Québec is one of the few Canadian states that allows for operation of online casinos from within the territory. The market share of Québec’s online casino industry is essentially monopolised by Loto-Québec, which has reported a 10% increase in revenues from a 6 months period with an endpoint back on the 30th of September. This means that Loto-Québec saw earnings of C$1.415 billion this year over the aforementioned 6 month period. Part of the credit was stated as being due to a firmer grasp of cost control, resulting in a 17.6% rise in net income. The report also shows that casino gambling is still growing faster than the lottery side of the state run online casino, as lottery sales saw a rise of 5%, whereas the casino portion saw a 10% increase during Q3 of this year.
Espacejeux, which is another brand of Loto-Québec is also showing large amounts of revenue intake; with lottery sales reaching C$15.4 million, which was dwarfed by the massive growth of their casino segment that boasted a massive 30% increase from the previous year, reaching up to C$45.6 million. These figures clearly show that the online casino operated by the state are growing exponentially and not just with regards to revenues, as Loto-Québec just rolled out a new site under the IP ‘Lejeudoitresterunejeu’, otherwise named as ‘A Game Should remain a Game’. This site focuses on the educational and social awareness aspect of online casinos and gambling in general. This is a big step forward to raising awareness and support for responsible gaming.
The homepage of the site states:
“Loto-Québec emphasizes the importance of setting limits in terms of time, frequency and budget in order to encourage a positive gambling experience. After all, what applies when going to the gym also applies when gambling!”
The regulatory body behind all of Québec’s gambling activities, both online and offline, is the Québec Alcohol, Racing and Gaming Commission (La Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux).
Ontario, British Columbia and Québec remain to be the only 3 states that allow for Canada based online casino operations, all of which have reported large revenue growth this year based on the aspect of their permittance of online casinos. The Online casino industry appears to be flourishing throughout Canada, as even hardliners against the thought of allowing the setting up of online casinos in their territories have no legislatory foothold, due to no overall government ruling on the matter being declared since the 1970s.
Some Nova Scotia lawmakers for example appear to have no wish to accepting the industry, however while they still have the power to ban online gambling operations from existing within their respective provinces, externally operated casinos such as those based in Europe with UKGC and MGA gambling licenses are still open to cater to Canadian players. The overall ruling of the Canadian government simply predates the advent of the internet and therefore could not take into account foreign based operations and instead opted for each state to set down their own standards for gambling activities based within their regional borders.
The aforementioned states of Ontario, British Columbia and Québec have taken a liberal stance on the matter and have seen notable economic yields as a result. It is also worth mentioning that there are no obligations to pay taxes on any gained winnings resulting from online casinos in Québec, unless you declare it as a regular source of income, which should only really be relevant to professional Poker players .However, the creation of the ‘A Game Should remain a Game’ by Loto-Québec does show an awareness that responsible gaming needs to be respected and problem gamblers and the support and prevention of at risk players is something to take in to account.