In Montreal, Canada

Loto-Quebec says vaccination against COVID-19 is not a requirement for employees

Loto-Quebec is a provincial Crown corporation that operates casinos.
Reading time 1:45 min
The operator will not be requiring its employees to be vaccinated since the 77.5% vaccination rate in Quebec suggests that most employees are vaccinated. Revenues are up 154.9%, additionally, the company has taken some measures to address the issue of money laundering lowering the number of deposits allowed, updating its security system, and replacing tokens with point cards.

Crown corporation, Loto-Quebec in Montreal, Canada said that it will not be requiring its employees to be vaccinated, and although the lottery does not know the vaccination coverage rate of its employees, the 77.5% vaccination rate in Quebec suggests that the majority of employees are vaccinated.

Loto-Quebec president and CEO Jean-François Bergeron, said: "It's a sensitive subject, as we can see everywhere, and the employer doesn't have all the mechanisms to impose it."

Bergerson, who took office on May 31, insisted that the facility is safe for both, customers and employees.

"The employees have their masks on. There have been no outbreaks. It's pretty well managed from a safety standpoint," he added.

Casinos reopened in mid-June and are currently at a 50% occupancy capacity. Although some of the restaurants within the casinos have not yet reopened, Loto-Québec is considering offering food. Additionally, the lottery is analyzing the possibility of presenting shows at the Casino de Montréal, while respecting health regulations.

Regarding the 2021-2022 fiscal year, Bergeron said he is optimistic, pointing out that Loto-Québec's contribution to the Quebec treasury was nearly 60 % of its usual level during the first quarter which ended on June 28. The consolidated net income was $196 million, up to $260 million from a loss of $64 million in the same period last year, however, the figure is still 42% lower than the pre-pandemic year.

Revenues, meanwhile, are up 154.9%, or $243.9 million, to $401.3 million. This is 38.8% less than in the pre-pandemic year.

Despite challenges, the operator remains the largest source of revenue, up 171.6% to $284.3 million.

Furthermore, Loto-Quebec, said that it has taken some measures to address the issue of money laundering. Among recent measures, the number of deposits allowed without due diligence has been decreased from $10,000 to $3,000.

Bergerson commented: "It dramatically increases the number of audits that are done. It makes it much harder for people to launder money. It doesn't fly under the radar as much," reports the CTV News.

He also added that the security system has been updated with cameras that provide better image quality and that the company is also working on changing its computer systems to replace tokens with point cards, which would ensure that the tokens could no longer be taken out of the gaming areas as currency for criminal activity.

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