Tuesday June 14,2011 : First four months of operations sees $7 million in revenues and 37,753 subscribers
The Quebec provincial government's sally into the online gambling market appears to be generating positive results, judging by the latest financial report from operator Loto Quebec.
In a section of the report devoted to the new online gambling venture through the Espacejeux website, the company advised that one of the highlights of the year has been last December's launch of the website, enabling adult Quebecers to legally play various online games of chance.
"At the end of the first four months of operation, results are in keeping with estimates: 37,753 subscribers, of which about 60 percent were considered active, and revenues of some $7 million. Development of a complete and competitive offering will continue over the coming years," the report notes.
In other gambling activities, Loto-Québec's 2010-2011 Annual Report posts net earnings that have remained stable despite lower revenues.
The corporation reported consolidated revenues of $3.675 billion and net earnings of $1.338 billion for the period, with net earnings similar to last year's figures, despite an $80 million decline in sales, thanks to strict control over expenses.
Despite a significant decline in the North American casino industry, the four Quebec land casinos experienced only a small drop in revenues.
Video lottery revenues decreased by 4 percent due to the economic slowdown and reduced network size. Lastly, land bingo activities weakened by 2.2 percent.
Over 20 percent of total sales were contributed by the corporation's Lotto Max product. Quebecers won 62 million dollar or more lotto prizes, double that of the preceding year. One lotto player broke all records to become Quebec's biggest ever lotto winner at $37.6 million on Lotto Max.
Bingo and lottery winners pocketed $935 million, commissions to lottery, video lottery and bingo partners totalled $350 million and purchases from suppliers doing business in Québec reached $310 million, whilst $31.1 million was invested in fighting compulsive gambling; contributions to non-profit organizations reached $17.7 million while the Fonds d'aide à l'action communautaire autonome and the Fonds d'aide à l'action humanitaire internationale received $14.8 million and $3 million, respectively.
Spending on sponsorships in support of 136 events was $13.9 million. A contribution of $10 million was made to the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal through the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine.
The report notes that Loto Quebec paid out a total of $391,000 in therapy expense compensation following a provincial government decision to reimburse compulsive gamblers for documented therapy services received from 1994 to 2002, regardless of the games played.