BUSINESS

Loto-Quebec’s online site up double-digits; BCLC jumps gun on single-game wagering

TAGs: BCLC, British Columbia Lottery Corporation, Canada, Espacejeux.com, Loto Quebec, playnow.com

espacejeux-playnowLoto-Quebec’s online gambling site has posted strong double-digit revenue gains in the first half of its fiscal year.

The Loto-Quebec provincial lottery corporation recently turned in its fiscal H1 report card, which showed overall revenue up 4% to C$1.75b (US $1.3b) and profit up 5.2% to $617.6m. Lottery revenue improved 8%, while bingo surged 38% and the casino sector was flat year-on-year.

Loto-Quebec’s online site Espacejeux.com saw revenue rise 28.2% to $28.3m. Total revenue in the full 2014-15 fiscal year came to $48.9m, a total that seems destined to be eclipsed by the time 2015-16 is in the books.

Espacejeux offers lotteries, bingo, poker and parlay sports betting but its primary vertical is its online casino, which posted revenue of $16.3m in H1, an improvement of 20.2% compared to the same period last year.

The quarter was a momentous one for Espacejeux, thanks to the launch of its first mobile platform in September. Epsacejeux, which celebrates its fifth anniversary in December, currently has 208k registered customers.

BCLC JUMPS THE GUN ON SINGLE-GAME SPORTS BETS
Canada’s newly elected parliament is reportedly going to make another attempt at passing single-game sports betting legislation, but the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) recently made at least one punter think the change had already come.

CBC News recently reported on the plight of Jose Godoy-Toku, a rugby fan who placed a $1,000 bet that Argentina would defeat Ireland in last month’s Rugby World Cup quarter-finals. While Canadian law restricts provincial lottery corporations to offering only parlay-type sports wagers, BCLC’s PlayNow.com site accepted Godoy-Toku’s single-game wager without question.

When Argentina went on to the semi-finals, Godoy-Toku was elated to see his winnings appear in his PlayNow account, which he then transferred to his bank account. Shortly afterward, he received a phone call from a BCLC rep, who informed him that the bet was illegal and they wanted their money back, minus Godoy-Toku’s original stake.

BCLC’s Caroline Wakefield said “human error” had led to the site accepting Godoy-Toku’s wager. Godoy-Toku was less than impressed, wondering if BCLC had been as eager to contact the unknown number of PlayNow bettors who’d placed a single-game wager and lost. Godoy-Toku said there was “something here that is not transparent” and vowed he would “never go back to PlayNow.”

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