Since its publication in 1947, the Federal Gambling and Raffles Law (the "Law") was not regulated. It was hard to believe that all the regulation for games and raffles was regulated by only 17 brief articles of the Law, an Official Norm and auxiliary –but scant– regulations.

On September 17, 2004, the Regulation for the Federal Gambling and Raffles Law (the "Regulation") was published. The Regulation comprises 153 articles under different titles and chapters from gambling games, permits, race courses, different forms of raffles and even cockfights.

The Regulation complements and clarifies the Law, incorporating concepts and classifications that will allow those interested in conducting gambling activities and raffles to do so following the corresponding steps and permits that they must obtain. Among others, it describes the types of games and their different characteristics, such as gambling games, greyhound races and fronton. It is important to mention that the first article of the Law sets forth that gambling games are forbidden. However, in articles 4, 7, 9 and 11 of the Law establishes the need of permits and surveillance requirements to carry out such activities. From article 43 to 90, the Regulation includes the rules applicable to gambling games, explicitly gambles at fairs, cockfights, cards and dice, roulette, gambling on temporary events, gambling on sporting events, raffles of numbers and symbols that are authorized by this Regulation. Likewise, elements and restrictions for bookers are established which should be procured to assure an adequate management of information and avoid error or manipulation of information.

Regarding raffles, the Regulation provides for specific requirements to obtain the permits to conduct raffles and the manner in which such permits may be canceled. The Ministry of the Internal Affairs will be in charge of the issuance of permits, to both individuals and entities. With the new Regulation a variety of forms of raffles are considered including those with tickets, without the sale of tickets, instant raffles, raffles through a commercial promotion, related to symbols and numbers, and raffles broadcasted on massive media.

Title Fifth of the Regulation is of particular interest, since it establishes the authority’s faculties of supervision; while developing other chapters for the inspectors and the administrative sanctions to be applied such as infractions, arrest, and suspension of functions, permit revocations and closures.

Although we are far from having a comprehensive legal framework gambling; sweepstakes and raffles, it is a step in the right direction to clarify how these are regulated in Mexico. Let us not forget that the Law is applied to all games, raffles & sweepstakes that take place at Mexico, including those that may occur though the Internet.

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