July 31, 2004
Casino legislation news
In the July 2004 edition of La Nación, the
official magazine of the National Action Party (PAN), an opinion piece in opposition to casinos in Mexico was published. Salvador I. Reding Vidaña (identified elsewhere as a Mexican economist and political
analyst) authored the criticism titled “Casinos: More damages than benefits.”
Reding claims that the proposed reforms to Mexico’s
1947 gaming laws that would allow casinos, amendments that are part of the legislation now in committee in the Chamber of
Deputies, would cause “our country to have higher crime and new social problems” in the future.
Calling the lobbying in favor of casinos that has
been taking place one-sided, Reding charges that “social, economic and crime related problems that casinos would bring
to the country” have not been discussed by the Congress or in public hearings.
This is very serious, he says, as evidence shows that casinos cause social problems and bring about crime such as money
laundering, prostitution, drug trafficking and theft.
The article names a number of other problems and
vices the author associates with casinos, whereas he concludes by saying it would be irresponsible for Congress to pass the
proposed legislation without further studies and assessment.
While La Nación is the PAN’s official
magazine, this appears to be an opinion piece of the author vis-à-vis an official position of the party?
Sidebar to the above, during a social event in late
July a PAN member of the Chamber of Deputies was asked about the status of the casino debate?
(It should be noted that he is not a member of any of the congressional committees now reviewing the proposals.) While the deputy knew little about the progress of the public hearings that are just
concluding, he did offer one interesting note.
According to the congressman, the PAN delegation
in the Chamber of Deputies has yet to internally debate the casino bill. He said,
that to his knowledge, the party’s congressional leadership would not even schedule such a discussion until after Congress
returns from its current recess on September 1.
Asked if he thinks party deputies will support the
legislation, the legislator said it has a chance of gaining a PAN majority, although he noted that there is still opposition
to casinos which will make the intra-party congressional debate — and the posture of the PAN itself — especially
He was unable to even speculate on the positions
of the other parties in Congress.