The online gambling division of Quebec’s provincial gambling monopoly saw its revenue shoot up over 40% in the first half of its current fiscal year.
The Loto-Quebec gambling monopoly recently released its fiscal H1 earnings report, covering the six months ending September 25, during which overall revenue topped C$1.8b (US $1.4b), around 3.5% higher than the business generated in H1 2016-17. Profits did even better, rising 6.2% to C$678.6m.
Loto-Quebec’s online gambling site Espacejeux.com reported a nice round revenue total of C$50m in H1, representing a 42.3% rise over the same period last year. The growth marks a further acceleration in Espacejeux’s performance, easily topping the 29.7% growth in FY 2016-17, and putting the site on track to smash the full-year revenue total of C$85.9m.
Espacejeux offers online casino and poker games, lottery products and parlay sports betting via its Mise-o-jeu product. Loto-Quebec says its online casino (including poker) revenue hit C$28.1m in H1, a year-on-year gain of 41.8%. Online lottery revenue hit C$21.9m, up nearly 43%.
Loto-Quebec didn’t have much else to say about its online operations, except to say that work was underway to “streamline the browsing experience.” Meanwhile, Quebec politicians are hoping to streamline local gamblers’ choice of online gambling sites down to, well, Espacejeux.
Loto-Quebec’s recent annual report noted that Espacejeux’s future growth depended on the provincial government making good on its threat to force local internet service providers to block the domains of Espacejeux’s internationally licensed online gambling competitors.
Loto-Quebec is reportedly preparing to embark on an “awareness-raising campaign” to explain to the public why eliminating their ability to choose where to place their online wagers is actually a good thing. Given that this campaign will be funded with public tax dollars, one would hope they’d wait until after the courts have ruled on the constitutionality of domain blocking, but hey, this is government we’re talking about, so brace yourself for some bullshit, Quebecers.
Getting back to how Loto-Quebec’s land-based operations performed in H1, lottery operations improved 2.4% to C$873m, gaming establishments (bingo halls, video lottery terminal networks, etc.) rose 1.9% to C$500.5m while the province’s four brick-and-mortar casinos gained 7.3% to C$452m.