Online Gambling Becomes Reality in QuebecPublished February 17, 2010 by OCR Editor
Legalization benefits all.
Following government approval, from September 2010 Loto-Quebec will offer legal online gambling. The decision has received criticism from anti-gambling groups who are fearful of an increase in gambling addiction.
Supporters, however, state that regulated gambling is the safest option and that the internet does not create addiction and can, indeed, offer many routes to curtail and support it. Pro gambling groups also highlight that the level of addiction among gamblers has been static despite the rapid growth of the online market.
Loto-Quebec already has plans for weekly gambling limits, an option for self-exclusion and strict age limits. "This is a way for us to channel the gaming offering in a controlled circuit and environment whose integrity will be beyond reproach," said Loto-Quebec CEO, Alain Cousineau.
The Government Benefits
This decision is expected to prompt discussion about the wider regulation of online gambling in Canada. States that currently impose an online gambling ban will likely keep a close eye on the Quebec model and consider the future of online gambling within their localities.
Aside from providing regulation and responding to a growth market, the legalization of online gambling has another positive angle; the government is expected to receive around $50 million in revenue over the next few years.
According to Cousineua, Quebec is hoping that the arrival of local regulation will follow the experience of the Swedes. The day the publicly owned Swedish lottery corporation's poker site went online it attracted 25% of the market share within four hours of its launch. The online gaming market in Sweden generated sales of $600 million in 2008.
With the double-pronged argument of consumer protection and government income generation, the pressure is now on for legal gambling across Canada.