Group Formed To Promote Online Gambling Regulation In Quebec

Written By Matthew Lomon on May 23, 2023
Quebec flag

A group of leading online gaming operators recently joined forces to promote regulation and responsible gambling in Quebec.

Known collectively as the Québec Online Gaming Coalition, the industry-led organization will work closely with both the Quebec government and local stakeholders. It will develop a new regulatory framework that best serves the province’s online gambling industry.

Coalition consists of familiar faces with shared goals

From sports betting to online casinos and everything in-between, coalition members come from a wide-variety of gambling-related backgrounds. The eight-member alliance consists of:

  • Apricot Investments
  • Betway
  • Bet99
  • DraftKings
  • Entain
  • Flutter
  • Games Global
  • RushStreet

Together, the group will be an advocate for transparent regulation that makes consumer safety and responsible gambling its priority.

Furthermore, the coalition plans on addressing growing advertising concerns and increasing government revenues through a new licensing system for qualified private operators.

Coalition formed in response to survey results

A recent survey by Canadian-owned market research and analytics company, Leger Marketing, gave way for the QOGC to come together. Results from the poll show:

  • 66% of respondents are in favour of establishing a licensing and tax system to regulate private online gaming operators.
  • 71% of Quebecers believe the Quebec government cannot block private online gaming operators.
  • 75% of Quebec residents agree that social responsibility programs (ex. problem gambling prevention) should be funded by tax revenues generated from a regulatory framework for private gaming sites.
  • 64% agree that these additional revenues should go towards funding various government priorities.

From here, the QOGC is intent on becoming an independent regulatory body in Quebec. However, for that to happen, coalition members must first convince the provincial government to sign on.

To do so, it will outline how the presence of an independent agency set on establishing standardized controls on responsible gaming to protect vulnerable and underage players will benefit the government itself.

On that note, QOGC members will also actively contribute to the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et Culture. This commitment allows the coalition to continue studying gaming behaviours, and subsequently, the measures necessary for improving player safety.

Report from 2014 called for similar action from Quebec government

In 2014, the Online Gambling Task Force (link in French), recommended the Quebec government implement a comparable regulatory system. Consisting of academic leaders in online and responsible gaming, and headed by Dr. Louise Nadeau, the task force reached this conclusion based on a licensing model aimed at private operators.

Specifically, the report’s recommendations stemmed from global best practices. Here, private operators are able to offer responsible, honest and secure gaming under government-authorized regulatory supervision.

Despite these findings, the report was put on the back burner by the previous administration. This decision made it possible for Ontario to pioneer Canada’s regulated online sports betting and casino market.

Coalition intends to build on Ontario licensing model

Between April 2022 and April 2023, the Ontario model has generated about $35.6 billion in handle and $1.6 billion in revenue, per iGaming Ontario.

Therefore, it’s not difficult to understand why the QOGC wants to follow along. Under this framework, which was developed in concert with iGaming Ontario, the Government of Ontario, and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, private online operators must obtain a license before operating in Ontario in order to access the market. 

Also, the Ontario government has been a significant benefactor of such a system, collecting more than $380 million in revenue from the array of private operators in year one.

Following a similar system, the QOGC believes the Quebec Government would earn revenues far beyond what the current framework provides. As a result, the coalition says, newly acquired funds could then fund key sectors of the province’s economy.

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Matthew Lomon

Matthew Lomon has been a contributor at Catena Media’s network of regional sites since July 2022. He first broke into covering the legal North American gambling industry with PlayCanada. Since then, Matthew's reporting has extended to PlayMichigan, PlayPennsylvania, and PlayIllinois. Based out of Toronto, Ontario, Matthew is an avid (bordering on fanatic) sports fan.

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