I’ve been examining the financial elements of legal gambling in British Columbia. Before looking at BCLC annual reports, I assumed the agency’s revenues had grown steadily. In fact, they show a distinctly flat line and that is surprising. As I search for an accurate understanding, any relevant information from readers will be appreciated.
I guess we should be gambling more?
“BCLC: Revenue Sustainability We deliver more than $1 billion in income annually to the Province.”
Source: http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2013/sp/pdf/agency/bclc.pdf Page 12 of 40
BCLC SERVICE PLan 2013/14–2015/16
It is not surprising that revenues have not increased. There is less and less disposable income. If people don't have enough money to pay the bills, then for many an evening out at the casino is simply not on. Taxes have increased, in one form or another, wages have not. Cost of clothing, food, electricity, etc. have all gone up but salaries not so much.
Now of course it may have gone up and the reporting isn't accurate, i.e. skimming or money laundering can only provide so much cash going through.
I look forward to your article.
that is very interesting and surprising. I wonder what the split is between lotteries and gaming? the devil is in the details!
So much enjoy reading your blog Norm, beacon of light in a MSM wasteland.
A pilot program to sell Lotto tickets in BC gov't liquor stores began in July, with dismal result: about $80 per day in each of the 5 test stores. A planned Fall launch has been delayed until “sometime in the new year”, and reading between the lines, the top brass at the LDB aren't convinced this idea is a good one. Nor is it- now you'll have to wait to buy your bottle while the lady ahead of you decides which game to play, in what amount, and should she have the extra, or not? How much is that jackpot, anyway?
This gov't must be broker than we know.
I noticed your tweet that a million dollars in bonuses had been paid top executives at BCLC. Has anyone ever NOT managed to hit whatever trigger point results in a bonus?
Who among your loyal readers would be surprised to to learn that this government has found a way to increase the skim while leaving reported incomes on a flatline?
I'm with e.a.f. on this one.
The unwashed masses only have X number of dollars per year. This has not gone up in years, in fact, with all the new and increased fee's, levies, taxes, tolls, and inflation, one could argue the disposable part has gone down. So if the masses only have y dollars per year to spend on gambling in total, the total revenue will equal y, no matter how much you expand gambling. It's like flooding the car market. BC Automobile dealers could double their inventory of new cars next year, but they would not actually sell them all. Further proof this government is not all that business savey.
Norm: BCLC service plan reports are helpful. Most years (they shift them around a bit) they have targets for percentage of adults gambling at least once a month and the average amount lost per per person per year. They've pushed up average losses, but have had trouble meeting targets for recruiting new gamblers. There is a saturation point. Which might mean the ferry trial balloon is a precursor to other venues for VLTs, like bars. I looked at a few of the numbers last month – http://willcocks.blogspot.com/2013/10/bc-lotteries-by-grim-numbers.html
As he always does, Paul Willcocks provides intelligent commentary and accurate reporting. A clickable link:
BC Lotteries by the grim numbers