Compulsive Gambling and Loto-Québec

Even though it’s been a while since I’ve torn my shirt, as the saying goes in French, over this issue, how Québec manages its provincial lottery system is one of the things our government should not be proud of.

By Raymond Viger 

Media articles have let it be known that Loto-Québec is looking to slow the decline of its profits by targeting younger people with its marketing strategies.

On TV, I saw an ad with Réal Bossé attacking cigarette companies in their push to get youths to smoke, and the lies these big companies fabricate to do so.

What’s interesting about this is that the same arguments made against cigarette companies can also apply to Loto-Québec.

– They make billions of dollars selling useless, toxic, deadly products. Compulsive gambling is toxic, and causes many suicides.

– They use several strategies to attract new young smokers (gamblers).

– For several years, they denied that their products were dangerous and that nicotine creates an addiction, even as their internal documents showed the contrary. Just like the Casino de Montréal and Loto-Québec, who have long denied the negative social outcomes related to gambling.

– They commercialize products that are very attractive to youths. And they develop products specifically for young people!

It would be nice to see the people campaigning against cigarette companies do the same against state lotteries.  

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