Recent years have been prosperous indeed for the American gambling industry. Across the border in Canada, there has also been some progress in terms of privately operated gambling companies being able to operate.
Mainstreet Research recently released the results of a survey that had been commissioned by the Québec Online Gaming Coalition. It produced some interesting results that indicate there’s a desire to change the way in which gambling is run in the province.
In Québec, it’s not private companies that run the gambling industry. It’s the government who runs Loto-Québec’s Espace Jeux. A similar situation existed in Ontario until last year when privately-run companies such as DraftKings were allowed to receive licenses to operate in the province.
It was in May 2023 that the Québec Online Gaming Coalition (QOGC) was created. Among its members are leading gambling companies such as Flutter Entertainment, Entain, DraftKings and Rush Street Interactive
A key aim of the QOGC is to see the online gambling system in Québec go along the same lines as Ontario where huge revenuesare being earned. This would include commercial operators being able to launch in the province allowing them to further expand their business in Canada.
Over 1,000 people took part in the survey and the QOGC members are pleased with its findings. 73% of those surveyed said that they use online casinos that are run by private companies.
Only 26.6% use the iGaming platform run by Loto-Québec when they want to bet on sport or play casino games and hopefully win big jackpots. Of those that do use it 72% go online to purchase lottery tickets and the QOGC see these results as indicating that the days of a state-enforced monopoly in Québec should have its days numbered.
Nathalie Bergeron is a spokesperson for the QOGC and commented: “These results show that Loto-Québec’s monopoly only exists on paper.” The spokesperson added that the Québec government should now “consider the habits and preferences” of gamblers in the province.
The survey also showed that 67% of those questioned wanted to see regulation of private online gambling sites. Establishing a licensed and taxed regime is the way forward, they believed. 56% were in favor of a regulatory body being set up to deal not just with private companies but also Loto-Québec.
There have already been some talks concerning future regulation held between the QOGC and the Québec Finance Ministry
Loto-Québec has not welcomed the survey and questioned the true intentions of the QOGC. Their spokesperson Renaud Dugas mentioned how coalition members were illegally offering online casino games to players in Québec.