Call it a sign of the times, but it looks like management at Casino du Lac Leamy in Gatineau, Quebec (just across the river in Ottawa, Canada) won’t be getting their annual bonuses. Anther loss for the Canadian casino gambling industry.
About 350 unionized employees who usually score a sweet annual bonus won’t be seeing the extra cash this year. That’s because revenue at the casino is down. In the first three quarters of last year, the revenue was 10 percent lower than during the same period of 2012.
The employees are eligible for their bonus if revenue hits 95% of the target, but that didn’t happen this year. So are online casinos to blame? Or something worse?
That’s up for debate. The casino in question is undergoing construction, so it’s not as pleasant of an experience as it could be. What’s more, there’s roadwork being done on the arteries leading into the casino. That’s causing some people to stay home. But online casinos could be to blame.
And we aren’t talking about the offshore properties that serve residents of Quebec and Ontario. The government of Quebec actually runs its own online casino and poker site called Espace Jeux (that’s French, in case you’re wondering).
The site has been operational for a few years and it attracts scores of players from Quebec. But if you live across the river in Ontario, you can’t play. So casino players in Ottawa tend to hit Lac Leamy or play at an offshore site.
If casino management thought that revenue was down now, they better plan ahead for a few years from now. The government of Ontario has a plan of its own to expand casinos in Ontario, and that could include new properties close to the Quebec border. Lac Leamy could find itself facing competition within just a few miles (or kilometers) from its doorstep.
The Ontario government also has plans to start an online casino and poker room of its own. That could lead those who frequent Casino Lac Leamy to stay home instead and play their favorite casino games at a government-regulated site.
We’ll be watching closely to see what happens. Stay locked to the Prism Casino blog for all the details.