More Manitobans are buying wine and coolers and fewer are plunking coins in VLTs.
That’s the upshot of second-quarter results released today by the merged Manitoba Lotteries Corporation and Manitoba Liquor Control Commission.
On the gaming side, net income for the first six months of the fiscal year (ending Sept. 30) was $144.1 million, a drop of $17.2 million from the same period last year.
The sharpest drop in revenue is $10.8 million from VLTs followed by $6.1 million in lotteries.
Total revenue (before expenses and payments to the province) from gaming was $273.4 million in the first six months this year. Last year it was $276.9 million.
The drop in VLT revenue is part of a longer-term trend lotteries is trying to reverse by bringing in a new generation of VLTs to replace older games that have fallen out of favour with players.
Winnipeg’s two casinos saw a drop of $600,000, but that was partially offset by a $300,000 in playnow.com egaming.
On the liquor side, net profit for the first six months increased by $9.2 million over same period last year.
Driving that was a 3.4 per cent increase in sales. Wine and coolers were the big winners as sales in beer and spirits decreased.
Last April 1, the price of most popular brands of beer went up by $2 due to a combined increase in markup, supplier increase, licensee markup, bottle deposits and related provincial sales tax. The price of spirits was hiked by $0.622/litre, translating to at least a 47-cent increase on a 750ml bottle.
Total revenue for liquor for the first half of the year is $397.9 million. Last year it was $386 million.