 70-year prohibition, re-emerges. And the possibility is again anticipated, that is if the Congress might finally move the issue forward.
Still, first-year deputies in the lower chamber may be politically motivated stumbling blocks, following in the path of their recalcitrant immediate predecessors.
In fact, there are early signs that opposition party deputies especially will drag their obstructionist feet on many legislative proposals now more than ever, with the goal of gaining partisan advantages in the 2006 presidential and congressional elections.
Then again, with respect to gambling and games of chance, a forthcoming government action just might get somebody whether they are in favor of casinos or not to do something.
Draft legislation, to replace the obsolete Federal Gambling and Raffles Law of 1947, was marked up in 2002 only to be let sit by the Chamber of Deputies.
The initiative, now identified as the Federal Betting Games, Raffles and Casinos Law, includes more than 100 articles that seek to regulate all gaming in Mexico, and to thus do away with the many clandestine betting operations (including illegal casinos) that are found nationwide.
But it is the legalization and phased opening of casinos, at select locations, that are at the heart of interest, controversy and politics. As well, foreign collaborators are anxious to get into Mexico and many Mexicans see the foreign investment, plus the resulting jobs and tourism income, as definitely important to the future of the nation.
The current efforts toward legal reform were drafted in conjunction with studies and plans that propose a first-phase concessionaires allowance of eight to 12 freestanding Monte Carlo or Montreal-type casinos, “betting centers’ like those that were banned by President Lazaro Cardenas in 1934.…