A day before I arrived, there was a shooting where a fella in the casino was shot 36 times:http://diario19.com/archivos/46242/blacera-con-un-herido-en-playcity-de-cd-juarez-no-ha-sido-clausurado-como-lo-hacen-con-otros-donde-ha-sucedido-lo-mismo/

If you don’t read or speak Spanish, the TL;DR version is that a patron was playing the slots when armed gang members came into the PlayCity casino and shot the fella 36 times. The casino remained open for business, despite the shooting.

Since there were casinos nearby, naturally, I decided to go and take a look. I didn’t see any signs of a shooting. No blood on the carpet or walls, etc.

Juarez is a city in Mexico that abuts to El Paso, TX. To get to Juarez, one crosses over using the various border checkpoints.

About to leave the good ‘ole U.S.A…
The laws are a bit different in Mexico.

Once in Mexico, I decided to hire a couple of local tour guides to take me around town. Juarez is one of the most dangerous cities in the world, and you don’t want to take a wrong turn.

My trusted and recommended tour guides. I didn’t ask if either was armed. Let’s just say it was rather warm for the size of the coat she was wearing. She said that she was ready, whatever that meant.
The first casino we visited was Gran Casino Juarez.

To get into the casino, all patrons must walk through a metal detector, my guide set off the metal detector when he walked through. Security didn’t really say anything to him, and we just went through. I set off the detector, too, but the guide just told me to go. Okie Dokey.

All patrons must pass through a metal detector.
The lobby of the Gran Casino Juarez.

Let’s go to the casino area. Games are mostly various slots. The casino does have a table games area, but the area doesn’t open until 5 pm. My guides said that I could stay later, but that they would need to call for an additional guard if we were going to stay past dark. Wait…I thought I was hiring tour guides, not bodyguards. Oh, well.

I opted not to stay past dark.

Everywhere we would go, if we approached a corner or an open row, the guy kept looking left and right. It was interesting.
The sports book at the Gran Casino Juarez.

The lady was even more serious than the guy. She never smiled the entire time. That’s when it dawned on me that these guys were bodyguards, not tour guides. Oh well, whatever it takes to get back alive.

Here she is watching, with her arms crossed. She made me feel very safe and a few of the patrons seemed to know her by name.

I was about to make a bet and was about to pull out some money to pay for the wager. The lady saw me about to pull out my cash and stopped me. ‘Put that away’ she said. I told them I wanted a 200 peso wager on a horse. She then told the guy to make the wager for me, and that I would reimburse them later for it. Don’t pull out that wad of cash, she warned me.

Here she is watching while the guy makes the bet for me.

After losing about 500 pesos betting on the horses, I decided to walk around the casino and look at the slot machines. They had some unusual machines that I have not seen in the U.S. Here is a pic of a bingo machine. I’m not sure how these machines work, as I didn’t get to play them. The machines do not take cash; rather, you must buy a card and use the credit that is on the players’ card.

Bingo machines.

This is a slot machine, not an arcade game.

I next told them that I wanted to go to PlayCity casino. The lady asked me how I know of that casino. I responded, that there was a shooting there recently and it made the news (considering how many daily murders and shootings happen in Juarez, that’s sayin’ something). She then nonchalantly said ‘yes, let’s go’.

So, we went to the PlayCity Casino…

The front of PlayCity casino.

To access PlayCity, every patron must pass through a metal detector. My ‘tour guides’ set off the metal detector…and went right on through.

Yours truly did not set off the metal detector.

The metal detector.

PlayCity casino is a slot parlor. There are no table games. We spent approximately two hours playing the slot machines. Since my ‘guides’ were so kind, and the slot play was ridiculously cheap, I treated them to some cervezas and slot play.

I like how serious this guy was. He would always walk in front of me, anywhere we went. Because if sh*t hit the fan…

Drinks at Mexican casinos are not comped. However, they’re very cheap. A Sol beer is $1.50 with tip.

The bar inside PlayCity casino.
I like the technique the bartender used to open the beer bottle. Something you don’t see very often in a U.S. bar because of liability reasons.

Onto the slot machine gambling, where we were very lucky…

5 Mexican pesos a spin. That’s 26 cents U.S.
5 Mexican pesos is equivalent to 26 cents U.S. per spin. We won big on this machine.
Triggered bonus round of 5 free spins.

After we were done with slots, we had a very delicious meal of authentic tacos. Authentic Mexican food, especially authentic tacos, are magnitudes better than American Tex-Mex tacos. I was about to take some pics of the food at this little restaurant, but my ‘guides’ stopped me and said that we do not want to be seen taking pictures out in the open because people will think that we are some form of law enforcement. In a casino, where everyone is relatively of higher income, they were ok with the pics, but not in the ultra poor parts of Juarez.

After a nice meal, my guides took me to my car, and I drove back to the U.S. side of the border.

I was thinking, this guy in front is going to have his fridge searched. Nope, they just let him through.

Overall, it was an interesting experience. Maybe I’ll go back at some point and hire additional security so that I can play the table games.

This was half the win. I gave the other half to my guides as a gratuity. Looks like it’s a lot, but it’s approximately $150. Lots of gambling and drinking for very cheap.

Posted in: Casino, Gambling, Travel

2 thoughts on “RoadGambler Goes to Casinos in Juarez, Mexico, One of the Most Dangerous Cities in the World”

  • I have played in a casino in Querétaro Mex. Pretty scary. Played craps for a few rolls but when I started winning they closed the table. Told me the dealers needed to go to break. No one in the place spoke a word of English. Not in a hurry to go back.

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