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Your questions, our answers

Your questions, our answers

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Slot machines and video lottery terminals

Abdel from Montréal asks:

Do the slot machines work at random, or are they programmed? Can you explain it for me?

 

Our answer:

Hello, Abdel.

We must not confuse the return rate of slot machines (determined in advance and set by the regulation governing Loto-Québec) and the process giving the results, which completely follows the laws of chance.

In other words, the average return rate for slot machines is 92% (whereas the standard suggested by the RACJ (Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux) is 83%). This return rate is programmed for each machine and obtained based on millions of games played by all players. It takes into account the randomness of results, the multitude of games, the variety of prizes and possible combinations. This return rate is checked by the RACJ annually.

I invite you to watch this video, which explains how slot machines work and clearly shows that the outcome is completely random:

Have a great day!

Michel from Montréal asks:

Are people allowed to play two machines at the same time?

 

Our answer:

Dear Michel,

As stipulated in Point 6 of our code of responsible commercialization, this practice is not allowed.
If you are a witness to any infraction against this code, please contact the Société des établissements de jeux du Québec at 1-866-611-5686 or info.loterievideo@loto-quebec.com.

Have a great day!

Michael from Montréal asks:

Hi, I’d like to know if the amount to be won in slot machine bonus rounds is already set when the round is activated.

 

Our answer:

Hello Michael,

For certain slot machine games, the amount of the bonus round is set as soon as the round is activated (single-step bonus round). For other games, those for which bonus rounds are available after a few “steps,” the bonus round outcome is determined on a play-by-play basis.

However, one simple, fixed rule prevails: each bonus round outcome is always determined by the random number generator, which operates continuously and ensures the outcome of all games and rounds are determined by chance.

Have a great day!

Benoît from Saint-Hubert asks:

Can a casino administrator control one or more slot machines remotely to a client’s advantage or disadvantage?

 

Our answer:

Hello Benoît,

The slot machines in our casinos cannot be controlled remotely by anyone whomsoever, as they are not linked to a centralized system. No machines are remote controlled, not even to turn them on or off. Moreover, each machine has its own programming and random number generator (RNG), ensuring that the outcome of each game played is determined by chance. For each game, the outcome is determined as soon as the player presses the PLAY button. That outcome is then displayed on screen 3 or 4 seconds later, followed by an animation. The whole process starts anew every time a new game is initiated.

Here is a short video that illustrates how a slot machine operates.

Have a great day!

Stéphane from Beauceville asks:

Why is it so difficult to find places to play video lottery games? Is there a list of places available?

 

Our answer:

Hello Stéphane,

We have received your question and thank you for your interest in Loto-Québec. There are some 12,000 machines in 2,000 or so establishment throughout the province. However, no official list detailing the locations of these establishments has been made publicly available.

Have a great day.

Ruben from Montréal asks:

Is it possible to buy a video lottery terminal?

 

Our answer:

Hi Ruben,

Only establishments holding liquor licences (granted by the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux) may request a licence for video lottery terminals (VLTs).
By law, the SEJQ can only provide terminals to these establishments.

Have a good day!

Stephan from Drummondville asks:

I seem to have noticed that since you have declared a loss of income, machines almost never pay out—I play 5-reel games and rarely get free rounds.

 

Our answer:

Hello Stephan,

No changes have been made to VLT payout rates, which are fixed at around 92%.

It is important to understand that video lottery games are games of chance and that payouts are completely random. Whether you are playing a line, card or keno game, winnings are determined at random. Each game is independent, with no connection to the game played before or after. The payout rate is established for each game and is obtained after millions of played games, based on the randomness of results, the multitude of games, the variety of prizes and possible combinations. Please watch this video explaining how the machines work.

In conclusion, we would also like to specify that all video lottery games and terminals are subject to strict control measures. As such, they are tested and certified by Gaming Laboratories International (GLI), a private laboratory that ensures that terminals and games operate solely at random and in accordance with standards and laws.

Have a great day!

Maxime from Montréal asks:

Is there a limit on the number of bar owners authorized to install slot machines within their establishments?

 

Our answer:

Hello Maxime,

In Québec, video lottery terminals (VLTs) can be installed within establishments having a bar or pub licence, as well as a licence to operate said machines, issued by the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (RACJ), a government body acting under the authority of the Ministère de la Sécurité publique and independently of Loto-Québec. The RACJ issues licences authorizing the operation of VLTs, but ultimately, the decision to authorize VLTs within a given establishment lies with the Société des loteries vidéo du Québec—a Loto-Québec subsidiary. Before any such authorization is issued, an assessment according to rigorous management parameters based on a series of specific socioeconomic criteria is performed. This assessment allows for the balanced geographic distribution of video lottery terminals across the network as a whole.

There are some 12,000 terminals distributed across 2,000 establishments throughout the province.

For more information, consult the website Société des loteries vidéos du Québec.

Pascale from Montréal asks:

It seems to me that there are more poker machines in bars. Am I right?

 

Our answer:

Hello Pascale,

No, quite the contrary.

Note that the number of establishments with video lottery terminals (VLTs) has gone down by 36% since 2004, and there are about 20% less VLTs than before. Therefore, since 2010, our network includes a maximum of 12,000 terminals spanning roughly 2,000 establishments.

Back in 1999, the VLT network counted more than 15,000 terminals—the highest number of terminals ever. In 2001, at the request of the Québec government, we began to reduce the number of VLTs. Then, in 2004, we started to reconfigure the network in order to significantly reduce access to the terminals while ensuring appropriate geographic distribution across the province. By the end of this process in 2009, our network counted 11,751 VLTs in some 1,961 establishments.

Keep in mind that, over the years, certain businesses have lost terminals while others have gained some. Perhaps the impression you have is due to the fact that the establishments you have visited had a few more. But as a whole, the number of machines available across the network has gone down, as well as the number of establishments that have them.

Stéphanie from Greenfield Park asks:

Is it true that slot machines at the end of a row in a casino have a higher payout rate so as to entice clients to play?

 

Our answer:

Hello Stéphanie,

That is a false belief.

Slot machines are programmed to award prizes at random. It is therefore impossible to determine, control or predict when prizes will be awarded, regardless of where machines are located in a given row or from one casino to another. The slot machine payout rate averages 92% for all four casinos in the province.

Each machine is certified by an external firm before being put into operation. This allows them to be verified and to attest that they function adequately and operate solely at random.

Since their outcome is determined by chance, the use of strategies is futile when playing these games.

Ben from Trois-Rivières asks:

In which year were privately-owned slot machines removed from bars?

 

Our answer:

Hi Ben,

Law enforcement began to confiscate illegal video lottery terminals in 1994, after the passing of legislation enabling the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (RACJ)* to revoke or suspend the liquor license of licensees who tolerate the presence of contraband alcohol or illegal terminals in their establishments.

At that time, the Sûreté du Québec estimated between 25,000 and 45,000 the number of illegal terminals in operation in Québec. In the first months of implementation of the new legislation, some 4,000 terminals were confiscated. Since, the number of video lottery terminals in circulation is approximately 12,000.

*The RACJ is the government agency that regulates the sale and fabrication of alcohol, horse racing, gambling – bingo, draws, advertising contests, amusement terminals, and video lottery terminals – and professional combat sports, while Loto-Québec is in charge of marketing the games of chance offering.

