The Manitoba government is disappointed to find that its venture into online gambling is generating far less money than expected.A spokesperson for Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, Andrea Kowal, said, “It’s a very, very competitive market and whether we entered it late or not, the fact is there are choices customers are always going to make in any sort of commerce, including e-commerce. There are a lot of other sites out there that Manitobans can play on.”
Manitoba launched its first online gambling site a year ago and predicted it would generate $1.5 million in net revenues in its first year and grow to $17 million annually by 2018. However, in the six month period ending Sept 30th the website only brought in $300,000. Revenues were $1.8 million but expenses were $1.5 million.
As a result the government is adjusting its forecast for the next two years; however, it will not be making the numbers public.
Kowal said that part of the problem was the delay in launching bingo games and lottery ticket sales. However, she said that a further 5000 people have signed up in the last six months. Overall Kowal said, “We’re still very positive about the product and … it is something that is growing steadily.”