Loto-Québec has published its 2020-21 fiscal year results, noting a significant decrease in revenue from the previous year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Updating investors, the lottery confirmed that the health crisis had forced the closure of its casinos and gaming halls, some for more than nine months. It also halted much of its video lottery, network bingo and Kinzo operations and stopped lottery ticket sales at retail locations.
Loto-Québec recorded total revenues of $1.408bn at the end of FY2020-21, a 48.6% decrease from the previous year (FY2019-20 $1.333bn). Consolidated net income came in at $457.6m, down 66.2% ($895.8m).
Outgoing President and CEO Lynne Roiter commented: “Several of Loto-Québec’s commercial activities were suspended for much of the year due to the COVID–19 pandemic, which had a significant impact on revenues and net income. The corporation, nevertheless, paid a dividend of $432.6m to the Government of Québec.”
The lottery noted that despite the impact of the pandemic, it kept its community contributions going throughout the year, particularly the funding of sponsored events and the arts community. It also continued to work with several non-profit organisations.
New President and CEO Jean-François Bergeron added: “This past year brought its share of challenges for the teams. However, the actions taken made it possible to limit the financial impact of the corporation’s activities being suspended.
“We can now focus our energy on gradually resuming all business segments of the corporation—casinos and gaming halls, video lottery terminals, network bingo and Kinzo—now that the lockdown is being lifted. The corporation can therefore look to the coming year with much greater optimism.”
Loto-Québec reported it paid out 110 prizes of $1m or more to lottery winners with its biggest jackpot over the course of the fiscal year being $70m in October.
Its lottery sector was the least affected by the pandemic, with a 7.4% drop in revenues compared to the previous year. Instant lottery games saw revenue growth thanks to the addition of new online games. Event betting performed well despite fewer sporting events taking place.
The lottery’s casino and gaming hall revenues dwindled by 65.6% after being closed for most of the year. Its gaming establishment sector, including video lottery terminals, bingo and Kinzo, also saw a revenue reduction of 75.1%.
Expenses, including the cost of sales, decreased by 31.5% compared to the previous year. With commercial operations being significantly reduced, the lottery undertook an extensive optimisation exercise with significant cost-saving measures being implemented.
Earlier this month, Scientific Games enhanced its partnership with Loto-Québec by facilitating the launch of content from gaming equipment supplier AGS.