Mexico is edging closer to the completion of new casino projects as indicated by the many development sites already in progress and reports about forthcoming projects.
Multiple Casinos Expected
Mexico had banned casinos in 2017 and when that ban was later lifted in the following year, the industry was looking at catching up and explosive growth. The new laws saw that a total of up to 850 casinos were allowed in the country, of which 206 have already been built, and when taking into account different slot halls, that number goes up to the north of 370. That leaves more than 450 casinos to be constructed.
One of them is actually completely finished and is opening doors tomorrow – September 2, 2022 – in La Chinesca, which is Mexicali’s Chinatown. Chinesca Casino’s Facebook page has been posting about the launch intensively in the last few days and its Facebook profile cover image lists multiple job openings – from administrative positions, through hosts/hostesses and dealers, to CCTV operators and security employees.
Just around the change in legislation, lifting the ban on casinos, the state of Tamaulipas was widely reported to expect thirty casinos. That was back in 2018 and the estimate of thirty casinos operating within the state’s boundaries was totally disturbed by the global pandemic, putting a halt at most projects and lockdowns affecting the completed ones. Of those thirty casinos, eleven are operational today, and at least two more are expected by the end of the year, with some local reports suggesting that might be optimistic as well.
What’s important is that licenses have been issued and all that’s left is for these projects to be completed and start contributing to their local tourism and gambling industries, helping the economy recover.
Mexican Gambling Industry Flourishing at a Cost
The industry as a whole has been picking up speed in Mexico, with the gambling sector frequenting headlines of new partnerships, businesses growing, and a general atmosphere of a cacophony of activity. All of this is indicative of recovery, and this is not a newly-started process. Back in 2021, we saw Betsson and Big Bola Casinos partnering to launch Betsson Mexico in April of that year. This was followed in June of the same year by bet365 launching in Mexico as well, after partnering with the local TV Azteca conglomerate. At the beginning of July this year, we also saw RSI’s RushBet brand launched in partnership with Mexico’s Grupo Multimedios.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, however, it’s still safe to say that the industry has been picking up speed and it’s easy to put on the rose-colored glasses and think that everything’s copacetic, but nothing’s ever perfect. With casinos booming with activity and the industry recovering at an increased pace, the stress on the underlying systems was also heavily increased, opening the doors to potential problems, corruption and rule sidestepping, and more.
This is a very real and well-documented tendency, not just in the gambling world but also in other industries. That’s where regulation, preventative measures, and active legal instruments come into play, but what do you do when regulatory bodies themselves become a part of the problem? The Mexican gaming regulator was reported back in April to have been potentially linked to the extortion of casino operators, where the story was muddied with conflicting interests. Money had changed hands, though. This is also not a new theme in Mexico, as you can imagine. Big Bola is a very popular house name, with multiple casinos being operated by the company. It’s long been suspected of illegal activities and its bank accounts were (at the time) indefinitely blocked back in May this year.