In the midst of recent talk about building a competitive regulated igaming market in Quebec similar to Ontario and with the support of three major North American sports leagues and the Québec Online Gaming Coalition calling for a new regulatory framework for igaming, Loto-Québec, which operates legal gambling in the province, has reported first-quarter revenue and net income exceeded expectations.
From April 1 to June 26, Loto-Québec reported revenue of $711.2 million and consolidated net income of $380.9 million, up $54.9 million, or 8.4 percent, and $43.6 million, or 12.9 percent, from the first quarter of the pre-pandemic fiscal year but down $33.2 million, or 4.5 percent, and $65.6 million, or 14.7 percent, compared to the same period last year.
A statement said the dip in revenue was because of lower Lotto Max sales, and the decrease in net income was primarily because of higher expenses resulting from full resumption of on-site operations after pandemic restrictions ended.
“All sectors have continued to exercise sound management, despite the increase in spending caused by the full resumption of operations,” said Jean-Francois Bergeron, Loto-Québec president and CEO. “Thanks to these efforts, we’ve once again achieved an excellent ratio of total expenses to revenues.”
The casino and gaming hall sector generated revenue of $274.6 million, up $11.2 million compared to the same quarter in 2022-23, fueled by the full resumption of operations. Online casino revenue represent 24.8 percent of the sector’s revenue.
Lottery revenue was at $224.7 million, down $31.9 million compared to the same quarter last year. The corporation said in a statement that Lotto Max experienced an “exceptional sequence of major grand prizes at the same time last year.” Online lottery revenue represents 12.8 percent of the sector’s revenue.
Gaming establishments revenue were $216.9 million, down $11.6 million compared to the same quarter in 2022-23.
Many bars were closed as a result of the pandemic. Loto-Québec said in a statement that retailer demand for terminals remains high, and the trend with closures appears to be reversing, so, “the corporation is in the process of determining how best to continue managing the video lottery terminal offer in a responsible manner.”