ow big is the opening of a second casino in Chile for your company?
Both the Luckia Arica Casino and the Bilbao Casino in Spain are the most emblematic venues the group has. First, we make our biggest effort for the casino to become a benchmark in the area. We have gained lot of experience with time. That’s why Arica and Bilbao will be our flagships.
What can you tell us about the casino’s gambling offer?
The Luckia Arica Casino has 350 slots, 12 tables – it also has poker tables for tournaments--, and a bingo buffet. But regardless of the gambling offer, the casino will provide other services such as bars, restaurants, event centers that may accommodate more than 800 people and karaoke. Indeed we expect the casino to become a place for reunion, not only for the Arica people but also for the people of Bolivia, Argentina and Peru. Furthermore, we aim at attracting tourists that visit the Chinchorro Culture, one of the world’s most antique cultures preserved, and also those taking the Cuzco trekking tour.
What are the names leading the entertainment venue?
Peter Müffeler is the General Manager, a Chilean executive with 12 years of experience in our company. Other members of the team are Juan Carlos de Pedro who came to Arica to set the croupiers school and will stay for a couple of years and other professional employees already working at Luckia or who have become part of this project.
Can you tell u show many job positions will the casino create indirectly?
At the moment, there are approximately 200 career employees working directly at the casino. Moreover, around 600 people are part of construction works. Once the project is finished, we will be employing 300 people directly and 200 indirectly.
We want to provide a comprehensive entertainment and hospitality offer as well as tourist, cultural and business services where gambling is just a part of our offer.
How much money have you invested so far in the Arica City Center? What is the estimated investment for the rest of project?
The estimated investment was of USD 45 million, but we expect to go past that number.
What are your projections for the first year?
We expect normal rates for a business that is just starting. We then hope to gain strength to consolidate the project and travel at cruising speed. This is a highly competitive casino and we are confident results will be positive.
How would you describe the state of the casino industry in Chile?
Chile has a well-regulated casino industry which becomes a guarantee for foreign investors like us. That is the reason why we ventured into such an investment.
The recent incident at the Sun Monticello Casino led to some changes in the security policies of gambling halls. How do you analyze that event and which changes were you forced to implement in the Antay Casino and Hotel and the Arica City Center?
What happened in Monticello can happen in every industry. It is an isolated incident. It would not have been such a problem if it happened in a different business sector. Still, we must make sure such events don’t take place in the gambling industry. As far as I am concerned all casinos are taking the necessary actions for that.
How do you analyze the fact that there have been no bids for the Arica municipal casino project? A reason for that are the taxes set by the local authorities reaching 42 percent. What are your expectations considering this will be your competitor?
We only hear what media report. Authorities must take a stance on the matter.