Canadian lottery row grows


RIP Brian
Feb 22, 2001

Top lotto executives hang in to sort out the mess

The lottery row in the British Columbia province of Canada continues to make waves following criticism by provincial ombudsman Kim Carter that the government-owned B.C. Lottery Corporation did not have adequate procedures in place to ensure that correct prize amounts were paid out to the rightful owners of winning tickets.

In a new development reported by CBC News, Solicitor General John Les revealed that he had ordered an independent audit of the $2 billion industry. In announcing the audit, Les said Carter's report raises questions about how the system became vulnerable to fraud.

"It defies belief that the lottery corporation didn't know there was likely criminal fraud going on against the public," Les said.

The row is centred on the high ratio of wins attributed to ticket retailers in the lottery. In her report on the B.C. situation, Carter said that a few retailers appeared to be winning unusually often, with 21 B.C. Lottery Corporation retailers or employees turning up as multiple winners. She noted that one retailer won 11 times in five years, collecting more than $300 000 in prizes.

Last year, Ontario academics at Toronto University voiced concerns about ticket retailer wins in that province's lottery after running extensive statistic-based analytical studies.

Two executives who head the BC Lottery Corporation, CEO Vic Poleschuk and chairman John McLernon have made it clear that they will not be resigning following the ombudsman's report. The duo have said that they regret the ombudsman's finding, and that there was no evidence anyone had ever lost a prize to retailer fraud under their tenure. They will take responsibility to help resolve any issues, they said.
Yup, state run lottery is dirty business indeed.

Too bad there is not a little digging into the American State run Lottery System.
I have no doubt that there would be some 'interesting' information come to light, if any digging were ever done.

The 21 US States that have lottery are all legally separate and run by the individual state, this makes finding any questionable activities by an individual Lottery near impossible.

But I am glad the British Columbia Lottery are getting pushed to the straight and narrow.


Change of leadership necessary following scathing ombudsman report on BC Lottery

Last week the CEO of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, Vic Poleschuk was confident that he would remain in office to sort out the problems besetting the company (see previous InfoPowa report) His situation has changed dramatically this week, according to a report from CBC News.

Poleshuk, who appeared to be supported initially by chairman John McLernon, was fired this week following a scathing report by the province's ombudsman that found ticket retailers were apparently winning too often. The report triggered an investigation by provincial legal authorities that is ongoing.

In a written statement, the lottery corporation's board said it was terminating Poleschuk's employment effective immediately. Lottery corporation chair John McLernon said a change of leadership was required as the board focuses on implementing ombudsman Kim Carter's recommendations to fix the problems found in lottery operations.

Ombudsman Carter said the lottery system is open to abuse and possible fraud, and that lottery officials failed to protect customers.
Ontario update


In the wake of Ombudsman's findings, a new CEO, a departure and a reassignment

The reverberations from the Ontario Ombudsman's findings on the administration of the Ontario provincial lottery are still echoing around the offices this week as Canadian press reports chronicle a new interim CEO, the departure of a compliance official and the reassignment of another key executive.

Describing the changes as part of a "cultural change" the lottery reported that interim CEO Michelle DiEmanuele had ordered a change in leadership in the wake of the lottery scandal, which involved allegations that ticket retailers may have made dishonest prize claims.

DiEmanuele, the deputy minister of government services, joined the OLG on a four-month term as CEO starting April 16. She took over for Duncan Brown, who stepped down in late March after the lottery scandal broke (see previous InfoPowa reports). In an internal memo in possession of the media, DiEmanuele announced that Ingrid Peters, the vice-president of legal and compliance matters, left the OLG earlier this week. No reason was given for her departure, and an OLG spokesperson would not confirm to the press rumours that she had been dismissed.

Walter Fioravanti, vice-president of human resources, was reassigned to another and unspecified position.

The spokesman told Canadian media reporters: "Both of these positions are key leadership roles for cultural change."

Users who are viewing this thread

Meister Ratings