Posts Tagged ‘OLG’

OLG smackdown

by , May 24, 2014 | 8:22 am

In April of this year, Ontario’s Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk, released her report on the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s Modernization Plan. The report was prepared and made public in response to motions passed by the legislature’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

The report is a sobering read for OLG, for the government, and for anyone interested in gaming in Ontario. The report suggests that OLG’s decision-making and plans were unrealistic, short-sighted, and subject to unstable leadership and oversight. The key question coming out of it isn’t, however, what went wrong. It’s where does OLG go from here?

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Ontario Goes Online

by , Apr 14, 2013 | 9:49 am

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) announced this past Friday that it has selected a vendor to be its online gaming services provider through PlayOLG.ca. Spielo G2 won the contract. The first phase of the online rollout for PlayOLG will include lottery (e.g., Lotto 6/49) and unspecified gaming offerings. Subsequent rollout phases are to include bingo, sportsbetting (perhaps single sports wagering if Bill C-290 passes?), Internet poker, and “other new products.” Ontarians are supposed to be able to use PlayOLG.ca by late 2013.

(We shall see. Ontario’s Auditor General is reviewing OLG’s modernization plan at the behest of a provincial legislative committee. That review is to include the OLG’s online gaming rollout. Rod Phillips, OLG’s president and CEO, tweeted on Thursday that its modernization and procurement processes are to “continue, no changes,” but the Auditor General’s probe may compel major alterations to the current plans.)

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Ontario Lottery and Gaming: Where From Here?

by , Feb 4, 2011 | 7:52 am

I was fascinated by an article I saw on Tuesday in Wired (Cracking the Scratch Lottery Code by Jonah Lehrer – ‘Easy Money’ in the print edition) addressing the lack of randomness in scratch lottery games, and especially in extended-play games. It’s an old story but a well-written article. The piece centres on a geological statistician named Mohan Srivastava in Toronto. A few years ago, Srivastava started noticing patterns in the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s (OLG’s) Tic-Tac-Toe scratch tickets. By focusing only on the non-recurring numbers – the “singles” - from the unscratched cards, Srivastava was able to accurately identify winners approximatley 90% of the time. This wasn’t the only game that he was able to crack, either in Ontario or in other jurisdictions in North America.

At first, OLG wouldn’t even return Srivastava’s calls. They just assumed he was some crazy crank who thought he could beat the lottery. In what I thought was the funniest part of the article, he hit on a way to get their attention:

He bought 20 tic-tac-toe tickets and sorted them, unscratched, into piles of winners and losers. Then, he couriered the package to [Rob] Zufelt [a member of OLG’s security team] along with the following note:

In the enclosed envelopes, I have sent you two groups of 10 TicTacToe tickets that I purchased from various outlets around Toronto in the past week… You go ahead and scratch off the cards. Maybe you can give one batch to your lottery ticket specialist. After you’ve scratched them off, you should have a pretty solid sense for whether or not there’s something fishy here.

The package was sent at 10 am. Two hours later, he received a call from Zufelt. Srivastava had correctly predicted 19 out of the 20 tickets. The next day, the tic-tac-toe game was pulled from stores.

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