Chilean anti smoking hurts Sun International

Gambling giant Sun International is taking some knocks from anti smoking laws passed recently in Chile.

Sun International’s Chilean operation, Monticello, saw March 2012 revenue drop by a whopping 18% in March. In its quarterly financial report, Sun International attributed this monthly Monticello decline to the new anti smoking laws introduced on 1 March 2013.

“While the smoking ban has had a significant impact on the business (which will reflect more fully in the final quarter of the financial year) past precedent in countries where smoking has been banned is that revenues recover within a 12-24 month,” said Sun International.

The group said Monticello revenues in Chilean Pesos were down 2% for the quarter ended March. Sun International entered the Chilean market in 2007 and has had fun over the years. Contribution of Monticello in the group’s revenue has grown to become the second biggest at R1.2bn in 2012 and only after GrandWest which delivered R1.2bn in 2012. Sun International’s total revenue in 2012 was R9.4bn.

The South African born Sun International has been on the prowl, on the international front, in the past few years. Most recently the group entered the Panama market by acquiring a portion of the Trump Towers for casino and related operations. The group operations extend into the broader southern African region and into Nigeria.

Sun International financials for the quarter ended March show local operations remaining under pressure. These include the GrandWest, Carnival City, BoardWalk, Sibaya and a collection of hotels.

The group said low revenue growth at GrandWest, Sibaya and Carnival continued. It said the Resorts and Hotels division had an excellent quarter which was partly assisted by

Easter which fell in March this year and April last year.

Sun International said it has identified online sports betting as a fast growing sector within the gaming industry. It “believes that there are synergistic opportunities between this form of gaming, its existing business and the possibility of online gaming in the future. To this end, the group is pleased to announce its proposed acquisition of Powerbet Gaming which owns and operates

Powerbet provides the group with the ideal platform to accelerate the group’s entry into the online gaming market”.

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