News release

Annual Report Shows Higher Net Income

The Nova Scotia Gaming Corp. reported net income of $132.6 million for the year ended March 31, 1999. This represents a 3.9 per cent increase over the $127.6 million generated a year before.

The major source of revenue for the corporation comes from lottery activities operated through the Atlantic Lottery Corp. Revenues this year were $317.2 million compared with $302.5 million last year, a 4.9 per cent increase. This translates into profit of $127.1 million for the year, compared with $119.3 million last year generated from ticket lottery and video lottery programs.

Overall, total casino revenues are up this year, increasing to $78.9 million from $76.9 million last year. The Halifax casino generated gaming revenue before taxes of $50.2 million, compared with $48.2 million in 1998. Revenue before taxes in Sydney was down slightly from $25.8 million to $25.7 million.

Work on the new $97-million Halifax casino is expected to be complete early in the year 2000. Under the terms of the construction contract, the casino is required to be completed by Sept. 15, 1999. The casino operator, Metropolitan Entertainment Group, is required to pay the Nova Scotia Gaming Corp. $10,000 per day from Sept. 16 until the casino is completed.

The project is generating 240 full-time construction jobs and 340 spinoff jobs. Upon completion, the new casino will employ about 785 workers, which is 300 more than the current operation.

After considerable negotiation, the Nova Scotia Gaming Corp. gave notice in March of its intention to withdraw from the Atlantic Lottery Corp. because a new agreement for sharing profits could not be reached. Under the existing agreement, Nova Scotia was subsidizing the other three Atlantic provinces and being shortchanged $4 million to $4.5 million each year.

The gaming corporation intends to withdraw its video lottery operations on Nov. 30, 1999, and its traditional ticket lotteries on March 31, 2000. The new Nova Scotia lottery is expected to create about 110 jobs, increase the gaming corporation's profit by about $4.5 million per year, and generate an additional $5 million annually in related economic spinoffs.

The lottery's operational office will be in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality and the corporation's headquarters will be strengthened and continued in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

This year, close to $2 million was directed to initiatives for problem gambling. The casinos paid $1 million to the Department of Health for research, education and treatment of problem gambling. In addition, video lottery retailers and the Nova Scotia Gaming Corp. contributed $761,000 to the Nova Scotia Gaming Foundation, established to fund programs or projects in problem gaming research, prevention and education.

As the Nova Scotia Gaming Corp. moves forward in its business for 1999-2000, there is promise of another exciting year of growth. "In the coming year, our priority will be to establish the Nova Scotia lottery. This will mean hiring more staff and increasing the profits and economic benefits to the province," said Dara Gordon, vice-chair of the corporation. "We will continue to advance our initiatives for responsible gaming. We will also work closely with our video lottery retailers to provide better education and more consistent standards."

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Contact:

Julia Watt
Nova Scotia Gaming Corp. 902-424-2203

NOTE TO EDITORS: Copies of the annual report are available at the corporation's office, Suite 800, 5151 George St., Bank of Montreal Building, Halifax, 902-424-2203.

arc                      July 13, 1999                11:40 a.m.