Québec Online Gaming Coalition and GeoComply Announce Partnership

collaboration quebec online gaming and geocomplyA group of major online gaming operators is adding anti-fraud and geolocation solutions to its arsenal in GeoComply.

The Québec Online Gaming Coalition (QOGC) is looking to modernize its existing gaming framework as it continues to jostle for market share with  Loto-Québec, which currently monopolizes gambling in the province.

The deal, announced at the end of 2023, is another step forward for the coalition, which aims to establish a licensing and taxation system and an autonomous regulatory authority to oversee gaming in the region.

Nathalie Bergeron, spokesperson for the QOGC, said: "We are thrilled to have GeoComply join our efforts to push for a new regulatory and licensing framework in Québec. GeoComply's data will help paint a clear picture of Quebecers' playing habits and provide additional guidance to our mission."

"Their cutting-edge technology can help ensure safer online interactions for operators and users at all stages of the player journey while achieving the highest standards in compliance. We look forward to [working] with them as the Coalition continues its engagement in Québec".

Lindsay Slader, GeoComply SVP of Compliance, said of the partnership: "GeoComply proudly joins the efforts of the coalition to advocate for a modernized online gaming market that maximizes consumer protection, strengthens integrity and delivers meaningful revenues to Quebec. Ontario's success has proven that everyone wins in an open yet regulated market."

What Is QOGC And Why Does This Deal Matter?

The QOGC is made up of some of the industry's leading online gaming operators, including BetwayBet99DraftKingsFlutterEntainRush Street, and Apricot. The group's stated goal is to "work with the Québec government, local lottery corporation and responsible gaming stakeholders to develop a transparent regulatory framework for online gaming in Québec".

For a long time, the only body responsible for regulating gambling in the territory has been  Loto-Québec.

One of Loto-Québec's main roles is to ensure that all gambling activities are conducted responsibly and ethically. This includes implementing measures to prevent problem gambling and promoting responsible gambling practices such as setting limits and self-exclusion programs.

However, there are doubts as to the effectiveness of the agency, which has been laid bare by the QOGC in a recent study.

According to a survey released with Mainstreet Research, only 26.6% of players use Loto-Québec's platform for online casino gaming.

That means most players play with privately owned platforms instead of those under the control of the government-backed Loto-Québec.

Representatives of the QOGC hope the deal will allow the body to tap into GeoComply's anti-fraud and geolocation expertise and further showcase itself as an authority ready to embrace the potential that gambling in Québec offers.

What Does GeoComply Do?

With a wealth of experience in online gaming, GeoComply has developed a robust and reliable platform that allows its clients to operate seamlessly within different jurisdictions. An innate understanding of the complexities and challenges of online gaming regulations, especially in mature markets like Canada, allows both businesses and players to benefit from a seamless online gaming experience.

Their state-of-the-art technology uses a combination of Wi-Fi triangulation, GPS, and other location-based services to pinpoint the user's location accurately. This ensures that only users within authorized areas can access online gaming services, preventing any potential breaches of regulatory requirements.

Their work is crucial in maintaining the integrity of the online gaming industry. Their solutions prevent fraudulent activities such as underage gambling and money laundering by ensuring that players are within approved locations.

What Is Bill 74 And Why Is It Relevant Here?

In the early days of online gambling, in the late 1990s, there was little to no regulation in place, and Canada was no exception. This was because the internet was still a relatively new concept and governments needed help to keep up with its rapid growth.

Québec was one of the first provinces in Canada to take action. Loto-Québec, the provincial lottery corporation, launched its online gaming platform called "Espacejeux". This move was seen as a way to regulate and control online gambling within the province and generate revenue for the government.

However, one of the most significant developments in the history of online gambling regulation in Québec came in 2016 with the passing of Bill 74. This bill gave Loto-Québec even more power when it comes to online gambling, allowing them to block access to any online gambling site not approved by the province.

It was heavily criticized then, with detractors claiming the legislation censored the internet and was a first of its kind in Canada. They believed that it is a tactic used by Quebec's government-run gambling authority to eliminate competition and potentially give rise to other governments in the country controlling what citizens can access online.

In addition, legal experts argued that the legislation goes against the fundamental freedom of expression and the federal telecommunications law.

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Dmitry Rogalchuk
With over 5 years of experience in iGaming, Dmitry Rogalchuk leads a content team at CasinoCanada, ensuring that every article on the CasinoCanada website is informative and engaging for our readers.
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The University of British Columbia
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