Games and casinos closed, Lottery loses $ 2.5 million per day

The Córdoba Lottery would accumulate a daily loss of more than 2.5 million pesos, as a consequence of the closing of the games, pools, lotteries, casino rooms and slot machines due to the mandatory isolation arranged to stop the Covid-19.

The situation enhances the operational drawbacks that this entity has been dragging, which led to the fact that in 2019 only 23 percent of its net income turned for social spending. With this perspective, it is discounted that this aid will be substantially less or directly null for this year.

The Lottery’s operating deficit is a factor that, along with the general situation, worries the provincial government, given that it is difficult to reduce given that 80 percent of expenses go to staff salaries.

This fact has led to the fact that employees have already been warned internally that April salaries will be difficult to meet if financial aid is not granted from El Panal. The March wages of the 1,156 dependents were settled.

Despite the seriousness of the scenario and the prevailing uncertainty due to how long the quarantine can be, it was impossible for this medium, despite the insistence, to obtain statements from the holder of the Lottery, Héctor Trivillin.

The table also affects the relationship of the Lottery with the casino concessionaire, CET, since the rooms in the hotels are closed, there are no funds to meet the payment of the canon, which represents another 26 percent of income. That consortium between Roggio and Carusso stops billing an average of 200 million pesos in the month.

The Lottery was already hit by the economic crisis. Last year, it obtained net income (after paying prizes) of 3,319 million pesos, 27.8 percent more than in 2018, almost 27 points below the year’s inflation.

In 2018, the provincial gaming house registered operating expenses of 820 million pesos, of which 75 percent is paid by salaries. The figure gives an average monthly operating expense (counting bonuses) for all concepts of about 68 million pesos.

Although this figure includes expenditures that are not carried out today (maintenance, cleaning, energy, etc. of the Lottery’s own spaces, since others are maintained by CET), we must add the impact of the agreed salary increase on the end of 2019.

Uncompromising downward

For January of this year, a cumulative salary increase of 5.77 percent was agreed with the Cordovan Association of Casino Employees, calculated on the current assets and a compensatory bonus granted last year to two thousand pesos was readjusted.

On an annual salary mass of 615 million, the aforementioned increase adds 35.5 million pesos to the salary mass, to which must be added the impact of the bonus, another 2.3 million pesos. But a new negotiation should have taken place in March.

Thus, comfortably the monthly cost of having gambling and casinos closed represents a loss for the state company that ranges between 70 million and 75 million pesos.

The scenario is also complicated, on the other hand, for the casino employees themselves who, when the rooms are closed, no longer receive tips from customers. This route adds to the workers between 10,000 and 15,000 pesos per month that are not produced now, on a basic pocket salary of about 31,000 pesos.

The accumulation of operating red will impact the possibilities of distribution of benefits that last year were only 924.5 million pesos, turned over 2,467 million that were net to the Lottery.

The main recipients of this aid were the Ministry of Social Development (582.2 million), the Ministry of Justice (210.7 million), the Ministry of Equity and Employment (78.3 million) and the Ombudsman for Children, Girls and of Adolescents (53 million), areas that could verify a strong income restriction this year.

A deficit picture beyond the coronavirus

The game rooms that depend on the Lottery.

Still fully operational, all casinos lose money. In 2019 the most deficient was that of Río Ceballos, whose red exceeded its income by 880 percent. One of the busiest, the Villa Carlos Paz casino, also verifies a deficit picture of almost 200 percent above what it enters.

Print edition

The original text of this article was published on 04/17/2020 in our printed edition.