B.C. Lottery Corp axes 67 staff as gamblers move online
Layoffs affect 29 workers in Kamloops, 33 in Vancouver and five field staff
The B.C. Lottery Corporation says flattening revenue figures, as more gamblers move online, are forcing it to cut costs and layoff staff across B.C.
The job cuts including 29 workers in Kamloops, 33 in Vancouver and five field staff who work around the province.
Wherever possible, roles were eliminated through attrition and voluntary termination, the corporation said in Friday morning in a statement.
Interim President Jim Lightbody says the B.C. corporation is facing the same challenges as lottery agencies across Canada.
"We have a systemic issue that all gaming jurisdictions are facing and that is a mature marketplace with rising operating costs and marginal revenue growth,” said Lightbody.
Overall, the Crown corporation plans to cut $20 million in operating costs and $20 million from capital projects to sustain its current net income.
BCLC generates more than $1 billion in revenue for the provincial government each year.
Gamblers heading online
Lightbody says the future of gambling is online, as games of chance move away from casinos and onto smartphones.
"We now actually provide the e-gaming services for the province of Manitoba," he notes.
The opposition critic for gambling in B.C., NDP MLA Shane Simpson, raised concerns the cuts could affect programs for problem gamblers.
"Where are those 67 jobs coming from?" said Simpson.
"Make sure you're not trimming on the side that helps you achieve issues of social responsibility."
Lightbody insists social responsibility remains a key commitment, but declined to provide specifics on the job cuts
"All sort of levels, all sorts of departments were affected," he said.
With files from Luke Brocki