Lia from Val d'or asks:

Is there a limit on VLTs allowed in each city in Québec? If so, why do some cities have a higher ratio?

 

Our answer:

Hello Lia,

No, there is no pre-established limit as to the number of terminals in each city. Ratios are established per administrative region in Québec, i.e. a maximum of 2 VLTs per 1,000 inhabitants and 2 establishments per 5,000 inhabitants.

In accordance with applicable laws, the video lottery network includes a maximum of 12,000 terminals in roughly 2,000 establishments. Terminals can be installed within establishments having a bar or pub licence as well as a licence to operate VLTs, issued by the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (RACJ). A maximum of 5 machines can be authorized per licence. Consequently, the number of video lottery terminals within a given sector is directly proportional to the number of bars and establishments with a liquor licence within the said sector. What’s more, certain municipalities do not allow the presence of bars on their territory, which explains why certain cities or neighbourhoods have many while others have none.

However, beyond the issuing of licences, the actual decision to allow or disallow VLTs within a given establishment lies with the Société des loteries vidéo du Québec—a Loto-Québec subsidiary. This authorization is granted based on specific socio-economic and commercial criteria, notably the neighbourhood average household income and the number of machines per resident.

Thanks for reaching out to us.

Dominic from Trois-Rivières asks:

Is it possible that I get bigger payouts more often when I bet smaller amounts when playing video lottery games?

 

Our answer:

Hello Dominic,

It is impossible to predict or control when a machine will payout; regardless of how long one plays or of the amount of money one bets, the outcome is solely determined by chance. The outcome of each round is determined at random as soon as the player presses the PLAY button. Some players—the lucky ones—will win the first time they try, while others will win only rarely or just small amounts. And then others—the extremely lucky—will win the jackpot.

When playing gambling machines, one should always set spending and time limits and respect them regardless of whether they win or lose. If you continue playing when you feel lucky (because you just won, for example) or to gain back your losses, chances are you’ll lose even more money. So your odds of winning or losing are basically the same… every time you play.

To learn more about machine limits or operation, we invite you to consult the section Understanding chance on our website, our brochure Gambling Machines or our video Video lottery terminals : What Every Player Need to Know.

You can also consult the website aidejeu.com.

Mamboter from Montréal asks:

I’m a bartender and every Saturday, I see clients make a lot of money on the machines! So how is it possible that machine payouts aren’t cyclical?

 

Our answer:

Hello Mamboter,


If Saturdays are your busiest day, it’s quite possible that there are more players, and therefore more games get played on Saturdays than on other days.

The more bets are being made, the greater the likelihood of a payout. Clients may be under the impression that the video lottery machines are paying out more, but proportionally speaking, that probably isn’t the case.

Keep in mind that the machine has no memory.

The outcome of each game is independent of the outcome of previous or subsequent games. For each and every game, the random number generator selects a winning or losing outcome from among millions of possible combinations.

It is possible to win the jackpot twice in a row, to have payouts that are few and far between or to win nothing at all. However, payouts—be they large or small—can never be predicted, as they are always determined by chance.

Thanks for your question.

Joshua from Montréal asks:

If machines have no memory, couldn’t they then pay out several players in a row or operate without money?

 

Our answer:

Hello Joshua,

You’re quite right, a machine (a slot or a video lottery machine) could pay out several times in a row to either one or several players. It doesn’t happen often, but it isn’t unheard of. The reason for this is simple: payouts are determined at random, and as such, it can happen that payouts occur consecutively.

All possible slot or video lottery machine outcomes are programmed. The moment a player presses the Play button, the random number generator (a program component) selects a winning or losing outcome from among thousands of programmed combinations.

It is important to keep in mind that the outcome of each game is independent of the outcome of previous or subsequent games. The machine has no memory. The entire process starts anew every time a new game is initiated. It is therefore possible for two successive payouts to occur or for payouts to be few and far between. Of course, more losing than winning combinations are programmed. It is therefore to be expected that more losing combinations occur.

Finally, no machine is ever empty. All machines issue tickets, which the client can cash whenever they want.

To learn more about how machines operate, we invite you to consult  our brochure Gambling Machines or our video Video lottery terminals: What Every Player Need to Know.

Thanks for reaching out to us.

Simon from Montréal asks:

Why are the odds of winning not indicated on video lottery machines (e.g. 1 chance in 25,000 of winning the grand prize)?

 

Our answer:

Hello Simon,

Contrary to traditional lotteries, where to win the grand prize, one must obtain all six numbers of the winning combination, there are several ways to win the same given amount with a video lottery machine. For example, with Lotto 6/49, you have 1 chance in 13,983,816 of winning the grand prize with one combination (49 numbers and combinations of 6 numbers = (49x48x47x46x45x44) / (6x5x4x3x2x1)).

In video lottery games, the prize value depends on three factors: the random combinations obtained during a game, the number of credits bet and the number of lines played. What’s more, the odds of winning at these games are based on a simulation of several millions of games played.

So, for video lottery games, we talk in terms of the average payout rate rather than the odds of winning. Since their installation, the average payout rate has always been above the 83% standard suggested by the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux.

Nothing can increase your chances of winning when playing video lottery or slot machines. The outcome is always determined by chance.

Thanks for your question.

Kim from Montmagny asks:

Can a bartender play a video lottery machine at the bar where she works when she’s there as a customer?

 

Our answer:

Hello Kim,

Under section 77.0.1 of the Act respecting liquor permits, “In an establishment in which a video lottery machine is operated, the permit holder, his spouse and children, the person responsible for the management of the establishment, the members of the personnel and any person who participates in a show in the establishment are prohibited from playing or inciting a patron to play the video lottery machine.”

The video lottery retailer must also abide by the provision of section 15 of our Code of Responsible Commercialization.

Thanks for your question.

Marci from Toronto asks:

Is it true you have a better chance of getting struck by lightening then winning the jackpot on a slot machine?

 

Our answer

Hello Marci,

It all depends on the machine being used, its maximum payout and the type of wager. It’s somewhat like the odds of being hit by lightning during an electric storm when you’re on the golf course as opposed to when you’re sitting in your living room.

According to the National Lightning Safety Institute, the odds of being hit by lightning are 1 in 280,000.

Let’s compare that with the odds when playing two different games. The manufacturer of a five-reel video lottery terminal indicates that the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 11,746,560, for a maximum amount of 125,000 credits with a twenty-credit wager on each of the 50 lines (1,000 credits). So, in this particular example, you are more likely to be hit by lightning than to win the jackpot.

However, for a game on another three-reel machine, the manufacturer states that the theoretical odds of winning the 800-credit jackpot on a three-credit wager are established at 8 for every 32,768 spins (approximately 1 in 4,096). In this case, the likelihood of winning the jackpot is greater.

So, the answer to your question is: “It all depends!”

Simon from Montréal asks:

What’s the maximum amount you can lose on one machine? $2,000? More?

 

Our answer:

Hello Simon,

In the majority of cases, there is no limit to how much you can decide to bet and therefore risk losing.

Participating in games of chance and gambling entails certain risks. It is important to set limits so as to avoid losing control.

A responsible player sets limits on the amount of money they bet and time they spend playing (both in terms of duration and frequency) and sticks to these limits. These will vary depending on each player and should take into account the person’s personal and financial situation.

To discover various strategies to reduce the risk of losing control of your gaming habits, see the page Tips to stay balanced on our website.

Thanks for your question.

