Loto-Quebec Grapples with Illegal Online Gambling Sites

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Illegal Sites. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Loto-Quebec has been forced to seek the assistance of authorities in order to tackle illegal gambling sites.

Loto-Quebec has sought police help and assistance from federal authorities in its struggle against illegal online gambling websites.  Last Sunday, Loto-Quebec’s new CEO, Jean-Francois Bergeron, addressed Montreal’s Board of Trade and expressed his concerns that the company has been struggling with establishing itself within the online gambling sphere.

Currently, several websites promote free-to-play gambling, which is technically legal.  However, many of these sites masquerade as gateways to pay-to-play platforms, which the province has not yet regulated. This is causing a growing number of users to be drawn to these websites where they are not afforded the essential player protection, which is provided on Loto-Quebec’s regulated platform.

Assistance Sought from Authorities

At the conference, Jean-Francois Bergeron noted that Loto-Quebec is doing its best to fight the issue of illegal online casinos but added that the federal government and public security services have to do their part too. According to Bergeron, this is not simply passing the buck since they are all on the same team. He explained that TV ads of the websites are legal, although their pay-to-play model is not, since the only legally regulated online gambling services can be provided by the Crown.

Loto-Quebec CEO believes that the company needs to simplify its registration process for new users since it is far more complicated than on the offshore gambling sites. According to Bergeron, this is the initial tipping point for players since the process does not just involve creating an account and putting in credit card details but encompasses many additional checks before a user can start playing.

However, Bergeron does not consider giving up the fight against illicit gambling websites, stating that Loto-Quebec must do more to enhance its current offering. He also noted that many TV channels and sports teams advertise these problematic websites.  In his opinion, those who partner with these sites should consider the reputational risks from promoting illegal businesses.

Bergeron pointed out that single-event sports wagering was legalised recently and has been something that fans have sought for a long time. He said that Loto-Quebec would have implemented this type of betting a long time ago if it legally could. Bergeron insisted that until all offshore sites are barred, the federal government must provide a more level playing field for Crown institutions.

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Bojan Lipovic - Digital Project Manager

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