Loto-Quebec Directs Players Online for Lottery

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things in today’s society. Among the many directives of health officials, people are asked to avoid large gatherings, but even small groups that may congregate in shops and stores has become dangerous.

Canadians have made many changes as the coronavirus has spread. Loto-Quebec is one of the many companies that has had to adjust for the sake of public safety, as well as the safety of its employees.

Last Week, Claim Centres Closed

Just last week, Loto-Quebec announced the closure of its prize claim centres in Montreal and Quebec City.

Customers with winning tickets for sums larger than $600 needed to submit their claim forms via mail or contact Loto-Quebec’s customer service department. Anything smaller could be redeemed at any retail location.

All information about how to handle winnings was provided on the Loto-Quebec website.

This Week, Lotto Terminals Closed

It shouldn’t be surprising that a virus moves quickly. The pandemic has forced governments and health officials to take actions and consistently revise those actions as the situation changes.

In Quebec, Premier Francois Legault has taken to providing daily briefings to the media and citizens of the province to keep everyone informed.

This week, Legault noted the continuing growth of positive cases of COVID-19, creating an urgent need to limit its spread. In light of that, he ordered all non-essential businesses and companies to close this week and remain shuttered until April 13.

More specifically, though, Legault asked Loto-Quebec to assist in the efforts to keep people from venturing out of their homes to purchase lotto tickets by changing its procedures.

Loto-Quebec responded with a press release that it would immediately take steps to suspend the sale of lottery tickets and deactivate sales terminals at retailers as quickly as possible. This would also be the case for terminals at kiosks operated by nonprofit organizations.

They did begin making contact with all of the 8,500 retailers and kiosk operators to inform them of the intent to cease lottery ticket sales so that establishments may close or reduce pedestrian traffic for their employees’ safety.

Mitigating Losses

Loto-Quebec took the opportunity to remind customers that they can purchase lottery tickets online.

The process is relatively simple, as customers need only log on to the website and open an Espacejeux account with a debit or credit card. The only requirements are that the customer be 18 years of age or older and live in Quebec.

Players will be able to set a deposit limit if they choose, per all responsible gambling guidelines.

In addition, all past purchases remained valid. And the time period in which players can redeem their winning tickets has been extended from 12 months to 18 months in lieu of the situation.

For players with questions, Loto-Quebec established a page on its website to answer many frequently-asked questions about lottery ticket expirations, playing favorite numbers, and even the ability to play tickets in groups.

More Than Just Lotto Tickets

Loto-Quebec offers more than lottery tickets online. The site is a full online gambling platform, complete with online slot games, poker, and bingo.

In the casino section, players will also find live dealer games, which are table games played with actual people dealing the games from a studio. The player is not on video, but he or she can play blackjack, roulette, and baccarat with live dealers.

There is also a sports betting option. While Canada is restricted to parlay betting and has not yet legalized single-event betting, there are some wagering options with regard to sports and similar activities.

With casinos and gambling halls – and poker clubs and bingo halls – closed indefinitely, players have a variety of options through the Loto-Quebec portal.

$1M Donation to Moisson and More

On the same day that Loto-Quebec announced it would close all terminals at retailers and kiosks, they also made a separate announcement that may have gotten lost in the shuffle.

Loto-Quebec donated $1 million to Quebec’s Moisson centres, fairly distributed between the 19 locations. Further, they will support Moisson “in a more sustained manner over the next three years, to aid them in their mission of helping the most vulnerable among us.”

But there was more.

As soon as gambling halls and casinos closed last week throughout Quebec, all Loto-Quebec partners took stock of food and delivered it all to food banks. They also looked for any types of supplies that could be helpful to healthcare workers. Those items were donated as well.

Finally, Loto-Quebec was able to obtain supplies for healthcare workers. Some of those items included disinfectant products, antiseptic gel and wipes, and more than 30,000 N95 masks. This was donated to the Ministere de la Sante et des Services Sociaux (MSSS).


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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