Sports Leagues in Favour of Private iGaming in Quebec - Casino Reports
Sports Leagues in Favour of Private iGaming in Quebec – Casino Reports

Three professional are calling for to establish a regulatory framework to license numerous sports betting brands in the province. The Canadian Football League, Major League Soccer, and the National Basketball Association urge the La Belle Province to follow Ontario's example and introduce a similar market for third-party brands.

The efforts are headed by Québec Online Gaming Coalition, a group that contains several online operators which are currently not allowed to offer legal sports betting in the province. In May 2023, the coalition proposed a framework similar to that of Ontario, where numerous third-party operators can lawfully accept and offer online and sports betting to local players.

Sports Leagues Call for Opening of the Market

At the moment the only legal online gambling in the province is offered via Loto-Québec. However, CFL, MLS, and NBA want to change that as they have joined the coalition which urges the province to create a new regulatory framework, such a model would allow the province to license private sports betting brands to join the regulated market.

The CFL was a proponent of decriminalizing single-event wagering which became a reality in 2021. Its' Commissioner Randy Ambrosie calls for Quebec lawmakers to fully explore the positives of introducing a regulated playing environment, which will not be operating in the shadows. In his words, it would also protect the integrity of the competition and promote responsible play.

The NBA is also in of Quebec opening its iGaming sector to outside operators. A spokesperson for the association, Mike Bass commented that if Quebec's government wanted to launch an open and lawful market, the NBA would support the initiative, in the same way that it has supported the introduction of Ontario's open and competitive internet gambling.

Members of the coalition include popular gaming brands such as Bet99, DraftKings, Flutter Entertainment, Entain, Betway, and Rush Street Interactive. However, it is not enough to convince the province yet. A Loto-Québec representative said the leagues should question the coalitions' true intentions and claimed some coalition members are illegally taking bets from Quebecers.

Ontario's Market is Doing Well

In the meantime, Ontario's iGaming market continues to reap success. Recently, the province shared its financial report for the first quarter of 2023-2024. It reported CA$14 billion in online wagering and CA$545 million in gaming revenue. There were 46 operators online, which ran 71 gaming websites. There were 920k active user accounts, which had an average monthly spend of CA$197.

However, the increase in iGaming's popularity led to an influx of betting ads from private operators. That is why the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario recently banned the use of active or retired athletes in gambling ads and endorsements. This is due to the fact that such figures usually appeal to the younger demographics.

Source: Zochodne, Geoff “Report: Three Leagues Supporting Sports Betting Expansion in Quebec” Covers, September 15, 2023

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Queens Borough Pres. In Favour of Citi Field Casino - Casino Reports
Queens Borough Pres. In Favour of Citi Field Casino – Casino Reports

The three commercial gaming licenses for downstate New York have been a topic of discussion again. In a recent interview, President Donovan Richard spoke on the topic and said he is in of a near . The owner of the New York Mets, Steven Cohen is behind the proposal and there have been mixed reactions to it.

After an initial moratorium on the downstate commercial licenses, New York is now moving forward with their issuance. The state's Gaming Location Facility Board already started the review process for bids from candidates. The winners will pay US$500 million per license and are expected to invest another at least US$500 million in the area.

Saying Yes to the Gaming Location

Mr. Richard said that he supports Mr. Cohen's plan to launch a casino property close to Citi Field despite the existence of another gaming property in Queens, the Resort World New York City. He believes a second casino would provide more jobs, entertainment and opportunities. He also praised RWNYC and the Aqueduct for paving the way for workers as most of them are unionized.

He noted that communities around Citi Field have been heavily impacted by the unprecedented situation from 2020 and he wished the region would have opportunities to grow. However, he still has some questions regarding the project. For instance, he is interested in job creation, and how the owner of the NY Mets will invest in the outskirts of the community and tie locals to the new opportunities.

Casino Bid Dependent on Lawmaker

However, Mr. Cohen's plans to build a casino near the stadium are heavily dependent on New York State Sen. Jessica Ramos. In May, it was reported that she had no plans to introduce a bill which was supposed to change the designation of property in the Willets Point region. The bill is not completely ruled out, but at the time, the Senator's decision would affect the plans.

The matter will most likely not be discussed in the current legislative session, as there is not much time to do so. The New York Legislature is on course to be dismissed on June 8, 2023, hence there be only 11 to 12 working days left in the session. There is also the issue of how much support a casino project would receive from businesses and communities of the Citi Field area.

Locals also Support the Project

After the initial backlash against the project, the owner of the NY Mets released a survey, which found that around 89% of the surveyed supported the plans for a casino. But the results could be misleading as the questions were ambiguous. In the poll, participants were asked if they wanted to see Willets Point remain as 50 acres of undeveloped asphalt, or if they wanted to use it for something great for everyone.

Source: “Queens Borough . Donavan Richards supports proposed casino near Citi Field” CBS News, August 6, 2023

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