Bomb threats phoned into Mexican casinos last month weren’t related to terrorists or drug cartels, at least, according to one state governor.
Last month, five brick-and-mortar casinos in Monterrey, capital of the Mexican state of Nuevo León, had to be evacuated after 911 operators received multiple phone calls over several days claiming that bombs were set to go off in all five venues.
Hundreds of casino customers were forced to hastily evacuate the venues under orders from management. However, no explosions occurred and subsequent searches of the premises failed to uncover a single explosive device.
No doubt some of the patrons who fled the casinos remembered the horrific attack on Monterrey’s Casino Royale in 2011, in which dozens of gunmen sprayed the venue with automatic fire then doused the floor with gasoline and set it ablaze, resulting in the deaths of 52 individuals. The attackers were reportedly responding to a casino owner’s refusal to pay protection money.
The fact that the bomb threats came just days after the seventh anniversary of the Casino Royale attack undoubtedly didn’t help matters. However, Nuevo Leon Governor Jamie Rodríguez Calderón, who carries the nickname ‘El Bronco,’ told local media last week that an investigation had failed to link the calls to any terror or crime group, and so citizens had no reason to be fearful.
Instead, Calderón suggested the calls may have had far more mundane origins, such as a “competition” between husbands and wives. Specifically, Calderón suggested the calls were made by angry husbands whose wives prefer to gamble in the casino than endure their husbands’ company.
According to Calderón, sometimes a husband whose wife refuses to give up going to the casino “wants to see if the lady is scared or not scared. The truth is that we have not found anything” to indicate any organized crime or terror involvement.
Moreover, Calderón claims the ruse had been spectacularly unsuccessful, as the uncooperative spouses “continued to have fun” at the casinos’ slots and tables.