VLTs & Casinos Re-Shuttered Across Quebec

By Ben Hamill - October 18 2020

VLTs & Casinos Re-Shuttered Across Quebec

Unprecedented situations call for unique and targeting responses. Which is why Crown corporation Loto-Québec’s decision to temporarily close one of its most popular best-performing casinos, as well as all Video Lottery Terminals in three provincial regions, is the expected response given current-day circumstances.

The Crown corporation recently announced the interim closure of its highly in-demand Casino de Charlevoix in Pointe-au-Pic, La Malbaie, along with similar steps to be taken with all Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) under its control in regions Montérégie, Capitale-Nationale, and Centre-du-Québec. Since the situation on a local as well as global scale is exceptionally labile and continues to change, a flexible and adaptive response has now become unavoidable.

The temporary closures undertaken and announced by the Loto-Québec are in line with decisions taken by government and recently mandated by way of a press conference held by Quebec Premier François Legault.

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Back To Square One

Regions confirmed to be relegated back to the status of red zone include Quebec City, Greater Montreal, and the administrative region of Chaudière-Appalaches.

The relegation means that all libraries, museums, cinemas, theatres, casinos, restaurants and eateries, and also all bars, will have to close for business until it is once again safe and responsible to trade and welcome crowds of people through their doors.

Since crowds of people gathering in enclosed spaces are considered particularly conducive to the spread of infectious diseases, VLTs pose a particular risk to the health and safety of the province’s residents. VLTs are typically stationed in restaurants and bars so as to be easily accessible by those looking to enjoy a spot of gaming entertainment whilst visiting these amenities. VLTs typically draw small crowds of people and are therefore considered high-risk; hence the decision to temporarily power down the gaming machines on a provincial level.

Closures Vital But Destructive

Though necessary in terms of health and safety protocols, the on-again-off-again closures of amenities, casinos, VLTs, etc. have had a disastrously negative effect on the local job market – and continue to do so.

Early October saw at least 1,350 workers employed by Casino de Montreal and Salon de Jeux de Quebec laid off. Both venues will remain closed for business until such time as the current steady rise in infections has been stabilised and forced back down to an acceptable level.

Since the Casino du Lac-Leamy and the Salon de Jeux de Trois-Rivières have been ordered temporarily also, the Casino de Mont-Tremblant is now the only gambling facility currently open for business.

Online gaming at Loto-Québec’s espacejeux.com online platform remains operational; the Crown corporation has confirmed. 

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