There are many countries that prohibit gambling and have strict laws against those who run illegal gambling establishments as well as for players who participate. The game of poker has gained considerable popularity during the last few years across the world and has forced countries who had previously outlawed games like poker to review their existing laws.
Countries like Singapore, Norway and India are currently reviewing gambling legislature and are in the process of making a decision on whether to legalize poker, a game which is based more on skill rather than chance and defies traditional terms related to gambling. Another reason why countries are considering legalizing games such as poker is because they under how lucrative the market really is and how much revenue it could generate for their respective states based on the taxes imposed.
Mexico is another country now examining its existing gambling laws and the pros and cons of legalizing gambling are being debated in the national parliament. Angel Guillen, a WSOP bracelet winner and a former member of PokerStars Team Pro is hopeful that the government of Mexico will soon pass a law legalizing poker and Mexico the opportunity to host WSOP tournaments as well as give Mexicans the chance to play poker in their home country.
Poker is illegal in Mexico and there are strict punishments enforced on those violating these laws. However that has not deterred the underground poker scene as there are numerous illegal establishments all across Mexico running poker events. There are also illegal online poker websites that allow Mexicans to play poker from their home.
In a statement, Angel Guillen said
The law is kind of tricky at the moment. But they are working on it, and hopefully we will have a big tournament in Mexico very soon. September will be the month that is going to show us where Mexico is headed poker-wise.
The current law that governs gambling activities in Mexico was approved and rolled out way back in 1947. Fernando Zárate Salgado, who is the President of the Commission of Gaming in the Chamber of Deputies said that the Mexican government was carefully studying the pros and cons of legalizing poker and would indeed make reforms to the existing law. Salgado said that Mexicans will have a clear picture of what changes will be made and how it will affect them during the month of September.