BUSINESS

IGT inks EspaceJeux; Quebec student protest props; Gateway Casinos IPO

TAGs: Espacejeux.com, Gateway Casinos, IGT, international game technology, Loto Quebec, Toronto

igt-loto-quebec-sports-interaction-protest-propsInternational Game Technology has struck a deal to provide Loto-Québec with casino games for its online gaming site EspaceJeux.com. The first phase of the deal will allow residents of la belle provence to access four of IGT’s top titles, including Cleopatra, Wheel of Fortune (Hollywood Edition), Monopoly with Pass Go Bonus and CLUE. The second phase will integrate IGT’s remote game server with the EpaceJeux platform, allowing access to an additional 16 IGT titles, developed in Canadian French (but also available en Anglais). IGT expects over 30 IGT casino games will be available to Quebecois residents by the end of 2012.

Those who watched Montreal-based band Arcade Fire back up Mick Jagger on last week’s Saturday Night Live broadcast may have noticed small red squares adorning the band’s outfits. The squares were a mark of solidarity with Quebec’s university students, who have been conducting a highly visible and occasionally raucous protest of high tuition fees. Kahnawake-based sports betting site Sports Interaction is now offering props on which celebrities might be next to don le carré rouge, with left-wing documentarian/rabble rouser Michael Moore out front at 7:1 and buzz-killing Prime Minister Stephen Harper tipped as least likely at 201:1. The site is also taking various other strike-related bets, including whether martial law will be imposed before the end of the year (currently running at 5.5:1). Just be glad the Canadiens aren’t still in the NHL playoff hunt…

Across the border in Ontario, a Strategic Communications poll of Toronto residents shows a low level of support for a proposed waterfront casino. The May 15 survey of 954 Torontonians found 45% opposed, 32% in favor, 19% “neutral” and 3.5% fence-sitters. When the question was rephrased to ask whether respondents would support a casino in their particular neighborhood, opposition rose to 58% while support fell to 19%.

Moving further west, British Columbia-based Gateway Casinos and Entertainment has filed a preliminary prospectus ahead of a return to trading on public markets. The company, which operates 12 properties in BC and neighboring Alberta, was taken off the market five years ago in a $1.4b private equity buyout. Numbers are still being finalized, but the Globe And Mail estimated the initial public offering would be “north of the $100m mark.”

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