These results show that Loto-Québec’s monopoly only exists on paper, and the Crown Corporation’s recent assessment of its market share does not reflect reality. More than two months after Loto-Québec estimated that it controlled more than half of the province’s igaming market, a new survey finds that the provincial lottery’s estimate isn’t accurate.
It’s not even close. Try 26.6%.
That’s according to a survey of adults in Québec who gamble online conducted by Mainstreet Research on behalf of the Québec Online Gaming Coalition (QOGC), an industry-led group whose members include the parent companies of BetMGM Poker and PokerStars.
The survey found that 26.6% of respondents use Loto-Québec’s website, Espace Jeux, for igaming, including peer-to-peer online poker. But 73%, nearly three in four players, “choose privately-operated platforms to play online casino games and for sports betting.”
The QOGC hopes to convince the provincial government to abandon its current system, where Loto-Québec holds a monopoly on igaming, and to adopt a setup similar to that of neighboring Ontario, where the government licenses private operators.
The survey released Friday could help QOGC a lot with that effort.
“These results show that Loto-Québec’s monopoly only exists on paper, and the Crown Corporation’s recent assessment of its market share does not reflect reality,” QOGC spokesperson Nathalie Bergeron said, referring to Loto-Québec.
Players also overwhelmingly back the coalition’s position. According to the survey, 67% of respondents favor setting up a regulated system like the one in Ontario for online poker, casino gaming, and sports betting.
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Most Players Want Independent RegulatorThat’s not all — the survey found that Québecers who gamble have a dim view of provincial authorities when it comes to igaming.
Nearly seven out of ten players (69%) reportedly “have no confidence in the Québec’s government’s ability to block [illegal offshore] sites from operating in the province.”
The survey also found that 56% of players support the creation of an independent regulator to oversee online casino gaming, online sports betting, and real money online poker in Québec. Such a regulator “would provide greater supervision over access to gaming for minors and vulnerable players.”
Québec currently does not have an independent regulator — Loto-Québec is in charge of all responsible gaming efforts in the province.
“The Québec government must consider the habits and preferences of Québecers who play online games and establish a proper regulatory regime to protect the majority of Québecers who play on privately operated platforms for online casino games and sports betting and not on the Crown Corporation’s platform,” Bergeron said.
Most respondents (61%) also said they thought revenue generated from licensing fees for private operators and future tax revenue due to the province should go toward social responsibility and responsible gaming programs in Québec, including programs for gambling addiction and prevention.
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Coalition Has Big First Year
It’s been a busy inaugural year for the QOGC.
Those meetings were described as productive by the coalition, which added that it was keeping in touch with the Finance Ministry and planned to meet with them and other stakeholders before year’s end.
In an exclusive interview with pokerfuse last September, Bergeron revealed that the NBA, MLS, and the CFL support the idea of having a regulated system for igaming in Québec similar to that in Ontario.
The coalition’s eight members are Apricot Investments Limited, Bet99, Betway, DraftKings, Entain plc, Flutter Entertainment, Games Global Limited, and Rush Street Interactive (RSI). Flutter owns PokerStars, while Entain owns half of BetMGM — with MGM Resorts International owning the other half.
Mainstreet Research surveyed 1,010 adult players aged 18 and older living in Québec using automated telephone interviews between September 21 and October 2.