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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation?

Created on April 1, 2000 under the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation Act, 1999, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is a provincial agency operating and managing province-wide lotteries, casinos, and slots facilities at horse racing tracks.

Our purpose is to make life better for people across Ontario by generating revenue provincially and economic and social benefits locally. Our vision is to be the role model for gaming entertainment worldwide, by creating excitement and possibility for customers and generating economic return while upholding the public’s best interest.

Generating approximately $6 billion in annual revenues and $2 billion in annual profit for the Province of Ontario, OLG businesses directly employ 20,000 people and support nearly 11,000 independent lottery retailers.

2. What is OLG?

OLG is the preferred brand name for Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation which is our full corporate name.

3. How does OLG report to the provincial government?

OLG reports to the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (PIR), and is led by a Board of Directors appointed by the province.

4. How much money does OLG generate and how is that money used?

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation Act, 1999 directs gaming proceeds to provincial hospitals, sport, recreational and cultural activities, and to charitable organizations and non-profit corporations through the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and other government priority programs such as health care and education.

In the 2004/05 business year, OLG generated approximately $2 billion in proceeds that were allocated by the Province of Ontario, including:

  • $1.5 billion to hospitals
  • $334 million to general government priorities such as health care and education
  • $100 million to the Ontario Trillium Foundation
  • $36 million to problem gambling

In addition to these public benefits, shares of OLG revenues were also directed to support other sectors, including:

  • $300 million to Ontario’s horse racing industry
  • $105 million to Ontario First Nations
  • $75 million to municipalities hosting OLG gaming sites

5. What is OLG doing about problem gambling?

OLG is strongly committed to upholding the public’s best interest by delivering its products and services in a socially responsible manner. On March 31, 2005, the Corporation launched its Responsible Gaming Code of Conduct, a commitment to reduce the risk of problem gambling in Ontario. Through a series of initiatives, OLG is strengthening its corporate commitment, enhancing customer information and education programs and developing programs and polices that improve the gaming environment.

6. What are the differences between “Resort Casinos,” “OLG Casinos” and “OLG Slots”?

Resort Casinos in Windsor, Niagara Falls and Rama are large facilities that offer more gaming options, higher wagering limits, and a wide range of amenities such as hotels, entertainment venues and meeting/convention areas. OLG Casinos also offer great gaming, food and beverage services and entertainment. OLG Slots at horse racing tracks offer slot machine gaming, food and beverage services and entertainment.

7. How old must a person be to play a lottery game or to visit a gaming site?

Strict age controls are a key component of our commitment to social responsibility. A person must be at least 18 years of age to buy a lottery ticket, and OLG will not pay a prize to anyone less than 18 years of age. A person must be at least 19 years of age to enter a gaming site, the same minimum age as required for the serving of alcohol.

8. Must lottery winners or gaming winners have their names published?

Publishing winners is important to demonstrate the integrity of our lottery games. For every winner there are a number of other players who did not win but have a legitimate desire to know that someone won. OLG reserves the right to publish the name, address and photograph of any lottery winner. The names of winners at gaming sites are released only with the permission of the winner.

9. Does OLG regulate or license charity lotteries? Can charities apply for grants funded with gaming proceeds?

OLG operates commercial gaming on behalf of the province of Ontario. While OLG proceeds support charities through the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the regulation and licensing of charity gaming is a responsibility of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

10. Do lottery retailers win a disproportionate number of lottery prizes over $50,000?

There has been much talk across Canada in the recent months about lottery retailers who play lottery games and the proportion to which they win these games. In particular, there has been certain analysis commissioned by the CBC that suggests that lottery retailers in Ontario were winning major prizes at a rate that was almost statistically impossible.

Given our concern about what this report implies and our commitment to transparency with our players we contracted three qualified independent researchers to review the original research and conclusions regarding the rate of win by lottery retailers.

The one common thread that all three experts found is that there is not enough information, with a high degree of certainty, to draw the conclusions that have been made about retailers. In fact, depending on which inputs you use you could reasonably come up with different possible answers and conclusions

“The results are simply too ad hoc and too poorly formulated to be deemed conclusive in any sense about any point they might be trying to make.”

“When the various sources of uncertainty impacting the calculation of the expected number of wins by retailers are taken into account, the difference between that expected number and the actual number of wins by retailers may well lie within the limits of normal chance variation.”

“My overall conclusion is that from the available data, the assertion that the retailers are winning at a higher rate than the general public cannot be justified.”

Retailer Claims by Retail Location

Recent media reports have suggested that retailers are winning a disproportionate number of lottery prizes over $50,000. The following is a breakdown of retailer wins by distribution channel.

The figures in the chart below shows the number of lottery prizes of $50,000 or more won by retailers over the period 1999-2005 broken down by distribution channel.

Without knowing more about the lottery playing patterns of the employees in each channel, it is impossible to determine whether the figures suggest any anomalies in win patterns. Among other things, the chances of winning large prizes in a particular channel are affected by the number of employees in that channel, the number of lottery tickets purchased by each employee in that channel and, since different games offer different odds of winning large prizes than others, the particular lottery games purchased by the employees in that channel. There is no reason to believe that the channels are uniform in each of these variables.

Frequently Asked Questions 1. What is Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation? Created on April 1, 2000 under the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation Act, 1999, Ontario Lottery and Gaming ]]>