Before I began at Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries in early November 2019, I had very little understanding of the corporation’s investment in corporate responsibility for the Province of Manitoba. I knew the corporation sponsored certain events and had a good brand in terms of supporting various communities. What I didn’t know was the true extent and impact this responsibility has to Manitobans. Since then, I have learned so much more about our purpose of enriching the lives of Manitobans and how our priorities support that. Since much of this was new to me, it might be new to you as well. So, we’ll be sharing “Our Stories” about the important things we do as a corporation, and as a team of employees who are dedicated to enriching the lives of Manitobans.
Like many Manitobans, my family and I like to attend events and festivals – when we were able to and will again soon – and that is where we saw some of Liquor & Lotteries’ sponsorship presence. Events like the Manitoba Marathon, Folk Festival, Morden Corn & Apple Festival, or Ballet in the Park. I have come to realize events like this exemplify how the corporation is proudly supporting Manitoba’s communities through sponsorships and often with enthusiastic groups of employee and family volunteers. It is abundantly clear that we take a lot of pride in being a part of these celebrations and it makes me very proud to be a part of such a committed and dedicated team.
In addition to community involvement, we focus a great deal of energy to ensure our customers have positive experiences enjoying our products and services, and that they do so in a responsible manner for their well-being. We provide training for our employees to help our customers achieve this goal. We also provide great information for our customers through our GameSense and DrinkSense programs which can be found online and at our casinos and Liquor Marts.
Part of our commitment to Manitoba is to strengthen our relationships with various community stakeholders and business partners. Our success depends on their success. This means being a good partner with the many independent businesses who provide liquor, gaming, and cannabis products throughout the province. During the pandemic, these relationships have become even more important as we strive to maintain a strong product distribution network and provide guidance as operations are impacted by COVID-19.
Not only does Liquor & Lotteries contribute in a community and social way, we also provide significant economic contributions that benefit all Manitobans. Our net-income is directed to the Province of Manitoba which supports essential programs and services such as healthcare, education, social services, and much more. For the 2019/20 fiscal year, I was pleased to report that with the great effort and dedication of our entire team, we generated $606 million in profits for the Province.
While we’ve seen success, we’ve also faced significant challenges that have impacted our operations as well as our employees, customers, business partners, and net-income results. In my early days at Liquor & Lotteries, we responded decisively to a rash of dangerous thefts and robberies at our Winnipeg Liquor Marts. The installation of controlled entrances at those locations have returned our stores to a place where our customers and employees are able to shop and work without a threat of violence. That’s a great relief to us all.
As COVID-19 arrived, our Pandemic Planning Team initiated a new supply chain for personal protective equipment and implemented comprehensive procedures to ensure the safety of customers and employees. Providing our employees with the protective equipment and safety training, implementing numerous safety protocols at the casinos and Liquor Marts, providing assistance to VLT siteholders with their safety protocols, and increasing our ability to deliver products and services to our customers online, all show our commitment to ensuring our customers and employees were served safely during an extraordinary time.
These are just a few examples of the high priority we place on our customers, our community and business partners, our employees, and the profits we return to the Province. We want to share more stories with you about our purpose of enriching the lives of Manitobans and why it’s critical to our success. I invite you to continue to stop by “Our Stories” to learn more about the many things we do to benefit our province and its people.
Manny Atwal, President & CEO
Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries