Ontario’s Take from Gambling Hits Record $2.9 Billion
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is the arm of the provincial government that runs all the gaming operations. It recently reported that it had a profitable year. In the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2018, the province reported $2.9 billion in revenue from the gaming companies. This represents an increase of more than 5 percent from the fiscal year 2017.
Gambling in Ontario
Canada’s laws on gambling differ from those in the United States. All the legalized gambling in Canada is under the authority of the federal code of Canada. This is especially true when someone commits a crime. However, the Canadian provinces are responsible for their own gambling operations. In Ontario, this is the responsibility of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLGC). The OLGC runs province-wide gaming, such as lottery games, commercial, charity, First Nations casinos, and slots in non-casino locations. The province does not have an online lottery at this time. However, it does allow other forms of online gaming, such as poker and other casino games.
The province governs four commercial casinos and five charity casinos. Combined, the casinos have 630 table games and 13,930 slot machines. In addition, there are 16 race tracks in the province that have slot machines. Lottery retailers (more than 10,000 of them) have 12 different lottery games. Many lottery retailers also offer video lottery terminals where gamblers can play slot games and other computer-generated games.
The Year Results
For the year, the province reported that there was an increase in profits for casinos, slots, and online gambling. Lottery ticket sales reported a slight decrease over the last year. Much of the rise in gambling income came from the casino and slot businesses in the province. They reported a profit of $1.8 billion, which was up a healthy 7 percent from the 2016-17 fiscal year.
Casinos Are on Top, But the Lottery Trends Lower
All the casinos in the province showed an increase in year-to-year sales. In all, the casinos in Ontario had 38 million visitors last year. The average loss per visitor at Ontario’s casinos was $101. The most profitable casinos were in the Toronto area.
The lottery did not fare as well as the casinos. Revenue from the lottery was down slightly from the previous fiscal year, at $1.07 billion, which is down 1 percent. The province demonstrated higher revenue from the sale of scratch cards. However, lottery ticket sales were down. The OLGC thinks the reason was because some games it trotted out this year were not popular. For example, the agency hoped Lotto Max would be very popular. It contained more than one game on a ticket. But, it proved to be unpopular and its sales sagged. In addition, the agency stated the population that tends to buy lottery tickets is aging. Younger people do not buy lottery tickets unless the lottery prizes are high.
The province also reported that Internet gaming through the Play OLG platform continues to grow. Last fiscal year, the platform sent $37.6 million to the coffers of the province. That was an increase of 37 percent in one year. This is just a fraction of the profits from other forms of gaming. However, it signified the worldwide trend for online gaming.
The OLGC still plans to oversee all gaming operations. However, it wants to turn over the day-to-day operations of casinos and slots to a private company in the future. The commission wants to concentrate on building new casinos and expanding older ones. The agency also wants to concentrate on its online platform. It sees that platform as future of gambling in the province.
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An energy industry consultant who spends a lot of time on North Sea oil rigs and conducting studies in and around the Arctic Circle. Sean started playing online casino games to compensate for long periods of boredom. In no time he turned from casual player to fan to fanatic and has since made it his mission to study the online casino universe from the players perspective. As a regular participant and contributor to Top Casino Picks, Sean sits in the Top Casino Picks advisory board and oversees our review team.
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