Louise from Gatineau asks:

Why is it almost impossible to win on the new video poker machines that have been installed in restaurants and bars?

 

Our answer:

Hello Louise,

In video lottery games, the prize value depends on three factors: the random combinations obtained during a game, the number of credits bet and the number of lines played. What’s more, the probability of winning at video lottery games is established based on a simulation of several millions of games played.

Be they older or new generation machines, the average payout rate is the same, i.e. approximately 92%. It is established for each game and is obtained based on millions of games played, the randomness of results, the multitude of games, the variety of prizes and possible combinations.

Payouts are always unpredictable on both older or new generation machines. All outcomes are determined by chance, even when a choice—such as the number of lines to bet on—is available to the player.

To learn more about how video lottery machines work, please watch the videos available on our website.

Thanks for your question.

Julie from Mascouche asks:

When you win at a video lottery game, is it a fixed amount or is the amount based on a percentage of the bet?

 

Our answer:

Hello Julie,

In video lottery games, the prize value depends on three factors: the random combinations obtained during a game, the number of credits bet and the number of lines played. What’s more, the probability of winning at video lottery game is based on a simulation of several million games played.

The average payout rate is approximately 92%. It is established for each game and is obtained based on millions of games played, the randomness of results, the multitude of games, the variety of prizes and possible combinations.

You cannot predict the outcome of any single game on a video lottery machine. All outcomes are determined by chance, even when a choice is available to the player.

To learn more about how video lottery machines work, please watch the videos.

Thanks for your question.

Jean-François from Gatineau asks:

What is the win/lose ratio at poker machines?

 

Our answer:

Hello Jean-François,

The theoretical payout rate at the various casino poker games is between 97% and 98.3%.

Alex from Montréal asks:

When I want to double down after winning a round by choosing a colour, is the outcome already decided no matter I do?

 

Our answer:

Hello Alex,

Each machine is equipped with a microchip. This microchip randomly determines whether the card is red or black before the player makes their selection.

Nothing can increase your chances of winning when playing video lottery or slot machines. The outcome is always determined by chance.

Thanks for taking the time to write us.

JF from Montréal asks:

Is it true that slot machines will soon accept debit and credit cards?

 

Our answer:

Hello JF,

No, that is false. Our new machines will not accept debit or credit cards.

Thanks for your question.

Other games

Dariane from Québec asks:

I heard that if you purchase lottery tickets in a store with low traffic, like a convenience store as compared to a supermarket, you have better odds of winning. Is this true? Thank you!

 

Our answer:

Hello Dariane,

The odds of winning the lottery are the same no matter where you buy your ticket. All our products, whether they are scratch tickets or draw-type lotteries, are won according to chance and chance alone. The same holds true for the manner in which tickets are distributed: tickets are distributed randomly, throughout Québec. In other words, no matter where you buy, no matter in which region or type of store, your odds remain exactly the same.

Have a nice day!

Catherine from Saint-Hyacinthe asks:

If I’m on a lucky streak in life, am I more likely to win the lottery?

 

Our answer:

Hi Catherine,

Being on a lucky streak is great, but it has no impact whatsoever on your chances of winning the lottery. Lotteries are games in which only chance dictates the outcome. There is no way to predict or influence chance.

Claudio from Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac asks:

Isn’t it contradictory for Loto-Québec to launch a $100 scratch ticket while also stating that “A GAME SHOULD REMAIN A GAME”?

 

Our answer:

The cost of a lottery ticket or the amount of money one spends on lottery tickets is not in and of itself an indicator of a gambling problem. For example, someone might choose to organize a group purchase of a ticket, in turn reducing the cost per person. In addition, different people have different limits and risk factors. The most important thing for people to keep in mind is to never spend more than they can afford to lose. Only a portion of one’s entertainment budget should go to games of chance.

Have a nice day!

Mélanie from Laval asks:

Is it true that some casinos within the province pay out more than others?

 

Our answer:

Hello Mélanie,

In Québec, no casino pays out more than another. The slot machine payout rate averages 92% for all four casinos.

Moreover, slot machines are programmed to award prizes at random. It is therefore impossible to determine, control or predict when prizes will be awarded.

Since their outcome is determined by chance, the use of strategies is futile when playing these games.

J-François from Montréal asks:

Are the odds of winning at table games affected by the amount bet or the player’s history of wins?

 

Our answer:

Hello,

At table games, the amount bet or the player’s history of wins has no influence on the odds of winning.

The chances of winning vary depending on the game.

Thanks for your question.

Claudia from La Tuque asks:

Is it true that when a new scratch ticket comes out, more winning tickets are offered at the start in order to attract interest?

 

Our answer:

Hello, Claudia:

No, that is a myth. All prizes, including grand prizes, are available the moment new products go on sale. On the other hand, if the product has been available for sale for a while at the time you purchase your ticket, some of the prizes and grand prizes may have already been claimed, giving the illusion that there are fewer winners. However, in reality, the odds of winning remain exactly the same.

You can consult the prize claims status for a given product.

Have a great day!

Youssef from Montréal asks:

Can you play Lotto Max or Lotto 6/49 even if you signed an auto-exclusion contract for a casino?

 

Our answer:

Players who have requested to be barred from Loto-Québec’s gambling establishments may continue to purchase lottery products from retailers. However, lotteries are games of chance like any other and playing comes with the same risks for players who are at grips with a gambling problem. When players decide to join an auto-exclusion program, it is because gambling has taken over their lives. Thus, it is a good idea to take a complete break from all games of chance.

If you are concerned with your own gambling habits or those of a loved one, call Gambling: Help and Referral at 1-800-461-0140.

Maryse from Valleyfield asks:

Is it legal for Jean Coutu clerks to propose lotteries at the cash register?

 

Our answer:

Dear Maryse:

Retailers may, if they choose to do so, propose the purchase of lottery tickets to their customers (as long as the customers are of legal age). This custom is a question of store policy. Loto-Québec does not ask them to propose lottery products to customers paying for other items.

Sandra from Montréal asks:

Are your chances of winning a grand prize better if you purchase an entire booklet of scratch tickets (approximately $200)?

 

Our answer:

Hello Sandra,

Purchasing an entire booklet of scratch tickets does not increase your chances of winning.
For example, if you purchase a booklet of 50 tickets, your chances of winning are the same as they would be if you had purchased 50 tickets separately, regardless which retailer they were purchased from.
Most $3 to $5 tickets come in booklets of 50.
If you purchase 1 Cadeau surprise ticket, you have a 1-in-1,000,000 chance of winning the grand prize.
If you purchase 2 Cadeau surprise tickets, you have a 2-in-1,000,000 chance of winning the grand prize.
Hence, if you purchase a 50-ticket Cadeau surprise booklet, you have 50-in-1,000,000 chance of winning the grand prize.

We hope this answers your question.
Thank you for your e-mail.

Sylvie from Joliette asks:

Did you forget to include balls #5 and #10 in Banco Turbo, as I haven’t seen them in quite a while?

