Canadian provincial lottery operator the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) said measures implemented during the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic led to a decline in revenue for its 2019-20 fiscal year.
Revenue amounted to CAN$2.53bn (£1.45bn/€1.62bn/US$1.95bn), which was 2.3% down from 2018-19, and below BCLC’s $2.64bn projection for the 12 months to 31 March, 2020.
Casino and community gaming remained the primary source of income for the operator, with revenue standing at $1.83bn, down 3.7% year-on-year.
All segments here, with the exception of poker, declined in 2019-20. Slot machine revenue fell 2.3% to $1.37bn, while table game revenue was down 8.2% to $417.2m and bingo revenue 9.6% to $20.8m, though poker revenue edged up 1.7% to $24.0m.
The BCLC said that casino and community gaming revenue fell $152.2m below projections due to a number of factors, but primarily the impact of Covid-19. The operator was forced to temporarily close all gaming facilities in March, in line with provincial orders in British Columbia, and properties have not yet reopened.
However, despite this decline, the BCLC did see 1.8% increase in revenue from its lottery and online gaming operations. Revenue here totalled $698.2m, which was $45.6m ahead of its $652.6m budget for the fiscal year.
This was driven by growth within the online gaming segment, with revenue up 19.5% to $179.0m, which the BCLC put down to improvements within its PlayNow branded igaming offering.
In contrast, lottery revenue was down 2.2% to $519.2m, as sales were hit by the closure of retail outlets in the latter part of the fiscal year due to Covid-19.