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Mexico – Five casinos evacuated after bomb threat in Monterrey

By - 21 August 2018

Hundreds of players from five casinos in the city of Monterrey, capital of the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, had to be evacuated after authorities received an anonymous bomb threat saying that five bombs had been placed at all five establishments and that all would explode simultaneously.

Police and emergency services immediately rushed to four casinos located in the metropolitan area of Monterrey and one in the municipality of Allende. After carrying out a sweep of the premises, no devices were found.

According to the police, the call warned that there would be explosions starting at 9:00 pm on Saturday, so the alert was designed to cause the maximum panic during peak hours and hundreds of people were evacuated. Fear was especially acute as the threat was made just a few days after the seventh year anniversary of the Casino Royale tragedy when a group of armed men attacked and then set fire to a licensed casino in Monterrey leaving 52 people dead.

The casino industry in the area has been plagued for years by violence. In September last year a casino was shot at by a group of men who were aboard a moving vehicle, causing commotion amongst those in the area and the rapid intervention of police forces. No people were injured during the event.

Despite gang related violence in the state gaming tax revenue is on the up and there is a more liberal approach to the industry. In August Jaime Rodríguez Calderón, the Governor of the state ruled out the possibility that he could present an initiative that would prevent the opening of more casinos, because “society has the right to have a good time.” Calderón was responding to questions regarding statements made by the President of the Mexican Gaming Association (AIEJA) Miguel Angel Ochoa who revealed that more casinos could be granted permission to operate in the state, reaching between 35 and 45 or even by as many as 60 by 2020.

According to the Financial Report for the second quarter of 2018 sent by the State Treasury to Parliament, gaming tax revenue is also up by 84.7 per cent in the state. Tax collection for gaming increased 84.7 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2017, adding up to $446m. In all the total tax revenues of the government of Nuevo León, corresponding to the second quarter of 2018 amounted to $54,560m, 3.3 per cent more than that was recorded in the same period last year. Specialists have pointed out that maximizing revenues from casinos would be a viable solution for raising additional taxes.

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