The Secretariat of Public Works in the border city of Reynosa in Tamaulipas state has closed six gambling venues which were operating without the relevant permissions.
“We’ve been in touch with the owners to inform them that before opening they need to fulfill several requirements for which they have to apply by law,” said the head of the department, Eduardo López Arias.
It’s unclear if any of the venues had previously obtained licences from the state government following the recent decision to relegalise casinos.
In addition to such a licence, issued by the state’s Secretariat of Interior, operators are also required to obtain land use permissions from the municipal and state governments, and the secretary of the Interior.
In November, the government reversed a 2017 decision to ban casinos and shut down strip clubs in the state. The new initiative was put forward by the independent local deputy, Humberto Rangel Vallejo and later passed by 30 votes in favour to four against.
Following the vote, Economic Development secretary, Carlos García González, estimated that up to 30 casinos could begin operations in the state in 2019, in border towns like Reynosa, Matamoros, and Nuevo Laredo.
“From what I’ve seen in other states the number could be between 20 and 30 establishments,” he explained. “It’s going to bring a positive economic benefit. I think this is going to help the border region, which could benefit from additional tourism. There are many people from Texas that would be willing to cross [into Mexico] to come and have a good time.”