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Sorting out the Ontario lotto

Discussion in 'Casino Industry Discussion' started by jetset, Nov 14, 2007.

    Nov 14, 2007
  1. jetset

    jetset RIP Brian CAG

    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service

    Too many retail winners sparked investigation

    The disproportionate levels of big winners among ticket sellers that sparked an Ombudsman investigation into the Ontario Lottery earlier this year (see previous InfoPowa reports) has resulted in stricter measures by the new management of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.

    In future, Ontario's alcohol and gaming commission will take over the investigation of all suspicious lottery wins - including those claimed by lottery retailers - starting in January 2008 as the lottery corporation tries to rebuild its tarnished image and crack down on any suggestion of fraud.

    All insider wins over $10 000 will be investigated by the new regulatory body following recommendations from the provincial Ombudsman who was sharply critical of the cozy relationship between the lotto corporation and the thousands of retailers who sell - and buy - its products.

    Teresa Roncon, spokeswoman for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., said the definition of a lottery "insider" is also being broadened to include family members and any person living with a retailer or gaming corporation employee. Those who try to collect wins of under $10 000 will be better tracked and monitored through a new database, she added.

    "This will provide our customers with a greater amount of security and greater integrity in our lottery product," Roncon said. "That's the priority at OLG. We've been working very hard on this for many months."

    University academics ran statistical checks on the high levels of jackpot wins among ticket sellers earlier this year, leading to the commissioning of an investigation by the Ontario Ombudsman, Andre Marin, who slammed the corporation in his examination in March, saying it ignored allegations of widespread retailer fraud, "coddling" ticket sellers while playing "games" with customers who complained they had been cheated.

    Suggesting confidence in the lottery was shattered, Marin said the corporation lost sight of its obligation to the public in its desire to maintain a good relationship with some of its best customers - retailers.

    The gaming corporation has implemented around 80 percent of Marin's recommendations, Roncon said, and is making "great headway" with the remaining suggestions.

    Following one of the key recommendations, the lottery corporation will be regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission starting in January and all customers will be required to sign their tickets to crack down on potential fraud.

    "Lottery security and integrity in our games is our priority," Roncon said.

    Critics say the corporation has a long way to go, reports the Canadian Press. New Democrat Andrea Horwath said she hasn't seen anything from the corporation about having retailers pass criminal background checks before being allowed to sell tickets and establishing a code of conduct for ticket-sellers.

    There is also no mention about what will happen to retailers who are found guilty of fraud, said Horwath, adding Marin suggested their assets should be frozen.
  2. Nov 22, 2007
  3. Nobunaga

    Nobunaga Experienced Member

    Service Clerk
    Cambridge ON
    Ontario/Canadians gambling.

    Jetset.Do you know what the 10 best online casinos are for Canadians?

    Do you know about how the Ontarian government or the OLG, governs video poker, making sure that the video poker machines and its programs stay fair with its RNG microchip, making sure that the program inside the RNG doesn't lock out the Royal or Straight flush on a player, which would qualify as fraud?

    Do you know why Virgin Casino doesn't allow Canadians to gamble at its online website, even though this country deals business with them?

    You seem to post a lot on here, so maybe you'll be able to answer some of my concerns from a Canadian gambler's perspective.

  4. Nov 22, 2007
  5. jetset

    jetset RIP Brian CAG

    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Interesting 'handle' - are you into Japanese medieval history or the video game?

    I would guess that the ten best online casinos serving the Canadian market could be a pretty subjective statement coloured by experience and software preference. I don't play at a wide range of venues because I tend to stay with those few operations that have the softwares I prefer, enjoy and have personally learned to trust.

    I'm neither an affiliate or a Canadian so I'm probably not the best person to ask, but there are good information portals out there and several members here who are involved as affiliates in the Northern American online casino market. The floor is open for opinions....

    I'm not familiar with the internal workings of the OLG and have limited connections or interest in the organisation, aside from the unusual developments on lottery fraud that have been uncovered, and the measures taken to combat the problems. Judging by your profile, you probably know more about VP and the OLG than I do anyway!

    Virgin's Canadian policy - and for that matter operations like Neteller - continue to puzzle me.

