Loto-Québec is one of the Crown corporations that has tried to stay afloat during the unprecedented situation over the past nearly five months. Chief Executive Officer Lynne Roiter recently pointed out that the gaming revenue over the spring months, as well as the summer ones so far, has seen a significant decrease that might reach CA$300 million.
In-person gaming in Quebec has been impossible for the past months, ever since the four casino venues and two gaming halls had to close for business in March. Loto-Québec was the first Crown corporation overseeing gaming that mandated the closure of its gaming hotspots ahead of the official lockdown announcement. This move was considered a positive one, as it protected both casino staff and players.
Gaming Revenue Estimations
Ever since then, online gaming and lottery ticket sales have remained popular and the only legal gaming offerings available. Promoting physical distancing was essential for the Crown corporation, as well as for the Quebec government. Nearly five months after the start of the lockdown, all casinos and gaming halls overseen by the gaming leader are up and running, and it is time to take a look back.
Loto-Québec Chief Executive Officer Lynne Roiter made it clear that she does not have the right to share particular numbers regarding the gaming revenue amassed or lost over the past five months. However, she pointed out that the revenue itself has dropped significantly without the propelling force of brick-and-mortar casino venues and gaming halls to push it forward. No video lottery terminals operation has also taken its toll on the overall tally.
It should also be taken into account that lottery ticket sales were also unavailable for about six months over this spring, promoting physical distancing among lottery enthusiasts of Quebec. They were allowed to purchase them online eventually leading to a drop of lottery gaming revenue too. The first quarter of this fiscal year spanned from April to June.
This period amounts to a quarter of the fiscal year and it is expected to deal a blow to the Crown corporation in the spring of 2021. When trying to estimate the loss coming as a result of the lockdown, we could take a look at the financial performance during the previous fiscal year. The first quarter of fiscal 2019/2020 introduced some CA$216 million in lottery ticket sales.
A similar amount might have been lost during the six weeks when in-person lottery ticket purchases were unavailable. In the meantime, the four casino hotspots to the likes of Casino Lac-Leamy, Casino Montreal, Casino Charlevoix, and Casino Mont-Tremblant amassed gaming revenue reaching CA$191 million. Estimations are that about CA$100 million was lost as a result of the casino venues lockdown in particular.
We have to take into account that the first quarter of this fiscal year commenced in April, but the casinos are closed since March 13. There is about half a month of the previous fiscal year that will also impact the overall tally of lost gaming revenue. Casino venues and gaming halls are working right now with limited capacity.