Sports Betting Regulations in Mexico vs. the US 

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The rules and regulations that govern gambling in Mexico are largely the same as when they were initially set out in 1947. An update in 2004 sought to clarify terms and online gambling has fitted into existing rules.

It was during this time that sports betting was officially legalized, though authorities turned a blind eye to it previously.

Compare this to the U.S., where sports betting was outlawed until the Supreme Court overturned the ruling in 2018. Before this, the only state that allowed sports betting was Nevada.

The rule change handed individual states the ability to set their own regulations and decide whether they would legalize retail sports betting and online sports betting.

At present, 37 states have chosen to legalize retail sports betting, with 28 of those also legalizing online operations. Mobile sports betting is big business in the States and many offshore sites have capitalized on the revenue in banned states.

Dedicated sports betting apps in Mexico have also seen revenues grow as customers look for a convenient way to access wider sports markets and more competitive odds. The effect of COVID-19 on the popularity of mobile betting apps also helped with market growth, which has sustained itself even after the pandemic ended.

As well as being a convenient alternative to brick-and-mortar businesses, online betting apps also offer a range of incentives and bonuses that can benefit bettors. According to Basketball Insiders, sometimes this bonus can be more than 100% of the player’s initial deposit made, so it’s clear to see why these apps are popular in both Mexico and the US. 

The minimum legal age for gambling in Mexico is set at 18 for all gambling activities. This is the same as the legal age to drink alcohol, so it doesn’t make a difference if the premises are licensed.

The U.S. legal age for gambling varies depending on the state, gambling activity, and whether it is a licensed premises. Minimum gambling ages range from 18 to 21, and there can be differences within each state. Because of this, it is important that gamblers make themselves aware of specific regulations before attempting to place a bet.

Mexico’s Ministry for the Interior is the governing body responsible for issuing licenses in Mexico. Betting licenses do not have an initial application cost, with the license fee being charged at 2% of the annual racing turnover and 1% of the sports betting turnover.

Winnings are subject to federal and state taxes, typically 1% and between 4% and 6% respectively. Operators are subject to a 30% federal tax, 20% of which can be deductable for local taxes, and 16% VAT.

In comparison with Mexico, regulation is carried out at the state level in the U.S. by government bodies or independently appointed organizations. 

States where sports betting has been legalized typically have separate tax rates for retail sports betting and online sports betting. This can be the same or different.

Most states operate with around a 10% to 15% tax on both. However, this is not always the case. Nevada and Iowa have the joint lowest taxes for retail and online sports betting, set at 6.75% each. In contrast, Rhode Island and New Hampshire have set a 51% tax on both, which is perhaps why offshore sites remain popular in the States.

There are no restrictions on sports betting in Mexico, with some of the most popular sports to bet on including basketball, soccer, American football, boxing, baseball, and Basque Pelota.

U.S. sports betting is often limited by restrictions on the sports and bet types that can be placed on events. This will vary by state and is another major reason why offshore betting is so popular. For example, some states will only allow parimutuel betting on horse racing, while betting on football isn’t allowed.

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