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? Those interested in testing their luck on the slots will find a handful of venues where they can do so. To read more, click on the name.

Captain Morgan's Retreat Casino is southern the Yucatan Peninsula. 3 tables and 145 slot machines await you to try your luck. The casino houses a full bar and offers food service from the on site restaurant, Mama Caribe.

If you enjoy the simplicity of playing the slots, consider giving 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.

The table just below shows more details on the gaming choices you may enjoy.

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
Captain Morgan's Retreat Casino Casino -- (800) 316-4229 3.7 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro Ambergris Caye
Dubai Palace Casino Slot Machine Arcade Plaza Las Americas Mall (998) 802-1966 Downtown Cancun Mexico
Las Vegas Casino Casino -- (501) 423-7000 Corozal District, Southern part of the Yucatan Peninsula Belize

If you would prefer having a wider range of attractions beyond the category on this page, you should look at other locations. Click this link to check out our page about other interesting attractions for the Yucatan Peninsula.

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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