Juarez, Mexico, Wants a New Lottery to Fund Education

Posted on: June 7, 2022, 10:07h. 

Last updated on: June 7, 2022, 10:17h.

The concept of municipal lotteries, local lotteries that serve local interests, is catching on in Latin America. The latest can be found in Juarez, Mexico, which wants a new lottery in order to generate funds for education.

Juarez, Mexico
A sign welcoming visitors to Juarez, Mexico. The city is considering the introduction of a new local lottery to fund education programs. (Image: GuestLife)

The mayor of the municipality of Juárez, Cruz Pérez Cuéllar, is behind a proposal for a municipal lottery. He already received the support of the Secretary of the Interior, Adán Augusto López Hernández, to organize the “Crusade for Education” draw. It’s a strategy that aims to support education in the city.

A statement from the mayor’s office explains that Pérez presented the initiative to the head of the country’s internal policy, and the response was positive. As a result, the proposal will move from the municipality through the bureaucratic chain of command until it reaches the General Directorate of Games and Draws.

Not All Schools Created Equally

On the surface, the initiative seems promising – create a mechanism to improve the education system in Juarez in the state of Chihuahua. However, the proposal doesn’t include an equitable allocation of the money the lottery might generate.

Instead, the “winning” school will be chosen in the same manner as the lottery numbers. The proposal consists of one or two draws. The proceeds would go to public schools, which must register with the Directorate of Education. There’s a cap of MEX$250,000 (US$12,792) for each draw.

In typical fashion, the draw will use a tombola to select the numbers transparently. That is also how the lottery would decide the winning schools.

We practically already have the go-ahead. We have to comply. We’re going to put the accelerator in to be ready and make the first draw on September 15,” said Juárez mayor Cruz Pérez Cuéllar.

The new Juarez lottery comes shortly after Kings Entertainment announced it was entering the Mexican online gaming scene. In March, it stated that it is in the process of securing approval to launch lottery products in the country, as well as other Latin American countries.

Lottery Becomes Hot Ticket In Mexico

Lotteries have always been highly popular, and according to some studies, the biggest source of gambling addiction. Countries like Brazil have started to introduce municipal lotteries in order to generate local funds. But even national lotteries are gaining more attention – good and bad.

Mexico’s National Lottery is going through a transformation as it grows. Over the past three years, it had total sales of almost US$2 billion, which delivered US$1 billion in prizes.

That was despite an embarrassing situation last May. A group of cybercriminals hacked Mexico’s National Lottery. It took possession of private and sensitive data from 2009 to 2021, and asked for ransom to return the information. No action would result in the group releasing the information into the wild.

Weeks later, with no response from the Lottery, the Mexican press reported that the hackers made good on their threat. They began to leak data, offering 3GB of data on their blog.

As a result, at the beginning of this month, Lotería Nacional de México (Lotenal, for its Spanish acronym) began the implementation of a new Information Security Management System (ISMS). This will train the company’s staff and reinforce policies and procedures related to prevention and containment controls.