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Montevideo, July 1st 2022 - 01:57 UTC



Boost for cruise industry: vessels can operate casinos in Chilean waters

Thursday, October 6th 2011 - 21:59 UTC
Full article 3 comments
A great day for the Chilean tourism industry said Jacqueline Plass A great day for the Chilean tourism industry said Jacqueline Plass

The Chilean Senate unanimously approved this week the bill allowing cruise vessels to operate their onboard casinos while sailing in Chilean waters.

The bill is targeted to help the Chilean tourism industry recover the initiative following the announcement from several cruise companies that the ban was seriously affecting their costs.

Jacqueline Plass Tourism Deputy Secretary said “the passing of the law is great news for the country because it will allow international cruise vessels open the casinos while sailing in Chilean waters”

However there are conditions, casinos can only be opened three miles from port, the vessel must cruise at least 500 miles in Chilean waters and companies must register with Chile’s Casinos authority.

Ms Plass said that Chile from a peak of 244 calls and 317.500 visitors in 2008 dropped to 155 calls and 145.000 visitors in the 2010/11 season, “which means that in three years calls dropped 40% and the landing of visitors 46%. This was mainly because of the ban on casinos on board and the high costs associated to lighthouses, piloting, among others”.

The Chilean official said that in money terms represented a loss of 35 million dollars annually but with the approval of the bill, passed with support from all political parties, “we can begin to recover lost ground”.

“For the coming season 2011/12 we already have a 20% increase in the number of international cruise calls which represents approximately an extra 7 million dollars visitors will spend when they come ashore for transport, tours, restaurants, souvenirs, gifts and other items” said Ms Plass.

The bill now returns to the Lower House for a further reading and then to the Executive for its promulgation on time for the next season.

Categories: Tourism, Latin America.

Top Comments

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  • Philippe

    This may be good for the cruise industry. But what Punta Arenas really needs is a real port instead of just piers, plus decent port tariffs.


    Oct 07th, 2011 - 01:19 pm 0
  • ElaineB

    I think it was a mistake when Chile originally banned cruise ships from operating their casinos in their waters. There was a drop in the number of cruise ships visiting Chile.

    I understand they wanted passengers to visit Chilean casinos, like the one at the Del Mar in Vina but cruise ships make a fortune from their casinos and they can easily take their business elsewhere; and they did.

    Oct 07th, 2011 - 02:05 pm 0
  • GeoffWard2

    Anybody know which countries around the South American cruise routes do NOT allow casino activity within their territorial water/EEZ?
    Presumably if there is no on-shore gambling provision it is not a conflict of interest and therefore 'no problem'.

    Point of pedantry:
    “ from a peak of . . . 317.500 visitors in 2008, . . . dropped to 145.000 visitors in the 2010/11 season, which means that in three years landing of visitors dropped 46%.”
    Seems to me it dropped 54%

    Oct 07th, 2011 - 08:11 pm 0
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