Loto-Quebec To Enter Online Poker Industry
Saturday, 13. February 2010

The Canadian Province of Quebec has entered into a deal to open a state sanctioned online gaming service, further convoluting the world of internet gaming and online poker.

Quebec officials announced last week that the holder of the monopoly on their online lottery, Loto-Quebec, has been authorized by the provincial government to operate an internet gaming and poker portal for its citizens. The officials went on to further state that the new site would compete against other online casino and poker site and not monopolize the industry in the province.

According to reports from CTV Montreal, a single site will be set up by Loto-Quebec and the British Columbia and Atlantic Lottery Corporations in the latter half of 2010 designed to cater to citizens of Quebec. CTV Montreal further reported that over $600 million in revenue was pulled in by over 2000 different gaming operations, many of them outside of the government’s jurisdiction.

Loto-Quebec stated that aside from the obvious monetary benefits, the company and government were looking to expand protection for consumers. The site will be using advanced preventative measures, according to Loto-Quebec, that will help curb such controversial issues as age verification, problem gambling and deposit limits. The Loto-Quebec Chief Executive Officer Alain Cousineau came out with a statement saying that online gambling sites do nothing in the way of offering assistance to vulnerable players and leave governments to pick up the costs of problem gaming.

Loto-Quebec said that it is looking towards Sweden, a European nation that has nationalized gaming, as a template for their service. Svenska Spel is the government sanctioned Swedish site that offers internet gaming and online poker and is currently the only legal outlet for Swedes to pursue such activities. Svenska Spel was founded in 1997 and opened its poker room in 2006. According to PokerScout, Svenska Spel is the 13th largest online poker site in the industry.

This latest news out of Quebec follows other efforts in the United States where a number of states; including New Jersey, California and Florida; are looking to take the online gaming industry out from under the jurisdiction of the federal government so that they may open their own state run sites.

Pokerstars happily accepts US customers and offers some of the best promotions in the industry.