SaskGaming Reports a Lower Revenue for 2018-2019
Despite the satisfactory revenue report, SaskGaming is still struggling to revive the golden fiscal years before 2016.
Although the latest numbers are indicating an improvement, the profits are still below the standards set a few years ago, and even under the 2017-2018 bar.
Slow Economy Eating Away the Saskatchewan Casino Business
Even with more than three million visitors recorded in the past financial year (ending March 31, 2019), the two SaskGaming casinos located in Casino Regina (pictured below) and Moose Jaw are still not operating at the expected level. When compared to last year’s $46.4M, the numbers reflect a drop in the proceeds, continuing a downward trend that started back in 2016.
According to the report, the decline is caused by a number of factors, including market saturation. The increased competition has been slowly taking its toll, and SaskGaming is nowhere near the $65.4 million income reported in 2015.
The problem seems to be isolated, and other gaming jurisdictions are ahead of SaskGaming due to “introduction of new channels and increased capacity”.
SaskGaming Management Remains Optimistic
In spite of the notable regression, those in charge of SaskGaming operations seem undeterred by the setback. Christine Tell, SaskGaming Minister Responsible, has stated that the corporation is still highly profitable and contributes to the community by generating a number of jobs and directing a portion of the revenue to the charitable causes.
A major portion of the corporation’s total income ($118.6 million) will go to the province’s GRF (General Revenue Fund) as financial support for the First Nations Trust and to the CIF (Community Initiatives Funds). There is also a dividend to SaskGaming’s shareholder, Crown Investment Corporation.
The exact figures are displayed under the corporation’s financial highlights section:
- Expenses increase: from $73.0 million to 73.7 million
- Income before the GRF cut: $44.9 million
- GFR and CIF payments (divided equally): $22.4 million
- Dividend: $18.00 million
The CEO and SaskGaming President, Susan Flett, reflected on the increase of expenses, stating that the company remains dedicated to delivering the best possible gaming experience. As a result, a few investments were made towards updating the technology, expanding the casino offers, and property renovations.
Judging by the operational stats in 2017- 2018, the changes are yet to come into effect. Measured against the previous fiscal year, SaskGaming casinos have recorded a lower number of visits (3.25M vs 3.51M) and a lower guest satisfaction score (75.5% vs 78.1%)
Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation was founded in 1996 by the Saskatchewan Government. The corporation’s primary role was to operate Casino Regina and Casino Moose Jaw (opened in 2002), under the direct supervision of the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority.
The corporation’s impact on the community is substantial – in 2008, Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation was featured in Maclean’s and listed by Mediacorp Canada Inc. as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers.