Chilean casinos show signs of recovery in June

| By Conor Mulheir
Chile’s casino regulator, the Superintendencia de Casinos de Juego (SCJ), has released results from the sector for June, showing a tax contribution of CLP$1.38bn (£1.3m/€1.5m/$1.8m) for the month.
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The regulator said that due to health measures taken in response to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, only three of the country’s total 26 casinos were able to operate during the period, and each of these was open for an average of 19 days.

Of the total tax contribution, CLP$639.8m will go to the communities and regional governments where the casinos are located, CLP$607.8m was paid in a specific VAT on gambling, and the remaining CLP$135.3m was paid in income tax.

Looking at each of the operational casinos individually, Enjoy Antofagasta made the largest contribution, paying CLP$189.6m in tax to the regional government and the same amount in a specific municipal tax.

It paid a further CLP$360.2m in VAT and CLP$76.6m in income tax for a total contribution of CLP$815.9m. This was the only property to remain open for the full 30 days of June.

The SCJ said the property reached a level of income equal to that reached before the pandemic, despite restrictions on capacity and operating hours.

The next largest contributor was the Dreams Punta Arenas, in the region of Magellan, which was open for 17 days during the month.

It contributed CLP$104.6m each to the regional government and municipal taxes, CLP$198.7m in VAT and a further CLP$52.3m in income tax, for a total of CLP$460.1m.

Colchagua Casino, in the O’Higgins region, was open for just 9 days in June, contributing CLP$25.8m each to its regional government and municipal taxes, CLP$49.0m in VAT and CLP$6.4m in income tax, for a total contribution of CLP$106.9m.

In total, the three properties reported a gross gaming revenue (GGR) of CLP$3.81bn. The SCJ said this was 81.8% of what was generated in June 2019 by these properties.

Given the reduction in operating days, in real terms it said the daily level of income obtained by the properties was 17.6% ahead of figures recorded in May 2019. Widespread closures in 2020 meant the regulator did not include year-on-year comparisons.

Visitors to the casinos totalled 36,642 during the month, which was down 54.7% compared to the number of visitors in June 2019. However, average spend per visit was CLP$104,408, an increase of around 45% on June 2019.

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