Canada’s largest province, Ontario, is sparkling with revenue from publicly owned casinos. However government-run casinos don’t bring the expected revenue to state coffers.
Some blame poor economy, others say increased competition is causing problems. The fact remains that although all casinos are perfectly in line with Canadian gambling laws, state-run establishments are way behind the competition.
The Windsor casino can serve as a perfect example, it had over 5,000 employees in the best days right after its opening in 1995, yet currently it employs only half of that. Its fate now lies with Ontario lawmakers.
Online gambling news in Canada received comments from Rick Laporte, President of the Canadian Auto Workers local, a body representing casino employees and Chrysler plant workers. Mr. Laporte had the following to say: “They don’t want to advertise it, but there’s no doubt in my mind that they’re subsidizing the casino right now. The government is not going to let that fail.”
Ontario gambling officials issued a fresh report, stating that last year the province received $2 billion in revenues from government-run gambling including slot machines at racetracks, lottery and the four casinos in Niagara Falls, Windsor and outside Toronto. However the report didn’t mention how the casinos are doing on an overall scale.
In 2009 government-run casinos generated operating losses of $70 million. Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., the agency responsible for the casinos, expects the losses to grow further this year.
Among plans of Ontario government to boost revenues is expansion into online casinos in Canada. This move is scheduled for next year. Mr. Laporte also mentioned that the casino employees union is pressuring the government to allow sports betting offers inside the casinos.
It remains to be seen how Canadian provincial governments will deal with growing losses of the casinos. If their plans pay off, Canada may turn the tide and even become an attractive destination for gamblers from around the world.