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Online Gambling News from Quebec and Ontario

By: Joe Valentino, Wednesday December 14th 2011
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Following the ultimate success of the foray of British Columbia into online gambling, other provinces of Canada have been contemplating following suit. This week there has been news from the provinces of Quebec and Ontario.

The Montreal based Amaya Gaming group, which includes the online gambling software developer Chartwell Technology, has signed an agreement with the Societe du jeu virtuel du Quebec (SJVQ), a subsidiary of Loto-Quebec, to provide online gaming content for its gaming website, Espace-jeux. Loto-Quebec is owned by the Canadian provincial government of Quebec. A spokesman for Amaya said that the company is now one of the authorized providers chosen by Loto-Quebec. Amaya was chosen on the basis of its depth of online content and experience, and more specifically because of its acquisition of Chartwell Technology in July 2011. Chartwell specializes in the development of quality gaming platforms and content for the online, wireless and other methods of remote gambling. Its portfolio consists of over 140 proprietary and branded online casino games and is committed to deliver about 40 new games to customers this year. David Baazov, president and chief executive of Amaya Gaming Group, stressed the importance of this deal, stating that it is their first opportunity to provide content to a North American online gaming website.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLGC) has estimated that Ontarians wager C$450 million in online gambling every year. It has predicted that the provincial government could benefit by around C$100 million in tax revenues over a five year period. The OLGC has issued a Request for Proposals that invites interested online gambling companies to submit their proposals for operating the new program. OLGC spokesman Tony Bitonti told the Toronto Sun on Friday that the proposals would be reviewed in detail, because the commission wants to get it right the first time. Probably he was referring to the start up fiasco of online gambling in British Columbia. Bitonti said that the aim was to start phasing in online gambling next year, to boost the $1.9 billion annual contribution of OLGC to the provincial coffers from its lotteries and casinos.

Bitonti stressed that installing responsible gambling practices and effective measures to prevent underage gambling and money laundering would be the top priority for the provincial government. Precautions would include self-control options that pop up on the screen asking gamblers if they are playing too much and online chats with counselors. The OLGC has been studying the online gambling industry and preparing for its online gambling launch over the past year. It has already seen the success of this initiative in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Quebec.

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