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11/18/09 – The president of Loto Quebec, Alain Cousineau, revealed in a speech to the Montreal Board of Trade on Tuesday that his organisation is about to make a bold move into online gambling, at least as far as online poker and sportsbetting is concerned.
The Canadian Press reports that as early as next summer, the company will be offering its clients online poker and sports betting. Loto-Quebec plans to collaborate with the lottery corporations in five other Canadian provinces that already offer online services, specifically British Columbia and the four Atlantic provinces.
The news agency reports that studies show that in 2009, online gambling represented a worldwide market of $25.3 billion – a 300 percent increase since 2004. In Canada, annual growth of 30 percent has been recorded since 2003, and analysts expect online gambling transactions to surpass $1 billion a year by 2012.
Over $80 million in what it terms ‘illegal transactions related to online gambling' have been evaluated, the report claims.
Cousineau revealed that Loto-Quebec has already asked the province to make the necessary regulatory changes to allow Quebec to enter the online gambling market.
Revenues from land casinos, lotteries and video lottery terminals in Quebec have levelled off for several years.