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Loto-Quebec Open For Business Amidst Controversy

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Dec/03/2010
Lotto Quebec

The much anticipated Loto-Quebec has opened for business in the Canadian province. 

Loto-Quebec is a legal online gambling venture that has been soliciting some 100,000 regular casino players with $20 “free bet” offers in recent weeks.

It looks to compete with one of Internet gambling’s most successful licensing ventures since 1999, the Kahnawake Reserve just outside of Montreal.

From the Montreal Gazette:

The most cited justification for Quebec's entry into online gambling has been the desire to offer a state-controlled and regulated alternative to so-called illegal Internet gambling sites, some of which are hosted in the South Shore Mohawk reserve of Kahnawake.

Of course, the multi-billion dollar online gambling sector, which has existed for well over a decade prior to Lotto-Quebec’s debut would certainly disagree that Kahnawake provides “illegal betting options”.  The industrious Kahnawake Mohawks run their business from a sovereign nation. 

Already, Loto-Quebec is coming under fire from the Montreal public health department who expressed "apprehension about the large amounts of promotion that could be undertaken" by Loto-Quebec to promote Internet gambling.

Quebec's public health directors had called for a one-year moratorium on any state-sponsored Internet gambling sites, according to the Gazette.

Among the biggest concerns facing Loto-Quebec, vulnerable seniors for whomAQRP president Luc Vallerand claims are at most risk of becoming dependent and addicted to online gambling.

"We think that Loto-Quebec's offer of Internet gambling is going to give them a false sense of security," Vallerand told the Gazette.

"Players will think there is no danger or potential for problems on Loto-Quebec's site. And they may not (easily) see what it is costing them because a credit card can be used."

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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