The popularity of online gambling across the Province of Quebec has increased significantly in the past year, with revenue from online gaming totalling CA$118 million in the fiscal 2017/2018 year. On Thursday, Loto Québec published its latest Annual Report, revealing positive growth across all business sectors and a total sales amount of $3.769 billion.
Loto Québec, the provincial crown corporation that conducts and manages all gaming operations in Quebec, launched its online gaming site Espacejeux at the end of 2010. Since then, the corporation’s winnings from online games are up each year, demonstrating the increasing popularity of Internet gambling among customers. In early 2018, the LotoQuebec portal was launched, offering a variety of games, more user-friendly experience and simplified navigation. During the fiscal 2017/2018 year, the revenues from this segment surged 37.5 per cent from the previous year to $118 million, official figures show.
In fact, online gambling saw the largest revenue increase of all sectors outlined in Loto-Québec’s 2017-2018 Annual Report. The financial results were submitted in the National Assembly Thursday morning by Finance Minister Carlos Leitão. According to Lynne Roiter, President and CEO of Loto-Québec, the corporation’s excellent performance is due to the improved gaming and lottery offerings. Indeed, 2017 was successful for gambling operations in the province, as all sectors saw growth as seen by the 3.7 per cent increase in total annual sales. They totalled $3.769 billion in the year ending March 31, which is $133.6 million more than the results for the previous period.
The corporation generated a net profit of $1.335 billion, up 8.5 per cent compared to the previous fiscal year. It also paid a higher dividend to the province of around $1.31 billion, which is $104.9 million more than last year and $169 million more than government estimations. There is also a slight increase in the prizes paid out to lottery and gaming hall winners – during the 2017/2018, Loto-Québec paid them $1.027 billion, up 1.5 per cent from the previous period.
Lotteries Maintain the Biggest Market Share
Lotteries are “on the upswing”, according to Loto-Québec, which reports a 2.9 per cent increase year-on-year in the revenues generated by this sector. Bringing in $1.88 billion in the 12 months ending March 31, 2018, lotteries account for nearly two-thirds of the corporation’s total revenues. Quebecers, it says, have embraced Grande Vie, the pan-Canadian lottery product launched in October 2016.
The business sector that generates the second-largest revenues is the gaming establishment sector. It includes video lottery terminals in bars and brasseries, as well as gaming, bingo and Kinzo halls, which are quite popular among people in the province. Gaming establishments recorded slightly higher profits in the financial 2016/2017 year – revenues were up 1.3 per cent to a little over $1 billion.
A significantly higher growth in revenues can be seen for the four Quebec casinos – it is 8.1 per cent from the previous year to a total revenue of $906,9 million. This success can be attributed to the diversification of gaming offerings at casinos and the increased traffic. Casinos saw 290,000 additional visits, up 3.1 per cent from 2016/2017.