Event

ELA 2011

Mexico City – Mexico

Event Information

Now in its fourth year, ELA 2011 continues to provide an insight into the country’s broadening marketplace and, following the introduction of Class III slot machines and electronic table games over the past two years or so, this year’s event highlighted the move towards fully live gaming.

Whereas last year’s event attracted the world’s largest slots manufacturers, many were absent this year. Yet, despite this, show organiser Expoazar was able to extend the exhibition floor space on a number of occasions thanks to the demand from live gaming suppliers and new entrants to the market.

Just as in previous years, new interpretations of the country’s outdated gambling laws – which date back to the 1940s – have opened the door to a host of different gaming devices and now table games. There are operators within the country that have been running live tables in their casinos for some time and, with the government’s apparent willingness to allow such activities to continue, others are now following suit.

Although this is further deepening the country’s gaming offering and brings its gaming halls into line with those found elsewhere around the world, it is clear that the lack of clear regulation concerning all forms of gaming is serving only to maintain the ‘grey’ areas of the market.

There was optimism among many exhibitors at the show that the government will soon address this problem and regulate the market more effectively to ensure that the introduction of new forms of gaming does not open the door to corruption and fraud. There are concerns among others, however, that the longer the market is allowed to grow unchecked the harder it will be to introduce effective regulatory controls further down the line.

The next 12 months could once again see dramatic changes in the structure of the Mexican market, particularly with the widespread introduction of live tables. There may be a discernable shift from smaller electronic gaming halls to larger international-standard casino properties boasting both slots and live gaming areas. Whether the government heeds the advice of many within the industry and takes a greater interest in the sector remains to be seen but it is clear that the growth seen over the past few years is unlikely to come to an abrupt halt any time soon.

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