VLT commissions temporarily increased by government

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) is temporarily increasing video lottery terminal (VLT) commissions paid to bars and restaurants across the province effective July 6.

“Saskatchewan’s tourism and hospitality sector has a reputation for creating jobs and is an important contributor to the provincial economy,” Minister Responsible for SLGA Gene Makowsky said. “The industry has been hit hard by the global pandemic and this temporary measure will provide additional revenues that will help hotel bars and restaurants maintain their operations.”

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The provincial VLT network was shutdown effective March 20 as a result of public health orders aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19. As part of the Re-open Saskatchewan plan, the VLT network resumed operations on Monday. At the same time, the commission paid to sites will temporarily increase from 15 per cent to 25 per cent. The temporary commission adjustment will be in effect until Jan. 3, 2021.

The commission is paid to site contractors for providing space for the VLTs and electrical service, paying out prizes, emptying cashboxes and cleaning the machines.

SLGA has been working with site contractors and the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC), who is contracted to maintain and operate the VLT network, to prepare for today’s reopening. This has included the introduction of new cleaning protocols and ensuring physical distancing guidelines are followed.

There are approximately 4,200 VLTs in the province operating in 569 sites in 288 communities. Provincial net income from VLTs was $155.3 million during 2019-20. Site contractor revenues were $32.5 million.