Casino News

Loto-Québec in Financial Decline

Loto-Québec has not been enjoying a particularly strong financial year, in fact, the Quebec’s Crown agency has recorded a substantial amount of revenue drop for the last 12 months. Last week the corporation published its fiscal stats for the 2020-21 fiscal year that concluded on March 31. Results show that the gaming regulator has accumulated only a third of its 2019-20 revenue numbers.

The unprecedented situation has been extremely tough on the casino industry in Canada since its appearance casino venues were closed and reopened several times now. Most gaming properties in the country have remained non-functional for a big portion of 2020, including Loto-Québec’s casinos in the province. Currently, the company’s properties remain closed down.

Difficult Situation

The casino suspension saw the Crown corporation’s revenue drop significantly in comparison to previous years. During the 2020-21 FY the company recorded profits of CA$457.6 million which is only a third of what the numbers suggested for the 2019-20 FY with CA$1328.5 million. Paid dividends for this year were CA$432.6 million which pales in comparison to last year’s CA$1328.5 million.

For the last fiscal year, overall revenue was almost cut in half with CA$2.74 compared to this year’s CA$1.41 billion. CEO of the Crown agency Lynne Roiter stated that the results were due to the closure of the company’s casinos, plus the suspension of video lottery, network bingo, and Kinzo offerings for more than three quarters of the year, and the unavailability of lottery sales until early May.

According to the financial reports, the company’s expenses have also declined from CA$903.6 million to over CA$673.5 million, which is a 25.5% decrease. Lottery revenue has also been affected, as it has decreased by 7.4% to CA$860.9 million from the CA$929.4 million that were recorded last year. The company’s online platform reported an increase in revenue as many players have turned to online offerings while the retail lottery and gaming facilities were closed down.

In addition to that, earlier Ms. Roiter announced her retirement plan which will see the end of her term at the Crown corporation after 35 years. The Crown will have to pay a hefty retirement incentive bonus to the soon-to-be-former president in the amount of CA$430,000. Ms. Roiter will be succeeded by Jean-François Bergeron.

Salon de Jeux

Previously, Loto-Québec announced some development on the relocation of the Salon de Jeux. The gaming venue will be now transferred to its new site at Méga Center Beauport, and the overall cost of the relocation will be amounting to over CA$11.9 million. The decision was made at the National Assembly meeting, and there was no vote for bidders which led to some discontent among locals.

Online Expansion

Most recently the Crown corporation has made some improvements in terms of gaming content on its official website. Thanks to its cooperation with Scientific Games and its Open Gaming platform, the Crown will be able to receive content from the debuting in the Canadian market AGS casino brand. Thanks to the agreement the provider will entertain Quebec gaming fans with its rich portfolio of iGaming products.

Source: “Loto-Quebec profits plummet due to decreased gaming amid COVID-19 crisis”, CTV News, June 4, 2021