Friday July 25,2014 : ATLANTIC LOTTERY WANTS TO REVISIT ONLINE GAMBLING
Canadian provincial lottery losing the younger demographic to the internet.
In its latest annual report the Atlantic Lottery in eastern Canada reports a persistent decline in revenues, blaming it on a lack of interest by the important demographic aged below 30 years, and calling for renewed public debate on whether it should join other Canadian lotteries that have gone online.
Despite the lower sales, the lottery managed to achieve a $7 million year-on-year increase in profits at $368.4 million, bucking a negative trend that goes back several years to 2008, when profits peaked at $398 million.
The Atlantic Lottery manages the legal lottery activity of provincial governments like New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, and would like to join other Canadian provinces such as Quebec, British Columbia, Manitoba and soon Ontario in offering online gambling services to Canadians.
However, previous attempts have been thwarted.
The report acknowledges a changing market, noting:
"In recent years, we've seen an explosion in gaming technology and accessibility. Along with it came the introduction of more than 2,500 unregulated online gaming providers from places like Malta and Gibraltar.
"Atlantic Canadians are spending millions of dollars annually on these gambling sites that operate outside of any regulations established by our governments. Unlike Atlantic Lottery, those sites' profits don't stay in the region to support our communities."
The report reveals that 70 percent of Atlantic Lottery punters are older than age 30, but the younger demographic is growing.
"We face a growing challenge in attracting younger adults; those players who grew up in the digital world playing games of strategy and skill, with leaderboards and player profiles who will continue to game online, often with off-shore illegal gaming providers," the report observes.
"We have to do a better job, as an industry and a company, of providing younger adults with entertaining options. That means new styles of games and new experiences unlike what we offer today."