BUSINESS

Online gambling the star of Loto-Quebec’s annual report

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

loto-quebec-online-gamblingThe gambling monopoly in the Canadian province of Quebec reported annual online gambling revenue over the C$100m mark for the first time.

On Thursday, Loto-Quebec released its fiscal 2017-18 report, which showed overall revenue of C$3.77b (US$2.88b) in the 12 months ending March 31, 2018. The sum is 3.7% higher than the monopoly generated in its 2016-17 fiscal year, while net profits improved 8.5% to C$1.33b.

Loto-Quebec’s biggest gainer was its online gambling site, EspaceJeux.com. Online revenue improved 37.5% to C$118m, better than the 29.7% growth in the previous fiscal year. Online lottery sales were up 34% to C$53.7m while online casino improved 40.6% to C$64.3m.

By way of comparison, the provincial gambling sites in British Columbia and Ontario reported revenue of C$157.6m and C$58.4m, respectively, in their most recent annual reports.

Loto-Quebec revamped its online platform earlier this year to ensure one-stop shopping for all possible product offerings – lotteries, poker, casino games, bingo and sports betting. The monopoly claimed the harmonious offering of games via its land-based and online offering is part of its ‘brick and click’ strategy.

Some 25 Loto-Quebec customers enjoyed online paydays of over C$100k in 2017-18, including a C$1.22m Powerbucks progressive slots jackpot last July. Loto-Quebec beat that record last month, when a Lanaudière women collected a C$1.75m Powerbucks prize.

Despite the solid showing by its online arm, Loto-Quebec reported that its future growth strategy depends at least in part on the provincial government making good on its (anti-constitutional) threats to force local internet service providers to block the domains of Espacejeux’s internationally licensed competitors.

Loto-Quebec didn’t reveal much about the performance of its Mise-o-jeu parlay sports betting product, except to say that simplified Express bets, which were launched in the 2016-17 fiscal year, added C$400k to Mise-o-jeu’s revenue in 2017-18.

As for Loto-Quebec’s other verticals, the mainstay lottery operations eked out a 2.9% gain to C$1.88b, gaming establishments (VLTs in bars, bingo halls, etc.) rose 1.3% to C$1b and the province’s four brick-and-mortar casinos gained 8.1% to C$907m.

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