Before the pandemic hit, gambling revenue in Quebec was strong. Then the land-based options closed and the industry went cold as ice. It was up to online gaming to keep it intact.
The figures tell the tale
According to Loto-Quebec, gambling financial performance improved, reaching C$687.4m (US$518.6m) at the end of September.
This is less than half the C$1.4b earned in H1 2019-20. Of note, net income tumbled by three-quarters to C$181.2m.
Declines in all gambling verticals were rampant. In fact, lottery revenue tanked by more than one-quarter to C$335.2m. As for land-based casinos, profits fell nearly 65% to C$179.9m, while video lottery terminal operations in bars and bingo halls rolled downward at 62.6% to C$174m.
Better news comes from Espace-jeux, an online gambling site that reported a total of C$166.5m, which constitutes a dramatic increase from the C$66.1m over H1 2019-20. The site almost surpassed that total for online lottery sales alone (C$60.85m).
Online casino revenue more than doubled at C$105.6m.
The revenue at the end of March was low at C$136m. Then came an online surge. Reportedly, the site was prioritizes employees and customers, and it paid off.
What about Ontario?
the provincial government of Ontario about to release its fiscal 2021 budget. Private online gambling operators hope it will honor its pledge to open online market competition.
This pledge goes back to April of last year when the Tory government said it would “establish a competitive market for online legal gambling that will reflect consumer choice.”
For now, Ontario gamblers depend on Ontario Lottery & Gaming (OLG) Corp’s PlayOLG.ca site.
Apparently, the government intends “work to develop a new model for online legal gambling.” But when is unknown.
On to British Columbia
The most popular locally licensed online gambling site in Canada is the British Columbia Lottery Corp’s PlayNow.com. It reports around 12,000 bets for a total take of C$3m on the current US election. This is significantly higher than the 7,200 bets placed on the 2016 election poll.
Around 3k bets worth C$1.4m are backing President Trump. As for Joe Biden, he has attracted nearly 1,500 bets constituting C$622k, although he has narrower odds.