Mexico may not be the first place that comes to mind when one thinks of sports betting in North America, but it has a longstanding industry that consists of both legal and illegal sports betting options for people from all over the country. Unlike countries like the United States and Canada, Mexico boasts straightforward gambling laws that are easy to understand, even if they are not policed as closely.
Sports betting being legal in Mexico is something that surprises most people who know anything about the deep Roman Catholic roots of the country. As is often the case with religious organizations, the Catholic Church is a vehement opponent of gambling. As a result of this, and when you consider how much influence the church has in Mexico, it might be surprising to learn that the Mexican government legalized sports betting back in the 1940s; even if they simultaneously outlawed most other forms of gambling.
The ruling that was handed down in 1947 was mostly ineffective as illegal gambling continued to thrive, so much so that members of the government began adamantly pushing for the full legalization of all gambling. Though it took some time, the early 2000s saw the legalization of all forms of gambling. Shortly thereafter, casinos, racinos, and other betting parlous began popping up all over the country. The modern sports betting landscape is overseen and regulated by a governmental organization known as the General Bureau of Gaming and Raffles.
Nowadays, there is sports betting in Mexico that exists at both land-based casinos as well as an increasing number of online sportsbooks. Despite the country’s conservative roots, Mexico is becoming increasingly liberal as it relates to gambling laws.
In total, Mexico is comprised of 31 states that span from the northern border with the United States to its southernmost border with Guatemala. Unlike how things work in the United States and Canada, Mexico’s official legalization of sports betting back in 1947 means that all 31 states are able to offer betting. In Canada, on the other hand, whether sports betting is legal or not is something that varies from province to province.
In Mexico, there are a number of outfits offering sports betting in various parts of the country. Most of these operators also offer online sports betting so long as they are granted a license by the General Bureau of Gaming and Raffles. Caliente is the most popular brand, operating in upwards of 100 physical betting locations as well as online sports betting. If we are being honest, however, the online sports betting offered by Mexican-based companies pales in comparison to what is offered by offshore brands.
As we have hinted this whole time, sports betting has hardly been a top priority in the eyes of the Mexican government. As a result, the number of Mexican-based online casino companies is dwarfed by the large sum of offshore brands. Sites like Bovada and BetOnline cater to Mexicans just as readily as they do Americans and folks from other parts of the world.
In terms of trustworthiness, we do not have anything bad to say about Native Mexican online sportsbooks, but we recommend players choose offshore sportsbooks. The main reasons behind this is due to the fact that sites like MyBookie and BetOnline, for example, have a larger following, more reliable track records, and more innovative features than many of the online sportsbooks that are based in Mexico.
Sports betting in Mexico has been around for a significantly longer period of time than most other forms of gambling, especially casino gambling. As a result of this, there are far more sportsbook-only betting locations than there are casino sportsbooks. Generally speaking, casinos in Mexico are concentrated in three places: tourist destinations like Cancun and Baja California, places close to the US border, and in and around Mexico City. As you move further into Mexico’s south, you will find less of a gambling presence.
No matter what casino you are at, whether it be Caliente Casino Revolucion or Emotion Casino in Puerto Vallarta, sports bets will be accepted. This is something that separates betting in Mexico from betting in any other part of North America.
What we imagine taking place in the future as it relates to sports betting in Mexico is that things will become more organized, especially as it relates to sports betting online. As it stands, the in-person betting experience in Mexico is no different than what you would experience in the US or Canada and might even be a bit more relaxed.
In total, there are more than 200 total gambling facilities in the state and a growing number of online entities. For now, the offshore sportsbooks of the world currently have a stranglehold on the Mexican online sports betting industry, but that paradigm might be shifting at some point soon as these companies upgrade their offerings. No matter how you want to bet on sports in Mexico, you can rest-assured that there is no shortage of options.