    I think Neteller was probably intimidated out of the Canadian market during its tussle with the US Department of Justice, but Virgin must have a more subtle plan. Perhaps they are trying to keep a clean North American slate with a view to future developments in the USA, where I personally believe there is a strong liklihood that online gambling will one day be heavily regulated in favour of American companies but allowed.

    But who knows? As far as I am aware there have been no public statements on this giving the 'real' rationale behind it other than the following:

    "This week it was Virgin Games that announced plans to hit the road out of the Great White North. The company has advised players that it is on the way out following "...a review of the legalities of online gambling within Canada" that does not specify exactly why the online gambling firm thinks Canadian online gambling is against the law.

    "The Virgin communication to players apologises for the bad news that all Canadian accounts will be suspended with effect from 09h00 EST on April 13 2007 "Due to recent developments in the global Internet gaming environment and following a review of the legalities of online gaming within Canada, we have determined that it is inappropriate for us to continue accepting online wagers from Canada."

    Virgin is licensed through Alderney - but as far as I am aware that jurisdiction, whilst banning American online gambling action - has no problem with Canada.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2007
  6. Nov 22, 2007
  7. happygobrokey

    happygobrokey Dormant account

    student of life
    it's becoming law to sign our lottery tickets. i suspect this is to circumvent lost/stolen tickets being fraudulently claimed, but we shall see if people take to signing tickets at time of purchase. anyway, the chance of winning 6/49, all six numbers correct is over 1 in 4 million, and for super 7 even greater against, at like 1 in 17 million iirc, so chances are it won't affect you directly unless you lose your ticket or have it stolen, or happen to have the identical number selections as a fraudulent claimant.

    now w.r.t. best casinos for a canadian, i like totesport and 32Red and vc casino, because those pay back onto my canadian visa. if you're fine with moneybookers c2p et autre methods, then any of the accrediteds are good. just choose your favourites for each software to make your own top 10. i highly recommend totesport as the best playtech option for me, and i believe the user here called shaunm is a rep of that casino and comes around here frequently. not that i've ever had any problem at all there, but it's nice to know he's here if you might need him and he has got the player's point of view from reading the forum and seemingly being a player himself. plus they give good bonuses and pay onto my visa and deal a fast and fair game. a-plus in my books!

    and yeah wtf with virgin disallowing canadians? we should write the rebel billionaire himself and ask him what gives. oh well, he's rich enough. if you're looking for wagerworks, you have a couple other options anyway.

    that's all for now, have a nice day and good luck to all. i hate early mornings! :thumbsup:
  8. Nov 22, 2007
  9. shaunm

    shaunm Dormant account

    Advertising Executive
    Thanks for the kind words HGB! :D Glad to hear you've had no problems. i'm more of a player at this forum but if anyone does have any problems with their account at totesport i can help as i sit 3 feet away from the casino manager :thumbsup: i'm hoping to get us onto the accredited list and Brian say's we tick all the boxes, i think the casino manager has to speak to him in person though. I'm on here Mon to Fri checking threads etc so if anyone has any problems i'll help as much as i can.

  10. Dec 19, 2007
  11. jetset

    jetset RIP Brian CAG

    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Don't give kids lotto tickets as Christmas presents


    Canadian provincial government lotteries warn against giving tickets to minors

    Lottery tickets are a dangerous stocking stuffer, Canadian lottery officials have warned parents as the annual season of giving approaches.

    Being both relatively cheap but acceptable as an opportunity to win large amounts of money, lottery tickets have apparently become a fave stocking filler at Christmas, with up to 30 percent of tickets being purchased and given to minors, a new University of McGill survey has shown.

    The survey has prompted Loto-Quebec, the Atlantic Lottery Corp. and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. to team up with researchers at McGill University in urging parents to avoid giving their children lottery tickets as Christmas presents.

    "Lottery tickets are for adults, not kids," OLG spokesperson Don Pister told Canadian Press this week. "There are a lot of things we restrict to certain ages in our society, and this is one of them."

    The three gaming commissions have launched awareness campaigns aimed at warning parents about the perils of youth gambling.

