Loto-Québec suspends further land-based activities
- Loto-Québec has temporarily suspended gaming activities at more of its land-based properties, including the Casino Charlevoix and the Casino du Lac-Leamy.
- The new measures follow a surge in coronavirus cases in the region.
- The company announced that the new government measures do not apply to lottery sales.
- While Loto-Québec suffered revenue and profit declines for the 2019-20 financial year, the operator says the numbers are still above the targets, considering the devastation that the pandemic came with during the final weeks of the company’s fiscal year.
Loto-Québec, a Canadian provincial lottery operator, has suspended gaming activities at more of its land-based properties, including the Casino Charlevoix and the Casino du Lac-Leamy, in response to a surge in coronavirus cases in the region.
The Casino du Lac-Leamy shut its doors to the public, along with its restaurants on Sunday October 11, followed by the closures of VLTs (video lottery machines) in the city of Gatineau and in the municipalité régionale de comté (MRC) des Collines-de-l’Outaouais.
The Hilton Lac-Leamy hotel also shut down from Monday, October 12.
From the midnight of October 16, Casino Charlevoix won’t be operational. The venue has been open four days every week, Thursdays through Sundays, since July.
Loto-Québec will also close VLTs in the Capitale-Nationale, Montérégie, and Center-du-Québec regions, including Charlevoix on Friday. The company will also suspend kinzo games in the Capitale-Nationale region.
The updated list of the company’s properties to remain temporarily shuttered includes the Casino de Montreal, the Salon de jeux de Québec, the Salon de jeux de Trois- Rivières, the Casino du Lac-Leamy, and the Hilton Lac-Leamy hotel.
Other VLTs that have suspended operations include the ones in the metropolitan community of Montreal, in the city of Gatineau, in the MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais, and in the regions Chaudière-Appalaches, Capitale-Nationale, and Mauricie.
Loto-Québec has also temporarily suspended network bingo across the region. However, the new public health guidelines do not affect lottery sales and will continue across the retail network. The sales made a comeback to retail venues in May after their previous suspension throughout Québec in March following the surge in COVID-19 cases.
The operator pointed out that the Casino de Mont-Tremblant and VLTs in all other regions in Quebec will remain open.
The company has urged its customers to be cautious and adhere to the new public health guidelines, and when possible, restrict travel between regions. Loto-Québec also stated that public health and safety is still a priority. The operator said the temporary measures it has put in place are necessary to protect its employees and customers.
Loto-Québec experienced a revenue decline of 3.1 percent to CAD$2.74 billion (US$2.08 billion), with the profit revenue declining to $1.35 billion for the financial year ending March 31, according to the 2019-20 results that the company published in September. However, the operator said these numbers remained above the target despite the devastation that the coronavirus pandemic caused in the final weeks of the company’s fiscal year.
During that period, casinos were the top revenue sources, bringing in $963 million, up 5 percent, of which $694.8 million came from land-based gaming.