Casino News

Nova Scotia Gradually Retires VLTs Due to Slow Revenue Growth

The revenues from video lottery terminals (VLTs) across Nova Scotia are growing at a slower pace than in the past several years, a new report reveals. The Canadian province is now decreasing its reliance on earnings from VLTs and cutting the number of machines in gambling venues.

This is one of the highlights of the 2018-2019 Business Plan of the Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation (NSPLCC) which was released Thursday on the official website of the corporation. The strategic goals and priorities, outlined in the document, are, for the most part, the same as in last year’s Business Plan. The numbers, however, reveal that the growth in the revenues from VLTs has slowed in the past few years, most notably during the 2017-2018 fiscal year, according to the forecast figures.

In terms of forecast sales, there has been a growth in the past several years, but revenues have increased at a slower pace, the data shows. For the 2014-2015 period, sales were CA$113 million, while in 2015-2016, they soared to $133 million, a rise of $20 million year-on-year. Then, they increased with only $2 million to $135 million in 2016-2017, while in the following period, 2017-2018, the increase was insignificant, resulting in sales of $135,2. The NSPLCC’s new Business Plan features a positive estimate for VLT sales for 2018-2019 – they are expected to reach $139,200.

Much like last year’s paper, the new Business Plan of the provincial casino corporation concludes its achievements and the performance of casinos, video lottery terminals, and ticket lotteries. The largest revenue is being generated by ticket lotteries – $223,600 (forecast 2017-2018), which remain the most popular form of gambling among people in Nova Scotia. Casinos, on the other hand, report sales of only $85,900 for the same period.

VTLs: Not a Sustainable Source of Revenue

According to the 2018-2019 Business Plan, the NSPLCC believes that the video lottery segment is not a “sustainable source of revenue”, at least in the long run. In order to maintain the local gambling industry economically sustainable and socially responsible, the corporation has taken several measures. One of them is to gradually remove VLTs once they become obsolete and to increase the revenue from other business lines such as ticket lotteries. Since 2011, 155 machines have been removed due to natural attrition or because the venues were closed.

Customer satisfaction is among the priorities for 2018-2019 and the corporation points out that one of the most important things is to improve the player experience for those who buy their lottery products online. It focuses on its online platform because it recognizes the shift in customer preferences – people are increasingly playing lottery games and other games of chance online instead of visiting casinos and facilities that offer VLTs.

Meanwhile, the two casinos in the province are expected to perform better in the upcoming period, with estimates showing satisfactory growth of around $13,000 on an annual basis. The sales in the 2017-2018 period are estimated at $69,800, while for 2018-2019, casino revenues are expected to rise to $82,100.