Casinos in Chile to remain closed for the time being
Players in Chile are in search of live casino gambling as a way to keep them busy during the COVID-19 pandemic, however they will have to be more patient since it does not seem to be possible for a while now. The employees aren’t ecstatic either, since they are technically out of work right now.
Chile’s Undersecretary of Tourism José Luis Uriate has mentioned the fact that he will not be able to open casinos despite the wishes of the casino employees in the country, and he did not provide any specific timeframe concerning when the casinos will be able to reopen.
All the workers from Dreams Casino and Marina del Sol decided to send letters to the country’s government, stating that they absolutely need casinos to reopen in all provinces under Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the country’s COVID-19 protocols. Such regions have had many commercial venues open up again as of late after being shut down for so long, however casinos are still not allowed to resume operations.
José Luis Uriate issued a response and stated that it is not a good time to reopen casinos, while still giving the employees some hope that this decision could be changed soon, if the pandemic goes in the right direction. He further noted that Chile is currently working on a plan to increase and improve its numbers in the tourism sector.
He also mentioned:
“[For] the moment, we are not in a position where we can announce something in relation to making these measures more flexible. We launched this program through the Production Development Corporation (CORFO), which represents $69m exclusively for the tourism sector and companies with annual sales of $4m.”
Last June, the country was debating whether it should allow land-based casinos in Chile to move their operations virtually in order to keep their operations going. Nothing really happened, however there are two bills that will be presented surrounding the modernization of the Chilean casino industry and iGaming sector. The first bill to be introduced will include regulations for iGaming (such as online casinos and sports betting), while the second focuses on the reintroduction of tax rates for land-based casinos and extending the licenses until 2022.
After the COVID-19 pandemic became a prevalent issue around the world back in March of 2020, Chilean casinos all started shutting down quite quickly. In November of 2020, 11 properties reopened for a while but since restrictions were still in place, the visitors’ numbers were 57% lower than the previous year. Because of that, revenue dropped almost 44% compared to the previous year’s.