Ombudsman Ontario

Ombudsman Ontario

December 19, 2007 11:55 ET

Ombudsman Comments on OPP Announcement

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 19, 2007) -


Ombudsman Andre Marin today commented on the announcement of criminal charges laid by Ontario Provincial Police in the wake of his investigation into "insider" wins at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG).

"When we investigated the OLG, we found evidence that indicated tens of millions of dollars in prize money had been paid out to retailers making suspicious claims," Mr. Marin said. "We also found a culture within the OLG that tended to downplay 'insider wins' and dismiss complaints from consumers about retailers' behaviour. I can't comment on these specific charges, which have yet to be tried in court, but I'm pleased to see that the OLG and OPP now appear to be taking such complaints very seriously."

The Ombudsman's report, A Game of Trust, released in March, made 23 recommendations to the OLG and provincial government, all of which were accepted. Copies of the report and background information on the investigation are available at

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

"The OLG needs to continue enhancing measures that protect the purchasing public from fraud and theft. Every penny stolen by retail fraudsters is not only a penny out of the pocket of lottery winners, but, in the end, represents millions taken from important programs and institutions in our communities. The crucial revenue from lotteries is relied on by organizations that take care of the most vulnerable in society. The OLG has a responsibility not only towards members of the public who play lotteries but towards those bodies that count on its revenues to support our social infrastructure."

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