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Covid-19 forces Loto-Québec to suspend more local operations


Canadian provincial lottery and gaming operator Loto-Québec is to suspend operations in Pays-d’en-Haut and the Laurentian Mountain amid rising novel coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in each region.

The temporary closure order came into effect at 11:59pm yesterday (December 13), with the operator’s Casino de Mont-Tremblant in the Laurentian Mountains to close until further notice.

All video lottery terminals (VLTs) across Pays-d’en-Haut and the Laurentians have also been turned off in line with the new measures.

“The implementation of these temporary measures is necessary at this time to ensure the safety of all,” Loto-Québec said.

The partial suspension of activities comes after Loto-Québec last month reported a 51.4% year-on-year, decline in revenue for the first half of its 2020-21 fiscal year, due to the impact of the Covid-19 shut-downs.

Revenue for the six months through to 28 September amounted to CA$687.4m (£402.8m/€444.2m/US$540.1m), with retail lottery sales having been suspended due to Covid-19 from 23 March. The lottery retail network then began to reopen from May.

Land-based gaming establishments, such as casinos and gaming halls, also closed in March and remained shuttered throughout the first quarter, not beginning to reopen until June and July. However, rising Covid-19 cases forced some regions of the province to once again shut their gaming venues, in September and October.