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Gambling Tourism In Mexico

by Yucatan Times
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Gambling tourism is when people travel to various destinations to take part in specific gambling-related activities such as casino gaming and sports betting. This type of tourism has increased significantly over the years. People engage in gambling tourism for many reasons including gambling restrictions in their home countries, the need to experience different cultures, bigger jackpots in other destinations, and tax benefits. 

Tourists often visit brick-and-mortar casinos and gambling houses to enjoy their favourite games. Alternatively, some travelers prefer online casinos to play games like blackjack, roulette, and poker, finding the best games on sites like pokersites.ltd. These mean not having to leave the comfort of your hotel. It also usually means higher jackpots on offer than many land-based casinos as well.

Many destinations like Las Vegas, Mexico, and Macau rely on gambling tourism for economic benefits. In this article, we will look at gambling tourism in Mexico, paying attention to popular gambling destinations, the impact of gambling tourism on the country’s economy, and the future of gambling, among other things.

Mexico’s Gambling History

Gambling was first legalized in Mexico in 1852, only to be outlawed by President Benito Juárez in 1862. When it was legalized again by President Lázaro Cárdenas del Río in 1934, many casinos were built in tourist destinations. The regulated operators provide both traditional and online gambling, though the online gambling market faces a lot of uncertainty. Gambling in Mexico includes casinos, racetracks, and lotteries which are regulated by the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB) and the National Gaming Commission (CNJ).

How Gambling Has Promoted Tourism in Mexico

Gambling tourism in Mexico is one of the major contributors to the country’s economy. A majority of tourists are attracted by casinos and gambling houses because the country has relaxed gambling laws and regulations which have made it a conducive environment for the industry to grow. The different types of casino games available in Mexico cater to both domestic and international tourists. The Mexican government has seen the potential of gambling tourism and has therefore put into place measures to promote it, such as relaxing some of its gambling laws, offering tax benefits for casino operators, and investing in infrastructure. Realizing the potential of the industry, many companies are forming partnerships to penetrate the market.

Popular Gambling Destinations in Mexico

The combination of the rich Mexican culture and casino entertainment makes the country an attractive destination for gamblers and tourists alike. There are several popular gambling destinations such as Cancun, Tijuana, Los Cabos, and Mexico City. Cancun is famous for its beautiful beaches, ancient Mayan ruins, and lively late-night activities, all thanks to the surrounding casinos. For a rich cultural experience, tourists can visit the border city of Tijuana which attracts many tourists from California and beyond because of its closeness to the United States border. The capital, Mexico City, and Los Cabos also have their own fair share of casinos and dining places, to entertain and accommodate locals and tourists. 

Impact of Gambling Tourism on the Country’s Economy 

Because of the strictness of some regions’ gambling laws, natives of those areas seek gambling entertainment in places like Mexico. This has seen a throng of international tourists finding their way to the country to enjoy legal gambling. The tourists have contributed greatly to the country’s economy and states are making money through tax revenue. To accommodate the large number of tourists visiting its cities, the country has invested a lot in infrastructure with new hotels and entertainment facilities being built. This has created new job opportunities in the tourism and hospitality industries for local people.

Challenges and Uncertainties

Although gambling tourism is a growing industry in Mexico, with a rich history and cultural significance, the industry faces regulatory uncertainty as President Andrés Manuel López signed the proposed legislation to ban slot machines in 2023. According to reports, the banning of slot machines will see a drop in gambling profits of roughly MXN 4,700 million ($273,952,660).

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