Gamblers in the Canadian province of Quebec can now play poker online, thanks to a joint effort between Loto-Québec and software provider GTECH G2. The Canadian Poker Network, part of Loto-Québec’s new Espacejeux online gambling site, saw a successful launch yesterday, 13 December 2010.
This online poker service is only available to residents of Quebec, as Canadian gambling laws give each individual province the power to regulate online gambling within their borders. The network is operated out of a GTECH G2’s data center in Montreal, while operations are based in the National Operations Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick. The site was given a five year operating contract with the possibility of two two-year extensions.
The Canadian Poker Network represents not only the first regulated online poker site in Canada, but also the first legally licensed and regulated online poker network in all of North America. The network provides players with access to eight poker variations, including Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi/Lo and Canadian Stud (or Soko). The service is available in both French and English.
While the new Espacejeux poker site is licensed and regulated in Canada, it is not the only site where gamblers can play online poker in Canada. There are dozens of other internet poker rooms that have a long history of accepting Canadian players. These are licensed and regulated in other countries around the world, and offer a good alternative for Canadians who are looking for online poker, but who do not live in Quebec.