BUSINESS

Loto-Quebec’s online gambling revenue rises one-quarter

TAGs: Canada, Espacejeux.com, Loto Quebec, quebec

loto-quebec-espacejeuxThe government-run online gambling site in the Canadian province of Quebec saw revenue rise more than one-quarter to start its new fiscal year.

Loto-Quebec reported that revenue at its Espacejeux.com site had risen 27.4% to around C$8.5m (US $6.5m) in the three months ending June 29.

The company partially credited the gains to the June 2014 launch of online bingo and the sharing of bingo liquidity with the provincially-run online sites in Manitoba and British Columbia. Loto-Quebec said online bingo attracts “a different clientele” than land-based bingo halls.

Beyond that, Loto-Quebec had bupkis to say regarding its online operations. There was no mention of its controversial plans to IP-block online operators that aren’t named Espacejeux. There was also no update on its proposal to offer licenses to select international online gambling sites, which the province abruptly decided was a good idea shortly after the Montreal-based Amaya Gaming – which supplies gaming technology to Loto-Quebec – purchased PokerStars and Full Tilt.

On the whole, Loto-Quebec’s revenue inched up a mere 0.9% to $860.5m, while profits fared slightly better, rising 2.6% to $298.7m. Lottery revenue rose 3% to $433.4m, casinos declined 2% to $190.6m and gaming halls fell 1% to $241.6m, but “tight resource management” allowed the corporation to trim $9m in costs.

Loto-Quebec spokesman Patrice Lavoie told the Journal de Quebec that the corporation was “happy to observe a reversal” of its five-year downward profit trend, which accelerated last year following some disastrous brick-and-mortar casino investments in France that cost taxpayers around $100m. Wonder how profits will be affected by all the lawsuits internet service providers and civil libertarian groups plan to file to protest the IP-blocking plans.

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