Loto-Quebec faces inter-province competition

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Quebec provincial gambling group has seen an increase in its online revenue, though not enough to topple its West Coast rival.

 

A contentious new bill, however, could upset the hegemon.

Earlier this month, Loto-Quebec released its FY2016 report, announcing a revenue rise of 2.1 percent to C$3.6b with profits remaining steady at C$1.23bn just exceeding the year’s target.

The group’s foundation lottery operations saw revenue inch up 1.7 percent to C$1.83bn, including the Mise-o-jeu parlay sports betting offering, which contributed a 16.5 percent year-on-year revenue rise of C$76.7m.

Espacejeux.com, Loto-Quebec’s online gambling site, reported a revenue rise of 29.7 percent to C$85.9m which, though impressive, falls short of the C$157.6m reported by PlayNow.com, operated by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, in a province less than two-thirds of Quebec’s population.

An announcement by Quebec legislators, however, may benefit the province.

The approval of a contentious law, Bill 74, would ensure the East Coast province’s internet service providers block the domains of all gambling sites other than Espacejeux or select sites approved by Loto- Quebec.

Though challenged in court by the national telecom operators association and rejected by the national telecom regulator, Loto-Quebec says it is proceeding under the assumption that the Bill will come into effect.

The group stated their teams are “already working on the required IT advancements” to ensure Espacejeux will cope with the consequent surge in users.

Alongside this, Loto-Quebec’s efforts to “make the client experience more fluid when navigating among product families” sees a new online ‘virtual store’ launch in October, offering a single site offering lotteries, poker and slot machines.

In August, Loto-Quebec issued its Q1 2017-18 report, with overall revenue rising 6.2 percent year-on-year to C$882.4m, while Espacejeux’s numbers gained 42.3 percent to C$24.5m.

Online lottery revenue rose 51 percent to C$11.3m while online gaming was up 35 percent to C$13.1m.


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