BUSINESS

CDI seeks acquisitions; Loto-Québec FY; SciGames consults with Pennsylvania

TAGs: Churchill Downs, churchill downs incorporated, Loto Quebec, Pennsylvania, scientific games corporation

churchill-downs-loto-quebec-scientific-gamesJust two months after acquiring Bluff Media, Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) has indicated that it’s hungry for more. Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday, chairman/CEO Robert Evans told shareholders that CDI’s boffo fiscal performance in 2011 had produced “one of the strongest balance sheets among gaming companies.” As a result, Evans says CDI “will continue to be very active in seeking potential acquisitions.” CDI already owns and operates racinos in Florida and Louisiana, a racetrack in Arlington Heights, Illinois, the Harlow’s Casino in Greenville, Mississippi and the Twinspires.com online betting operation.

Loto-Québec recorded revenues of $3.658b and net earnings of $1.285b in the 12 months ending March 31, as revealed by Minister of Finance Raymond Bachand. The provincial gaming operator/regulator said lottery sales were essentially flat at $1.789b, while sales at its four casinos rose 1.7% to $871m. The province’s online gambling operation, Espacejeux.com, contributed a mere $19.4m to the casino revenue total. Video lottery terminals across the province brought in $998m, also flat from the previous year. Provincial bingo halls brought in just under $34m, an improvement of 8.4%, although bingo prize payouts rose even higher (15.4%). Overall revenues were up 0.5% while net earnings fell 3.7%.

Lottery tech provider Scientific Games Corporation (SGC) will act as a consultant to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue as it looks to privatize the operations of the Pennsylvania Lottery. The state intends to maintain ownership of the Lottery while ceding management of the day-to-day operations to a private company. While SGC holds exclusive contracts until 2018 to act as the state’s lottery technology, instant ticket and scratch-off game vendor, it will not bid on the Lottery management contract. The Lottery had sales of over $3.2b in 2011, but state officials say the winning bidder will have to demonstrate a plan to boost revenues to benefit programs for older Pennsylvanians.

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