In Canada, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) Corporation has been given six months to curb and control insider lottery wins or risk having its retailers and employers barred from playing.
The Crown corporation controls the province’s lotteries, slot machines and horseracing tracks along with its commercial, charity and aboriginal casinos. A recent report found that $159 million in insider fraud wins had been claimed between 1995 and 2008
“Insiders are in purgatory,” said Andre Marin, Ontario Ombudsman, who is the independent watchdog responsible for overseeing the Government of Canada’s most populous province.
“If they prove to be an ungovernable lot, they shouldn’t be allowed to play.”
Marin stated that the reported figure, which is nearly double OLG’s previous estimate of insider wins, was ‘conservative’ and ‘very suspect’. He said that he was deeply concerned that fraud is still taking place despite measures taken following his 2007 report, A Game Of Trust.
“This is not a clean bill of health for the OLG,” said Marin of the report.
“If insiders can’t control their itchy fingers, we’re going to have to treat them like kids and bar them.”
The Ombudsman revealed that watching over insiders had become almost an industry unto itself with millions of dollars being diverted to policing dishonest retailers and securing the lottery infrastructure.
Since 2007, OLG has spent $515,041 on a KPMG study and $603,649 on its most recent review while budgeting $2.4 million a year to analyse and flag insider wins.
“We should remember that the province isn’t running lotteries for fun,” said Marin.
“The lottery system is there to provide funding to communities and hospitals.”