10th of July 2010 Author: Glo Wood
As Loto-Quebec prepares to venture into internet gambling, the government takes precautions
The announcement earlier this year that Loto-Quebec intends to enter the online gambling sector has prompted the government in the Canadian province to appoint an advisory committee of independent experts, reports CBC.
The committee's mandate is to study the effects of online gambling, as the province's gaming agency prepares to launch its own site in September 2010.
"We have authorised Loto-QuÃ©bec to develop online games but we are going to ensure that everything is done to maintain ... the fight against gambling addiction," provincial Finance Minister Raymond Bachand said at a news conference Friday.
The Finance Minister said the committee "â€¦will have total freedom in its methodologies, its opinions and report, which will be made public."
Bachand added that the committee is charged with monitoring the evolution of the site and the games it offers, and is expected to submit a written report to the minister within three years on the understanding that the government is not obliged to follow its recommendations.
Professors from several Quebec universities, as well as the director of a centre specialising in alcohol and gambling addiction, and a policing expert from Quebec's Ministry of Public Security will form the committee's membership.
University of Montreal psychology professor Louise Nadeau will chair the committee.
Officials estimate the total gaming revenue in Quebec is currently Cdn$50 million a year, and will jump to four times that amount in the next five years.
Loto-QuÃ©bec will be competing in that market, and has ambitions to claim 40 percent of the total gaming revenues in the province.
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