BCLC TO SHARE ONLINE POKER WITH LOTO QUEBEC
GTechG2 to power jointly hosted platform
The launch this week of Loto Quebec's new internet gambling operation EspaceJeux revealed that online poker will be offered on a platform that the British Columbia Lottery Corporation will partner in at the beginning of 2011.
The joint platform will be hosted in Montréal, Quebec and will be powered by GTechG2, with customer account management software by OpenBet Ltd, which also supplies some of the table games. OpenBet has already opened Canadian offices in Montréal as the deal has developed.
In addition to the eight variants of poker that are on the menu, Espacejeux will offer Quebecers 24-hour-a-day table games like Baccarat, Sic Bo and Red Dog as well as various types of Blackjack and Roulette. Other games like sports betting and bingo will be added to the offering at a later date.
Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Loto Quebec, Marcel Croux, was charged with putting the online gambling operation together after provincial government approval was secured in January this year.
Loto-Québec's CEO, Alain Cousineau said this week that Croux and the new business unit's general manager, Francois Poulin, had worked with a multi-disciplinary team to bring the project to fruition, and complimented them for their hard and professional work.
“Their unflagging teamwork has made it possible for us to offer Quebecers a site that is entertaining and competitive, and that faithfully reflects Loto Québec’s public image,” Cousineau said.
A company spokesman said that researched revenue growth in Canada showed that the internet gambling market grew 30 percent between 2003 and 2008 and is anticipated to reach around a billion dollars by 2012. In the past almost all of this had gone to offshore entities.
Loto Québec had therefore decided to follow the example of European governments that had legalised online gambling for their citizens, channelling the gaming offering in a controlled circuit and inside a secure environment characterised by many responsible gaming options.