The great gangster Al Capone in Mexico
Once Al Capone tried to extend his business to the west coast of the United States and was very successful. First, it was Hollywood, then San Diego, and finally a casino in Mexican territory.
On Isla Colorado, located in the Pacific Ocean 15 km off the coast of the state of Baja California, between Tijuana and Rosario, The Golden Castle casino survived until 1937. It resisted the prohibition decreed by President Cardenas because, although it is a national territory, the island was illegitimately occupied by the United States, despite the Treaty of Friendship, Peace, and Limits signed with the United States on February 2, 1848.
The Treaty put an end to the war, no cession of any insular territory was made and it was foreseen that the dividing line would be "religiously respected", without the possibility of any variation without the express knowledge of both governments. When the sale of La Mesilla to the United States took place on December 30, 1853, the islands were not mentioned either. Other Mexican islands suffered the same fate.
What remains of the casino that the mafia built on Isla Colorado is in tatters, and amidst the dust and abandonment shows traces of what was once luxurious, spectacular, with the stamp of the sophisticated and joyful twenties. Al Capone tried to extend his business to the west coast of the United States and was very successful. First, it was Hollywood, then San Diego, and finally a casino in Mexican territory.
The Golden Castle was decorated by the famous artists of the Place Vendome in Paris. Its upholstery was made in Florence and its furniture, with mahogany and cedar from the southeast of Mexico, by the traditionalist furniture makers of Lyon. Roulette, baccarat and the most refined games of chance were "run" in three languages: English, French, and Spanish. The mafia was not interested in Mexican clients. They had plenty of them in Los Angeles and San Diego. Two boats a day made the trip between Colorado Island and the populous cities of the west coast of the United States. The casino was closed in 1937.
At present the islands of San Miguel, Anacapa, San Nicolas, and San Clemente are under the control of the 110th U.S. Naval District since they are part of the coastal defense system; Santa Rosa, totally cultivated, owns the Vail and Wickers Company of Los Angeles; Santa Cruz, with valleys, streams and mountain ranges and appreciable livestock wealth, is managed by the Stanton Oil Co. of Long Beach; Santa Barbara is administered by the National Park Service of San Francisco, and Santa Catalina is a major tourist center, owned by Philip Wrigley. Farallon Island, further north across San Francisco Bay, was occupied by the United States in 1851. It is also part of the San Diego Naval District.
Source: Mexican Encyclopedia of Tourism by Héctor Manuel Romero, Volume 6, pages 49-50.