Play your cards right and you could profit from lottery tickets issued by Loto-Québec. But scratch the cards in a way that results in legal winnings, and the organization may not take kindly to that. That’s according to the organization’s president, André Bélisle, who said Monday that his organization had “decided to withdraw the products,” referring specifically to the scratch cards that offer prizes of five, 10 or 50 dollars when the winning combination of numbers, letters, and stars is found on each of the cards.

The government-owned lottery corporation of the province of Québec,  Loto-Québec, has decided to withdraw from the distribution of scratch cards that offered bonus bets under the name “Decathlon Québec”.  The new scratch-cards, which replaced Decathlon Québec on July 1, 2015, were also controversial. They were the first scratch cards that accepted a purchase with a credit card. It was also the first time that Loto-Québec ever allowed Internet users to play, via a mobile app, one of its scratch cards.

After a huge outcry, Loto Quebec has decided to remove the Record of Heat or Record of Shine scratch cards from sale. Tickets went on sale the same day, as the heat problem unfortunately coincided with a temperature spike that caused more than 300 wildfires and numerous deaths in British Columbia.

Last week, British Columbia reported more than 300 wildfires in the province, and local authorities recorded more than 700 deaths during the heat wave. The province is also warning of an impending and potentially dangerous heat wave this week. Here’s what the post says: The hotter it is, the higher the price, which has led to a serious reaction in the country.

Missing agreement

Renaud Dugas, spokesman for Loto-Québec, clarified the controversial tickets on behalf of the state-owned company. Dugas explained that the concept of Heat Record was created in the fall of 2020 and the idea was to launch a summer-themed ticket, as many Quebecers prefer a nice, warm summer season.

The recently introduced $2 bills pay out based on the outside temperature. According to the motto: The warmer the day, the higher the prices. There are seven sun symbols on the ticket that players can scratch off, and some of them pay $1,000 Canadian dollars per degree, depending on the temperature. For example, if it’s 30 degrees, the price is 30,000 CAD.

Dugas went on to say that the heat record tickets are part of the 50 unique tickets launched by the state agency each year. Nevertheless, he stated that the Crown understands the sensitivity of the issue, even if that is not the original idea of the notes. For this reason, Crown Corporation has decided to discontinue the scratch product.

Breach of security

Recently, Loto Quebec reported that Crown’s official online platform had been affected by a security breach some time ago. Martin Raymond, a computer analyst from Terrebonne, was involved in a fraudulent scheme where he gained access to user accounts and the company’s database while working for Crown Corporation. He abused 30 user accounts and transferred money to his, luckily the agency discovered it quickly.

Mr Raymond, 37, was formally charged last Wednesday before the Saint-Jérôme correctional court with various offences for his misconduct. He is charged with breach of trust towards a government official, fraud of more than $5,000 Canadian dollars towards a gambler and a government company, possession of personal information and unauthorized use of a computer.

Advertising for online casinos

The crown corporation also plans to address another problem in the province. The agency has asked for legal help in its fight against illegal online casinos on TV channels. These ads are confusing to residents because they tend to believe that the illegal sites being advertised are part of the state’s regulated gambling services. This is far from the case.

Source: Rowe, Daniel Loto-Québec withdraws Heat Record scratch cards due to negative feedback, CTV News, 13. July 2021.

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