Loto-Québec generated impressive lottery growth as the Canadian province’s gambling monopoly celebrated the reopening of venues in the first quarter of the financial year, ended 30 June.
The government corporation posted total revenue of CAD$401.3m (USD$314.3m/€268.0m/£230.0m) for the three months to 30 June, which was up 154.9% on the same period in 2020, when most of the group’s activities were ceased due to the pandemic. However, with most physical locations, such as casinos, gaming halls and video lottery, only returning during the final month of the quarter, Q1 2021-22 revenue was down 38.8% compared to the same period in 2019-20.
Lottery revenue accounted for $284.3m of the total, which was up by 31.6% compared to the pre-pandemic Q1 2019 and by 171.6% compared to 2020, when many retailers were closed.
The Lotto Max product had its best quarter since its launch in September 2009, helped by a record streak of seven consecutive jackpots of more than $70m. Lottery draws made up $203.2m of revenue, while online lottery revenue of $35.5m was up 18.2% compared to the same quarter last year.
Casino, including land-based and online gaming, brought in $76.2m during the period. Just $5.1m of that came from land-based casinos, which were only able to reopen during the final weeks of the quarter, and at restricted capacity. Online casino generated $69.3m, which was up by 31.4% year-on-year.
Other gaming establishments, which began to reopen from March, generated revenue of $40.9m in Q1.
The group posted gross profit of $318.7m, with cost of sales at $82.6 across its three divisions.
Consolidated net income for the quarter was at $195.7m, which represents an increase of 404.5% compared to the same period of the previous year and a decrease of 42.0% compared to the same period of the pre-pandemic year. Loto-Québec said that tight control of expenses – necessary due to the reduction in supply – combined with several cost reduction initiatives, resulted in a decrease in total expenses of more than $60.7m or 48.3%.
Jean-François Bergeron, appointed president and chief executive in May, said: “I quickly noticed that all the teams are made up of seasoned, dedicated and passionate employees, and that they were able to demonstrate resilience and creativity during the special year that we have just experienced.
“Considering that the paused activities only resumed a few days before the end of the quarter, we had strong results. These, together with the pursuit of our activities, allow us to be optimistic about the achievement of our annual targets. Our priority remains to provide an environment that is both fun and safe. I am very excited about the challenges ahead.”
Since the end of Q1, Loto-Québec has commenced offering sports betting on single events following the passing of the federal Bill C-218.