Loto-Québec Celebrates Online Anniversary and New Deals

This month, Loto-Quebec celebrated the tenth anniversary of its online gaming site. It did it by awarding $54,000 to some lucky players. Meanwhile, Loto-Quebec expanded its online gaming portfolio with Live5 and Everi Digital.

There are a lot of good things happening for Loto-Quebec and its players. But the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars due to the coronavirus pandemic creates worries behind the scenes.

Celebrating 10 Years Online

The tenth anniversary of online gaming offerings from Loto-Quebec benefited players via several promotions. The most recent was a fairly simple one. Players simply used a weekly promo code when playing any online slot machine game to earn an entry into that week’s drawing. At the end of each week, one finalist was chosen.

The three finalists were Michel Desjean, Stephanie Houle, and Gilles Labelle. And in the end, there was one grand prize winner. Gille Labelle won $50,000, and House and Desjean each won $2,000.

Everi Adds More Video Slots

At the end of July, Everi Digital announced that it would be delivering online gaming content to Loto-Quebec. The deal came from a partnership between Everi and Scientific Games’ OpenGaming ecosystem, delivered via its Remote Game Server (RGS).

This deal brought new games to the Canadian site, such as Star Magic and Vortex. Six games started the integration, and more followed, all in English and French.

Another announcement brought more digital gaming content from Live5, a UK company with ties to Scientific Games. Some of those new games included Billy Gone Wild and Hercules.

Many players may not recognize the Live5 Games name, but their games are often prominently featured on sites like Leo Vegas and PokerStars, as well as in live gaming venues.

Relocating Salon de jeux de Quebec

The reason for the move is admirable. Loto-Quebec will relocate its Salon de jeux de Quebec from the Vanier area because of its current proximity to vulnerable populations. Per a new KPMG study, the move will reduce their access to gaming and promote social responsibility.

Loto-Quebec also promises that no additional video lottery terminals will replace the 335 VLTs leaving the area with the centre.

Mega Centre Beauport in Quebec City will house the Salon de jeux de Quebec from November 2021. The prize claim office and administrative offices will move to the new location as well. This gives plenty of time to arrange the move.

The area will allow the same gaming offerings but from a place suggested by the material deprivation index. Mega Centre Beauport will also be more accessible for more customers, easier to find and with more parking. Loto-Quebec CEO Lynne Roiter calls the new location a dynamic entertainment hub.

Calculating Covid-Related Losses

The coronavirus pandemic hit nearly every corner of Canada, and Loto-Quebec was certainly not immune from business losses.

Loto-Quebec has yet to reveal the exact losses, but Roiter recently spoke with the Montreal Gazette about the impact. She noted that they closed their four casinos and two gambling halls on March 13. Two days later, they shut down all video lottery machines across the province. And on March 20, they ceased operations of all retail and kiosk lottery ticket sales.

Everything went online only. Luckily for Loto-Quebec, it could promote its already-substantial online gaming and lottery options, though that revenue certainly didn’t compensate for the land-based business. Roiter said that retail lottery tickets previously served as 85% to 90% of all lottery sales. Further, lottery machines comprised close to 50% of Loto-Quebec’s overall revenue.

Roiter estimated that Loto-Quebec may have lost $300 million for the March-June closures.

Of course, the pain will last much longer. The closures lasted longer than anticipated, and the threats of new coronavirus waves and outbreaks keep land-based gaming options to a minimum.

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing reopening delays, Loto-Quebec had to lay off 2,250 of its 6,000 employees in late June.

What remains to be seen is the length of the layoffs, as well as the impact of the revenue losses on the communities that benefit from Loto-Quebec profits. Online gambling did help bring in some revenue, so some distributions will be made, but they will likely be much lower than usual.

 

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell has been writing about poker and gambling since 2004. From her days in the WPT offices to covering summers of WSOP tournament action, she also followed gambling legislation to Washington D.C. and women-only poker to the Bahamas. Meanwhile, she lived in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for many years before moving back to her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Now, Jen travels less, writing about poker and online gambling from her home with her two dogs watching her every move. In her spare time, she follows politics, works on her never-finished novels, and learns Italian in the hopes of retiring to Italy someday.

If you want to know more, you can follow Jen on Twitter @WriterJen

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