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Loto-Quebec To Use Domain Blocking As Competitive Weapon
Quebec’s provincial online gambling operator Loto-Quebec has been struggling to maintain the type of growth numbers typically being seen by other online casino operators:
Unsurprisingly, that hasn’t been sitting well with provincial authorities. Now, faced with a competitive disadvantaged Loto-Quebec has decided to do something about it.
Unfortunately, that “something” appears to be coming in the form of banning much of the competition.
2% Growth Sought
The plan to increase marketshare by eliminating competitors is one that has already been in the making for a while now.
Sensing a growing market and opportunity for increased tax revenue, Quebec’s legislature is keen to get as much money as possible out of the Espacejeux.com website. To accomplish that goal, IP blocking of international casino websites has been discussed for many years now.
Currently, online casino gaming only accounts for 1.9% of Loto-Quebec’s overall revenue. Officials within the company would like to see that number increase to 3.8% by 2020.
That would mean that assuming the rest of Loto-Quebec’s operations didn’t grow at all, the target is for online casino to nearly double within a span of just over two years.
Accomplishing such an objective would be no small feat for any operator, much less one with the name recognition and market penetration the Espacejeux website already enjoys within the province.
Of course, it becomes much easier to do if you simply remove other sites from the market.
Challenges to IP Banning
Complicating things for the company however is the resistance the move is being met with. Several different legal challenges to the proposed IP-blocking scheme have already been made.
Most notably, the Canadian telecom regulation authorities have made their displeasure well known, and there is a court case currently pending in Quebec Superior Court. However, the case isn’t even scheduled to be heard for another six months.
Bottom line, Loto-Quebec’s scheme is not going to be allowed to start without a fight. The amount of legal hurdles it will have to clear before being effectively implemented means it will be long time before Canadian online casino players will see any impact.