Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Mexico?

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Online Sports Betting in Mexico

Mexico, unlike its northern neighbors, doesn’t draw as much attention for its sports gambling market. Therefore, you might not have any clue about online sports gambling’s legality here.

The Mexican government doesn’t offer 100% clarification either. This country has fairly convoluted laws regarding mobile sports betting.

The following guide clears up any questions that you may have about Mexico online sports betting. It covers the legal situation, if you’ll be arrested for placing wagers here, and how to choose legitimate betting sites.

What Are the Current Sports Gambling Laws in Mexico?

Mexico has a topsy-turvy gambling history. The nation’s earliest casinos, which were started by French colonists, were shuttered during the 1911 Mexican Revolution. Few legitimate gambling opportunities existed after this point.

President Lazaro Cardenas went on to outlaw most forms of gambling in 1935. Due to the Catholic Church’s influence, President Miguel Alemán Valdés made sure that all types of gambling were banned in 1947.

However, plenty of underground gambling opportunities existed even after this point. Mexican citizens grew bolder and bolder with their betting because the authorities did little about it.

By 2004, the government finally decided that the ban wasn’t working and opened up a regulated market. Various types of land-based gambling are now legal in the country.

Lawmakers actually legalized various forms of real money online gambling before this point. In the late 1990s, the government passed legislation that created a legal online gambling market.

As a result, Mexico features regulated online sports betting. It has given out licenses over the years to various operators, including Codero and Caliente.

Despite offering a regulated betting market, the government has never taken serious steps to ban offshore operators. With that said, many unregulated sports gambling sites continue serving this country.

As you can see, the entire Mexican online sports wagering market is a bit confusing. The mixture of offshore and licensed bookmakers creates questions on what constitutes a legal bet.

For all practical purposes, the government wants you to wager with regulated betting sites. Many people, however, continue to bet with unlicensed operators.

What Sports Do Mexico Betting Sites Offer?

Several sports are quite popular in this country for betting purposes. As with most nations, soccer gambling is the most popular in Mexico. Bettors like wagering on both local leagues and international play, such as the Premier League and Bundesliga.

Boxing is the next-most popular betting sport across the nation. This is little surprise when considering that Mexico is one of the top five countries regarding its number of professional boxers.


Other notable sports for gambling purposes include bullfighting, horse racing, greyhound racing, Jai Alai, and even cockfighting.

As for the latter, Mexico is one of the few countries that allows cockfighting. However, Mexico City and certain states do ban the activity and any associated betting.

Due to its Spanish influence, this country has a great love for bullfighting. Mexico City actually features the world’s biggest bullfighting ring with a capacity of 55,000 seats.

Will You Be Arrested for Betting at Mexico Online Sportsbooks?

Mexico has a regulated online betting market. Therefore, you’re supposed to place wagers at licensed and regulated betting sites.

You may wonder if the Mexican authorities would arrest you for placing wagers with unlicensed bookmakers. The reality is that you stand 0% chance of being arrested in such a scenario.

Like many countries, Mexico is trying to make money off its licensed sports gambling market. The government regulated mobile betting in order to capitalize on licensing fees and taxes.

On the same token, though, the federales aren’t out hunting for online sports bettors. They have a lot more pressing matters to consider, especially with the country’s noted drug problem.

As a result, I see no chance that you would be busted for offshore wagering. I can’t find one case where Mexico has arrested somebody for placing unregulated online bets.

Mexican police have, however, busted people for running illegal betting rings. But operating an unlawful sports gambling ring is a serious crime, as opposed to merely wagering at an unregulated site.

How to Stay Safe When Betting on Sports Online in Mexico

If you want to stay above board when gambling online in Mexico, then you should look towards the regulated sites. This country offers legal and licensed mobile bookmakers. Assuming you’re at all worried about placing unlawful bets, then you can seek out these license betting sites.

Of course, many visitors and citizens of Mexico still like betting with offshore bookmakers. The latter provide more variety when legal online sportsbooks don’t have what you’re looking for.

As mentioned before, you don’t stand any legal risk when using unregulated betting sites. With that said, you can move between licensed and unlicensed bookmakers with relative ease.

Mobile Sports Bookie

As I’ll discuss below, though, the drawback to unregulated betting sites is that they aren’t subject to Mexico‘s laws. If a dispute arises, then it’s entirely between you and the bookmaker.

Licensed Mexico betting sites, on the other hand, must adhere to the laws in their respective licensing jurisdiction. In the event of a dispute, the regulatory body may help you out.

Be Sure to Do Your Research Before Depositing

No matter if you bet with a licensed or offshore bookmaker, you should always research betting sites before depositing. Below, you’ll find some tips for properly looking into online sportsbooks.

Read Reviews on Mexico Betting Sites

Many betting sites that serve Mexico also operate in other countries—especially offshore operators. With that said, you can find plenty of reviews on this country’s sports gambling sites.

Reviews, as you may know, are full of helpful information involving a given bookmaker. They typically cover a sportsbook’s markets, bet types, odds, promotions, banking options, and customer support.

They may also go into a mobile sportsbook’s history. In this case, you can see how reputable the operator has been during its existence.

If you see that a certain internet sportsbook has poor customer service and/or doesn’t honor bonuses, then you know to stay clear. In contrast, any bookmaker that continually receives praise from reviewers is worth a closer look.

Watch Out for Slow Paying Sportsbooks

Mobile betting sites should process withdrawals in a timely manner. Unfortunately, some operators don’t do a great job of this and are slow to deliver payouts.

You definitely want to avoid any bookmaker that’s struggled with withdrawals. Slow payouts often allude to bigger financial problems.

Struggling betting sites may hold onto players’ funds longer so that they can remain operational. If the same bookmakers ever go under, they won’t be able to pay everybody back. Long story short, you don’t want anything to do with these sites.

Check Out Bonus Terms and Conditions

Many online sportsbooks offer welcome bonuses, such as a risk-free bet or deposit bonus. You can use these offers to boost your bankroll in the beginning.

Before depositing and going after such deals, though, you should check out a site’s terms and conditions. You want to make sure that the terms and conditions are clear and don’t leave room for any surprises.

As mentioned before, some bookmakers aren’t the best when it comes to honoring bonuses. These are the same type of operators that feature ambiguous terms that they can use to avoid paying legitimate bonuses.


Mexico features an interesting mixture of regulated and offshore online sportsbooks. The latter, of course, aren’t approved by the Mexican government yet continue operating in this country anyway.

You can honestly choose either type of betting site. Authorities don’t seem to take offshore betting seriously.

The catch, though, is that you’re dealing with unregulated operators. If you get cheated in any way, then you have little to no recourse for getting the money back.

Licensed Mexican sportsbooks, on the other hand, must operate within the rules of their jurisdiction. The regulatory body can step in and help resolve any issue that you have with an operator.

In summary, Mexico is full of online betting opportunities. You can wager on pretty much any sport here through either offshore or licensed betting sites.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for since early 2016. ...

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