MONTREAL - Loto-Quebec is hoping to offer its clients online poker and sports betting beginning next summer.

Alain Cousineau, the head of the provincial lottery corporation, made the announcement in a speech to the Montreal Board of Trade on Tuesday.

He said Loto-Quebec also plans to collaborate with the lottery corporations in five other provinces that already offer online services.

They are British Columbia and the four Atlantic provinces.

Studies show that in 2009, online gambling represents a worldwide market of $25.3 billion -- a 300 per cent increase since 2004.

In Canada, there's been an annual growth of 30 per cent since 2003 and analysts expect online gambling transactions to surpass $1 billion a year by 2012.

In Quebec in 2009, actual illegal transactions related to Internet gambling have been evaluated at $80 million.

Loto-Quebec has already asked the province to make the necessary regulatory changes to allow Quebec to enter the online gambling market.

Revenues from casinos, lotteries and video lottery terminals in Quebec have levelled off for several years.