Government eating the profits

January 29, 2002 9:22 AM
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WHEN IS TOO MUCH, TOO MUCH? Gambling critics in Quebec, Canada, are complaining that the provincial government is making too much money from drinking and gambling. Combined, the liquor commission and Loto-Quebec, which operates all gambling enterprises within their jurisdiction, reported banking a profit of $2 billion last year.

Total gambling revenues hit $3.6 billion while the liquor revenue, also a monopoly, reached $1.9 billion.

“The government has an insatiable appetite for profits ”¦and we must control that a bit,” said a leading critic.

But, on the heels of the criticism, Loto-Quebec appointed a new head, a person who was credited with an aggressive marketing campaign that dramatically increased liquor sales in the province.

Said the critic, “It’s a funny message from a government that’s supposed to be concerned about compulsive gambling and places its best salesman in charge of Loto-Quebec.”