Crown Casino Ajijic, Lake Chapala, Mexico
Federal agents went in to the Crown Casino Ajijic in Plaza Ajijic on Friday, January 22nd to carry out a court-ordered raid which lasted more than six hours
A press release from the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) said the investigators confiscated equipment and materials from the betting parlor and also took 16 employees and 9 clients to the PGR headquarters in Guadalajara for questioning in regards to probable violations of the General Law on Games and Raffles.
Allegedly the business was opened without proper permits from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Gobernacion).
The detainees were held in custody for about 17 hours before being released on bonds posted by the casino’s operators.
Evidently, agents allowed a number of foreign clients to freely leave the casino to avoid the possibility of violating their individual rights.
Included in the evidence collected by authorities were 65 electronic betting machines, 23 packages containing 3,298 magnetic cards used for playing the machines and 57,533 pesos in cash found in the till, as well as an unspecified number of gaming tables, playing cards, chips and plasma screens.
Before terminating the operation, agents put seals across the front and back entrances of the casino reinforcing the closure by welding several iron bars across each door.
Local police, who were called in at the last minute to provide back up for the raid, have maintained regular surveillance in the area during this week.
The Chapala government’s Secretary General, Jose Gonzalez Alfaro, said that the Crown Casino was issued two separate business licenses by the previous administration, one authorizing the operation of a restaurant-bar and the other one for installing low-cost electronic games known as tragemonedas (coin swallowers).
Former city councilwoman Rocio Reynoso, admitted that the permits were extended without being run through a special council that oversees issuance of licenses for restricted enterprises, such as those that dispense alcoholic beverages.
Jose Gonzalez Alfaro said that the casino would not have its licenses renewed without the proof of proper authorization from Gobernacion from the current government.
This raid was perhaps a little zealous. Had you ever been in this casino one might have thought that on site questioning of the clients would certainly have sufficed.