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Ontarians are spending less on alcohol and cannabis, but paying into the lottery


The 2024 Ontario budget predicts lower revenue collected for the sale of booze and cannabis, with officials citing tough economic times and a lack of disposable income.

According to the province, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) is expected to see about $2.4 billion in revenue this fiscal year.

This is about $96 million less than what they have made in 2023-24 thus far.

The numbers are even smaller for the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), the Crown corporation that manages online retail and wholesale distribution of recreational cannabis.

The OCS is expected to bring in $225 million in revenue in 2024-25, which is about $17 million less than the previous fiscal year.

Officials say the decline is likely due to the overall slowing economy. Residents, officials said, have had to cut back on unnecessary purchases due to a lack of disposable income.

At the same time, gambling appears to be taking off.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is predicted to bring in about $2.6 billion in 2024-25.

So far in 2023-24, they raked in about $2.3 billion.

iGaming is slowly gaining in popularity, with about $174 million expected in revenue for 2024-25.

The provincially regulated iGaming Ontario launched in 2022, so it’s still a relatively new revenue source.

The government indicates that all of these revenue sources, along with money from Hydro One, are expected to increase at an average annual rate of 2.2 per cent between 2023-24 and 2026-27. Top Stories

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