New Brunswick Earns Atlantic Lotto Millions In Months 

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on November 1, 2021 - Last Updated on July 15, 2022
Close up of an online casino game being played on a tablet

New Brunswick residents gambled $7.3M on virtual slots and table games at Atlantic Lottery Corporation’s (ALC) iCasino.

That’s more than the corporation expected, and it’s only been eight months since the casino launched.

The number shows how profitable online gambling could be for the organization once games become available to all four Atlantic provinces.

New Brunswick crushes expectations

“At this point, online casino-style games are only available in New Brunswick,” said ALC communications strategist Greg Weston to CBC News.

 “We continue to work with our provincial shareholders towards making this product available across Atlantic Canada.”

The organization had plans for iCasino to bring in $6.8M by the end of the fiscal year on March 2021. Not only did the casino’s 2020 revenue meet the expectations. It surpassed the amount. And by quite a bit.

Online slots and table games were able to capture $7.3M in revenue. Credit goes to variants like roulette, poker, and blackjack, for helping the casino boost returns by an extra $500,000.

While the reason for the jump in revenue is undefined, what is known is that nearly 95 games feature high-bet limits. Betting limits reach $500 on a single spin or per card hand.

But very little information is known about player spending patterns. The ALC remains mysterious about the number of players and their habits.

Whether a large number of players lost modest amounts or a small number lost big is unknown. It could even be a combination of the two, but only ALC has those details.

“Any data related to unique players on iCasino would be considered competitive information and cannot be released publicly,” stated Weston.

The only province to proceed

Gambling brings significant revenue to the province each year. That said, Atlantic Lotto has been trying to convince the Atlantic provinces to take advantage of its online casino.

ALC argues the option is already available to unlicensed offshore providers, and governments could seize that money locally.

After seeing big spikes in online gaming revenue in the early days of COVID-19, ALC made a proposition to provincial governments, CBC reports. 

The corporation sold social lockdowns as an “opportunity” to launch a virtual casino “immediately during COVID.” But only New Brunswick took the bait.

The ALC projected profits of $233 million over seven years if all four provinces joined. But, according to the profit New Brunswick made in the first eight months, that estimate may be low.

“We are satisfied with the performance of the games so far,” communicator in NB government Erika Jutras said in an email to CBC.

“Our primary objective in launching these games was to provide a safe and regulated space for players who choose to play online and keep revenue in New Brunswick that would otherwise flow to offshore, unauthorized operators.”    

Nova Scotia said it is open to the idea of joining. 

Prince Edward Island also agreed but wants to consider countermeasures that include increased addiction funding.

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador wasn’t interested. The government didn’t consider setting up an online casino among the Atlantic provinces to cash in on profits. At least not during the pandemic.

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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina is a Toronto-based online gambling writer who holds a master's degree in journalism. Before joining PlayCanada, she was part of the AskGamblers crew where she reported about the world of online casinos and interviewed numerous iGaming experts. Being in the industry for 5 years, she became an expert in online slots.

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