 

Our answer:

Hello Sylvie,

The reason why Turbo multipliers 5 and 10 don’t come out often is that, like all other lottery games, each multiplier’s chances of winning has been established based on a prize structure (incidentally, here is the prize structure for Turbo).
To illustrate this principle, take for example a draw using a ball-drop machine. Let’s say that ball-drop machine contains 100 real balls. In total, there would be: 1 ball with the multiplier x 10; 2 balls with the multiplier x 5; 10 balls with the multiplier x 4; 27 balls with the multiplier x 3 (approximately); 34 balls with the multiplier x 2 (approximately); 26 balls with the multiplier x 1 (approximately). As you can see, it  is normal for the multiplier 10 to not come out often. Note also that the chances of the prize being multiplied by 2 or 3 are greater than the chances of it being multiplied by 1. So that’s why multipliers 5 and 10 come out less often than others.

Have a great day!

Marc Antoine from Montréal asks:

Some convenience stores refuse to sell lottery tickets after midnight. Is it true that it is illegal to sell tickets during certain hours of the day? If so, when is it illegal?

 

Our answer:

Hello, Marc Antoine.

Loto-Québec’s game terminals are not operational between midnight and 5 a.m. Retailers are in fact unable to sell tickets for terminal-based games during this period, nor are they able to validate tickets.

The sale of scratch tickets after midnight is left to the discretion of the retailer.

Best regards,

Ginette from Laval asks:

Winnings are not attributed by chance, you are the ones deciding…

 

Our answer:

Hello Ginette.

Did you know that all of our lotteries are subject to external verification by a specialized team who ensures that all stages of a draw occur according to established regulations? This external verification is carried in the name of public interest, on the location of the draws, by third parties who are not Loto-Québec employees.

The balls used for the draws are weighed at the Centre de Recherche industrielle du Québec (CRIQ), in Montréal.

The above-cited precautions are but two of many that guarantee that the outcome of the draw is purely the product of chance and chance alone.

You can attend a draw in person at our studios, should you still have doubts. Please contact us should you wish to do so. We will be happy to accommodate you and show you how draws are performed.

Here is our contact information:
Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (except on holidays)
Telephone: 1-866-611-LOTO (5686) (toll free)

Give us a call!

Have a great day!

Denyse from Montréal asks:

Is it true that spending $50 per week on lottery tickets qualifies me as compulsive gambler?

 

Our answer:

Hello Denyse,

The weekly amount spent on lottery tickets is not, in and of itself, indicative of a gambling problem. It does, however, factor into the equation.

It is important not to bet or gamble money (lottery, casinos, etc.) that you cannot afford to lose, i.e. money you need to cover the cost of rent, transportation, food and other essentials. You should allot only part of your entertainment budget to gambling activities. And if your income doesn’t allow for you to allot an amount for leisure or entertainment, you shouldn’t play at all.

If you feel the need to buy lottery tickets or if your gaming habits have a negative impact on your life or that of members of your entourage, that can be a sign that you are losing control. If you think you have a problem, regardless of the amount you spend playing the lottery or any other game of chance or involving money, we suggest you get in touch with a Gambling: Help and Referral counsellor via their website or by dialling 1-800-461-0140.

They will be able to advise you.

Benoit from Saint-Hubert asks:

Poker involves both strategy and chance. How are they proportionally related? Can one hope to win at poker simply by playing well?/span>

 

Our answer:

Hello Benoit,

You’re right, poker is a game where both chance and skill or strategy play a part in the results. Unfortunately, it is impossible to establish what proportion is due to chance and what is due to the player’s strategy.

Contrary to other games of chance, in poker one plays against other players and not the house. Long-term winnings are therefore possible. While some poker players manage to walk away with winnings or “turn a profit” (win more than they lose), most play without ever making any money. They have fun and entertain themselves without making money. If you decide to play poker with the sole aim of making money, you will more than likely be disappointed. If you, as a player, play well, keep in mind that there will always be other players around the table that play just as well as if not better than you.

In closing, here is a short video about poker and the risks inherent to playing it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TL0D5119DU&list=PLmeeYhkPf34a_KdmV9ueM7H5G2Dbez7pP&index=18

Thanks for reaching out to us.

Marie from Québec City asks:

What are the odds (%) of winning at Lotto 6/49 and Québec Max? Are the odds of winning for Québec Max greater than for Lotto 6/49?

 

Our answer:

Hello Marie,

The odds of winning the grand prize at Lotto 6/49 are 1 in 13,983,816. For Québec Max, the odds are 1 in 28,633,528.

You will find the complete details pertaining to prize structures, the odds of winning and on how draws are performed for such products as Lotto 6/49 or Québec Max on our Lotteries website.

Thanks for your question.

Benoit of St-Hubert asks:

I seem to have noticed that when Im feeling low, I never have any luck playing games of chanceever! Is this a myth or a reality? Any explanations?

 

OUR ANSWER

Hello Benoit,

Chance remains chance—regardless of mood. However, mood can affect how we perceive reality. When you’re feeling down, reality can often seem bleak. But once again, that has no incidence on the results of games of chance.

Have a great day!

Claude from Acton Vale asks:

How come Lotto Max results don’t come out immediately after the draw. It gives the impression that the draw is fixed.

 

Our answer:

Hello Claude,

When there are Maxmillions to be drawn, the Société de la loterie interprovinciale (SLI) splits Lotto Max draws into two phases. The first phase involves drawing the Lotto Max winning combination, the second the Maxmillions (there were two during the last draw). Next, we need to know the winners’ origin before we broadcast the show. These verifications require an additional delay. We cannot broadcast draw results separately—consumers might throw away their ticket after having only had a chance to check the Lotto Max winning combination.

Moreover, the draw is available online in our video section and viewing it should suffice to convince you the draw isn’t fixed.

Have a great day!

Victor from Québec City asks:

When playing Lotto 6/49, is always using the same combination a better strategy than letting the machine choose a random one?

 

Our answer:

Hello Victor,

Whether you choose your numbers or let the machine choose them for you, your odds of winning remain the same from one draw to another. For example, at Lotto 6/49, you have 1 chance in 13,983,816 of winning the grand prize with one combination. Here is the calculation corresponding to this assertion: 49 numbers and combinations of 6 numbers = (49x48x47x46x45x44) / (6x5x4x3x2x1).

So, each draw is independent of the preceding one. And despite the fact that it seems as though choosing your own numbers gives you greater control, the winning numbers are always determined at random.

Thanks for your question.

Jean from Québec City asks:

Are the cards remaining in the deck equiprobable when playing online poker on EspaceJeux?

 

Our answer:

Hello Jean,

On EspaceJeux, the deck is shuffled at the beginning of every new hand of poker, which ensures the uniform distribution of probabilities. Events (cards in the deck) are equally probable.

Thanks for your question.

Denis from Val d'or asks:

I bought $500 in scratch lottery tickets and won $2. You made $498 in profit. What do you call that?

 

Our answer:

Hello Denis,

With lotteries, as with almost every other game of chance or gambling, it is impossible to predict or control the outcome of the round or game, regardless of how long one plays or how much one bets. The outcome is solely determined by chance. Some players can win the grand prize by buying a single ticket, while others will win only rarely or never, or will only win small amounts. This is strictly a matter of chance.

Loto-Québec indicates the approximate odds of winning a prize, the approximate odds of winning the grand prize, as well as the payout rate for each of its games on its lotteries site. This same information can be found on the back of tickets. On average, Loto-Québec gives back approximately 60% of the money bet through instant lotteries (scratch cards) to players in the form of prizes of various amounts.

When playing lottery machines, it is important to always set spending and time limits and respect them, regardless of whether one wins or loses. If you continue playing when you feel lucky (because you just won, for example) or to gain back your losses, chances are you’ll lose even more money.

