Posts Tagged ‘ Video Lottery Terminal Lawsuit

Quebec Lottery Commission Reaches Settlement With Addicted Gamblers: Will Other Provinces Follow Suit?

A  $500 million  dollar class action launched against  the Quebec Lottery Commission in 2001  has reportedly reached a tentative settlement agreement. An estimated 250,000 class members who have incurred therapy fees between 1994 and 2002 as a result of  becoming addicted to using Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) are expected to settle their gambling claims for $50 million dollars, a far cry from the original amount sought.  The actual figures and terms of the agreement will be made public on January 16, 2010. In March 2010, a Quebec judge will decide on whether the settlement ought to be approved after hearing arguments from  class members unhappy with the agreement. The significance of this outcome will be likely to have an effect across Canada as similar class actions have been filed in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Ontario.

According to many, this settlement is bittersweet. On the one hand, some compensation has been provided to those “victims” of addictive gambling. On the other hand, the fact that the settlement was not court ordered means that this is not seen as a legal admission of liability, and cannot be used as a precedent to help bind  similar matters in other jurisdictions. This would allow lottery corporations to maintain their operational  status quo without any concern for the need to adhere to legally set duties of care to addicted gamblers. However, although a binding legal precedent may not have been set,  the settlement  may still  have established a “moral precedent” to encourage similar settlements in other jurisdictions, but only time will tell.

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