Puerto Rico Lost 37% in Casino Revenue Last Year
The COVID-19 crisis had a serious effect on the tourism industry all over the planet in 2020, with authorities in Puerto Rico now confirming that their casino revenue dropped significantly last year.
Carlos Mercado is executive director of tourism in Puerto Rico, and he confirmed that revenue plummeted to $93 million during the first six months of the fiscal period that started in July 2020. The main reason for this was the period of closures that occurred from July 11 through to September 11.
After this, limited opening hours and a 30% limit that has been imposed on the maximum capacity have continued to keep profits down below previous amounts.
The 16 casinos that are based in Puerto Rico lost some $54 million in revenue from July through to the end of 2020, compared to last six months of the previous year. Mercado stated that revenue of $147 million in the July-December period of 2019 dropped to $93 million in the same period of 2020.
Ismael Vega is the general manager at the Casino Metro, and he went on to state that this loss represents a drop of close to 37%, which is “probably representative” of what everyone in the industry has been experiencing lately. He also pointed out that that the latest numbers don’t take into account the closures forced on them in March.
Vega mentioned that the need for enhanced cleaning and safety protocols has also increased their operating expenses in the last year.
Revenue earned in casinos here is divided equally between the venue and the Puerto Rico government. The government’s share is then used to fund various projects, such as tourism and the University of Puerto Rico. In the past, the industry has generated as much as $315 million a year.
Now, casinos are asking for the split with authorities to move to a 60/40 basis, giving them some breathing space as they look to get past the worst of the current crisis.