    Gambling experts caution though that introducing the youth of the nation to gamblikng at too early an age can have devastating implications.

    "(Lottery tickets) are inexpensive, they make good stocking stuffers, but for kids they really give the wrong message and they can create potential problems," said Alissa Sklar, a senior researcher with McGill's International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviours. "It's really important for parents, grandparents, caregivers to realise that lottery tickets, scratch cards and other lottery products are inappropriate gifts for those who are 18 and under."

    McGill's researchers claim playing the lottery at a young age can lead to problem gambling. They point to studies which suggest the younger children are introduced to gambling, the greater their risk of developing an addiction.

    "Gambling has become so normalised," Sklar said. "It's not on the radar screen of risks that people think of for their kids, like alcohol, drugs or tobacco. When parents model this and they give these things as gifts, they're basically saying 'Don't worry, this is safe for you to do.' "

    It is illegal in most provincial jurisdictions for minors to buy, or even cash in, lottery tickets. But according to Sklar, 30 percent of children in Canada have received lottery tickets or scratch cards as gifts.

    The number is alarming for Sklar, given that youth gambling appears to be on the rise and as many as 30 percent of Canadian teens gamble on a weekly basis.
  12. Dec 20, 2007
  13. jetset

    jetset RIP Brian CAG

    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service

    Some of the real winners get their cash....at last

    The scandal over an extraordinarily high level of wins by retail ticket sellers in the Ontario provincial goverment lottery earlier this year (see previous InfoPowa reports) had a happier sequel this week when four school board employees, allegedly cheated out of their winning lottery ticket by a retailer who claimed the prize money as his own, received a cheque for $5.7 million - plus interest - from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.

    The cheque came as Ontario provincial police announced they had charged Hafiz Malik, a 60-year-old former convenience store owner with theft and fraud following an investigation into "insider wins" at the OLG, according to CanWest news reports.

    Police allege Malik, who has been released on $60 000 bail, validated the group's Lotto 6/49 ticket at his now-closed convenience store in midtown Toronto but didn't tell the customers they had won. He has been charged with two counts of fraud of more than $5 000 and one count of theft of more than $5 000.

    A lawyer for winners Lorraine Teicht, Paul Carlisi, Silvana Pincivero and Aurora Pincivero said his clients played the same numbers regularly and realised they might have been duped after checking the OLG website for the winning numbers nine months ago.

    The OLG said when it received a complaint from the group in July it launched an internal investigation and determined the co-workers were the rightful owners. The winning ticket was purchased in Orillia, Ont. in June 2004 and validated by Malik who allegedly claimed the prize as his own in January of 2005.

    The OLG said it did routinely investigate Malik at the time he claimed the prize but CEO Kelly McDougald said she could not comment because the case is before the courts. Speaking in general terms, McDougald said any "insider" who claimed a prize was subject to a series of questions, which she wouldn't reveal, when they came to claim their money.

    OPP said Malik's arrest was part of a larger investigation into "insider wins" prompted by a scathing report by Ontario's ombudsman earlier this year, prompted by university research which showed a disproportionate number of wins went to ticket retailers.

    In his report Ombudsman Andre Marin blasted the OLG for being more fixated on profits than the integrity of games. Ontario store owners and their families claimed about $100 million in lottery wins between 1999 and 2006, including tens of millions of fraudulent claims ignored by the public lottery corporation, Marin said in his report. A management shake-up followed at the OLG.

    Responding to news of the arrest, Ontario's ombudsman said he was pleased to see the OLG and OPP take the "insider wins" problem seriously.

    "No doubt the OLG has undergone important changes in the last few months, but culture change is not achieved overnight," Marin said in a statement. "The developments today are a cautionary reminder to the OLG to remain vigilant and not let its guard down in protecting the public interest."

    OPP said they have seized and frozen more than $5 million of Malik's assets, including three cars and a home in Mississauga.

    Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said he hoped the arrest would serve as a warning to other retailers.

    "I'm delighted with the signal this is sending to retailers of lottery tickets in the province of Ontario which is - if you try to cheat people out of their winnings, if you try to rip off the system, we're going to be all over you."

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