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Monday, July 4, 2022

Mayor: Casino in Progreso would ‘bring benefits’

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Golden Island Casino in Mérida is one of six gaming centers in Yucatán. Photo: Courtesy

Progreso, Yucatán — Mayor José Isabel Cortés Góngora told a local newspaper that he has learned entrepreneurs are interested in opening a casino in the port city.

And if they come forward, those entrepreneurs will will have the mayor’s support. Casinos “would bring benefits to the residents,” said Cortés Góngora.

No one has yet presented a plan before City Council, the mayor said.

“We are waiting for them to approach,” said Cortés Góngora.

Gaming would fit in well with the port city of 37,000 inhabitants and a landmark four-mile pier that regularly welcomes cruise ships, he told Desde el Balcón.

“Progreso is considered a tourist port. When cruise ships arrive, vacationers come down looking for amusements, and the casino would be an option for them,” he said. The city competes with dozens of other excursions — from beer tastings in Mérida to archaeological sites — offered to passengers.

He also noted that building the complex would bring construction jobs to the region, not to mention employment once it’s running.

The idea also has possible support on the state level. Interior Ministry Delegate Rubén Valdez Ceh explained that although they have not yet received information on the opening of a casino in the port, this possibility is not ruled out as long as paperwork is in order.

Casino concessions are regulated by the General Department of Games and Sweepstakes. An existing casino can invoke their concession to expand at other locations.

Even still, a concessionaire would face land use regulations and require City Council’s approval.

Six casinos operate in the state of Yucatán, all in Mérida.

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