Those who play regularly or excessively will inevitably lose money when playing games of chance or gambling. You can hope to win, but should expect to lose.

Lastly, if your or a close one’s gaming habits are cause for concern, you can get information, advice or help by contacting the Gambling: Help and Referral helpline at 1-800-461-0140 or by visiting http://www.jeu-aidereference.qc.ca/www/homepage_en.asp. This 24/7 province-wide service is free, bilingual, confidential and anonymous.

Feel free to write us again should you have any other questions or comments.

Thank you.

Michèle from Cap-Rouge asks:

Why do I win more easily when I play a pretend game than when I play for real?

 

Our answer:

Hello Michèle,

Some games available on espacejeux.com, like slot machines, roulette or blackjack can be played using pretend money.

However, the rules are the same for all espacejeux.com online games, regardless of whether you are playing with pretend or real money.

The outcome of each online (slot machine, roulette or poker) or in-house game is determined in whole or in part by chance.

For games of pure chance, as is the case with machine or roulette games, all possible outcomes are software programmed. The moment a player presses the Play button, the random number generator selects a winning or losing outcome from among thousands of programmed combinations. The same applies for games played with pretend money.

Like in-house games, the payout rate for online games is calculated based on the entirety of bets placed by all players throughout thousands of games. The payout rate is based on the probability of each combination multiplied by the value of the associated prizes. It is also important to keep in mind that the outcome of each game is independent of the outcome of previous or subsequent games. It is therefore possible to win the grand prize twice in a row or for payouts to be few and far between. The machine has no memory and the random number generator produces a new combination every round. The average payout rate for each online game (except poker) is posted on https://www.espacejeux.com/en/.

Regardless of whether one is playing with real or pretend money, the machines do not determine anything, they only manage the rules established for each game within the limits of chance.

We thank you for your question.

Mario from Laval asks:

How can you talk of chance, when the payout rate of online games is determined by programs?

 

Our answer:

Hello Mario,

The outcome of each online (slot machine, roulette or poker) or in-house game is determined in whole or in part by chance.

For games of pure chance, as is the case with machine or roulette games, all possible outcomes are software programmed. The moment a player presses the Play button, the random number generator selects a winning or losing outcome from among thousands of programmed combinations.

Like in-house games, the payout rate of online games is calculated based on the entirety of bets placed by all players throughout thousands of games. The payout rate is based on the probability of each combination multiplied by the value of the associated prizes. It is also important to keep in mind that the outcome of each game is independent of the outcome of previous or subsequent games. It is therefore possible to win the grand prize twice in a row or for payouts to be few and far between. The machine has no memory and the random number generator produces a new combination every game. The average payout rate for each online game (except poker) is posted on https://www.espacejeux.com/en/.

No payout rate is specified for Texas Hold’em poker since players are not playing against the house but against other players participating online. A rake is taken by the cardroom instead. However, cards (52) are randomly distributed and each game is independent from preceding or subsequent ones. The same 52 cards are used for each game.

In the end, the machines do not determine anything. They only manage the rules established for each game within the limits of chance.

Regulation

Ginette from Laval asks:

You are unbelievable. You’re the ones who win, not us... All those games that make people poor need to be removed.

 

Our answer:

Dear Ginette,

It is true that Loto-Québec’s goal is to make profits, as is the case with any business. However, in this case, if Loto-Québec does not turn a profit, all Quebecers would come out losing. Remember that the totality of its profits (just over 1 billion dollars last year) is sent to the Québec government to be used to fund services such as education, healthcare, public infrastructure, and more.

As for justifying the existence of Loto-Québec that you appear to question, it is crucial to recall the situation before the company’s creation: gambling existed – even if illegally –, but the profits went into the pockets of organized crime concerned with affairs quite distant from those of the common good…

Have a nice day!

Jacques from Montréal asks:

I would like Loto-Québec to regulate phony lottery sites like this one: dibili.ca/fr/.

 

Our answer:

Hello, Jacques.

Loto-Québec has no jurisdiction over this type of site. Actually, our mandate does not enable us to legislate in any way. However, you might want to consider contacting the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux concerning your request at the following web site: racj.gouv.qc.ca/.

Best regards,

Ginette from Beloeil asks:

Can people from outside Canada play Loto-Québec’s games?

 

Our answer:

Yes, people from other countries may play our lottery games as well as games in our casinos, gaming halls, Kinzo halls and other venues (provided they are 18 years of age or older). In the event that people from outside Canada win a prize, they may easily cash their winnings if they are directly deposited in a bank account in Québec or elsewhere in Canada. If winners deposit their cheque in an account in a country other than Canada, the laws of that country, including tax laws, will apply.

However, to play Espacejeux.com online, players must be residents of Québec and physically located in Québec at the time of play.

Thank you!

Niki from Rivière du Loup asks:

Is it true that minors may not be present in a section of a restaurant that offers lotteries?

 

Our answer:

Hello Niki,

Video lottery terminals are restricted to sections regulated by a liquor license, and not simply a restaurant licence. Consequently, you must be 18 years of age or older to gain access.

Have a great day!

Luc from Oka asks:

Can a 12-year-old child purchase a Lotto 6/49 ticket?

 

Our answer:

Dear Luc:

The sale of lottery tickets to minors has been formally prohibited since February 2000. The purpose of the law is to reduce the risk of gambling addition among minors.

In addition, Loto-Québec’s policy is to refrain from awarding prizes to people under 18 years of age. Any and all prizes won by a minor must be paid to the minor’s guardian. Loto-Québec reserves the right to suspend payment until proof of legal guardianship is received. In such a case, Loto-Québec will withhold the prize until such time as a legal guardian is named.

The above rules apply even if a ticket is signed by a minor and an adult. The portion of the prize won by the adult will be paid out, whereas the portion attributable to the minor will be withheld.
In fact, a notice is included in all our ads and on all our products to the effect that they are intended only for adults.
As a reminder, the “18+” logo is also displayed at all retailer outlets selling lottery products, on ticket display stands, Loto-Québec’s web sites as well as on retailer sales and validation screens.

Finally, the message “The sale of lottery tickets to minors is prohibited by law” is displayed on selection slips and lottery tickets, while consumer screens display the message “The law prohibits the sale of lottery tickets to minors.”

The Retailers’ Code of Conduct (including corrective measures to be applied if violations occur) is available on our website.

Have a great day!

Bruno from Asbestos asks:

Loto-Québec is taking advantage of low-income persons, especially those who play slot machines in bars. When is the government going to take action?

 

Our answer:

Hello Bruno,

Your concern for low-income players is noble. However, we would like to explain to you why Loto-Québec continues to operate a video lottery terminal (VLT) network via one of its subsidiaries, the Société des établissements de jeux du Québec (SEJQ).

Consider what the situation was like in Québec when the government tasked Loto-Québec with integrating the VLT market back in 1993. At that time, the Sûreté du Québec estimated that the number of illegally operated machines within the province was between 25,000 and 45,000. The revenue generated by these machines went to organized crime, whose aims are far from the common good.


In 2003, thanks to the SLVQ, the number of VLTs dwindled to 14,300, in a total of 3,663 locations. Since then, the number of establishments where they can be found has decreased by 36% (especially in problem-prone neighbourhoods) and the number of VLTs has further dropped to 12,000.

