Chile – Revenues continue to fall in ChileBy Phil - 2 April 2014
According to statistics released by The Chilean Gaming Control Board (SCJ) gross gaming revenues for the 16 casinos operating in Chile fell by 12.5 per cent in February compared to the previous month.
When compared to February last year revenues are down by 31.2 per cent standing at US$48.1m in 2013 and US$33.1m in 2014. Visitor numbers were also down by as much as 20.8 per cent when compared to February last: year falling from 569,765 in 2013 to 451,505 in 2014.
The latest statistics also show that the 9,487 slot machines in operation in February handed out an average of 93.5 per cent of the stake. At the same time while the total bets made on slot machines stood at US$ 412.5m the prizes handed out stood at US$ 385.7m leaving a win for the casinos of US$26.8m. The 16 municipalities and 11 regions where they are located received a total of US$ 5.5m in gaming tax revenue while casinos generated an additional US$2.3m in tax on entrance fees for the state. On top of this amount the casinos also generated US$5.3m in gaming VAT.
In terms of gross gaming income generated by the casinos in February the Monticello Grand Casino came in first place with 27.8 per cent of the market and GGR of US$ 9.2m, in second place was Marina del Sol with 11.2 per cent and US$3.7m and Casino Rinconada came in third with 10.6 per cent and US$3.5m in revenue.
Revenues are down in Chile due partly to the growth in illegal slot parlours and a smoking ban. It is estimated that there could be as many as 150,000 illegal slot machines located in slot parlours with a further 50,000 slot machines located
in small businesses and shops. However revenues look likely to increase considerably long term due to a major new change to the gaming landscape which looks increasingly likely to go into effect at the end of this year. This is because from 2016 the seven so called “municipal casinos” will come under the supervision of the Chilean Gaming Board.
In 2005 Chile passed a gaming law which allowed for the construction of eighteen additional casinos to the seven municipal casinos already in operation. The licence for the seven other casinos in Chile ends on 31 December 2015. The casinos which were already licensed before the new act come under the supervision of the local municipalities where they are located and are a vital source of funding. However, from the beginning of 2016 the seven casinos will come under the supervision of the Chilean Gaming Board and the tax will be split equally between the local municipality and the central government.