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Loto-Québec’s Slot Machine Project in Montreal

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Home/Loto-Quebec’s Slots Project in Montreal

Loto-Québec’s Slot Machine Project in Montreal

Opened in 1996, the Bell Centre is the largest field hockey arena in North America. It is the home of the Montreal Canadiens team, which plays in the National Hockey League, better known as the NHL.

Currently, the state-owned Loto-Quebec is planning to build a brand new gaming room dedicated to slot machines.

However, this project worries some people in terms of public health.

A mini-casino planned for downtown Montreal

In la belle province, the Loto-Québec group currently operates 4 land-based casinos in Mont-Tremblant, Charlevoix, Gatineau and Montreal. The latter was inaugurated in 1993 on Île Notre-Dame.

This location, far from downtown, was not chosen at random. Indeed, it allowed to offer tourists and amateurs the possibility to play, while being more difficult to access for the general public in order to limit the risks of addiction.

The mini-casino project carried by the Loto-Québec group that interests us in today’s news no longer respects this logic. It is planned in the middle of downtown Montreal, which is not without concern for some.

250 slot machines moved from Île Notre-Dame to downtown

For the moment, there is still very little information that has filtered out about this hypothetical gaming hall. Nevertheless, we know that it is planned to be open every day. Moreover, it would only host slot machines. These should come from the Casino of Montreal for 250 of them but also from bars and restaurants in the city for the remaining 500 to 600.

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The latter are not really a problem. It is rather those of the Casino de Montréal that will be moved from Île Notre-Dame to downtown that worry some people. It should be noted that approximately 83% of slot machine revenues come from the 16% of problem gamblers in Quebec.

Since we know that the social costs of addiction are twice as high as the tax revenues generated by gambling, the mini-casino project supported by Loto-Québec may have a little trouble being authorized.

To fight against unlicensed online gambling platforms

In order to obtain the agreement of the Public Health, the Loto-Quebec group has decided to present its hypothetical slot machine room at the Bell Centre as a way to fight against unlicensed online gaming platforms that illegally target Quebecers. Indeed, these platforms currently represent around 40% of the online gaming market.

The problem is that they are not obliged to follow the regulations in force to fight against addiction. However, 85% of the requests for help with gambling problems have come from online gambling in the last 6 months.

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