After an extensive study in 2010 as to the pros and cons of online casino gambling, Quebec deemed it appropriate to open an online gambling site in the Canadian province. Thus the land-based, government-owned gambling corporation Loto-Quebec launched EspaceJeux.com in December of 2010. Online poker games were added in early 2011, and the online gambling venture has been well on its way ever since. In fact, even in 2017 it is still going strong.
In the first few years the corporation released its revenue reports to some surprise. These began in March 2011 and ended in March 2013, and while the company as a whole has earned quite the profit, Canada’s online casino, sports book and poker profits were not quite as high as expected from Espacejeux.
According to Raymond Bachand, Quebec’s Minister of Finance, Loto-Quebec reported overall revenue of $3.658 billion. Its online gambling venture only attributed $19.4 million to that sum – less than 0.5% of the overall income. Lottery sales made up the bulk of the company’s earning, totaling $1.789 billion, another $998 million came from video lottery terminals and another $871 million from its four brick and mortar casinos. Coming in the lowest, except for the online gambling capital, was Loto-Quebec’s bingo ventures, worth $34 million for the year.
It’s hard to say whether the comparably low profits from Canada’s online casino project were a success or not. On the one hand, the company was certainly hoping to draw in more money from its digital enterprise, but on the other hand, skeptics of the whole idea were petrified of the social hazards, fearing problem gambling would run rampant through the province. That, at least, is obviously not the case.
EspaceJeux.com has expanded its offerings since its initial launch, now presenting a wide variety of online gambling opportunities to residents of Quebec. The site provides online poker games and online sports wagering, as well as online casino table games, arcades and other amusements.
Online poker players can choose from Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, 7 Card Stud, 5 Card Stud and an array of daily and weekly tournaments, including the largest weekly event, a $20,000 guaranteed tournament held each Sunday. EspaceJeux also promotes special satellites to major live poker tournaments like the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.
The online casino proffers games of European Blackjack, Atlantic City Blackjack and Three Hand Blackjack, French and American Roulette, Baccarat, Caribbean Stud Poker, Let It Ride, Red Dog, Sicbo and Three Card Poker, along with Arcades, Keno and Accumulators, referred to as EZ Games.
Canada’s sports betting enthusiasts can place wagers on the 2013 Olympic Games, Baseball, Basketball, Fighting, Football, Golf, Hockey, Racing, Soccer and Tennis.
The ability to gamble over the internet is still somewhat new to residents of La Belle Province (The Beautiful Province). Loto-Quebec is certainly optimistic for a much more profitable report in the coming year, as is the government as a whole, utilizing the corporation’s revenue to provide public services to the local community. The government is expected to put a lot more effort into its promotional campaign for EspaceJeux.com to ensure the continued – and preferably augmented – success of the Canadian online casino, sports and poker website in the coming years.