Loto-Québec has recently shared that it is looking to enhance its land-based gaming amenities in Quebec. The only regulated provider of sports wagering in the province said that it is considering introducing event wagers at its casinos and gaming halls. The news comes more than a year later when the federal government legalized single-event betting.
Single-event betting was officially introduced in August 2021, when the federal government passed The Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act or Bill C-218 as law. It amended the Criminal Code to allow wagering on single events such as the Super Bowl. The ban was lifted as a way of helping provincially run casinos to recover from the 2020 closures.
Exploring Retail Sports Wagers
In Quebec, single-game betting is currently offered only at the Crown corporation products since August 2021. The Crown provides online betting on sports via its Mise-o-jeu+ sportsbook. And now a spokesperson for the Crown agency, Renaud Dugas, said that the corporation is exploring options to offer sports betting at its casinos and gaming halls.
But even after the legalization of single-game wagers, the new offering is still limited as provincial casinos currently do not have Las Vegas-like sportsbooks. Ontario which also does not have retail sportsbooks introduced its own regulated market for online gaming and sports betting, which has provided much easier access to online sports betting for the province’s bettors.
The inclusion of sports betting at casinos could be quite beneficial to the country’s second-largest province. For instance, in its financial report for Q1 of 2022-2023, the Crown reported that it has generated CA$8.3 million in revenue. This was an increase of 7.7% from last year’s same quarter. In addition to that, online sports betting saw a 33.3% increase in online sports betting.
Casinos and gambling halls delivered CA$263.4 million in revenue, or CA$186.4 million more in comparison to the same quarter but from last year. This was also CA$34.6. (+15.1%) in comparison to the first quarter of the pre-unprecedented situation year. The increase on a yearly basis can be explained by the fact that there was no disruption in land-based casino activities this year.
Strike Comes to an End
Over the last few months, Loto-Québec had trouble with its professional staff which came out on strike in August and September. However, in the second half of September, the employer and the workers finally shook hands on a new collective agreement. The 455 workers represented by Syndicat des professionnels du gouvernement du Québec ratified the new compact.
According to the union, the new agreement is set to be in effect until December 31, 2027, and over 96% of unionized employees have voted in favour of it. By agreeing to the new terms the professional staff returned to their positions, and the Crown corporation was able to renew normal operations, such as launching the new and improved version of Lotto 6/49.
Source: Zochodne, Geoff “Loto-Québec ‘Exploring’ Sports Betting at Casinos and Gaming Halls” Covers, October 13, 2022