Loto-Québec pledges financial support for hundreds of local organizations

December 10, 2023 4:49 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Mark Keast, CDC Gaming Reports
December 10, 2023 4:49 PM

The news that Loto-Québec is donating CA$1 million (US$736,000) to local non-profit organizations (NPOs) shouldn’t get lost in all the debate about where the future of igaming and sports betting in the province should be heading,

Loto-Québec announced that they donated more than CA$1 million to NPOs this fall, thanks to initiatives under the “Giving Back is a Win-Win” program, which details some of the ways the provincial corporation financially supports the community. Total contributions last year amounted to CA$13 million.

Still, a lot of gaming news is moving around La Belle Province these days. Last week, the Quebec Online Gaming Coalition, comprising Betway, Bet99, DraftKings, Entain, Flutter, Games Global, and Rush Street Interactive and partnering with Apricot Investments, sent out the results of a study that showed that 73 percent of Quebecers play platforms for online-casino games and sports betting that are privately run, and that 72 percent who go onto Loto-Québec’s platform only do so to buy lottery tickets.

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s (Loto-Québec’s counterpart) Chief Gaming Officer Dave Pridmore told CDC Gaming Reports in October that the regulated, competitive, Ontario market “has challenged OLG to think different and push the boundaries of possibilities, not just with our product offerings, but also by optimizing our teams and establishing more efficient processes to help our speed to market.

“The open market leveled the playing field for us. We went from being the only regulated operator in the province to one of many, who all had to adhere to the same rules. This is good for OLG and good for the customer.”

So while Loto-Québec’s announcement on the $1 million giveback to NPOs is good news, observers wonder if Quebec’s Finance Ministry is thinking what those numbers would really be if they had a legal regulatory regime like Ontario’s.

The Loto-o-suivant charitable lottery game gave $500,000 to charities. Casinos and gaming halls donated over CA$400,000. Gaming establishments and employee donations also contributed.