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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
Drinks at Mexican casinos are not comped. However, they’re very cheap. A Sol beer is $1.50 with tip.
Onto the slot machine gambling, where we were very lucky…
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.
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.