The LCBO is a major cash cow for the much-indebted Ontario government. Last year, it returned $1.9 billion in dividends to provincial coffers – on top of the approximately $280 million in HST it makes off the sales. It’s not hard to see how it makes that much. When a consumer buys a bottle of alcohol, the LCBO takes:
- 52 per cent of the cost of wine
- 59 per cent of the cost of spirits
- 39 per cent of the cost of beer
An LCBO spokeswoman says those markups fund Ontario’s social programs as well as the LCBO’s operating costs.
I’m not opposed to the LCBO’s existence but that is a lot of markup on a bottle of wine.