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

Feeling Lucky? Guests interested in testing their luck in some gaming action will have quite a few opportunities to do so. To read a detailed article, try clicking the name.

Captain Morgan's Retreat Casino is southern the Yucatan Peninsula. Despite the fact that you're on Ambergris Caye, you can still get a taste of Las Vegas. This classy Las Vegas-style casino is open until 4 a.m.

If you're simply looking to play a few slots, you could give Caliente Casino a try. Set at the east end of Paseo Cancun Plaza, Caliente Casino features a '70s inspired decor, with two bars, and a clean environment.

Dubai Palace Casino: At Dubai Palace Casino, the beige walls and neutral (though still with a pattern) carpet do not distract from the bright, flashing lights of the computerized game machines, which can make your palms sweat and your heart race in an instant.

The table below enables you to get more information about the gaming opportunities available.

Gambling In the Yucatan Peninsula
Name Type Located At 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 Plaza Las Americas Mall -- 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

If you are looking for a wider variety of attractions beyond just these, you can expand your planning horizon. You can obtain more information about other attractions here.

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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