Article published on 14 April 2014

Canadian Lottery Group to Fire Workers

Canadian Lottery Groups Faced with Revenue Problems
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The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) announced this week that it was cutting jobs across the country against the backdrop of growing operating costs and a mature gaming market.

The group's interim president, Jim Lightbody said that the BCLC will be cutting costs and laying off around 67 workers - 29 in Kamloops, 33 in Vancouver and five workers from other locations.

The BCLC will cut $20 million in operating costs, and hopes to cut another $20 million from capital projects so that it can maintain its net income. The province benefits from $1 billion in revenue from the lottery, and the BCLC does not want that figure to be affected.

Online Gambling Impacts BCLC Revenues

In recent years, many Canadians have taken their gambling entertainment online, and the BCLC's revenues have been negatively impacted by this trend.

According to Lightbody, the future of gambling is the online sphere, as games of chance move from terrestrial casinos to mobile devices.

"We now actually provide the e-gaming services for the province of Manitoba," said Lightbody.

Other factors have also impacted the groups revenues, and those of other lottery corporations across the country.

"We have a systemic issue that all gaming jurisdictions are facing and that is a mature marketplace with rising operating costs and marginal revenue growth," said Lightbody.

Voluntary Termination

The BCLC said that the layoffs were, wherever possible, done by attrition and voluntary termination.

Lightbody was challenged by gambling critic, NDP's Shane Simpson who asked: "Where are those 67 jobs coming from?" Simpson is concerned that the job cuts could affect problem gambling program run by the lottery corporation.

The president would not provide more information on the job cuts but promised that the lottery's high level of social responsibility would be maintained.

"All sorts of levels, all sorts of departments were affected," he said.

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