The popular slot machines we find in many places every day, leave hundreds of dollars a day to organized crime.
With the arduous controls that the authorities have put in place on drug trafficking and the illegal marketing of drugs, the organized gangs that initially put all their power into drug trafficking have moved on to other activities.
Thus, drug trafficking groups have focused their business on entertainment venues such as bars or placer places.
They have now set their sights on the juicy gambling industry, which is legal from whichever way you look at it, does not generate persecution by the authorities and leaves them a good profit to continue financing their illegal activities.
Although it seems that the slot machine business is not extremely profitable according to the General Direction of Games and Raffles in Mexico, the business generates about 30 million dollars weekly.
The Sinaloa cartel is now one of the biggest owners of the slot machines set up in the region where they have the greatest presence and it is the operator of the Felipe Barajas Lozano gang, alias “El Omega”, who has at his disposal a series of mini-casinos that generate thousands of dollars a month for the drug trafficking group.
Barajas has its largest area of influence in the border city of Tijuana, Baja California. There these groups of organized crime found in the business of the slots their “Treasure” since they discovered that it is an operation between quotes clean that it does not generate anything of illegal and it leaves to them not contemptible profits.
Many of these machines are brought in from China and smuggled in or bypassed customs controls with bribes and then put into operation.
However, in Mexico it is easy to acquire one of these machines as they can be found from $60 on the free market online shopping site.
The operation of the criminal gangs on small minicasinos has left major incidents like the one that occurred a few days ago at the big casino, where nine people were killed, including four minors.
According to investigations by the same federal police, the place also served as an illicit drug dealer.
Not only has the Sinaloa cartel found its economic stronghold in the gambling industry, but other illegal groups operating in Mexico, such as the Gulf cartel, which in 2014 was found to be using several casinos to launder money. During the investigation of the incident, it was found that casinos like Big Bola generated some $3.4 million for the cartel.
Several well-known drug traffickers, such as alias “El Tio”, whose first name is Raul Flores Hernandez, earned his reputation as an independent drug dealer.
He was found to be using several casino businesses for his money laundering even the Murondi football club turned out to be receiving money from drug trafficking. Later, police investigations revealed that well-known singers such as Julion Alvarez and soccer midfielder Rafael Marquez were the front men for “El Tio”.