Since the earliest days of human history, people have played games of chance to entertain themselves and wagered on the outcomes. Historians have found evidence that ancient Romans and Chinese civilizations were partial to a number of games that may be the origins of some of the games we play today.
The ancient Mayans were also keen on gambling, from cockfights to board games, these contests were social events as well as competitive contests. Sports games and hunting were also popular choices in Mexico during the pre-Hispanic period as well as casino games, the modern versions of which can be found on 888casino.
The Spanish bought a number of card games from Mexico and by 1770, King Carlos of Spain gave the green light for a new lottery in New Spain, and this set the scene for the games that were to come. While the Spanish colonized Mexico, games of chance were used as a way of generating income to pay for public works, and these were often played in schools, churches, and convents.
It wasn’t until the beginning of the twentieth century that casinos as we think of them today were first opened in Mexico. The then-president Porfirio Diaz decided that gaming would encourage tourism and authorized gaming as a way to improve the industry’s profitability.
The establishment of casinos in Mexico
During this period, early innovators in the casino sector were able to capitalize on this new and potentially lucrative market. Several casinos were opened in the period shortly after the presidential decree was established, including:
- The Pacific Riviera in Ensenada
- The Foreign Club near Mexico City
- Casino de La Selva in Cuernavaca
- Rosarito Beach in Tijuana
- Hot Water in Tijuana
The success of these early establishments inspired confidence in other potential casino founders and more and more began to open all over the country. When the United States introduced the dry laws of the 1920s, the prohibition movement saw plenty of US citizens stuck for an outlet for their gaming habits, and their neighbor to the south provided the means to scratch that itch.
The president of the United Mexican States at the time, Plutarco Elias Calles, was quick to identify this potentially lucrative market and he capitalized on the political situation to Mexico’s advantage. He promoted casinos to those traveling from the United States, encouraging business operators to establish new racetracks and gaming houses in the towns closest to the border including Mexicali, Tijuana, Baja California, and Ciudad Juarez.
The evolution of gaming in Mexico
Although gaming houses were outlawed again in the late 1930s, the demand among players didn’t seem to diminish, and by the 1950s, casinos were once again being built to meet demand from keen players.
The end of the twentieth century saw casinos rise to prominence once again, and nationwide chains were established to allow players to try their luck all over the country. In 2004. a law was passed that gave the state control of all gaming activity, and in 2013 this was updated to recognize the huge influence that the digital revolution had already had on the gaming sector.
In keeping with global trends, gaming in Mexico has become an increasingly popular pastime with millions of people playing regularly and enjoying a wide variety of games. However, among the most popular are still casino games which have an enduring appeal and are always evolving to meet the expectations of the latest generation of players.
The incredibly swift development of mobile and internet technology and the proliferation of smartphones have allowed Mexican fans to find their favorite games online and play whenever and from wherever they choose. Although there are still some rural areas of the country that are not covered by reliable internet service, the popularity of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets has allowed all but the most remote inhabitants to have access to a wide variety of games.
The future of online gaming in Mexico
Throughout the tumultuous relationship that Mexico has had with the gaming industry, one thing has always been clear: players want to play. Even when the government refused to allow its own citizens to gamble on websites based locally, players were seeking out foreign sites to play on and finding international solutions to their local restrictions.
As with all things, when the legal framework is put in place for legitimate businesses to operate, the customer experience improves. Players in Mexico can now enjoy increased security on sites that are registered using Mexico’s licensing system.
They can also make the most of the fact that online casinos can be promoted openly, allowing operators to offer special offers and deals that make it even more appealing to play casino games online. However, it is important that the Mexican government, like all global powers, keeps abreast with the latest technological developments when it comes to regulating its online gaming industry.
Players have come to have high expectations when it comes to any online transactions, so in order to protect their gaming market, Mexico will have to ensure that it protects the individuals that support it. While brick-and-mortar casinos are thriving in Mexico, the online gaming sector is also enjoying significant popularity and this means there are plenty of opportunities for providers and players alike to capitalize on that.