VLT revenues fold with the bad economy

Tough times are putting the squeeze on Alberta’s take on video lottery terminal revenues.

CALGARY — Tough times are putting the squeeze on Alberta’s take on video lottery terminal revenues.

And Premier Ed Stelmach’s decision to rescind a steep tax hike on booze has stripped the province of 20 per cent of its expected share of alcohol sales in this fiscal year’s first quarter.

The province’s first quarter budget update shows that while slot machines and lottery ticket revenues held to expectations, its VLT revenue fell by nearly 14 per cent, from $616 million to $532 million.

Christine Wronko, spokeswoman for the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, says economic realities have people spending money differently.

Jarod McGowan of Shuckaluck’s Public Ale House says his VLT revenue is down 25 per cent this year.

He says people used to play the machines all day long, and now it’s really only at night.

“They’re obviously tightening up their budgets — they can’t afford it.”

Money raised through gaming goes into the Alberta Lotteries Fund which benefits activities and infrastructure in areas ranging from sports to the arts.

Wronko said it’s possible the $84 million shortfall from forecast could negatively impact those activities.

Just Posted

City Hall Park construction begins next week

Construction to update Red Deer’s City Hall Park is set to begin… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Jazz at the Lake begins

The 16 annual event began Friday and runs until Sunday in Sylvan Lake

Photos: Lunchtime tunes on Alexander Way

Final concert of the summer

Clearwater regional firefighters in B.C.

Crew operating west of Prince George

PHOTOS: Samson Cree Nation Pow Wow

The Samson Cree Nation hosted its annual Pow Wow, celebrating youth last weekend

WATCH: Feasting at Red Deer Ribfest this weekend

Ribfest runs until Sunday at Rotary Recreation Park

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

OTTAWA — Canadians are generally supportive of current immigration levels, a survey… Continue reading

Quebec announces plan to compensate taxi drivers after Uber’s arrival

MONTREAL — The Quebec government has outlined how it intends to compensate… Continue reading

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

OTTAWA — The loss of Saudi Arabian resident physicians in Canada’s hospitals… Continue reading

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Death Valley worker has seen highest, lowest temperatures

LAS VEGAS — Thousands of tourists descend on Death Valley each summer… Continue reading

Banff’s Sunshine ski resort upset with proposed guidelines from Parks Canada

BANFF, Alta. — An internationally known ski resort in Banff National Park… Continue reading

Folk singer Ian Tyson cancels show due to ‘serious medical situation’

TORONTO — Canadian folk singer-songwriter Ian Tyson has cancelled his appearance at… Continue reading

Judge lifts publication ban, revealing details about Fredericton shooting

FREDERICTON — Newly released documents reveal how last week’s deadly attack unfolded… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month