Insider lottery wins higher than previously thought
An analysis of Ontario's troubled lottery corporation revealed that so-called lottery insiders have won almost twice as much in prizes in the past 13 years as was previously thought.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming corporation responded to the report by holding a press conference Wednesday afternoon to announce new security measures.
The OLG previously thought it paid out $106 million to insiders, but a report by the audit firm Deloitte and Touche determined that $198 million was actually paid out.
The firm audited the OLG's winner's database, looking for trends, especially those of insiders.
OLG previously though insiders accounted for 1.7 per cent of winning during the time period, but the audit revealed that twice as many wins went to insiders, at 3.4 per cent.
OLG's chief executive officer Kelly McDougald said the report and new security measures will better protect lottery players.
"We believe (this report) will set the benchmark going forward on how to run a lottery operation." McDougald said, adding that the analysis was believed to be the first of its kind in the world.
"While we believe that our retailers are for the most part very honest and capable individuals, there was clear indication in this report . . . that there were attempts to either defraud OLG or to defraud the players."
Some of the new measures announced by the OLG include:
- Phasing in new barcode technology on all instant scratch tickets.
- Implement real-time data analysis to immediately flag suspicious lottery transactions.
- More frequent communication about lottery winners as well as a quarterly player protection report, which will begin in the spring.
Last year, Ombudsman Andre Marin investigated the OLG and slammed the organization in report for ignoring widespread retailer fraud.
Insider wins are not investigated by the OLG anymore, instead they are now looked at by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
"Our responsibility is to identify (fraud) and then work in partnership our with OPP partners through the Alcohol and Gaming Commission," McDougald said.
Some previous security changes include; lottery terminals that freeze for wins of more than $5,000, a special button for retailers to identify themselves as insiders and all original tickets have to be returned to customers.
Also, there are now more terminals that allow players to check their own tickets.
With files from The Canadian Press