BCLC Reveals 2019-2020 FY Report and Covid-19 Impact

No matter how most companies performed in the first three months of 2020, the period of April through June is going to show the economic damage of the coronavirus pandemic. Companies around the world are adjusting their expectations and releasing financials that do not reflect their hopes for this point in the calendar year.

For the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, this is the time of year that it planned to release its full-year report for April 2019 through March 2020. The impact of Covid-19 wasn’t as bad as for companies who depend solely upon live gambling revenue, but the pandemic did hurt the BCLC’s bottom line.

2019-2020 Full-Year Overview

Overall revenue for the BCLC for the most recent full year was $2.531 billion, down just 2.3% the previous 2018-2019 year. Variance came in at $106.6 million. Though that drop wasn’t devastating, it was below the $2.64 billion projection.

Net income was $1.347 billion, which was $59 million below budget and $69 million less than the previous fiscal year.

Casino and community gaming was the primary source of income for the BCLC, as usual. The revenue for that segment was $1.83 billion, down 3.7%. Of the pieces of that segment, poker fared the best.

  • Slot machine revenue down 2.3% to $1.37 billion
  • Table game revenue down 8.2% to $417 million
  • Bingo revenue down 9.6% to $21 million
  • Poker revenue up 1.7% to $24 million

As for lottery revenue, it was down slightly to $519.2 million, a yearly drop of 2.2%. The BCLC attributed this to the start of the shutdowns in March, as retail locations began closing early in the month.

Keep in mind, however, that the worst months of the pandemic happened in April, May, and June, which will prove much more damaging for the first quarter of its 2020-2021 year.

Closer Look at eGaming

Online gaming – eGaming – showed $179 million in revenue, which was 19.5% higher than in the previous year. Some of that growth can be attributed to people moving their action online in the face of the incoming pandemic in March, but the BCLC also made improvements to the PlayNow platform in recent years to attract more customers. New agreements with online gaming partners delivered more casino-style games and a better overall customer experience.

The growth came in spite of a larger investment in eGaming in the previous fiscal year. The BCLC showed capital expenditures for lottery and online gaming totaling $13.9 million in 2018-2019 but an increase to $20.5 million in the 2019-2020 year.

When the pandemic headed toward Canada, the BCLC responded quickly with upgrades to its PlayNow options. Player participation rose quickly and significantly.

Executive Compensation

Those in high positions of the BCLC fared well during the 2019-2020 year. Everyone made more money except President Jim Lightbody.

Overall compensation consists of the base salary plus benefits, pension, vacation time, paid leave, parking and other vehicle and/or transportation allowances.

  • President Jim Lightbody: $386,027 total (down from $411,084 in 2018-2019)
  • Acting CEO Greg Moore: $201,425
  • VP Human Resources Jamie Callahan: $296,196
  • VP Casino & Community Gaming Bradley Desmarais: $304,021 (up from $286,081 in 2018-2019)
  • VP Lottery Gaming Kevin Gass: $334,534 (up from $323,778 in 2018-2019)
  • CCO and VP Legal Robert Kroeker: $304,097 (up from $285,912 in 2018-2019)

Community Contributions

During the 2019-2020 financial year, the BCLC hosted community outreach programs in 12 communities across British Columbia. The purpose – as always – is to educate and engage with the public, letting them know how gambling proceeds benefit communities.

The BCLC also sponsored 146 community organizations, groups, and events during the fiscal year.

With a $1.3 billion net income for 2019-2020, this is how the BCLC paid it forward:

  • $5.6 million to responsible gambling strategies
  • $6 million for local economic development initiatives to create sustainable communities
  • $10.4 million to horse racing enhancements as part of provincial partnership
  • $10.5 million for Canadian government
  • $15.9 million for gaming policy and enforcement in facilities and online
  • $93.5 million paid to local governments for hosting a gaming facility
  • $93.5 million for First Nations governments via revenue sharing
  • $140 million in community gaming grants for nonprofit organizations
  • $147.2 million for health initiatives, such as hospitals, improved facilities, community health
  • $821 million to BC government for public programs, education, and community groups

The BCLC has also been focusing more on the public perception of its positive contributions to communities. According to the financials for the previous fiscal year, the online survey showed that it remained at 68%, the same as the 2018-2019 year.

The goal for the 2020-2021 year is to increase that to 74% and then up to 76% by the next year.

All of this contributed to the 35 years of gambling benefits for BC that now exceed $25 billion in total.

 

 

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell has been writing about poker and gambling since 2004. As the online gaming sectors have changed and grown, particularly in the United States and Canada, she has followed it all and written about it for websites like World Poker Tour and PokerScout. In her free time, she runs a small business, reads, cooks, and enjoys music.

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