The VLT network is now limited to licensed establishments with an 18-over space, allowing the SEJQ to ensure the integrity of video lottery gaming industry. In short, in order to fight the proliferation of illegal gaming machine networks, the SEJQ must maintain a VLT network that ensures an adequate, sufficiently wide and therefore balanced geographic coverage of the province’s territory.

Notwithstanding these reasons, it is of vital importance to us to place at the disposal of our various players the tools they need to adopt healthy gaming habits. This is the very purpose of this website, through which you have shared with us your concerns. And this is but one of many measures. What’s more, if you have concerns that someone you know may have a gambling problem, please feel free to tell them about the Gambling: Help and Referral helpline. This 24/7 province-wide service is confidential, anonymous and free. Helpline workers can offer you support, listen to you and guide you to the nearest available resources. You can reach them at 1-800-461-0140, or online at aidejeu.com.

Mélanie from Mirabel asks:

I would like to know if 50/50 draws are legal in the workplace and if they can lead to one losing control of their gaming habits?

 

Our answer:

Hello Mélanie,

Concerning the legality of 50/50 draws, we suggest that you contact the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux du Québec, whose mission it is to provide a framework for controlling and supervising gambling sector activities, by writing to the following address: racj.qc@racj.gouv.qc.ca.

As regards the risks related to 50/50-type draws, one should be aware that participating in any form of draw can entail certain risks if the person participating bets more money than they can afford to lose, if their participation is excessive or has negative consequences on their lives.

It is important to set a spending limit to be respected. Only bet money that you can afford to lose. Only spend a portion of your entertainment budget on gaming activities. Never use money that you have set aside for essential needs such as rent, food, bills, transportation, tuition fees, etc.

To learn more, we suggest you contact the Gambling: Help and Referral  service by visiting their website at aidejeu.com or dialling 1-800-461-0140.

We thank you for taking the time to write us.

Yvon from Montréal asks:

Why not make self-exclusion available in bars as well as casinos? Gambling problems are worse in bars, as they are everywhere.

 

Our answer:

Hello Yvon,

The self-exclusion program is not available in bars because we do not own these establishments. We are therefore unable to verify the identity of those playing there.

In our casinos or gaming halls as well as on espacejeux.com, we are able to implement self-exclusion programs, manage entries with surveillance systems and train security staff to deal with this issue.

But the situation is more complex in bars with video lottery terminals, as we do not own these establishments and therefore, cannot effectively enforce self-exclusion programs or monitor client commitment to these within the said establishments.

To remedy the situation, training is given to bar owners and staff to allow them to direct clients toward the appropriate resources. In addition to this, a number to a 24/7 help line (1-866-767-5389) is displayed on each lottery terminal. Any player wishing to talk about their gambling habits can reach out to a counsellor at any time. Awareness-raising pamphlets are also made available next to machines.

Players can also consult the website aidejeu.com.

Thanks for your question.

Problematic gambling and help

Ahmed from Montréal asks:

How much do you have to lose at the casino before you are considered to have a gambling problem?

 

Our answer:

Hi Ahmed,

Playing games of chance becomes a problem when players begin to spend more than they can afford to lose, creating negative consequences for themselves and their loved ones. Such problems may be personal in nature (health, psychological or physical), may affect their families (conflicts, neglect, abuse), may be financial (losses, debts, loans) or professional (absenteeism, loss of employment or income).

Players who are at risk of developing a gambling problem tend to lose control of their gambling habits. They and their loved ones may experience severe negative consequences in several or all areas of their lives.

Marcel from Montréal asks:

Not all games have the same addictive potential (slot machines vs scratch lottery). Which present the most risk, and why not ban them?

 

Our answer:

Hello Marcel,

Indeed, the risks associated with games of chance and gambling vary depending on the game.

As for banning machines, our mission is to responsibly manage games of chance in a controlled and measured fashion, in the interest of the entire Québec community. By limiting them to licensed establishments with an 18 and over space, Loto-Québec is thereby ensuring the integrity of the video lottery gaming industry.

In short, in order to fight the proliferation of illegal gaming machine networks, we must maintain a certain number of machines to ensure an adequate, sufficiently wide and therefore balanced geographic coverage of the province’s territory. If machines under state control were taken off the market, underground networks would reappear and machine integrity could no longer be certified or their whereabouts controlled, and no assistance would be made available to problem players.

For more information on what measures have been implemented to promote healthy gambling habits, see the Awareness programs and measures page. Thanks for your question.

Ginette from Montréal asks:

Barely 3% of your billions of dollars in profits is invested in combatting pathological gambling. Who has determined this rate, and why is it so low?

 

Our answer:

The amount of money invested to promote responsible gambling was determined in an agreement made in 2001 by the Ministère des Finances, Loto-Québec, the Ministère de la Sécurité publique and the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS). The agreement in question set up an assistance program for pathological gamblers and the people close to them. Every year, $22 million is paid to the MSSS, which has the mandate to offer a line of services related to pathological gambling, ranging from prevention to treatment and including research and evaluation. The money paid each year finances all the services required to reach all 16 regions of Québec. Loto-Québec also has programs and measures in place to keep players informed and encourage them to adopt low-risk gambling habits, as well as measures in gambling establishments to support players who dealing with a loss of control.

It is important to bear in mind that according to ENHJEU-Québec—a survey of 12,000 people in 2012 that was updated in 2014—the rate of moderate-risk gamblers is 1.4% and the rate of probable pathological gamblers is 0.4%. These data confirm the results of other studies carried out in 1996 and 2002, showing that these rates have been stable for years.

And finally, all of Loto-Québec’s profits (just over $1 billion last year) are turned over to the government of Québec and used to support its major missions (in terms of education, health, infrastructure and so on).

We trust the information above answers your question.

Valérie from Montréal asks:

What impact can games of chance have on children?

 

Our answer:

Many studies conducted on adults and minors establish a link between taking up gambling at a young age and the risk of developing a gambling problem later on in life. The earlier in life you start playing. the higher the risk of developing a gambling problem. Furthermore, according to a survey conducted among Québec high school students (Institut de la statistique du Québec, 2008), approximately 36% of students had played a game of chance or gambled for money at least 1 time between 2007 and 2008—the average age of initiation being roughly 11 years old.

According to the same survey, about 30% of students play occasionally and 6% play regularly. Close to 2% of Québec students are probable pathological players (i.e. they have lost control of their gaming habits and suffer significant negative consequences as a result of this) and 4% are at risk of developing the same pattern (they occasionally lose control of their gaming habits and have suffered one or more negative consequences as a result of this).

Moreover, young people do not always fully grasp the concepts of chances, odds and probabilities. They can associate the outcome of gaming as being due to personal qualities or skills they possess, when in reality the results of nearly all games of chance and gambling are completely or largely determined by chance. The immediate gratification from such considerations can lead some youth to intensify their involvement in gambling and lead to a loss of control that can have negative consequences on their lives. Among these can be poor performance at school, dropping out and family conflicts.

Parents and adults play a determining role in how young people perceive participation in gaming and gambling activities. The same is true of preventing problem gambling. The choices, values and especially the behaviour displayed by surrounding adults can have an important influence on those adopted by young people.

If your child’s or a close one’s gaming habits are cause for concern, you can contact Gambling: Help and Referral at 1-800-461-0140. This service is confidential, anonymous and available 24/7.

You can also visit the website jeuchezlesjeunes.com for more information.

