Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that, during his term, no new casino licenses will be issued. This information was announced to the public by Julio Scherer, President’s legal counsel.
Because of this new development, it seems that Codere/Hard Rock International casino project won’t be happening anytime soon. Obrador was elected to a six-year term in 2018, so Codere/Hard Rock International casino project (and any other on that matter) won’t be authorized until 2024 at least.
This decision is backed up by the clergy, who still can’t forget the firebombing of the Casino Royale in Monterrey (2011). Ever since that event, they have been lobbying against the expansion of new casinos in the country. In July, a cartel boss related to this case was arrested.
There are two big names in the Mexican gambling industry: Caliente and Codere. Codere has been planning a $360m joint venture with Hard Rock International to build a new venue in the still-unnamed Mexican region. All of this came to a halt after the government’s decision to block casino expansion in the country.
The Dirección General de Juegos y Sorteos (DGJS), the division of the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB) that oversees gambling activity has been empowered by the President to deal with irregular gambling activities as they see fit.
Recently, law enforcement units raided the WinClub casino in Baja California for operation without a license. During the raid, 36 slot machines, gaming tables, five computers and much more were seized by the police.
The government has issued an official warning to illegal operators, and further police operations are to be expected.