How does Mexico’s gambling laws compare to the rest of the world?


Gambling in Mexico has become more liberal in the 21st century, but how does the country’s gambling laws compare to other countries? Let’s find out.

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Casinos in Mexico

Like most countries, gambling in Mexico has had a rocky legislative path. All gambling in the country was made illegal in 1935, and other than sports betting, the laws were strengthened in 1947 to ensure casinos remained illegal. That law lasted a long time. It was only in 2004 that sweeping new laws were passed for virtually every form of gambling in the country, including casino gambling. Today, locals and tourists can enjoy playing games at casinos in almost every one of Mexico’s states.

Online Casinos in Mexico

Like many countries, the issue of online gambling in Mexico is a little grey. However, it is perfectly legal for Mexicans to play a range of games at an offshore online casino, from slots to roulette.

Sports Betting in Mexico

Mexico’s sports betting scene is thriving. Indeed, it has been since sports betting was officially legalized in 1947. All of Mexico’s states offer sports betting, and it is the most popular style of wagering in the country. The top sports that Mexicans bet on are horse racing, dog racing, and the ball game Jai Alai. But blood sports like cockfighting and bullfighting also attract huge crowds. Indeed, Mexico City boasts the largest bullfighting ring on the planet.

Gambling Laws Around the World

So, how do Mexico’s gambling laws compare to the rest of the world? Here is a look at some of the most significant areas’ legal statuses for gambling.

North America

Las Vegas may be the world’s casino capital, but under federal law, there are significant restrictions on gambling in the US. Each state is free to regulate or prohibit gambling activities within its borders as it sees fit. Land-based casinos are allowed on Native American Trust Land. And Louisiana and Nevada are the only states where casino gambling is legal throughout the entire state. Only two states, Utah and Hawaii, outlaw gambling entirely. As for online gambling, it is more strictly regulated. While the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act did not specifically ban online gambling, it did outlaw financial transactions concerning online gambling service providers.

In Canada, each province has been able to manage its gaming legislation quasi-autonomously since 1970. That means there are now several casinos in the country, most notably in Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Ontario. Online gambling is not illegal by Canadian law. However, the present laws do require any online betting service to be owned or licensed by a provincial government.

Macau, Macau S.A.R. – March 12, 2016: Buildings of Macau Casino on March 12, 2016, Gambling tourism is Macau’s biggest source of revenue, making up about fifty percent of the economy.


Although gambling in Asia is rapidly changing, at present many countries have strict rules against gambling, and casinos can only be found in certain areas. For instance, Macau is the Asian version of Las Vegas, but you will not find any other casinos in China. And although Japan does not currently have land-based casinos, a recent law change has paved the way for several casinos to be built. Despite casinos not previously being allowed, sports betting and lotteries have been popular in Japan for a long time.

Throughout Asia, more and more people are gambling online at internet casinos, so it is likely that the laws and regulations in many Asian countries will have to change to keep up with the times soon.


EU countries are autonomous in the way they determine their gambling services, and each country has a licensing body to regulate each gambling platform. For example in Denmark, regulations relevant to an online casino are monitored by the Danish Gambling Authority (the DGA). 

Most EU countries also enable people to play games of chance on the web, although some EU countries only allow people to bet on specific types of games.

In recent years, Spain has amended its gambling laws several times. At present, it is legal for Spaniards to bet and play at any licensed land-based or online sites in the country. In France, most forms of gambling are legal. There are three main regulatory bodies that handle horse racing, betting games and lotteries, and online gambling. The most recent change in gambling laws for a European country comes from the Netherlands. In 2020, the state monopoly on land-based and online casinos was finally broken, allowing a multitude of operators to obtain gambling licenses.

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