Jacques from Montréal asks:

Isn’t it a bit hypocritical to spend 30 times more in advertising than in prevention campaigns when you know the risks of addiction? It’s contradictory.

 

Our answer:

Dear Jacques:

Thank you for your question.

We always seek to provide our players with a maximum of information, allowing them to make informed decisions, and determine their time and budget limits, thus avoiding any loss of control. Responsible gambling is of great concern to Loto-Québec. We take concrete measures to ensure that a game remains a game.

Loto-Québec has a dual mission combining its commercial mandate of generating revenue for the government and its social mandate of minimizing any negative consequences linked to games of chance. We seek daily to reconcile these two complementary mandates.

Have a nice day.

Benoit from Saint-Hubert asks:

I seem to have noticed that when I’m feeling low, I never have any luck playing games of chance—ever! Is this a myth or a reality? Any explanations?

 

Our answer:

Hello Benoit,

Chance remains chance—regardless of mood. However, mood can affect how we perceive reality. When you’re feeling down, reality can often seem bleak. But once again, that has no incidence on the results of games of chance.

Have a great day!

Lysandre from Montréal asks:

Does Loto-Québec have a foundation to help pathological gamblers? Thank you!

 

Our answer:

Hello, Lysandre,

Loto-Québec does not have a foundation. However, the Corporation spends significant amounts every year to fight problem gambling – $27.1 million last year alone. Part of that amount (approximately $22 million) is paid to the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux to financially support organizations that assist people who have gambling problems. Loto-Québec has also developed a series of initiatives to promote responsible gambling. The site from which you wrote to us is one of many examples.

Thank you

Pascale from Gatineau asks:

How much profit do you make each year on the backs of compulsive players? What assistance or funding do you provide to help these people or the organizations set up to help them?

 

Our answer:

Hello Pascale,

As you are no doubt aware, Loto-Québec turns over the totality of its profits to the government, who in turn uses these funds to promote various government missions (education, health, infrastructures, etc.). Last year, this amount totalled slightly over one billion dollars.

The Corporation gives $22M to the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux every year. This money serves to fund research and the development of preventive and treatment measures by addiction rehabilitation centres that offer effective and free programs to players and their families throughout the province. What's more, in 2013–2014 roughly $4M was allotted to the funding of programs promoting responsible gaming, as well as to the implementation and continuous improvement of tools within Loto-Québec establishments, such as Centre du hasard kiosks and the self-exclusion program.

Finally, according to data complied by the ENHJEU-Québec Survey conducted by a Concordia University researcher in 2012, close to 2% of Québec adults report having a gambling problem. Of these, 1.4% are considered to be at-risk players and 0.4% to be probable pathological players. They represent 120,000 people. According to the same study, close to 66% of Québec adults indicate having played at least once between 2011 and 2012.

We hope we have answered your question.

Margarete from Québec City asks:

What are the strongest motivating factors to get an at-risk player to decide to change their behaviour?

 

Our answer:

Hello Margarete,

First of all, an at-risk player is someone who admits to occasionally losing control of their gaming habits, leading to one or more negative consequences on their personal or professional lives.

The pathological player for their part has totally lost control over their gaming habits. They need to play. This leads to numerous negative consequences in all aspects of their lives. It can even go so far as to affect their health.

For a problem player (either an at-risk or pathological one) to be able to change their gaming habits, they must first admit that their participation is excessive and has negative consequences for themselves and members of their entourage. Next, they must next be willing to change the way they play, either by setting and respecting limits (time, money) on their gaming or quitting altogether if respecting theses limits is too difficult. Keeping one’s gaming habits under control is one way of limiting participation. Some can manage to do this on their own, though most need outside help, either from a friend or family member or from a counsellor. The player must also be willing to talk about their habit and the negative consequences it entails without lying or playing down the importance it plays in their lives.

If your or a close one’s gaming habits are cause for concern, you can get information, advice or help by contacting the Gambling: Help and Referral helpline at 1-800-461-0140 or visiting http://www.jeu-aidereference.qc.ca/www/homepage_en.asp. This 24/7 province-wide service is free, bilingual and confidential.

Thanks for taking the time to write us.

Jean-Luc from Rosemère asks:

What can I do to self-exclude myself forever?

 

Our answer:

Hello Jean-Luc,

The self-exclusion program is not offered on a life-time basis. The maximum proposed duration is 5 years. The reasons for this are many. Most notable among these being the need to update participant information and have a recent photo on file.

Therefore, the program duration has been set between 3 months and 5 years. Six months before the end of your contract, you can visit one of our establishments—our head office or a casino, for example—in order to sign a new self-exclusion contract. This service is also available via certain help establishments.

It should be noted that there are two self-exclusion options; you can either choose a contract with a counsellor or without a counsellor. Should you choose a contract with a counsellor, they will contact you approximately 3 months before the end of your self-exclusion contract to set up an appointment. During this appointment, you will be offered the opportunity to sign a new self-exclusion contract.

To learn more about the self-exclusion program, please consult our program.

Thanks for your question.

Nicole from Sherbrooke asks:

What are the main causes of excessive gaming?

 

Our answer:

Hello Nicole,

The development of a gambling problem is the result of the interaction between an individual (personality traits, family history, gambling history, etc.), a product (characteristics and functioning) and a context (notably access to gaming products and social acceptance).

These three factors are indissociable and can explain why, when exposed to the same products, certain players lose control of their gaming habits, while others do not.

Thanks for your question and have a great day.

Simon from Montréal asks:

Can someone develop a physical dependency on gaming, the same as with drugs?

 

Our answer:

Hello,

Based on the= knowledge we have today, most specialists in the field are of the opinion that when someone becomes a pathological player, the nature of the dependency on gaming they experience is psychological, though it may present many similarities with a physical one.

One can notably observe such aspects as tolerance (need to place higher bets to obtain the sought-after level of excitement), difficulty or inability to stop playing even when one would like to, as well as health problems that may be related to said dependency (headaches, anxiety, symptoms of depression).

To learn more about the risks associated with gaming, we suggest you contact the Gambling: Help and Referral helpline by visiting their website aidejeu.com or dialling 1-800-461-0140.

Thanks for taking the time to write us.

Simon from Québec asks:

Can I remove myself from self-exclusion?

 

Our answer:

Hello,

Unfortunately, self-exclusion contracts cannot be modified before the date indicated in the document. As was stipulated at time of signature, the contract in irreversible.

If you require additional information, counselling or help, please contact Gambling: Help and Referral at 1-800-461-0140 or at aidejeu.com. This help and referral service is free, confidential, and available throughout Québec in both English and French, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

Mike from Montréal asks:

What it is the approximate percentage of the population suffering from a gambling problem?

 

Our answer:

Hello Mike,

According to a survey published in 2010, 2% of Québec’s adult population (about 120,000 Québecers) are problem gamblers, 1.3% of whom present a moderate risk of developing gambling problems and 0.7% of whom are considered to be probable pathological players.

While the percentage of problem gamblers is relatively low, that doesn’t mean the issue is not a cause for concern to us! Quite the contrary!

Since 2002, Loto-Québec has spent $240M in assistance programs for excessive gamblers. Loto-Québec allots $30M every year to the funding of programs promoting responsible gambling, as well as to the implementation and continuous improvement of tools within Loto-Québec establishments. Of this amount, $22M goes to the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux for the implementation of preventive and free, effective treatment programs offered by rehabilitation centres, CLSCs and other establishments throughout Quebec.

