A recent survey conducted by Mainstreet Research, commissioned by the Québec Online Gaming Coalition (QOGC), revealed that the online gaming habits of Québecers significantly lean towards privately operated platforms rather than the government-run Loto-Québec’s Espace Jeux.
The QOGC was formed in May 2023 and comprises leading online gaming operators like DraftKings, FanDuel’s parent company, Flutter Entertainment, Entain, and Rush Street Interactive.
It aims to prompt the Québec government to modernize the current online gambling system, from exclusively allowing gambling through a lottery-run platform to permitting commercial operators to launch.
The survey, which engaged over 1,000 participants, shows public support for modernization. The findings indicate that 73% of surveyed players gamble using privately operated casino sites. According to the QOGC, this preference contrasts the perceived monopoly of Loto-Québec in the online gaming sector.
While Québecers use Loto-Québec’s iGaming platform, only 26.6% engage with it for online casino games and sports betting. A majority of those using the platform, 72%, do so only for buying lottery tickets. QOGC considers this a sign that Loto-Québec’s state-enforced monopoly must come to an end, with the Coalition preferring the model of licensing enacted by Ontario in April 2022.
“These results show that Loto-Québec’s monopoly only exists on paper, and the Crown Corporation’s recent assessment of its market share does not reflect reality,” said Nathalie Bergeron, the Coalition’s spokesperson, in a press release on the report.
“The Québec government must consider the habits and preferences of Québecers who play online games and establish a proper regulatory regime to protect the majority of Québecers who play on privately operated platforms for online casino games and sports betting and not on the Crown Corporation’s platform,” said Bergeron.
The survey also highlighted Québecers’ perspective on regulating online gaming. There is a notable inclination towards regulating private online gaming operators, with 67% of participants favouring the establishment of a licensing and tax regime.
Moreover, the idea of creating an independent regulatory body to oversee the entire gaming offer in Québec, including Loto-Québec, received support from 56% of the participants. This body is envisaged to ensure greater oversight amid growing concerns about consumer safety and responsible gaming.
After its founding, QOGC held meetings with the Québec Finance Ministry, as revealed by Bergeron to Poker Industry Pro, “We are happy to have generated conversations on a topic that was not really being discussed previously and that various stakeholders are now paying attention to and want to participate in a public debate about regulating the online gaming market.”