The Yucatan Peninsula Casinos

As long as you are not a serious gambler, the Yucatan will do just fine

Photo credit: © Dalibor Sevaljevic |

Simply put, the Yucatan Peninsula is not the best place for gambling in the Caribbean. With card games and roulette still illegal, you will be limited to video poker games and slot machines. Still, if you are itching for a quick game, the casinos in the area should be enough.

Where to Find Gambling

Looking for a bit of action? Those who'd like to try their luck on the slots will have plenty of options. Click on each name to get full details.

Caliente Casino has a restaurant, which provides added convenience before or after you hit the gaming floor. Sports from around the world can be seen on 40 HD wide screen televisions, although the most popular here are the nightly dog races, which are broadcast life from the Caliente Track in Tijuana ever night at 7:45 p.m. You can also catch a matinee at 2:00 p.m.

If you enjoy the simplicity of playing the slots, consider heading to The Palace Casino. The Palace Casino has been around since 1995, and not much has changed since it originally opened. While kept clean and cheery, the lavender walls, green carpeting, and wooden bar stools are definitely straight out of the 90s.

Dubai Palace Casino: Whether you're up for some fun day or night, Dubai Palace is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The gaming choices you may enjoy are listed right below.

Gambling In the Yucatan Peninsula
Name Type Phone Location
Caliente Casino Slot Machine Arcade (664) 682-3110 0.5 mi. South-Southwest of Central Cancun Beach Hotel Zone Mexico
Caliente Sports Betting Sports Betting Shop -- Downtown Cancun Mexico
Captain Morgan's Retreat Casino Casino (800) 316-4229 3.7 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro Ambergris Caye
Casino Palace Bingo Parlor (998) 884-8594 Downtown Cancun Mexico
Dubai Palace Casino Slot Machine Arcade -- Downtown Cancun Mexico
Las Vegas Casino Casino (501) 423-7000 Corozal District, Southern part of the Yucatan Peninsula Belize
Playboy Club Cancun Casino -- 3.0 mi. North of Central Cancun Beach Hotel Zone Mexico
Playcity Sports Betting Sports Betting Shop -- 0.5 mi. North-Northeast of Central Cancun Beach Hotel Zone Mexico
Recorcholis Arcade Gambling Arcade -- Downtown Cancun Mexico
The Palace Casino Casino (501) 226-3570 San Pedro, Southern part of the Yucatan Peninsula Ambergris Caye

Needless to say, you'll find other kinds attractions available. To read more about other attractions for the Yucatan Peninsula, check out this page.

Brief History of Gambling in Mexico

Gambling has been a part of Mexican culture since the time of the Aztecs, despite the legal indecision over the matter in the last century. French-style casinos could be found throughout the country during the 19th century, though these facilities fell out of favor after the Mexican Revolution.

In the 1920s, casinos began to gain popularity once more as U.S. citizens began entering the country looking for places to gamble legally. The casino boom ended once more in 1947 when the government passed a law making gambling illegal. For years, various states in Mexico had been challenging the ban by opening casinos only to have them immediately shut down by the government. Then, hotels in Cancun began finding ways around the ban by hosting casino nights in which no actual money exchanged hands. From there, the boundaries were pushed even further by casinos that opened offering only computerized gambling.

Slowly, but surely, the government became more and more lax regarding casino regulation, giving in to the idea of millions of dollars of profit that it could be benefiting from.

Today, the legal aspects surrounding gambling in Cancun remain hazy and are always in flux. As more and more casinos pop up on the map, though, experts are sure that the rules will continue to relax until casino gambling is fully legal.

Take caution when planning your trip to Cancun, and avoid planning your days around the casinos. Because the regulations regarding licensing could change at any time, it is best to have a Plan B. With so many other options of activities to participate in, it's easy to forget you ever wanted a casino night included as part of your trip. Days can be filled with tours, shopping, and snorkeling, while checking out the local bars and night clubs are always a fun way to spend an evening.


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