Industry Reports

Controversial Quebec City Gaming Expansion Would Stop at Salon de Jeux Relocation

Quebec City’s gaming field has been the topic of a wide discussion including supporters and opponents of a gaming expansion within the capital. Finance Minister Éric Girard recently scrapped previously considered expansion of Salon de Jeux in Quebec City, as it had the potential to jeopardize Casino de Charlevoix’ future and result in field cannibalization down the road.

Cruise ships with their casino venues making a stop at Quebec have also been taken into account. Over the past few months, a potential gaming expansion in Quebec City has been concerning both locals and businesses operating in the area.

Salon the Jeux has been known as a gaming location welcoming people from near and far, offering them a limited range of gaming opportunities. Last year, Coalition Avenir Québec commenced a conversation around its expansion and transformation into a well-rounded casino location.

Gaming Hall Would not Become Casino

This idea was eyed as a possible magnet for tourist and people ready to try their luck at the brand new casino in the capital. Officials were willing to see gaming expansion at the already popular Quebec City frequented by millions of Canadians and foreigners.

The existing gaming hall was pinpointed as a location that could see investment and the addition of more diverse gaming offerings. Finance Minister Eric Girard is determined to prevent this from happening and his recent statement on the subject reflects his position.

He made it clear that a gaming hall transformation into a casino is now off the table and neither the coalition nor other officials would consider it. It could be recalled that earlier this year Loto-Quebec launched its own evaluation on Salon de Jeux’ impact on Charlevoix and Quebec City.

Émilie Foster, Member of Parliament for Charlevoix – Côte-de-Beaupré, pointed out that all conclusions are necessary. The study in question has not been concluded, but even without the information it would provide, Minister Girard was ready to shut down the expansion conversation. Casino de Charlevoix’ future was at risk, according to the initial evaluation issued in June.

Casino de Charlevoix Tilted the Scales

In the 2017-2018 period, some 34 percent of the individuals traveling to the area do so just because they wanted to gamble at Casino de Charlevoix. In addition to that, the transformation of the gaming hall into a casino venue could result in gaming revenue drop reaching CA$13 million.

It should also be taken into account that since its launch, the casino venue has witnessed a 40-percent drop in its employees’ number. However, the relocation of this venue is still considered, as a new location would mean new clientele and a possible revenue jump as a result of that. The evaluation issued earlier this summer was reviewed by the Minister and Loto-Québec President Lynne Roiter coming to the conclusion that this would be a step in a positive direction.

The Huron-Wendat Nation recently expressed a desire to launch gaming operation in Quebec City. A First Nation casino venue might be in the works, possibly in collaboration with Loto-Quebec. Konrad Sioui, Grand Chief of the Huron-Wendat Nation, said the new endeavor would offer additional funding for the tribal community.