BCLC Report Shows Online Gaming Potential

By Ben Hamill - September 21 2020

BCLC Report Shows Online Gaming Potential

British Columbia has always been able to rely heavily on the support of a high-performing provincial online gaming industry. This is true in the present and was true even before global disaster hit around mid-March. And even though B.C.’s brick-and-mortar gaming establishments have historically enjoyed popularity and success in uninterrupted fashion, players have over the past few years with increased frequency opted to take their money and their aspirations online.

This shift in land-based vs. online dynamic created an even bigger crisis when land-based casinos province wide were in March ordered closed due to the risks posed to the health of players as well as employees. Land-based revenue suddenly witnessed even more of a plunge than the gradual decline previously caused by the online gaming digital migration.

So much so that the British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s (BCLC) latest report clearly shows a year-on-year decline of 2.2% in terms of land-based revenue performance. For the 12 month-period leading up to March 31, 2020, the Crown corporation generated revenue to the tune of CA$2.53 billion.

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Online Gaming A Revenue Driver

Broken down into individual performances, slot machine and table game revenue plummeted 2.3% all the way down to CA$1.83 billion and CA$417 million, respectively, marking a 2.3% decline for slots and an 8.1% decline for table games.

Online gaming, however, witnessed an increase in revenue even despite a global disaster that left many Canadians without a means to a livelihood. The BCLC’s Playnow online gaming site, unlike its land-based compatriots, witnessed not a decline, but in fact a superb 19.5% improvement – all the way up to CA$179 million reported for the mentioned 12-month period.

And what makes of the reported figure an even more stunning show of performance is the fact that the bulk of the revenue was generated even before the global health disaster struck in March. All of which indicates independent growth largely undriven by a forced disaster-catalysed online migration.

Success Prompted By Change

A significant driver of overall growth, so confirmed the Crown corporation, has been the recent revamp of its sports betting platform. The BCLC early this year mandated several significant upgrades to the registration of new players, live dealer solutions, and also the overall look and feel of the mobile version of its betting app.

That the corporation, in an attempt to draw high-stakes players away from illegal gambling sites, increased its weekly deposit limits from CA$9,999 to CA$100,000 is also confirmed to have driven a large portion of the reported growth.

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