Monday, March 26, 2007

Ontario's Lottery Scandal

I'm not a lottery ticket buyer because the odds of winning are so low that I feel like it's throwing my money away. I'm such a non-player that I didn't know until recently that one could even check the winning numbers at the retailer's. I always thought one checked them in the paper or on Citytv. But as skeptical as I am over the worth of playing the lottery, it never occurred to me that retailers would steal lottery winners' money, even less that the fraud and theft would be so enormous.

As I listened to Andre Marin's revelations on the news, I started to think this is Ontario's sponsorship scandal. The amounts are in the tens of millions of dollars, OLG let this happen under their nose and are alleged to be complicit, the fraud is so extensive that all sorts of companies and individuals have been adversely affected, and the paper trail is weak and apparently has disappeared now (wonder why), with the result that the thieves will be able to keep their money even though the ombudsman has referred this to the OPP.

The Board Chair talks about trust and how OLG is trustworthy. The resignation of the CEO and the wholehearted acceptance of Marin's recommendations are apparently proof, but if OLG is so trustworthy why when the elderly man who started this investigative ball rolling did the Board Chair not order a full investigation? Why if trust is so important to OLG did he not immediately take steps to prevent theft, not take so long to introduce some measures that are, IMHO, not fullproof? I posit that it isn't trust that's motivating the Chair and Minister now, it's public exposure. Frankly, I think the entire Board ought to be fired as it was under their purview that this widespread thieving took place, as well as all the senior, middle, and lower managers who had responsibility for regulating the retailers. The rot is deep as evidenced by the staggering dollar amount. And if trust is really to be restored, retailers and anyone employed by or associated with OLG should not be allowed to play the lottery, thus we will know for sure that anyone involved in running the lottery cannot steal from the legit players.

2 comments:

Tracy Rich said...

I once called the Ontario Lottery about one of the special lotterys where the tickets cost 20 bucks i wanted to know if all the tickets for the draw were sold and they told me that 1 third of the tickets are held at the lottery corperation and then destroyed after the draw is made to me this is very illegal

talk talk talk said...

That's shocking. Not just that they did it, but that they felt so safe in crossing the line that they didn't hesitate to tell you!