|Any potential competition Mexican casino gaming may have had to Nevada has been thwarted. Approval of a federal gaming and lottery law by the Mexican lower house has omitted the legalizing of casinos.|
Mexican President Vincente Fox had proposed legislation to legalize casinos in an attempt to rescue Mexico’s declining tourist trade and rake in much needed government cash. More than a dozen casinos would have been built at various Mexican tourist destinations such as Acapulco and Tijuana. The Mexican Association of Hotels and Motels had projected an initial cost of $1.8 billion to build 10 casinos. They predicted a total revenue of $3 billion a year and the creation of 115,000 jobs from the industry.
Mexico was not the only potential beneficiary: Nevada operators had been primed to take full advantage of the possible relaxation in laws. Bill Wortman, owner of the Nevada Palace, had planned to spend over $100 million to build a casino and 18 hole golf course in the border town of Reynosa.
The Bill, that would have legalized casinos, was modified to prohibit them with the only exception being towards cruise ships sailing in national waters. Michael Tew, a Bear, Sterns & Co analyst: “there won't be any competition for Nevada from Mexico anytime in the foreseeable future.”