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Ontario lottery to be investigated

Ontario Lottery and Gaming CorporationOntario Lottery and Gaming Corporation: Ontario lottery to be investigated

The Ontario Ombudsman will investigate allegations about "insiders" winning a disproportionate number of lotteries to restore public trust in the province's lottery corporation.

André Marin said yesterday that allegations that more than 200 ticket retailers or clerks have won prizes of more than $50,000 in the past seven years have "cast a large shadow" over the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. and "brought into question its actions."

He said he had received few complaints from lottery-ticket buyers but said he was concerned with the lottery corporation's initial defensiveness and by the government's refusal to appoint an independent investigator.

Mr. Marin said he would not investigate the cases raised this week by the CBC-TV program the fifth estate. The program, using a statistical analysis, said that more than two-thirds of the wins by insiders may have involved deception. Instead, he will look into how the public is protected from theft and fraud and how the lottery corporation handles complaints from ticket buyers.

The ombudsman characterized lottery schemes not so much as a game of chance as a game of trust.

"When someone buys a lottery ticket, they recognize that the odds of winning are infinitesimal," Mr. Marin said at a news conference at Queen's Park. "They accept that risk but the risk they don't accept is that an insider not entitled to the winnings hits the jackpot and walks away with the cash."

The initiation of the investigation comes a day after Public Infrastructure Minister David Caplan insisted that the lottery corporation could get to the bottom of the matter with an internal review. At the same time, the Crown corporation, which contributes nearly $2-billion a year to the Ontario treasury, said it was a leader in lottery security.

Yesterday, Mr. Caplan said he welcomed the ombudsman's investigation and promised to act on its recommendations. "It is important that the public have trust and confidence in the lottery corporation and the games they offer."

He also said the lottery corporation would apologize to Robert Edmonds, an 82-year-old who was defrauded out of a $250,000 prize by a store owner.

But Mr. Caplan resisted calls by the Progressive Conservative opposition for a forensic audit or police investigation into the CBC allegations.

Conservative critic Bob Runciman accused the minister of blindly supporting the lottery corporation, which earlier this year was in hot water for spending $6-million for a new logo, part of a "rebranding" exercise.

Globe and Mail

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5 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by BobP.
Page 1 of 1
Coastal Georgia
United States
Member #2653
October 30, 2003
1866 Posts
Posted: October 27, 2006, 9:26 am - IP Logged

There's a lot to comment on here, but what really jumps off the page is the  $6 Million for a new logo .

My first investigation would be the firm that collected that check...Roll Eyes







    United States
    Member #30273
    January 14, 2006
    494 Posts
    Posted: October 27, 2006, 6:26 pm - IP Logged

    From what I understand they don't broadcast their drawings. That would probably be a major help.

      Kingston, Ontario
      Member #46867
      October 5, 2006
      106 Posts
      Posted: October 27, 2006, 7:25 pm - IP Logged

      Up until 1990, the lottery corporation did more than broadcast their draws.  There was a travelling lottery game called Wintario that operated for 15 years, that would do its draw live from a different town/village in Ontario every week.  After 1990, the OLGC had problems connecting with the players because lottery money no longer went into the communities they way they once did...it went into a general revenue fund. Essentially, the government could use the money in any way it wished.  The TV drawings after Wintario went to Ontario Lottery Live from a small studio in Toronto, they tried a five minute version called WIN-TV.  They all failed because it costs them a lot of money for TV time.  But then you read about how they waste money -- the new logo and hiring lawyers to fight silly court cases that could have been settled fast. 

      The new logo for the lottery corporation (OLG) Ontario Lottery and Gaming, cost a lot more than $6 million.  And I can tell you they spent hundreds of millions to put the logo on everything.  All the lottery selection slips, literature, signage at retail level, kiosks, corporate look in the building, casinos with their new signage, everything that beared the old logo had to be changed.  From what I heard from an auditor in Toronto, over $200 million was spent on the new look.  

        starchild_45's avatar - spherewall2
        kent, washington
        United States
        Member #3509
        January 26, 2004
        465 Posts
        Posted: October 27, 2006, 10:20 pm - IP Logged

        what gets me is that some store owner tried to rip that 82 year old man off. shame on them and things like that never happen in canada. EHH?

          BobP's avatar - bobp avatar.png
          Dump Water Florida
          United States
          Member #380
          June 5, 2002
          3102 Posts
          Posted: October 29, 2006, 1:04 am - IP Logged

          Outside of crooked clerks paying lower tier prizes as if the true prize and then cashing the ticket as their own, it isn't hard to figure out why lottery store employees win more often.  They see what customers have a lot of winning tickets and play those numbers too.  Wouldn't you?