Recent reporting out of crown corporation Loto-Québec has revealed a somewhat dire situation. The operator’s freshly published financial results for the financial year that ended on March 31 revealed a concerning decline of almost a third of the revenue posted for 2019-20.
While Loto-Québec is disappointed in the results, it is nothing that it did not predict. The company’s casinos have all been closed for most of 2020 and the new year has brought no reprieve as none of the establishments have resumed trade due to the on-going impact of the global pandemic.
Loto-Québec reported a pleasing CA$1,328.5 million in revenue for 2019-20, but only managed a third of that amount for 2020-21, coming in at a mere CA$457.6 million. The dividends paid out were also fractions of what had been allocated the previous year.
Cash flow stops at the door
The outgoing president and CEO of Loto-Québec, Lynne Rioter, stated that a few causes contributed to the steep decline, including the suspension of Kinzo, video lottery, and Bingo, for around two-thirds of the reported period.
Lottery sales were also unavailable until early May 2021, caused Lottery revenue to go into free-fall, from $929.4 down to CA$860.9 million, a 7.4 per cent year-on-year reduction.
Fortunately, one avenue of revenue did improve over the year, namely Loto-Québec’s online offerings, that benefitted from the closure of brick-and-mortar casinos and retail Lottery outlets.
Unfortunately for the crown corporation, this is only the beginning of its financial challenges for the year. Roiter’s imminent retirement means the company has to contend with paying out an eye-watering CA$430,000 retirement bonus package before it can appoint Jean-Francois as her successor.
Amidst all the gloom and doom , there is some positive news for the crown corporation. The company recently revealed the integration of American Gaming Systems (AGS) to its online casino offering. The agreement came about thanks to Loto-Québec’s current partnership with Scientific Games’ OpenGaming platform.
AGS is an established premium gaming content provider across land-based, online, and social casino games markets, and Scientific Games’ OpenGaming platform boasts over 3,000 titles, meaning Loto-Québec players have a lot to look forward to.
This is Scientific Games’ most recent Canadian milestone, with the company wrapping up a similar deal in 2020 with the BCLC, to have its premium iGaming content offered to local players via the BCLC’s PlayNow.com online platform.