This week at the Canadian Gaming Summit in Toronto, there will likely be a lot of industry chatter about the Quebec market.
The only regulatory entity in the province, and parent operator for online gaming, is Loto-Québec. But in May, a coalition composed of commercial entities Betway, Bet99, DraftKings, Entain, Flutter Entertainment, Games Global, and Rush Street Interactive, all in partnership with Apricot Investments, came forward to promote Ontario-style regulation in Québec, proposing to open up the market.
One look at the newly released robust 2022-2023 fiscal-year numbers from Loto-Québec probably got some mobile phones ringing. Loto-Québec announced they’re paying the provincial government a dividend of CAD$1.579 billion (USD$1.185 billion), off total revenues of $2.999 billion (USD$2.249 billion). That total revenue number is a 35.2 percent increase over 2021-2022.
According to a statement, this is Loto-Québec’s best performance since the Tobacco Control Act came into effect in 2006, which increased traffic at gaming establishments.
A big impact on the results was, of course, renewed enthusiasm from customers to reconnect with entertainment activities after a prolonged period of pandemic restrictions. Consolidated net income was CAD$1.6 billion, up 40 per cent from the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
The crown corporation also says it streamlined its operations: the ratio of total expenses to revenues was 29.2 percent (33 per cent in 2019-2020).
“Our teams came together to provide the people of Québec with the gaming and entertainment experience Loto-Québec is known for and their work and the overall sound management yielded exceptional results,” said Loto-Québec president and CEO Jean-François Bergeron in a statement.
“We have our talented and dedicated employees to thank for being in such a good position after some difficult years. There’s a lot to be proud of when you consider that 100% of what we generate goes back to the people and province of Québec.
“True to our commitment to conduct our business in a socially responsible manner, we approached every decision with this lens and paid particular attention to our gaming website. In addition to promoting the responsible gambling tools offered on lotoquebec.com, we made a concerted effort to counter the advertising of illegal gambling websites and to inform the public that ours is the only 100% legal gaming website in Québec.”
Winners were awarded more than CAD$1.5 billion through lottery games, Kinzo, and network bingo. Loto-Québec paid out the biggest jackpot in its history to a Montérégie resident, who won CAD$70,027,052 with Lotto Max.
“Our support of the visual arts and of many festivals and events across Québec is one of our major contributions,” Bergeron said. “We’re also proud to support many causes and organizations such as the Moisson food banks, the Fondation Les Petits Rois and AlterGo. It’s also worth mentioning that we have made strides in our environmental-sustainability efforts.”
Lottery revenues were CAD$996.1 million, a slight decrease of 1.1 percent from 2021-2022, and the casino and gaming hall sector had its best year ever, with revenues of CAD$1.101 billion, a 67.6 percent increase. Revenues in the gaming-establishment sector (video lottery terminals, event betting, Kinzo, and network bingo) were at CAD$922.2 million, an increase of 64.6 percent over the previous fiscal year.
Revenues from the lotoquebec.com gaming website (CAD$403.9 million) were up CAD$13 million (3.3 percent) from 2021-2022.