New Head of Mexican Gambling Regulator

Mexico’s gambling regulatory body will be under new leadership this year, according to reports in the Mexican media this week.

The Secretary of Governance of Mexico (SEGOB), Olga Sanchez Cordero, has announced the appointment of Leonel Cota Montano to the position of Secretary General of ‘Direccion General de Juegos y Sorteos’. Cota Montano is a veteran of the Labour Party in Mexico and has also served as governor of Baja California Sur between 1999 and 2005. He will be taking over the role in March.

According to the framework of the Mexican gambling industry, the gambling regulator is overseen by SEGOB and has the task of issuing relevant licences and permits to operate the multiple lottery and gambling concessions in the country, which also involves working with state governments.

The Mexican gambling sector operates under a fragmented system, which involves SEGOB taking responsibility for gambling laws at the federal level but leaves the various state assemblies with the authority to grant licences and collect taxes within their jurisdictions. The office of SEGOB has made regular efforts to improve the country’s gaming regulatory framework, but the Mexican Federal Gaming Law has not been updated since 2012. Rather than overhauling the existing Law, the Mexican government opted to add in additional rules governing the regulation of slots games.

But that situation may be changing. Last year, ministers from the MORENA party, which is part of the ruling coalition, put forward proposals to reform the gambling framework, based on the principle of shifting all gambling regulation to the federal level. They argued that leaving it to the provinces had been a failure, most notably in the area of taxation and tax collection. Boosting tax collection has been a key part of the plans of the ruling PT-MORENA coalition which took office in 2018.

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