Nov 25, 2011

Corruption in Mexico's casinos reaches across U.S. border

An investigative report on the corruption in the Mexico gambling industry.

McClatchy| Sacramento Bee: "When a Mexico casino czar named Juan José Rojas-Cardona offered an Upper Michigan Chippewa Indian tribe, the Lac Vieux Desert Band, the chance to invest in Mexico's booming gambling industry, it seemed like a godsend. But rather than a big payout, the disadvantaged Lac Vieux tribe got swindled. Its multimillion-dollar "investment" disappeared, adding the tribe to a list of victims...

Rojas-Cardona, however, has gone on to build one of the biggest gambling empires in Mexico. Relying on a silky sales pitch and apparent close connections to Mexico's top politicians, perhaps including presidents, Rojas-Cardona holds 60 permits to operate casinos in Mexico – even though gambling remains technically illegal there.

... A McClatchy probe in the months since has found evidence that the corruption in Mexico's gambling industry goes much deeper than a shakedown by drug gangs. Indeed, the entire industry appears to be deliberately opaque, designed by political barons as a way for them to hand out licenses as favors, tap casino coffers for cash, and let casino operators flout the law." read more

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