Loto Québec suffers yearly losses despite hitting targets

Loto Québec has revealed that its revenue for the year (ended 31 March) dipped by 3.1% to CAD$2.74bn (US$2.08bn) as its profit declined to $1.35bn. With this being said the operator has revealed that both figures remained above target despite the effects of COVID-19.

Despite the pandemic causing closures, casinos were the group’s main source of revenue, bringing in $963.7m, up 5.0%. Of this figure, $694.8m came from land-based gaming which in turn was down by 5.1%, however, this decline was offset by online casino revenue rising 25.7% to $96.4m.

Regarding lotteries, the vertical saw a 2.8% decline to $929.4m, however it still remained Loto Quebec’s main source of gaming revenue. Of this total, $702.6m came from draw-based games, down 3.8%, and instants brought in $162.7m, down 4.6%.

The lottery also generated $24.7m from sports betting, which saw a 3.1% decrease, while online lottery games revenue saw a 37.8% increase to $39.4m. The operator also noted that online lottery sales jumped 159.6% since March alone.

Lynn Roiter, president and chief executive of Loto Québec, stated: “The lottery sector had had an excellent year in 2018-2019 due to an exceptional number of high major jackpots offered by Lotto 6/49 and Lotto Max, which explains the drop in sales this year.”

Regarding outgoings, personnel expenses led the way with $445.8m, decreasing by 0.6%, with administrative costs following behind at $276.8m, marking a downturn of 2.3%

In total, Loto Quebec ended the fiscal year with a profit of $1.35bn, down 3.9% year-on-year. Despite the figure falling short of FY2019, Hélène Fortin, the chair of Loto Québec’s board of directors, commented on how the group not only remained above target, but also discussed how she was pleased to see how the business adapted to the effects of the pandemic.

She concluded: “The board is also pleased with the reaction of Loto-Québec in the context of the pandemic. In addition to having taken quick action to protect the health of its customers and employees,the organization has made several gestures of generosity to contribute to collective efforts and support the most vulnerable.”