Mexico is moving closer to regulating online poker, and iGaming in general. A new bill will be introduced to the House of Representatives on September 9th and could be voted into law as early as Sept. 20th. The idea is to update Mexico’s archaic gaming laws, which are still based on legislation from 1947.
The initial thought here is that online poker regulation could be good for the country. After all, many American players are excited about what regulation in the United States might bring. However, there are a couple of huge downsides that could sour iPoker regulation in Mexico. That said, let’s discuss the negative consequences that could arise.
Big Sites shut out
For well over a decade, iPoker has been a gray area in Mexico. PokerStars has especially benefited from this lack of clear legislation. However, things may soon change in a big way since Mexico is expected to create iGaming legislation that’s similar to the US.
Senator Maria Espinoza proposed a bill in May that would force online operators to have a land-based casino license. Additionally, these companies need servers established in Mexico. Of course, there’s no guarantee that any accepted bill would be just like Espinoza’s. But if it’s close, big sites like PokerStars will be shut out of the party.
US Poker Refugees displaced
When the US enacted Black Friday, many serious pros moved south of the border so that they could continue playing at PokerStars and other online rooms. After all, Mexico really didn’t do anything to keep major poker sites out of their country. But if legislation does go down as expected, it would end this period of open options.
In the long run, maybe Mexican poker laws will be good and encourage more recreational players to get involved. However, the immediate ramifications don’t look good.