Government Accepts Findings Of Ombudsman Investigation



    Minister Calls Report Incisive And Well-Balanced and Commits to
    Implementation of Ombudsman's Recommendations

    TORONTO, March 26 /CNW/ - The Ontario government is taking immediate
action to make a strong lottery system stronger, Minister of Public
Infrastructure Renewal David Caplan said today.
    "I wholeheartedly accept and support the findings of the Ombudsman's
investigation and thank him for his hard work and dedication," said Caplan. "I
am committed to implementing the Ombudsman's recommendations to make Ontario's
lottery system the gold standard in the industry."
    As the Minister responsible for the oversight of the Ontario Lottery and
Gaming Corporation (OLG), Caplan is taking action to make the regulatory
changes recommended in the report. This involves working with the Minister of
Government Services, who currently regulates all gaming in the province
through the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, to bring forward a new
framework to regulate lottery retailing in the province of Ontario.
    "Ensuring the integrity of lotteries is our number one priority," said
Minister Phillips, Minister of Government Services. "We will adopt and
implement the Ombudsman's recommendations, including having the AGCO take over
the regulation of lottery tickets."
    The government is committed to working with the Office of the Ombudsman
to ensure its actions appropriately reflect the spirit of his recommendations,
with a clear commitment to report back on an ongoing basis.
    Additionally, the government will continue to work with the OLG Chair as
it implements the operational changes recommended by the Ombudsman. Some
operational changes are already complete or underway as a result of the
independent review conducted by KPMG, which included a seven-point action plan
to strengthen Ontario's lottery programs.
    The Ombudsman and KPMG have made a total of 60 recommendations to
strengthen the provincial lottery system and of those, the OLG has already
implemented 17. An additional 25 of those recommendations will be addressed by
the end of June and the remaining 18 will be operational as soon as possible.

    Some of the recommendations already implemented include:

    
    -   installation of 4,000 self ticket checkers at retail locations; an
        additional 4,800 will be rolled out by June 30, 2007
    -   adjustment of the Insider Win Policy to lower the threshold for
        inside win investigations from $50,000 to $10,000
    -   the establishment of a 24-hour customer complaint hotline
    

    "We value Ontarians' trust and we're committed to maintaining it," said
OLG Chair Michael Gough. "These recommendations from the Ombudsman, and the
changes made or underway as a result of the independent review by KPMG, will
ensure our lottery systems have unrivalled security, customer service and
integrity."
    "I want to commend the agency for co-operating fully with the Ombudsman's
review and for acting so quickly on its recommendations," said Caplan. "Our
paramount responsibility is to Ontarians who place their trust in the
integrity of the system."

    The Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal oversees the Ontario
Lottery and Gaming Corporation, a Crown agency of the Government of Ontario.
OLG is responsible for the province's lotteries, charity and aboriginal
casinos, commercial casinos and slots-at-racetracks program.

    Disponible en français

    
                             www.ontario.ca/pir


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                   MAKING A STRONG LOTTERY SYSTEM STRONGER

    KPMG RESULTS SUMMARY

    KPMG was hired to review key policies, procedures and controls in the
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation's lottery operations at the direction
of Public Infrastructure Renewal Minister David Caplan on October 26, 2006.

    Key Retail Lottery Controls already in place:
    ---------------------------------------------
    -   To ensure that the transactions being processed are valid and assist
        the ticket bearer in immediately identifying a major win -
        -  On-line terminals are subject to a "freeze" process when a major
           win is determined for on-line tickets.
        -  On-line lottery terminals make a distinct sound, print a receipt
           and show a message on the customer facing display when a major win
           is determined.
        -  OLG has the ability to remotely detect any tampering with a
           lottery terminal, shut down or freeze any terminal located on its
           dedicated network across the province and review all transaction
           activity on all of its terminals.
        -  Tickets can be validated by the terminal based on the encoded
           information on the ticket transactions.
        -  On-site terminal functionality is restricted to those processes
           necessary to process ticket transactions.
    -   Tickets have built in security features to allow OLG to ensure
        authenticity.
    -   OLG has processes to validate authenticity of major prize or
        significant "insider" wins.
    -   A strong control environment is created by quality assurance and
        security processes in ticket production - OLG uses expert third-party
        printers for production of instant win tickets.

    Recommendations & Progress So Far
    ---------------------------------
    -   OLG needs to continuously educate customers on how to protect their
        tickets.
        -  OLG continues to educate customers on signing the back of their
           ticket as soon as possible after purchase
        -  OLG is also working with retailers on enhanced validation
           procedures
    -   OLG needs to widely distribute throughout the province customer
        accessible, self-checking devices.
        -  Nearly 9,000 self-checking devices are being made available and
           will be fully rolled out by June 30, 2007; to date, 4,000 ticket
           checkers have already been installed at our lottery terminal
           locations.
    -   OLG should subject more insider wins to investigation and make the
        investigation more rigorous. The threshold should be $10,000 or
        greater. Corporate Security and Surveillance personnel should take
        part in all insider wins.
        -  OLG has already lowered the threshold from $50,000 to $10,000 or
           greater and completes a detailed investigation.
        -  OLG escalates all insider wins to Corporate Security and
           Surveillance.
    -   Certain aspects of the insider win investigative process need to be
        standardized including the interview, follow up and escalation
        policies and procedures.
        -  Insider win investigations now include interviews with the
           retailer to verify purchasing information and previous playing
           patterns. Only when this investigation is complete and the claim
           proved to be valid is the prize paid out.
        -  If OLG believes there is a serious concern with a retailer lottery
           prize claim, the appropriate police authorities are contacted
           immediately.
    -   Steps should be taken to enhance the terms and conditions for the
        roles and responsibilities of the retailer and their employees
        regarding the validation and redemption of tickets in the retailer
        contract and in the process for monitoring for compliance.
        -  The retailer contract is being amended.
        -  OLG will continuously monitor trends in technology/innovations.
    -   OLG needs to improve the documentation of Instant ticket processes
        and the results of quality assurance activities on Instant Tickets.
        - All Instant Ticket processes have been detailed and formal
        documentation is underway.
    -   OLG should complete a comprehensive risk management plan for lottery
        activities.

    Disponible en français

                             www.ontario.ca/pir
    




For further information:

For further information: Amy Tang, Minister's Office, (416) 325-4048;
Lori Theoret, Communications Branch, (416) 325-1810

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Ontario Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal

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