Is your region the one where citizens spend the most on lotteries?

Is your region the one where citizens spend the most on lotteries?

Quebecers love the lottery, and in some regions citizens spend heavily to buy tickets.

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Lottery sales increased across the province for fiscal year 2021-2022. Loto-Québec’s lottery sales revenue reached over US$982.7 million. That’s a 32% year-over-year increase, which the company said was due to the performance of Lotto Max and the suspension of retail lottery sales early in the pandemic. This revenue excludes online game sales.

Citizens on the north coast and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean spent the most on tickets last year, according to a TVA Nouvelles compilation of data on the total population of each region.

They spent an average of $162.53 on the lottery, closely followed by residents of Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie with $158.26. The Mauricie comes in 3rd place.

Conversely, citizens in Estrie, Montreal and the Capitale-Nationale spent the least on the lottery.

Loto-Québec states that there is no specific targeting of products by region.

Pathological gambling aid and prevention organizations warn that gambling can be addictive.

“The lottery ranks 3rd for seeking help, the reasons people call us,” said Nancy Rocha, Director of Specialized Addiction Services at the Game: Help and Referral organization.

Buying lottery tickets is very culturally integrated in Quebec.

“You can become addicted, I would particularly like to stress that if you are having trouble spending too much money on tickets and scratch cards, then it is important to say that when you feel that ‘we have a problem, that we find that we have exceeded our limits too much in terms of our budget and that it is integrated as a habit, every time I go to the supermarket I also have to buy the lottery, it is important to consult,” added Ms. Rocha .

In recent years, the director general of La Montée, an addiction treatment center in Rivière-Ouelle in Bas-Saint-Laurent, has seen a number of cases of lottery addiction.

“It certainly isn’t as addictive as the video lottery machines you see in bars or online casinos. This is what we encounter most often during our therapy stays, but yes, over the years, I’ve been working here for several years, I’ve met people who came to us because they had problems with addictions related to buying scratch cards or lotteries had tickets,” said Stéphane Picard.

Online gambling is becoming increasingly popular.

“We see a lot of people switching to online casinos and it has perverse implications because the game is available 24/7,” added Mr. Picard.

There are resources to help people who believe gambling has become a problem for them. The Game: Help and Mediation organization provides remote services 24 hours a day throughout the province.