Loto-Quebec Enjoys H1 iGaming Revenue Rise

By Ben Hamill - November 12 2018

Loto-Quebec Enjoys H1 iGaming Revenue Rise

The provincial gambling operator of Quebec, Loto-Quebec, has reported an increase of almost one third in its online gambling revenue for the first half of the 2018 fiscal year.

Recently, the gambling monopoly posted revenues of $1.39 billion in the six months ended on September 25, 2018. This comes as a 4.6% increase over the results for the first half of the previous financial year. The firm’s net income performed even better, increasing by 6.3% to $721.6 million.

On an individual product level, Loto-Quebec’s revenues generated by lottery operations increased by 15.6% to $467 million, while casino revenue plateaued at $453.7 million. Its gaming establishment sector fell by around 1% to reach $485.5 million as the provincial government continues to move away from providing video lottery terminals (VLTs) at its clubs, bars and bingo halls.

Espacejeux Revenues Soar by 32.6%

Revenues from the operator’s Espacejeux online casino website, on the other hand, rose by a whopping 32.6% to $49.3 million for the period in review. Online lotto earnings came to $14.4 million (an impressive 58.7% year on year improvement), and online casino revenues including poker experienced a 24% upswing to $34.9 million.

Espacejeux’s revenues for Loto-Quebec’s second financial quarter totaled $27.7 million, another healthy increase of 28.2% over Q1’s digital gaming takings. Back in July this year, the provincial Superior Court ordered the province to nix its proposal to force local ISPs to block all of Espacejeux’s international competitors’ domains. The plan came as part of the province’s contentious Bill 74, which was given the green light in 2016.

The court viewed the province’s plan to be an ‘unconstitutional intrusion’ into the areas of responsibility assigned to the federal government. It also rejected Quebec’s claims to be acting in the best interests of its residents, saying that it was a clear protectionist move that was intended to boost Espacejeux’s revenue streams and reduce competition.

Operator Gives Up Its Luxury Suite

However, Loto-Quebec has persisted nonetheless. Its H1 2018 report makes reference to the online gaming amendments to the Consumer Protection Act that were first outlined in Quebec’s March 2015 budget speech, claiming that these new rules will come into force on a date still to be determined by the provincial government.

In the meantime, the operator has finally agreed to give up its luxury Bell Center suite – home of the NHL Montreal Canadiens. Recently, the Montreal Gazette revealed that the gambling monopoly had chosen not to renew its seven-year contract to rent the suite when it expires at the end of August next year.