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Gaming revenue climbing, but Government getting less

Published:Sunday | January 16, 2022 | 12:05 AM

Despite a nine per cent increase in sales, government revenue from the gaming industry declined, albeit marginally, the latest quarterly report from the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission, BGLC, shows.

For the July to September 2021 period, industry sales totalled $36.514 billion, a 9.2 per cent improvement relative to the corresponding quarter in 2020. However, levies and fees paid by the sector fell one per cent to $1.98 billion.

The biggest contributor to both sales and government revenue continues to be the lottery sector, which generated 92 per cent of total sales in 2021 and 91 per cent in the 2020 quarter.

But lottery was also the biggest drag on government revenue in the 2021 quarter, having fallen off by 11 per cent, BGLC reported. That is because gaming companies paid out more by way of prizes for the period.

Revenue from the gaming industry is split four ways: the Consolidated Fund gets just over 50 per cent; the CHASE Fund gets 25-30 per cent; the BGLC gets about 17 per cent and the Jamaica Racing Commission, about two per cent.

For the quarter, the gaming industry paid out more than $31.16 billion in prizes, accounting for just over 85 per cent of the $36.51 billion in total sales. Comparatively, gaming companies paid out only 82 per cent of the $33.44 billion that punters betted in the similar period in 2020.

The BGLC also reported that overall ticket sales decreased in August 2021 “for all lottery games primarily due to the no-movement days and curfew restrictions”, while in September, it says, all lottery games decreased except for smaller ticket games, Cash Pot, Dollaz, Money Time, Hot Pick and Dream 6.

The lottery market comprises Supreme Ventures Limited and new entrants Mahoe Gaming Enterprises Limited and Goodwill Gaming Enterprises Limited, the three of which are jostling over turf, as shown by the increased prizes for the small ticket games.

neville.Graham@gleanerjm.com