Gamblers want to sue Loto-Québec over VLTs
A group of gamblers has launched a lawsuit against Loto-Québec, accusing the lottery corporation of downplaying the dangers of video lottery terminals (VLTs).
The gamblers have filed for permission to launch a class-action lawsuit against the provincial corporation, seeking more than $500 million in damages to cover treatment costs for people addicted to VLTs.
Documents filed in Quebec Superior Court this week allege that Loto-Québec has not fulfilled its obligation to warn users of the risk of addiction when using VLTs. The case refers to government studies that link VLTs to pathological gambling.
The class-action lawsuit is being launched by Jean Brochu, a Quebec lawyer and recovering compulsive gambler.
Loto-Québec has stated in the past that it believes compulsive gambling is a personal health problem rather than a legal issue with clearly defined liability.
Quebec started regulating VLTs in 1993. Prior to regulation, there were between 25,000 and 50,000 terminals across the province. There are now about 12,000 installed in casinos, bars and restaurants.
The application will be heard in Quebec Superior Court in September.
With files from the Canadian Press