Gambling is one vice Atlantic Canadians are cutting back on during pandemic
HALIFAX -- Atlantic Canadians may be drinking more alcohol and consuming more cannabis since the pandemic began, but it seems they have been gambling a little less.
In its annual report, Atlantic Lottery says it returned more than $395 million to the four Atlantic provinces this fiscal year -- about $24 million less than its goal of $419.4 million.
Of the total profits, Nova Scotia got $131 million, New Brunswick got $124.5 million, Newfoundland and Labrador got $121.1 million, and Prince Edward Island got $18.7 million. The profit target set for Prince Edward Island was exceeded by more than $1 million, Atlantic Lottery said in a news release.
CEO Chris Keevil says the outbreak really put a damper on sales.
"The biggest impact was in the limited access for sales at retail, particularly in those last two weeks of March, along with the closure of bars and restaurants, which eliminates our destination business," Keevil said.
The absence of professional sports also hurt ALC's bottom line.
Keevil says, had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic, the corporation would have had a very strong year.
In anticipation of a greater impact on revenues in 2020-21, work is underway to move more business online to remain competitive.