Manitoba Betting on Online Gaming Expansion

by Ralph Trayfalgar Updated:

In a committee hearing held on January 11, the Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corporation revealed its plans to expand its real money online gambling industry within the region. This is one of their key initiatives to help Canada’s Crown corporation revitalize the casino industry after the disastrous effects of the pandemic over the past two years. 

The Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corporation has had difficulties in the over a year following the first major breakout of the pandemic in March 2020, which is similar to the experiences of many other enterprises. During that period, the Crown agency was forced to close its gambling venues around the province, which made it substantially more difficult to manage its finances.

Slow but steady recovery for casinos

A hearing before a legislative committee was held on Tuesday, during which the Crown company released its financial report for the fiscal year 2020-2021. Manny Atwal, the business's President and CEO, has stated that the company is gradually regaining its financial footing. Because casinos have remained open for a significant amount of the current fiscal year, the company expects to see even greater progress in the coming year.

The Crown agency was able to make a net profit of C$425 million for the fiscal year 2020-21 as a result of its strong financial performance. The firm expects to earn C$570 in the current fiscal year, which represents a substantial improvement over the previous year's result. However, the sum is still less than the C$606 million that was recorded in 2019-20 before the outbreak of the virus, which is a significant decrease.

New challenges for Crown

As previously stated, the Crown agency is now reviewing whether or not to broaden the scope of its online gaming activities. According to estimates, the firm intends to generate income in the range of C$50 to C$60 million from online gambling on its licensed casino gaming platform during the current fiscal year. 

At present, PlayNow is facing stiff competition from grey market online casino sites that are established offshore, which is where most Manitoban punters have moved to for their gambling needs. 

With increased brand recognition and promotion, however, Mr. Atwal believes that the company will be able to take over the local iGaming industry in the near future. 

Even though Mr. Atwal is aware that the committee has already heard proposals to broaden the scope of online gambling in Manitoba, he believes that it is something that must be done in order for the province to become more popular among its citizens. 

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