The project had been opposed by Montreal Public Health.
Canada.- The provincial lottery operator Loto-Québec has announced the cancellation of its plans to open approximately 300 video lottery terminals (VLTs) near Bell Centre, in downtown Montreal.
The decision comes after Montreal Public Health (Direction régionale de santé publique or DRSP) expressed opposition to the project, citing concerns over its location and the association with Groupe CH. The DRSP recommended a continued reduction in the number of VLT sites and called for an independent body to oversee gambling in Quebec.
In a press release, Loto-Québec said it respected the DRSP’s opinion but views the cancellation as a “missed opportunity.”
President and CEO Jean-François Bergeron, stated, “We’re convinced that revamping our land-based model would allow us to better meet today’s challenges and needs. Not doing anything does not amount to a solution.
“By no means does Loto-Québec’s future rest solely on the proposed Bell Centre project, but we are disappointed that the project isn’t going through.”
In its results for the fiscal year 2022–2023, Loto-Québec registered revenue of CA$2.9bn, a 35.2 per cent increase year-on-year. It made a dividend payout of CA$1.6bn to the Government of Québec.
The casino and gaming hall sector recorded revenue of CA$1.1bn, an increase of CA$444m over the prior fiscal year. Online casino revenue increased CA$4.6m to CA$269.9m. VLTs, Kinzo, and network bingo accounted for CA$922.2m in revenue which was an increase of CA$362m over the previous fiscal year.
Its gaming platform, which offers lottery, casino titles and sports betting generated CA$403.9m, an increase of 3.3 per cent from 2021-22’s results. Lottery revenues amounted to CA$996.1m, down 1.1 per cent compared to 2021–2022. Online lottery sales revenues were CA$124.2m, up 5.4 per cent and representing 12.5 per cent of lottery revenues.