British Columbia Records Increase in Gambling Revenue
In addition to excellent results in terms of revenue, British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has also recorded impressive online performance.
Revenues Going up
According to the available information, BCLC generated revenue of $2.53 billion for fiscal 2017-18 (the twelve-month period ending on March 31), which represents a 3.76% increase when compared to the previous fiscal period. During the same period, net income also recorded a rise to $1.08 billion.
15 casinos, 18 community centres, 2 racecourse casinos, and 5 bingo halls owned and operated by the Kamloops-based monopoly generated combined revenue of $1.48 billion. The main factor behind this all-time high result was the fact that slot-related income rose by nearly 7% to $1.04 billion.
Table games were slightly up, taking home $373.92 million. Dismal table games performance is sure to draw the attention of the provincial regulator, especially bearing in mind the whole money laundering scandal involving several casinos in British Columbia. Probably the most prominent name involved in this affair is the River Rock Casino in Richmond, a facility operated by Great Canadian Gaming Corp.
When it comes to the lottery vertical, its revenue of $858 million doesn’t represent a significant improvement over the previous fiscal year, although the Scratch & Win category recorded another impressive result. According to experts, the lack of mega-jackpots in the national lottery games’ offering was to blame for these figures.
Online Also on the Rise
BCLC’s online gambling site PlayNow.com recorded a revenue increase of 14.5% to $ 137.15 million, while the most important factor that contributed to this rise was the launch of live dealer casino games back in January. A wider offer of slots and parlay sports betting options, along with more focus on mobile gaming also helped in improving the overall results.
Unfortunately, BCLC didn’t disclose its eGaming division’s net income figures for the fiscal 2017-18 year, but it did reveal that capital spending on PlayNow reached $3.11 million – which is 156% more when compared to 2016-17.
PlayNow.com results were far better than those recorded by gambling sites in Quebec and Ontario, which recorded $90.26 million and $44.37 million respectively. It should be noted that Ontario’s online gambling monopoly was launched much later than the other two and that these numbers are from fiscal 2016-17.
Many believe PlayNow.com is near its peak in terms of visitors, despite the rise in revenue. Almost the same number of customers registered in 2016-17 and 2017-18 (around 370,000). It’s hard to expect any further surge since only around 4.6 million residents of British Columbia have access to it.
Still, BCLC has a plan to boost the number of customers. Last year in November, the provincial crown corporation launched a programme called Web Cash. This pilot project includes vouchers for making deposits on the site, and they are distributed across the BCLC retail network, consisting of 33 gaming locations.
BCLC is seriously thinking about expanding this programme, hoping to convince even more players to try the digital option.