Loto-Québec will not require the double poke for its employees.
The Crown corporation announced on Sept.15 that although visitors require proof of double vaccination against COVID-19, workers do not.
The decision comes one week after Québec’s government concluded a $1million vaccine lottery – aimed to increase vaccination rates.
“It’s a sensitive subject, as we can see everywhere, and the employer doesn’t have all the mechanism to impose it,” said Jean-Francois Bergeron, Loto-Québec president and CEO.
Bergeron: majority of Loto-Québec employees are vaccinated
Bergeron says Loto-Québec casinos are still very safe.
For starters, all casinos are still only operating at 50% capacity at the moment. Some restaurants remain closed, and employees must have their masks on at all times.
“There have been no outbreaks. It’s pretty well managed from a safety standpoint,” said Bergeron.
Based on anonymous surveys of other companies and Québec’s 77.5% vaccination rate, Bergeron suggests employees fall into a similar range.
However, Loto-Québec has no stats to determine the exact number.
Government of Québec encouraging vaccinations
Loto-Québec’s timing comes at an interesting juncture.
Just a week earlier, the Québec government wrapped up an unprecedented $1million vaccine lottery. The campaign was the government’s way to increase provincial vaccination rates across all age groups.
Only those who received the double dose were eligible.
William Carrière of Montérégie took home the grand prize.
But the campaign also awarded 16 youth a $20,000 scholarship each.
Some businesses offered additional prizes, including a spa package, iPhone 12s, and a seven-night stay at a Cancun resort.
Loto-Québec bounces back
It will be intriguing to see if Loto-Québec’s approach impacts its bottom line moving forward.
The provincial lottery saw a significant bounce back in its first fiscal quarter (ending on June 28). Its consolidated income was net $196 million – an increase of $260 million from a loss of $64M during the same period last year.
Overall revenues are up 154.9%. These numbers still fall short of pre-COVID numbers, however.
The Crown corporation reinvests all proceeds into the province.