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Loto-Québec sets online focus as retail sales suspended


Loto-Québec has switched its focus to online after it temporarily suspended retail sales in response to provincial government measures to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

The Canadian provincial lottery operator will halt the sale of tickets and also deactivate its sales terminals at retailers and in kiosks operated by non-profit organisations.

The decision comes after the Québec government ordered the closure of a wide range of businesses and public spaces including bars, cinemas, interior mall stores, sample counters, gyms and libraries.

Loto-Québec will contact its 8,500 retailers and kiosk operators across Québec to inform them of the new measures, while the operator will also coordinate with other provinces in relation to activities for lotteries offered nationwide.

However, Loto-Québec said that customers can still purchase tickets online via its online platform, while all physical tickets that have already been purchased will remain valid for upcoming draws.

“With the health and wellbeing of its customers in mind, Loto-Québec, takes the current situation very seriously and will not hesitate to put into place additional measures as needed,” Loto-Québec explained. “We will inform the public as soon as possible concerning the implementation of this new measure.”

At the time of writing, there were 1,470 confirmed cases of coronavirus across Canada, with 20 people having died after contracting the virus.

Québec is the latest jurisdiction to order the temporary closure of retail betting and gaming locations as a result of coronavirus, with state governments across the US also ordering casinos and other gaming venues to close.

Meanwhile, the UK government has announced that all casinos, betting shops and bingo halls would shut until further notice, while Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ordered casinos in the country to close.