THE RISE OF MEXICAN CASINOS IN THE 20TH CENTURY
Mexico’s history with gambling is extensive. From pre-Hispanic times, with the patolli, until the viceregal era, with the battle of games against religion , the country has had a relationship with these recreational activities, to the point that they had a boom in the 20th century.
It was during the final stage of the Porfiriato that the first French-style casinos emerged. When Porfirio Díaz was in office, there was a lot of French influence on the infrastructure, which persists today, with the Juárez neighborhood as a clear example.
In 1907, Díaz decreed in his mandate that gambling became business in the tourism sector, which helped the gambling industry to have that boost for its growth, which was beneficial, taking into account that the first casino in Las Vegas opened 40 years later.
One of the casinos that still emerged during the Porfirio Díaz mandate was that of Ixtapaluca , a municipality in the State of Mexico, located where the local specialty hospital is currently located. This casino belonged to the Hospital for Lepers, as the Hospital Pedro López was known. This property had a shop, shoe stores and stables, in addition to offering dances.
The country was filled with these enclosures: casinos, gambling houses, clubs and racetracks had a huge boom that benefited greatly from the prohibitions in the country of the northern border.
However, during the government of Lázaro Cárdenas, the general decreed that the casinos would be abolished, affecting areas such as the Agua Caliente border, the Tecolote in the capital, the Mexican Foreign Club and the Casino de la Selva in Morelos.
It was the first official document that addressed the regulation of games of chance and the luck industry in Mexico, a situation that continues to be advanced today to ensure that Mexicans can have fun responsibly.
In 1955, the Frontón México obtained the first permit for gambling in the country, although the granting of licenses in the country became somewhat more common at the end of the 20th century, a situation that was taken advantage of by the businessman Jorge Hank, who was able to give life to Grupo Caliente , consolidating itself as the strongest group of casinos in the country.
As an example we have the Hipódromo de las Américas , whose Royal Yak casino is the largest in the country; the Hipódromo, Casino and Galgódromo that operate in the Agua Caliente complex, where they also have the Xolos de Tijuana soccer stadium; the Frontón México with its exhibitions and Basque pelota tournaments, in addition to the fact that the number of casinos has grown to hundreds in the country.