Thanks for your question.

Stefany from Montréal asks:

How much has the Québec government invested in the “Mise sur toi” program?

 

Our answer:

Hello Stefany,

First of all, we’d like to point out that funds injected into the Mise sur toi foundation over the past several years were supplied by Loto-Québec and not the government.

As attested by our annual reports, in the course of the past three years, Loto-Québec injected a total of 17.8 million dollars in the Mise sur toi foundation, i.e:

  • $5.3M in 2011–2012
  • $6.1M in 2010–2011
  • $6.4M in 2009–2010.

If you want to learn more about Loto-Québec’s investments, please consult the annual reports for the past several years, available on our website.

Robert from Beloeil asks:

What is the single defining criteria of a pathological player?

 

Our answer:

Hello Robert,

One can consider their gaming to have reached problematic proportions when they go on playing and betting despite the fact that they are experiencing negative consequences as a result of the said gambling activities. One’s gambling habits compromise, perturb or pose an obstacle to their personal and professional happiness.

Here are two categories of players who can be considered to have a gambling problem:

A player who presents a moderate risk of developing gambling problems:

  • occasionally loses control of their gaming habits
  • has experienced one or more negative consequences as a result of their gaming habits. 

A probable pathological player:

  • has lost control over their gaming habits
  • has experienced several significantly negative consequences as a result of their gaming habits. 

To learn more, we suggest you contact a Gambling: Help and Referral counsellor either by dialling 1-800-461-0140 or by visiting their website at aidejeu.com.

Marcel from Montréal asks:

Some games (VLTs) seem more addictive than others (scratch lottery). Have there been studies and targeted measures in this regard?

 

Our answer:

Hello Marcel,

Indeed, the risks associated with games of chance and gambling vary depending on the game.

Studies have been conducted, notably one in 2009 which examined the gambling behaviours of adults in Québec, indicating that problem gamblers (both at-risk and probable pathological players) rank proportionally higher in number among video lottery terminal (VLT) and online players.

Other studies conducted both within Québec as well as internationally, show that certain segments of the population present a higher occurrence of gaming problems and point out the risks inherent to various gaming products.

You can access various studies related to gaming problems conducted in Québec by contacting the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture at 514-873-1298 or by visiting their website.

In order to promote the adoption of low-risk gaming habits in players, the Société des loteries vidéo du Québec (SLVQ) has implemented various measures and actions:

  • VLTs now offer a variety of new features, such as the ability for the player to set a time limit (15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes), a menu explaining how games of chance operate, as well as the display of the players’ bank balance in dollars or credits so that they can accurately gauge the actual extent of their wins or losses
  • Mandatory training of all staff working in establishments where VLTs can be found
  • Gambling: Help and Referral helpline number displayed in the upper portion of the screen.

 

For more information on what measures have been implemented to promote healthy gaming, see the Programs and Measures page.

Thanks for taking the time to write us.

Other

Mélissa from Québec asks:

How much money does Loto-Québec spend in advertising on a yearly basis in both prevention and commercial campaigns?

 

Our answer:

Hi, Mélissa.

Between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015, Loto-Québec invested 1.3 million dollars in its problem gambling awareness campaign Décider and, during the same period, 46.6 million dollars to promote and advertise its different products, including 31.6 million dollars for lotteries and 12.7 million dollars for Québec’s four casinos.

Annie from Montréal asks:

Since the Sustainable Development Act was adopted in 2006, what has Loto-Québec concretely accomplished in terms of becoming more eco-responsible?

 

Our answer:

Hello Annie,

Loto-Québec adopted a sustainable development policy in 2006. Our most recent actions in this respect are listed in the section Follow-up on the Actions Outlined in the 2013–2015 Sustainable Development Action Plan of our annual report (pages 83–97).

Thank you for your interest in Loto-Québec.

François asks:

How much do you invest in advertising compared to prevention?

 

Our answer:

Hello François,

Between April 1, 2012, and March 31, 2013, Loto-Québec spent 30.3 million dollars on prevention and awareness in relation with problem gaming. The money was divided as follows: $22M went to the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, $5.3M went to the Office of the  Vice President of Responsible Gamblinge and $3M went to the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux.

During the same period, $43M were spent on the promotion and advertising of various products—notably $29.3M for lotteries and $13.7M for the four casinos in the province.

Thanks for reaching out to us.

Zachary from Valleyfield asks:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of playing?

 

Our answer:

Hello Zachary,

Games of chance and gambling are, for most adult Québecers, a form of entertainment involving betting a sum of money or other good on an activity whose outcome is, in whole or in part, based on chance and where one risks losing the stake.

Most people participate in such activities for entertainment and because, clearly, they hope to win.

Among the disadvantages is the high risk of losing their bet. What’s more, someone who plays excessively or loses control of their gaming habits will inevitably suffer disadvantages or negative consequences, notably in terms of time spent playing and amounts bet … their close ones could also be affected.

A responsible player sets limits on the amount bet and time they spend gambling (both in terms of duration and frequency) and sticks to these limits. These will vary depending on each player and should take into account the person’s personal and financial situation.

Thanks for your question.

Bertrand from Montréal asks:

What actions are taken by the Government and how much money is invested in lotteries and other games of chance?

 

Our answer

We presume that you are referring to problems relating to excessive gambling. The Government of Québec receives 22 million dollars annually from Loto-Québec to be reinvested in research on games of chance and problem gambling, treatment offered to gamblers and their loved ones, as well as prevention.

Moreover, Loto-Québec has put in place a variety of programs and measures to inform and sensitize gamblers about low-risk behaviour as well as on-site measures in its gambling establishments to support players in crisis.

Jean from Québec City asks:

Are there any other platforms allowing one to ask questions regarding the marketing of Loto-Québec products?

 

Our answer:

Hello Jean,

Consult our corporate website for the full list of digital platforms we can be found on. You can learn more about our activities as a whole by accessing these various platforms.

Thanks for your question and have a great day.

Armando from Montréal asks:

My son plays poker at the summer camp day care—should I be worried?

 

Our answer:

Hello,

For starters, we have no knowledge as to the context within which this activity is being organized, nor the manner in which it is effectively taking place—therefore we are assuming that no money is being bet. Poker nonetheless remains symbolically tied to money, prestige and social recognition as much for children as for adults.

We are of the opinion that encouraging young children attending summer camp to participate in the said activity is not advisable. It is important that such an activity not involve young children and that older children be introduced under the supervision of adults—preferably their parents—who know the child and their personality well.

Children do not possess the cognitive maturity necessary to adequately understand the concepts of chance, odds or probabilities. What’s more, children, and especially young children, may not be able to distinguish between playing with or without money—for them, in either case, it’s just a game.

Lastly, it should be noted that introducing children to gaming and gambling early on increases the risk that they develop gambling problems as adults.
Parents and adults play a determining role in how young people perceive participation in gaming and gambling activities. The same is true of preventing problem gambling: the choices, values and especially the behaviour displayed by adults within their entourage have an important influence on those adopted by young people.

If your child’s or a close one’s gambling habits are subject for concern, you can contact the Gambling: Help and Referral helpline at 1-800-461-0140. This service is confidential, anonymous and available 24/7.

You can also visit the website jeuchezlesjeunes.com for more information.