A bill introduced by the Quebec government, if passed, would force internet service providers to block access to all internet gambling websites by Quebecers except for the one operated by Loto-Quebec, Espacejeux.
It’s a form of internet censoring that has legal critics argue potentially violates freedom of expression.
The finance minister argues that the Bill is necessary to protect the health and safety of Quebecers. However, many argue that the underlying reason for the Bill is to block competition by foreign online gambling websites.
According to the Quebec budget, “Illegal websites do not apply the same responsible gaming rules as the government and thus pose a risk to the population, especially young people.” The budget documents say that Loto-Quebec has been losing money to online gaming competitors.
The government’s plan “would increase the dividend that Loto-Quebec pays to the government by $13.5 million in 2016-17 and $27 million a year thereafter.”
Such a law would be extremely complicated and costly for internet service providers.