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Ontario Lottery chief fired

Ontario Lottery and Gaming CorporationOntario Lottery and Gaming Corporation: Ontario Lottery chief fired
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The head of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation was dismissed from the scandal-plagued organization on Friday, according to CBC News.

CEO Duncan Brown was escorted out of the lottery corporation's offices in Toronto, two sources told the CBC, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Repeated calls to officials at the lottery corporation went unanswered Friday.

The dismissal follows allegations that several lottery clerks stole winning tickets from unsuspecting customers and cashed in millions of dollars in prizes themselves.

The allegations came to light in the fall, when CBC's The Fifth Estate told the story of Bob Edmonds, an 82-year-old Ontario man who sued the lottery corporation in 2005. Edmonds, from the town of Coboconk, alleges he won $250,000, but his prize was fraudulently claimed at his local corner store.

The lottery corporation settled with Edmonds, paying him $100,000. He signed a confidentiality agreement as part of the deal.

At the time The Fifth Estate program aired, Brown said he didn't necessarily accept the claims the program was making.

On March 14, a second investigation by The Fifth Estate revealed the lottery corporation has been dealing with insider fraud cases for at least four years.

The Fifth Estate obtained a leaked document that showed in 2003 alone, the lottery corporation was investigating six lottery claims made by clerks that seemed suspicious. One of the cases involved Edmonds.

The resignation of Brown follows a lengthy investigation by Ombudsman André Marin into allegations that more than 200 ticket retailers or clerks have won prizes of more than $50,000 in the past seven years.

Mr. Marin is set to release his report on Monday.

In an e-mail sent to employees yesterday, Mr. Brown said he appreciates their response to the challenges the corporation faced in recent months.

"We have had our share of criticism — some of it thoughtful and constructive — which has served to make us better today," the e-mail says.

Mr. Brown agreed to resign at the urging of the government, according to a friend of the executive's who asked not to be named.

"He's the fall guy," the friend said.

The Ombudsman said when he launched his probe last October that the allegations involving insider wins have "cast a large shadow" over the lottery corporation and "brought into question its actions."

Mr. Marin said he was concerned about the lottery corporation's initial defensiveness and by the government's refusal to appoint an independent investigator. The government left it up to the corporation to conduct its own review of the allegations.

Bill Rutsey, president of the Canadian Gaming Association, said it's "really too bad" Brown has been let go.

Brown is "a superior person and an excellent CEO," Rutsey said Friday.

Brown is being "held to account" for events alleged to have occurred before he became head of the lottery corporation, Rutsey said. "It's a tough world at that level."

The lottery corporation posted two security-related jobs on its website on Friday.

One was seeking a senior investigations manager who would manage the OLGC's investigation department provincewide.

The manager would "ensure OLG retailers are in compliance with the Criminal Code of Canada, OLG Act, as well as all other regulations, policies and procedures pertaining to OLG's operations," the posting said.

The other listing posted Friday seeks an investigator "to carry out a wide range of investigations relating to individuals or companies doing or seeking to do business with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation."

Lottery retailers in B.C. and Nova Scotia have also come under scrutiny for the amount of winnings they have claimed.

Wire reports, Lottery Post Staff

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5 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by Amazing Grace.
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RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
mid-Ohio
United States
Member #9
March 24, 2001
19828 Posts
Online
Posted: March 24, 2007, 6:35 pm - IP Logged

"CEO Duncan Brown was escorted out of the lottery corporation's offices in Toronto, two sources told the CBC, speaking on condition of anonymity."

That's the extra touch that many organizations like to add to a firing, there's nothing like an security escort out the door on your final day, it's almost like a kick in the behind as you leave.

 * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
   
             Evil Looking       

    Avatar
    Kingston, Ontario
    Canada
    Member #46867
    October 5, 2006
    106 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: March 24, 2007, 9:01 pm - IP Logged

    The downfall to this story is that Duncan Brown was only at the helm of the lottery over the past two to three years.  It's sad because he is so respected in the lottery/gaming circles. The nicest guy who in fact was a civil servant before coming to OLG.   

    The previous board(s) of directors had not done their job very well and really on the retailer level, players were too naive and taking the retailers word, instead of checking what they won.  Where OLG went wrong was they didn't do enough to investigate fraud claims.   

    "Together We're Making Good Things Happen,  Ontario's Lotteries...WE ALL WIN"

      dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

      United States
      Member #2338
      September 17, 2003
      2063 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: March 25, 2007, 12:33 pm - IP Logged

      If people aren't smart enough to check their own tickets it's the fault of the lottery player and not the lottery itself.

      Half of a 29.8 million prize will most likely go unclaimed in Alberta for example. Is it the fault of the lottery that this person was unable to check their ticket? At some point players are responsible for their winnings and trusting anything larger than $1000 with a clerk is idiotic.

      The person who won $100,000 should have signed the ticket and cashed it out a lottery office. If he had done that and then got ripped off I would say the lottery office has serious problems. The only thing the clerk scandals in Canada prove is that you can't trust everyone with large sums of money. Like that is news.

        Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
        Indiana
        United States
        Member #48725
        January 7, 2007
        1953 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: March 25, 2007, 2:38 pm - IP Logged

        If people aren't smart enough to check their own tickets it's the fault of the lottery player and not the lottery itself.

        Half of a 29.8 million prize will most likely go unclaimed in Alberta for example. Is it the fault of the lottery that this person was unable to check their ticket? At some point players are responsible for their winnings and trusting anything larger than $1000 with a clerk is idiotic.

        The person who won $100,000 should have signed the ticket and cashed it out a lottery office. If he had done that and then got ripped off I would say the lottery office has serious problems. The only thing the clerk scandals in Canada prove is that you can't trust everyone with large sums of money. Like that is news.

        I agree. For a person to even think they can claim a ticket worth that much at a local store is just idiotic.

        Gonna win.Big Smile

          Amazing Grace's avatar - lion
          rainbow lake
          Canada
          Member #25177
          November 2, 2005
          10764 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: March 26, 2007, 8:33 am - IP Logged

          I agree. For a person to even think they can claim a ticket worth that much at a local store is just idiotic.

          Retailers can be crooked in more ways than one, scratch ticket counting,for example, based on the odds of the game, give me a book of 100 and see how many winners i can pick from it,

          scratch tickets should come from a dispenser that is loaded by the lottery corp.

          as for not checking you tickets, lazy, when i ran my group , we were buying 3000 numbers a week, we checked them all, sorted the winners and knew within $20.00 how much we won.

          Secret to $uccess=Law of Attraction