Without a doubt, Chile is a beautiful country. The scenery is stunning, the cities enchanting and the people are some of the friendliest around. It’s also well known for its red wine and other culinary delicacies. With so many reasons to visit Chile, did you know that the country is also considered one of the best for casino gaming in South America?
Casino gaming came into existence in Chile around 1852, and despite ups and downs, it remains accessible to the masses. There are now 25 casinos in Chile, and you can find at least one in nearly every major city. Horse racing and sports betting are also popular, and Chile even has a national lottery.
It almost goes without saying that the casino industry is good for tourism, and the country has long-term plans to continue development in this area. Before 2005, there were just seven casinos, but now this number has increased to 25. There are also around 40 applications in progress for new casino and gaming licenses, though it is unclear how many will be approved and built in the future.
New casinos built in recent years include the Oceania Marina Casino in Valparaiso in 2011, as well as the Casino Marina del Sol in Calama, Ovalle Casino Resort and Casino Arica Luckia, all built in 2016 and 2017. The trend is moving toward the creation of new casinos and resorts.
Casino gaming in Chile is very much like elsewhere in the world. As such, there is always casino etiquette, and each casino will often have dress codes that you should be aware of before visiting. Additionally, in Chile, it is normal to pay an entrance fee to the casino that you wouldn’t usually find with a casino in America or Europe. It’s usually around a couple of dollars.
You may also find that most staff in the casinos don’t speak English. Again, this is normal for casinos in Chile, even in more touristy areas like Vina del Mar. A little Spanish will go a long way in these situations, though you will be able to get by if you don’t speak the language.You can find casinos in Chile in cities such as Pucón, Coquimbo, Antofagasta and Santa Cruz, but Valparaíso is the region to find the most and the best casinos in the land. The Valparaíso region has three casinos, while other cities tend only to have one or two at the most.
In Valparaiso city, you can find the small gaming house called Coffee Game, but for the best and oldest casino in Chile, head up the coast towards Viña del Mar. First, is the original Vina Del Mar Casino, which is one of the biggest in South America with 90+ tables and 1,500+ machines, attracting over 8,000 players per night! Onsite, there is also an Enjoy Hotel complex with nightclubs, shows, restaurants, and accommodations. You can also find the Casino Municipal in the same town.
Though the Vina Del Mar is arguably still the best casino in Chile, a new arrival is in the spotlight. The Sun Monticello Casino and Hotel opened in late 2009 and now takes around a quarter of all casino revenue in the country. It is sophisticated, stylish and modern, offering 80+ tables games and nearly 2,000 game machines, as well as gourmet restaurants, bars, a five-star hotel, spa and much more.
Game selection is similar throughout most of Chile’s casinos. Expect to find plenty of slots machines, roulette tables, blackjack and more. Smaller casinos are likely to hold occasional poker tournament, while larger casinos like the Vina Del Mar will hold tournaments and cash games on a regular if not daily basis. In that respect, you can always enjoy a game wherever you are in Chile, but if you want the most exquisite experiences, head to the Vina Del Mar or the Sun Monticello. Enjoy, and always play responsibly!
Guest article contributed by Yanick THEODOSE.