Live online casino games contribute to record-breaking annual gambling revenues for BCLC.
The British Columbia Lottery Corp (BCLC) has released its latest annual earnings report for the fiscal year ending March 2018. Thanks in part to the growing popularity of the BC online casino, PlayNow, the provincial regulator is celebrating record-breaking revenue.
All told, BCLC generated $3.72 billion in the 12-month period. That represents a 3.4% uptick—an additional $123 million—on top of the previous year’s results. Net income for the Crown Corporation rose $61.5 million to a record setting $1.4 billion year over year.
Land-Based Gaming the Largest Contributor
British Columbia’s land-based gaming facilities were the largest contributor to provincial gaming revenue; as is to be expected. BCLC operates a total of 15 commercial casinos, 18 community gaming centers, 5 bingo halls and 2 racinos. Between them, BCLC is reporting record revenue of $1.95 billion.
The vast majority of that came from slot machines. BCLC’s slots income jumped 7% to $1.37 billion in 2017-18. Table games revenue also increased, but minimally; up just 1% to $492.7 million.
Analysts are attributing the slow growth of table games to recent events at BC casinos; especially the River Rock in Richmond, which has been embroiled in a multi-million-dollar money laundering scandal. Ostensibly, there aren’t nearly as many high rollers visiting the tables these days.
Lottery Comes in Close Second for BCLC
The next largest contributor to BC’s gambling revenue on the fiscal year is lottery sales. This division saw no notable increase, bringing in $1.13 billion. Although that total includes record sales of instant-win scratch off tickets, scheduled lottery drawing ticket sales are on the decline. This is being blamed on the lack of mega-sized jackpots among national Canadian lotteries.
Evolution’s Live Online Casino Games a Big Hit
While the state-run BC online casino isn’t generating nearly as much revenue as land-based gambling, it did reach record revenue $180.6 million. That’s a substantial 14.5% boost year over year—the largest percentile increase of all. The province doesn’t segment internet gambling revenue in its reports, but experts agree the addition of Evolution Gaming‘s premier live casino platform has a lot to do with it.
Evolution was invited by BCLC to build a live casino studio in Vancouver. The studio opened mid-2017, offering tables exclusively to members of PlayNow.
A prime focus on mobile-compliance has also boosted revenue generation for the internet gambling website. In the last year, BC has begun offering a much larger selection of mobile slots games and a friendlier range of sports betting options for punters. Thanks to a change in federal law, Canadians are now able to place 2-team parlays, as opposed to the minimum 3-team parlays previously available.
BC Online Casino Revenue Compared to Ontario & Quebec
The $180.6 million BC’s internet gambling operation generated in the 12-month period ending March 2018 may not seem like much compared to all other avenues of gambling. But when compared to the online offerings of Ontario and Quebec, they’re actually quite impressive.
Quebec’s online gambling site, EspaceJeux, came the closest to BC. Lotto-Quebec‘s latest fiscal year report depicts earnings of $118 million. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG) is reporting just $58.4 million in the last year from its iGaming website, PlayOLG. Perhaps they should both follow in BC’s footsteps, extending a license to Evolution to bring live online casino games to their respective operations.