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Review the History of Gambling on the Yucatan Peninsula

by Yucatan Times
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Gambling on the Yucatan Peninsula has a long and rich history. The Maya played various games of chance and skill, including the popular game pok-a-tok. The indigenous population of Mexico also bet on cockfighting and ball games such as ullamaliztli (Nahuatl for “ball game”).

Around 1520, the expeditions of Hernán Cortés brought European gaming to Mexico, introducing cards and dice to locals. By 1762, the Spanish government had established casinos in Campeche, Merida and Valladolid (today called Morelia). Since then, gambling has continued to flourish throughout much of Mexico’s history – from colonial-era towns like Mérida to modern cities such as Cancun today.

Ancient Maya

The ancient Maya were keen gamblers. They played a variety of games similar to those you can play at gambling sites, with a generous online casino bonus to keep you entertained. These games included dice, dominoes and playing cards. These games were played in public places such as royal courts and marketplaces, but they also took place between individuals who had agreed on the stakes beforehand.

The earliest Mayan game was the ritual ballgame called pitz (also known as pitza). This required two teams of players to compete against each other by throwing a heavy rubber ball through an elevated ring or hoop made from wood or stone. Points were scored when either side failed to do so within a few attempts at it. The rules governing this sport were complex. However, the natives enjoyed the games so much that they even started placing wagers on the outcome of the games.

Colonial Era

During the colonial era, gambling was a popular pastime in Yucatan. The Spanish settlers brought their love of games and gambling, which is still practised by locals who like to play at the highest payout online casino sites. They also brought new games that had not been seen before in the Americas, including dice and card games such as baccarat and poker.

The popularity of these games made it easy for people to forget about their troubles for a few hours. However, there were some downsides to this practice as well: It was often difficult for people who didn’t have much money or resources to play these games because they needed something valuable (like gold) with which they could bet against other players. This doesn’t mean that the working class stayed away from gambling – just that they staked what they had and kept the wagering within their own ranks.

Independence and the War of Reform (1858-1861)

In the early years of Mexico’s independence from Spain, gambling was a popular pastime for the wealthy. It was also a source of revenue for the government, as taxes were levied on casinos and other gambling establishments. During this time period, gambling was legal in most parts of Mexico.

However, things changed when President Porfirio Diaz took control of Mexico after his election victory in 1877. He declared war against drinking alcohol and playing cards involving money–a move that was designed to curb corruption among political figures but proved unsuccessful when many people moved their games underground instead. As time went on, there were upscale gambling houses regulated by the government, and racing tracks were open for betting.

The Maximato

During the Maximato period, gambling was legal and widespread. It’s estimated that more than 100 million pesos were spent annually on casinos during this period of time–a large sum at a time when an unskilled labourer might earn less than 10 pesos per month.

In this era, there were several notable establishments, such as Aguas Caliente Casino and Hotel, which opened its doors in 1928 in Tijuana, Baja California. It eventually became known as one of Mexico City’s most luxurious casinos. Another well-known spot called Casino de la Selva (“Forest Casino”) opened in 1931 near Cuernavaca.

Mexican Revolution (1910-1920)

The Mexican Revolution involved armed conflict that started in 1910 and continued for over a decade. The revolution ended in 1920 with the establishment of the Mexican Constitution of 1917.

During this time period, gambling was outlawed throughout most of Mexico due to religious opposition from Roman Catholic Church officials who feared its influence on social order. However, some forms of gambling were still allowed within certain jurisdictions, such as:

  • Cockfights (gallos) were legal only if held on private property
  • Boxing matches that took place at fairs or circuses
  • Horse racing at racetracks
  • sports betting on horse races
  • Lotteries
  • Raffles/drawings where no money changed hands (like bingo)
  • Card games like pinochle (but not poker because it required money stakes to play)


The Yucatan Peninsula is a fascinating place, and its history of gambling is even more so.  Gambling on the Yucatan Peninsula has a rich history, dating back to pre-Hispanic times. Gambling is a part of Mexican culture and has been for thousands of years. From the Mayans’ use of games as a way to settle disputes to modern casinos built on top of ancient lands, there are many stories worth telling about how this unique region came to be what it is today.

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