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Chile – Revenues fall again in Chile

By - 5 March 2014

Revenues in Chilean Casinos have fallen again according to the latest statistics released by the Chilean Gaming Control Board (SCJ).

The board reported that gross gaming income generated by the 17 casinos licenced in Chile stood at US$37.9m in January compared to US$52.1m in January last year: a decrease of 27.3 per cent. The industry also reported a significant decrease in visitor numbers with visitors falling by 17.8 per cent from 566,933 in January 2013 to 466,158 in 2014.

In terms of gross gaming income generated by the casinos, in 2013 the Monticello Grand Casino came in first place with 29.6 per cent (US$11.2m) in second place was Marina del Sol with 11.7 per cent (US$4.4m) and Casino Rinconada 10.6 per cent (US$4.0m)

Enjoy Antofagasta with 9.4 per cent of the market brought in US$3.6m. Dreams Temuco made up 7.1 percent per cent of the Chile casino sector generating US$2.7 m in GGR. Dreams Punta Arenas accounted for 5.3 per cent with revenue of US$2.0m.

The new figures come at a time when the debate between the casino and SWP (Skill with Prizes) industry is becoming increasingly acrimonious. The casinos industry has blamed the smoking ban and the growth of slot parlours nationwide on falling revenues: an accusation which was refuted by interest group for the SWP industry FIDEN last week.

In a letter published by the Chileans press President of FIDEN Carlos Clavijo Z claimed that the industry he represents has no impact on the casino industry as it is “is aimed at a public with a middle to lower class income whose amount destined for entertainment purposes would hardly stretch to pay the entrance fee let alone play and eat at a casino. According to well established figures players spend between $40.000 (around US$70) and $50.000 (around US$90) in a casino. In our establishments this amount does not go beyond $4 (US$7) to 5 thousand (US$9).”

However, the issue is likely to become increasingly controversial with many local law makers eager to limit and in many cases ban slot parlours growing in

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their jurisdictions. Legislators have passed a number of new measures designed to curb the growth of slot machines ruling that slot machines may no longer be permitted under the justification that they are games of skill and ability. However the issue is far from clear cut as in January this year an important government watchdog ruled that local governments do not have do not have the authority to close slot machine parlours or revoke licences.

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