Alberta downturn linked to lottery hike

Alberta downturn linked to lottery hike

Wednesday, March 9, 2016 Totally Gaming
The province reported slightly better-than-expected income from gambling

A big increase in lottery takings in the Canadian province of Alberta made up for lower-than-expected income from the video lottery terminal (VLT) sector in the first half of the fiscal year. 

Figures for the six months to October 31, 2015, released by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Authority (AGLC) show overall gaming revenue at C$909m (€620.9m/US$683.2m), which is a little more than one per cent higher than projected in the province’s budget.

Income from VLTs was more than six per cent less than expected at C$270m, with casino gaming machines – the biggest segment in Alberta - up almost two per cent at C$441m. The most surprising figure was the upturn in lottery sales, with the C$194m accrued some 12 per cent better than expected.

AGLC president Bill Robinson said the sector was performing well considering the financial downturn that has been experienced in Alberta in recent times.

Garry Smith, research co-ordinator with the Alberta Gambling Research Institute, told the Edmonton Journal newspaper that the downturn could well account for improved lottery sales.

“There’s a perception that ‘they’re a small price to pay and if you hit it big, you get yourself out of your financial difficulties,’” said Smith.

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