The sports betting, lottery, and gaming sectors in Canada‘s province of Quebec appear to be rebounding from the devastating effects of COVID-related restrictions and closures over the past couple of years. Loto-Quebec, a government-run corporation responsible for overseeing lottery and gaming in the province, recently released its quarterly financials for the period of April 1 to June 27 this year, and the numbers are encouraging.
The corporation reported total revenue of $744.3 million (CAD) and a net profit of $446.5 million for its first quarter, an increase of 85% and 128%, respectively, from the previous year. Those numbers include earnings from casino operations, lottery products, and sports betting in the province.
Sports betting generated $8.3 million in revenue, which represents an increase of 7.7% from the same period last year. There was also a 33.3% increase in online sports betting sales compared to the same quarter last year, but these numbers come with a huge asterisk, as single-game wagering wasn’t decriminalized across Canada until Aug. 27, 2021.
Lotoquebec.com is the only legal casino and sports betting website in Quebec. Sports bettors can place wagers through the Mise-o-jeu platform, which is available online and at retail locations across the province.
“We’re pleased with our first-quarter results,” Jean-Francois Bergeron, president and CEO of Loto-Quebec, said in a press release. “We’ve exceeded our pre-pandemic levels and are in an excellent position due to tight spending controls, which can be challenging in times of high inflation such as these. These achievements are a result of the remarkable work put in by all our teams.”
Nous diffusons aujourd’hui notre premier rapport trimestriel de 2022-2023, qui présente d’excellents résultats financiers pour la période du 1er avril au 27 juin 2022. Merci à tous les secteurs. Les détails ici : https://t.co/5B8Tcaenqf pic.twitter.com/ni5nlnhotT
— LotoQuebec (@LotoQuebec) September 23, 2022
Lottery and casinos driving revenue
Quebec’s lottery sector reported revenue of $256.6 million, with online lottery sales accounting for only 12.6% of total lottery revenue. Revenue in the casino and gaming hall sector totaled $263.4 million, a major increase of 242% compared to the same quarter last year. Online casino revenue accounted for 24.3% of total casino and gaming hall revenue.
It’s important to note that land-based casinos and gaming halls were closed in the province during the months of April and May last year due to COVID outbreaks, so the comparison with last year’s quarterly numbers is skewed.
Quebec’s only legal online gambling website is competing with a longstanding gray market in Canada, which is one of the reasons Loto-Quebec decided to recently join a coalition of five provincial lottery corporations against illegal gambling. Currently, the province hasn’t announced any plans to adopt an open, regulated model for sports betting like neighboring Ontario.